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Content modelling
Making content smarter
Angus Gordon
Weave (weaveweb.com.au)
What is content modelling,
and why should I care?
Why am I the right person
to do content modelling?
Where do I start?
What is content modelling,
and why should I care?
If this was how Facebook
collected information, they
couldn’t...
● Deliver content related to user interests
● Connect use...
What makes
Facebook smart is
structured content.
Structured content is chunked
Structured content is constrained
● Formats
● Allowed values
● Sizes / character counts
Structured content is machine
readable (where relevant)
2009-03-23
Most website
content is
unstructured or
minimally
structured.
Content modelling
is identifying
opportunities to turn
unstructured into
structured content...
...and documenting
those opportunities
as a coherent
system, the content
model.
● Content types
● Fields (attributes,
properties)
● Relationships
Why should I care?
● Stop your content breaking on mobile
● Build relationships between content items
● Help authors keep ...
The content model
ultimately needs to
be built into the
CMS.
So why don’t we just
leave it to the
developers?
Why am I the right person
to do content modelling?
Typical workflow
Wireframes
Developer
Content model
Results
● Assumptions
● Ambiguous or unclear labels
● Under- or over-engineered solutions
● Hacks and workarounds
● Poor u...
Collaborative workflow
Wireframes
Content strategist + developer
Content model
A content model
communicates
intention and shared
language. It doesn’t
have to be a
rigorous spec.
What makes
someone good at
content modelling?
Analytical
Context
Empathy
How do I start?
Three questions
● What are my content types?
● What fields do they need?
● What are their relationships?
Three questions
● What are my content types? → High level audit
● What fields do they need? → Deep selective audit
● What ...
Three things to
remember:
1. A content model is
not an ontology.
In other words,
model what’s
useful, don’t try to
model all the things.
2. Be presentation
agnostic.
3. Test with real
content early and
often.
Thank you!
@angusgmelb
@WeAreWeave
http://www.meetup.com/We-Are-Content-Strategy/
Content modelling: Making content smarter
Content modelling: Making content smarter
Content modelling: Making content smarter
Content modelling: Making content smarter
Content modelling: Making content smarter
Content modelling: Making content smarter
Content modelling: Making content smarter
Content modelling: Making content smarter
Content modelling: Making content smarter
Content modelling: Making content smarter
Content modelling: Making content smarter
Content modelling: Making content smarter
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Content modelling: Making content smarter

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Talk given at CS Forum Melbourne 2016

Published in: Technology
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Content modelling: Making content smarter

  1. 1. Content modelling Making content smarter Angus Gordon Weave (weaveweb.com.au)
  2. 2. What is content modelling, and why should I care? Why am I the right person to do content modelling? Where do I start?
  3. 3. What is content modelling, and why should I care?
  4. 4. If this was how Facebook collected information, they couldn’t... ● Deliver content related to user interests ● Connect users to other users ● Adapt user profile pages to different devices ● Promote users’ birthdays to their friends ● Sell targeted advertising
  5. 5. What makes Facebook smart is structured content.
  6. 6. Structured content is chunked
  7. 7. Structured content is constrained ● Formats ● Allowed values ● Sizes / character counts
  8. 8. Structured content is machine readable (where relevant) 2009-03-23
  9. 9. Most website content is unstructured or minimally structured.
  10. 10. Content modelling is identifying opportunities to turn unstructured into structured content...
  11. 11. ...and documenting those opportunities as a coherent system, the content model.
  12. 12. ● Content types ● Fields (attributes, properties) ● Relationships
  13. 13. Why should I care? ● Stop your content breaking on mobile ● Build relationships between content items ● Help authors keep content consistent ● Single source of truth means easier maintenance ● Make your content future ready
  14. 14. The content model ultimately needs to be built into the CMS.
  15. 15. So why don’t we just leave it to the developers?
  16. 16. Why am I the right person to do content modelling?
  17. 17. Typical workflow Wireframes Developer Content model
  18. 18. Results ● Assumptions ● Ambiguous or unclear labels ● Under- or over-engineered solutions ● Hacks and workarounds ● Poor usability for authors
  19. 19. Collaborative workflow Wireframes Content strategist + developer Content model
  20. 20. A content model communicates intention and shared language. It doesn’t have to be a rigorous spec.
  21. 21. What makes someone good at content modelling?
  22. 22. Analytical
  23. 23. Context
  24. 24. Empathy
  25. 25. How do I start?
  26. 26. Three questions ● What are my content types? ● What fields do they need? ● What are their relationships?
  27. 27. Three questions ● What are my content types? → High level audit ● What fields do they need? → Deep selective audit ● What are their relationships? → Diagram
  28. 28. Three things to remember:
  29. 29. 1. A content model is not an ontology.
  30. 30. In other words, model what’s useful, don’t try to model all the things.
  31. 31. 2. Be presentation agnostic.
  32. 32. 3. Test with real content early and often.
  33. 33. Thank you! @angusgmelb @WeAreWeave http://www.meetup.com/We-Are-Content-Strategy/

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