The term content management, or CM, is used to describe the overall process that all media material goes through, during the course of its lifetime. The term is used to describe this process as it pertains to all forms of media including text; photographic materials, whether still pictures, slides, or moving film; works of art including drawings, paintings, or other such visual material; audio; software and all other types of media material. The term may apply to the process of handling either digital or traditional forms of media.
Generally there are 6 phases in the life cycle of any media element. Each phase occurs at a different time during the life of the material. The 6 phases are: create, update, publish, translate, archive, and retire. The way that an individual or a company chooses to handle the 6 phases of a media element’s life cycle, is described as the process of “content management”.
Every entity which is involved in the production of content for publication must have a system in place to manage the content which they handle. In larger corporations a separate individual may be employed to handle the content in each phase of its life cycle. In the small business sector, however, a single individual may be required to manage each of the 6 phases inclusively.
In recent times various types of content management tools have been developed, which help both individuals and larger companies move their specific content through the 6 phases, thus making content management a simpler process than in previous times.