Wednesday, December 30, 2009

Play with Playlists!

Playlists have been a part of HASA for a few years, and with the new design are easier to use than ever before.

What is a playlist?

Playlists are lists of HASA stories put together by authors andreaders, just as music lovers put together lists of their favorite songs.


  • Stories in a series put in reading order.
  • A collection of similarly themed stories, such as Hobbit romance or critical essays on Men.
  • A reader's "favorites" list, complete with explanations of why the reader likes them so much.
  • A collection of stories by multiple authors.

What is in a Playlist?

There are two parts to a playlist:

  1. The list itself. This is a name and a short description of what the list is presenting.
  2. List items. These are links to stories that have been added to the list, plus a short description of why that story has been added. It can be as long or as short as you want.

Once stories have been added and given a description, you can set an order to them, just like ordering chapters in a story.

Why would I want to create a playlist?

Lots of reasons!

  • You are an author and want to promote your stories. A playlist helps with this:
    • Updated playlists appear on the home page of HASA.
    • Playlists can put your stories in chronological reading order, which makes it easier for readers to follow along.
    • Playlists let you write extra commentary about your stories in the overview and individual story descriptions.
  • You are a reader who follows an author or likes a particular genre of stories.
    • A playlist can put together a set of her works in the order you like reading them.
    • It's an easy URL to send to friends to get them hooked on this author, too.
    • You can collect a set of stories together that you might not be able to create a saved search for, such as dramas by these four authors that always have Faramir and Aragorn in them.
  • You are a reader with a huge number of favorite stories on HASA.
    • A playlist helps you organize that large list into more manageable chunks.
    • Stories you like but aren't actively reading can be safely stored for easy retrieval.
    • You can use the playlist overview and story overview areas to go into detail about why you recommend this story to other readers.
  • You are part of a workshop.
    • If you are authors jointly writing stories, you can create a multi-author story list complete with commentary on how they are combined.
    • You are authors who don't write joint stories, but have similar themes and want to combine your works.
    • You have a set of challenge stories to put into a playlist.
    • You want to build a set of research articles or critical essays.
  • Some reason we haven't thought of yet.

Playlists are handy ways to put big sets of stories together, including commentary on why they are in the list, for very little effort.

Want to learn more about playlists and how to create and collect them? Visit the Playlists FAQs on HASA.

Give them a try!

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