Content modelling is an iterative and incremental process for communicating the essential characteristics of structured content. Each iteration brings further clarity, incrementally refining content types and their inter-relationships within the content model. This ongoing reification of content types adds layer upon layer of detail to our understanding of what content is needed for the business. And as we learn more, the content model evolves with us, moving from high level ideas and concepts, to tangible, structured artefacts within the proposed solution.
Although content models progress along a continuum of constant refinement, there are three important stages in their lifecycle:
Conceptual: The initial content model that aims to capture the names and high level relationships between content types.
Design: Adds the descriptive elements to each content type and further refines the structural relationships between them.
Implementation: Models the content within the context of the target technology, e.g. CMS, Search Engines, Semantic Toos, etc.
Each of these content models talks volumes to the right target audience and confounds the wrong one. It really is a case of one size does not fit all.