#idea: Posts in a series

Publishing could benefit from a structured way to indicate one piece’s relationship to another.

The first type of relationship could be a series. The relationship type would be managed with custom taxonomies.

When writing a post, the author would indicate the posts’ relationships to other posts in a post metabox. After publishing, an infobox would automagically appear on the public-facing view for all of the related posts.

One question is whether the relationship would be defined by the series of posts, or whether you’d want to have a separate, customizable relationship object so you could personalize the infobox.

With this type of low-overhead but valuable functionality, you’d win a whole lot of context for the first-time reader.


Alex Kessinger November 29, 2010 Reply

Sounds like a good idea. You could probably create a micro-format that would work. If you got a quorum of org’s using the micro-format you could move towards standardization. It could also help news curators, or news aggregators to flesh out stories, on the fly.

Although in some sense, isn’t a plain old ‘href’ a form of linking things into group, however loose the connection?

Daniel Bachhuber November 29, 2010 Reply

A micro-format certainly would make the information more portable. It could be an extension of hNews. If it were adopted, I can see Google News making use of it.

Straight links do establish relationships between items but it’s difficult to computationally understand the nature of the relationship. To date, the most common way authors articulate the relationships to links is to use plain English in what they’re linking (i.e. this is where I work). It takes a lot of processing power for a machine to derive the relationship between me and what I linked to, and even then it’s not all that accurate. In this specific use-case, I think it would be a lot more functional to just let the author denote the relationship.

If the author linked to other pieces in the series within the post, you could search the post on publish and prompt the author to identify relationships to other internal links.

Alex Kessinger November 29, 2010 Reply

Is that the next step, getting hNews to adopt something like what you mentioned?

Daniel Bachhuber November 29, 2010 Reply

Could be if it ever went anywhere. At the moment, this idea is nothing more than 15 minutes of typing while waiting to get off the plane at JFK. I might be tempted to whip together a quick plugin in the near future.

Greg Linch December 26, 2010 Reply

Very interested in this at the external level — reminds me somewhat of Conversation Starters.

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