Curated by: Luigi Canali De Rossi

Wednesday, April 2, 2014

The Ultimate Guide To Editorial Content Types and Formats

I am often surprised when hear from web publishers, journalists and small web entrepreneurs about their frustration with finding ways to create valuable content that it is not just another article or blog post.

Photo credit: Robin Good - Original full size table

Although there are more than 100 types of content that one can actually create, we dilute most of our energy and resources in producing what most others do, news and light article content, without ever considering that there exist a ton of other content alternatives that could be utilized.

This is why I have decided to create this catalogue of content types. To remind writers and editors, that there are a tens of alternative opportunities for creating valuable content and that it is only up to me and you to pick them up and use them.

While there have been other attempts at listing and cataloging formats and types of content that can be published online (which I have listed and referenced at the end of this article), I have tried to improve upon them, not just by extending the number of formats covered (over 100), but also by identifying relevant examples, and where possible, appropriate tools, that can be useful to create that specific type of content.

If you would like to help, feel free to contribute suggestions for additional relevant content types I may have overlooked, as well as for appropriate real-world examples and software tools / web apps that can be of aid in creating these.

The catalog is divided in 11 different general content categories to facilitate browsing and finding relevant alternatives and options for most content types.

Here all the details:


Synthesis - Reference


Df - Definitions

Curated collection of the most relevant and diverse definitions of a specific subject, issue or topic

Example: What Is Content Curation: Definition

Relevant tools: Bundlr

Ck - Checklist

List of items, tools or resources to check to do something or to achieve a specific goal


Relevant tools:

Ap - Action Plans

List of steps to be taken to do or to achieve a specific goal

Relevant tools:

Gl - Glossary

Alphabetical list of terms or words relating to a specific subject, text, or dialect, with clear descriptions

Relevant tools:

Di - Directory

Listing of resources, tools, companies, events or individuals for a specific use / application and organized around specific criteria (location, age, features, etc.)

Relevant tools:

Lb - Links Bundle

Collection of web links to specific online resources that can be shared with just one link

Relevant tools:

Pl - People List

List of individuals characterized by unique traits, skills, abilities - Who's Who - Expert List - Who To Follow

Relevant tools:

Ca - Catalog

Comprehensive list of items, classified and organized around a specific topic

Relevant tools:

Ct - Comparison Table

Tabular data organized to facilitate comparison between one or more items

Relevant tools:

Cc - Collection of Collections

Collection of existing collections threaded together by a unique theme

Example: Museum of Museums

Relevant tools: Acrobat


News & Stories


Ns - News Story

Reporting of a news story already covered by others

Relevant tools:

Nh - Newshub

Web page automatically aggregating news and stories coming from different sources

Example: AllTop

Relevant tools:

Nc - Curated Newspage

Web page aggregating and curating the most relevant news on a specific topic or for a specific audience

Example: Techmeme

Relevant tools:

Sc - Scoop

Break a story first by reporting or writing on something that has not been reported about by others

Relevant tools: Medium

Tr - Tool Review

Written review of a new product or service providing information on its use, features, pros and cons

Op - Personal Opinion

Article expressing the author opinion on a topic, issue, person or event.

Relevant tools:

Ps - Personal Story

Personal recount of something that happened

Relevant tools:

Ol - Open Letter

Communication directed at a specific subject, person or organization and advocating a specific solution or course of action

Example: Open Letters - Examples (Wikipedia)

Bo - Best of

List of information items, resources or tools ranked

Example: Best Free Video Conferencing Tools 2014

Relevant tools:

Eg - Evergreen

Archived content that is still relevant today as it was
when it was first published

Relevant tools: Google Analytics (to find it)

Cu - Curated Story

In-depth analysis of a specific resource, content or story enriched by personal insight, explanations, quotes, annotations and relevant links

Example: Maria Popova Brainpickings

Relevant tools:

