Introducing Series for Able

One thing we’ve often seen on Able is that people tend to write a series of posts around a single theme, like Retrocomputing, building a captive web portal or Go. These posts really should be presented in a more cohesive way, so that readers who are interested can easily find them and follow along.

To address this we’ve now included the ability to create new series’ and add your posts to them from the sidebar in the editor. Your post will then show what series it belongs to when people are reading it. For example, you may notice under the title and in the footer of this post that it is now part of the Building Able series, which is one of the first that has been created for us to document the journey of building the Able community. So if you’re interested in that you can check out the page and click Follow to include it in your digest email or you can subscribe to the RSS feed.

We’ve also created a space on the homepage to feature the best series on Able, for those that we feel are really doing something interesting. At the moment you’ll see the Building Able series there as well as Behind The Screens, which is a series of interviews with software development teams. But we’d love to see what people come up with so if you have an idea for one then go ahead and create it from the editor!

This initial release for series is a simple and functional one, to get something out there. We want to be careful not to clutter the UI with too many new features. So we’re thinking carefully about how to add enhancements like: displaying a list of all articles in a series on each post, adding contributors to a series so that multiple people can post, notifications for new followers and letting people subscribe to email notifications without having to register on Able.

We’re also thinking about how series could potentially fit into something larger like publications with custom domains and branding. Should we keep series as something small and personal and do publications as something separate and more full on, or just evolve series into something larger?

Anyway, that’s all for now. Let us know what you think in the comments or the suggestion box.