When to post about a series of content? January 29, 2014 2:00 PM   Subscribe

I'm interested in hearing from the MeFi community about when people think is the best time to post about a series of content. Would you prefer to hear about such content on MetaFilter at the outset, or at the conclusion, or somewhere in between?

As an example, today's excellent post linking to Paleocast. The podcast is now up to episode 25. On one hand: Yay! A glut of content to keep me occupied for a while. On the other hand: Oh man, I wish I'd heard about this 24 episodes ago - I would have loved to have been listening to it all this time, and participating in the Paleocast forum.

(I've discussed this with the mods via email, and been given the green light to raise the issue here.)
posted by paleyellowwithorange to Etiquette/Policy at 2:00 PM (18 comments total) 4 users marked this as a favorite

My gut feeling is that somewhere in the middle is best. Posting right at the start means the FPP itself is a little too thin, but posting at the end means you've missed out on the party. That said, I don't think I'd hold out too long if I found an awesome site that was in its early days, but that's the trick is finding something that's interesting enough to spend some time clicking around but leaves you wanting more and looking forward to more in the future.
posted by TwoWordReview at 2:08 PM on January 29, 2014 [1 favorite]


Definitely towards the beginning. Although, after hearing about him here well into his series it was great to be able to binge on the Dan Carlin podcasts, because it's a long time between his updates.
posted by unliteral at 2:16 PM on January 29, 2014


What if there was going to be exactly 143 in the series and it was up to 48? Would that be a good time?
posted by unliteral at 2:34 PM on January 29, 2014


Yeah, early-middle. Like a dozen? It depends on the length of course. Early enough that you can relatively easily catch up and partake of it as an "event", late enough that there's some trust that the project isn't a one-off.

Not that there's a problem with one-offs, of course, but if we're talking about a series of content it should be serial.
posted by Lemurrhea at 2:35 PM on January 29, 2014


I'd say it depends on the series and the length of each part. I want to see enough to get a good feel for the series, but I'm happy to wait to the end if it's a 10-part series that gets updated monthly. If I found out about it after 5 posts, I'd get distracted and would forget to follow the series to end.
posted by filthy light thief at 2:39 PM on January 29, 2014


I think somewhere towards the beginningish but not totally the beginning but it depends a bit on the track record of the people involved. Does that help?

If someone with a history of doing something interesting and cool starts doing something new which is also interesting and cool, then pretty soon after it actually exists or even right as it starts to exist seems okay, because a lot of the interest in it will be because of the person's history. And also, because of their history, it's unlikely it will fade to black terribly quickly.

If it's more of an unknown in terms of the person doing the thing, then I think it's important to ascertain whether it has legs. A new podcast might seem like it has potential, but then fizzle out when the creator realizes that creating weekly episodes is too much work after he's done two and a half of them. It also may not live up to the potential -- a good idea can become repetitive and boring fast.

But if something's been going with regular updates for a couple of months, then you probably have enough content to assess whether it is really genuinely interesting and also to tell if it's likely to continue to exist.
posted by jacquilynne at 2:39 PM on January 29, 2014 [1 favorite]


There's a lot of gray area here, but a simple rule of thumb could be... Can the first item(s) in the series stand on its own? Make a post. Otherwise wait.

Here's a example... look at the xkcd comic Time. There was little to be said about it when it first started. There was little TO it when it started. Over days and weeks the epic that was that comic became apparent - both in the work itself and in the community surrounding it. This made a great post two months into its run. When it ended after four months it was notable enough to get a second post.

Bottom line - no single frame of the comic could stand on its own. But as an established project/community? Absolutely.
posted by m@f at 2:48 PM on January 29, 2014


My rule of thumb is " is there enough here to each up a half hour of my time?" more or less.
posted by The Whelk at 2:49 PM on January 29, 2014 [1 favorite]


For podcasts, towards the beginning, please. If possible.

I've held off posting article series' (say, three articles posted throughout a week) until all the content was available.
posted by zarq at 3:05 PM on January 29, 2014


I don't think we're quite ready to post anything about "Game of Thrones"... I'll let you know...
posted by oneswellfoop at 4:14 PM on January 29, 2014 [2 favorites]


FPP is coming.
posted by arcticseal at 6:29 PM on January 29, 2014 [2 favorites]


I like the idea of "if the first installment is enough to stand on its own, and/or if the creator has a history of delivering, post it then; otherwise wait until there are enough that it seems like it won't fizzle out".
posted by Lexica at 6:36 PM on January 29, 2014


The best time to post is before somebody else posts it.
posted by Renoroc at 7:23 PM on January 29, 2014


Easy: Late enough that you can be sure it's really very good, but early enough that I can reasonably hope to get caught up on it if I decide I believe you about how good it is.
posted by mstokes650 at 9:52 AM on January 30, 2014


There needs to be enough content to make it a "cool thing on the internet", not just a "thing on the internet that might become cool in the future". Other than that, I don't care.
posted by Scientist at 12:51 PM on January 30, 2014


iirc there was a british museum series on a 100 objects taht changed teh world including a documentary as well as forthcoming exhibition that was considered a wee bit early. this very question was raised by some but the consensus was that advance notice in that case was helpful since it allowed those who wished to plan trips to london ample time to do so.

tl;dr - it depends on the medium of the series of content, something with playback capability would not be as time sensitive as an online lecture course with a deadline for submission for example, or a real world event like an exhibition or presentation
posted by infini at 4:16 PM on January 30, 2014


This thread reminds me of Kattullus's post on Mike Duncan's new podcast, Revolutions, a series on, among others, the English, American, and French Revolutions. The post went up with the podcast's first episode, so there wasn't much, if anything, to it. That didn't bother me, though, because I knew Mike Duncan had spent years of his life on his previous work, The History of Rome Podcast, which is hours upon hours long. Duncan isn't the kind not to make good on his promises.

Really, the structure of the new podcast - weekly episodes until the revolution under review ends, at which point Duncan takes a month-long break to research the next one - makes me wonder if it wouldn't be worth putting up a new FPP for each revolution. Maybe the future FPPs could go up once a few episodes have aired. That way, people would have something to discuss besides their enthusiasm for Mike Duncan's style.

Anyway, if I had my druthers, posts would go up either midway into a series, or at the end. For instance, I waited until the various series of articles at the top of my Crusader Kings II post had ended before making an FPP of them.
posted by Rustic Etruscan at 5:27 PM on January 30, 2014


For me personally... in general, wait til there is a big enough sample size that you know the thing is consistently good and interesting, after that feel free.

But if it's a new work from someone that already has an impressive track record, you don't need to wait, a heads up from the start will be appreciated. (Reference the previous track record for context, and for people that might not know.)

And when some long-running thing comes to an end, by all means flag that up too. People who were already following it will probably enjoy chewing it over, and there will always be people that had missed hearing about it and will want to catch up.
posted by philipy at 11:23 AM on February 4, 2014


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