Ac - Articles Collection

Collection of selected best articles from one or more sources on a specific topic

Relevant tools:




Da - Data Analysis

Written report focussing on the inspection, cleanup, transformation and modeling of (statistical) data with the goal of discovering useful information, patterns and trends


Relevant tools:

Cs - Case Study

Analysis of a particular person, group, or situation over a period of time


Lf - LongForm Article

In-depth news, analysis, report or opinion content articles exceeding 2000 words. Long-form articles take often the form of creative nonfiction or storytelling / narrative journalism


Relevant tools for research:

Sf - SnowFallen

Long-format content augmented by video clips, animations, interactive maps and other multimedia elements


Relevant tools:

Rr - Research Report

Report based on research results or reviews providing a general overview on a specific topic and some useful tips

Relevant tools:

Wp - White Paper

Authoritative report or guide helping readers to understand an issue, solve a problem, or make a decision


Ir - Investigative Report

A deep investigative research effort around a single topic of interest, often involving crime, political corruption, or corporate wrongdoing (Wkpd)


Ta - Trend Analysis

Report analyzing collected data to extrapolate and identify key patterns and to predict, speculate and anticipate future lines of likely change

Relevant tools: Google Trends

Id - Industry Report

Comprehensive business information report, including research, trends and business growth data focusing on a specific industry sector


Relevant tools: Marketing Zakta




Fc - Fun Content

Humorous, ironic, funny content including jokes, short stories, photo-retouched images

Relevant tools:

Co - Comics

Ironic, funny graphic illustration or visual

Relevant tools: Pixton, Comic Life

Ca - Animated Characters

Animated video clip containing virtual characters that interpret
a scripted story

Example: GoAnimate Videos

Relevant tools: GoAnimate

Cn - Contest Competition

Intellectual non-physical competition to identify the best performer / most informed person in a specific area

Example: EmpireAvenue

Relevant tools: ContestGen

Ml - Movie List

Annotated compilation of movie titles on a specific topic / theme

Relevant tools: Collectorz Movie

Ap - Audio Playlist

Curated selection of audio tracks saved into a unique annotated sequence

Relevant tools:

Vp - Video Playlist

Curated selection of video tracks collected together into one

Relevant tools:




Ig - Image Gallery

Annotated gallery of selected images accompanied by informative captions

Relevant tools:

Pr - Slide Presentation

Deck of digital slides containing text and images

Relevant tools:

Vm - Visual Manifesto

Illustrated manifesto of a company, organization or tribe representing its ideals, dreams, mission, objectives, common traits

Example: Manifesto

Relevant tools:

Mm - Mindmap

Conceptual map illustrating a series of ideas, a collection of resources, a plan, strategy, or a sequence of steps to follow

Relevant tools:

In - Infographic

Information graphic synthesizing and highlighting key data, statistics, and other relevant info about a specific topic presented in a visually engaging way

Relevant tools:

Sf - Social Flag

Visual content which generally include inspiring text citations, designed to match a specific community peculiar traits, ideals, fears and dreams

Relevant tools:

Vg - Visual Magazine

Annotated collection of articles on a specific topic or theme

Relevant tools:

Tl - Timeline

Visual display of a sequence of events in chronological order

Relevant tools: Timeline Builders




Ft - Forum Thread

Threaded discussion or mini-forum on a specific issue-topic

Relevant tools:

Tc - Topical Chat

Chat page, twitter chat, or other real-time chatting venue on a specific issue-topic

Relevant tools:

Wb - Webinar

Seminar conducted completely over the Internet

Relevant tools:

 Robin Good -

Readers' Comments    
blog comments powered by Disqus
posted by Robin Good on Wednesday, April 2 2014, updated on Tuesday, April 8 2014

Search this site for more with 








    Curated by

    New media explorer
    Communication designer


    POP Newsletter

    Robin Good's Newsletter for Professional Online Publishers  



    Real Time Web Analytics