Sunday, August 21, 2011

HASA how-tos - August 2011

This month's HASA How-to takes a closer look at stories at HASA.

How do I...

... find something to read?

In this How-to you will learn a bit more about the various kinds of stories at HASA and how to find a story if you’re looking for something specific (a character, a time period, a location etc.).

How to find all stories

There are three kinds of stories at HASA: General and Reviewed status stories are available to all site visitors, and you have to be logged in to read Beta status stories.

Reviewed: These are the stories that have been evaluated by the reviewers' pool and have been judged as excellent stories by the majority of the reviewers.

General: This is a catch-all category. If a story is not Beta and it is not Reviewed, but the author wants it available for others to read, it will be in General.

Beta: These are works in progress by HASA members that the author doesn't yet want the general public to read. Remember: you can only see these when you are logged in, although Beta stories that are entered in Challenges or linked in Playlists can also be read by the general public.

How to find a specific story

There are a number of ways to locate stories on HASA:

Story Sort Bar: The most popular way is to use the story sort bar at the top of every HASA page. Create a custom search by selecting an author, era, genre, character and/or status. The stories are sorted by most recently updated.

Recommended: You can look up stories that have been recommended by HASA members over the years. This is useful if you are looking for a particular kind of story, for instance a gap-filler that deals with family dynamics, or a story that combines humor and economics as a topic.

Keyword Search: Most story pages have a Keyword search form in the side navigation column. This form searches the titles and summaries of stories, but not the story text. Here are some tips for an effective keyword search:

  • Each line may contain one or more search words.
  • Do not use commas - use spaces to separate terms.
  • Separate lines are used as an OR search.
  • Words in the same line are used as an AND search.
  • Partial words will also be searched; for example, "owyn" will find both "Eowyn" and "Éowyn."
  • If you are unsure about spelling, use only part of the word.

How to save a search

Often, you want to read a set of stories that have similar characteristics, such as all having a particular character, all by the same author, all poetry or romances, etc. You also want to know when there is something new or updated with that kind of story. If you bookmark a single story or author, or create a playlist, you can track existing stories, but you may not know when they have been updated. You won't know about new stories. What do you do?

You create a saved search.

  1. Set up a sort filter using the drop down menus in the story sort bar.
  2. Click Go.
  3. On the search result page, you will see a form "Save Search to Your Library".
  4. Type a unique name into text box.
  5. Click "Save".
  6. The page refreshes and your search is added to the Saved Searches list.

To get to your saved search:

  1. Click on the "Stories" button in the top navigation menu.
  2. When you get to the Stories home page, look in the navigation sidebar for "My Library".
  3. In My Library, click on ;the link that says "Saved Searches".
  4. Your searches appear in alphabetical order in the sidebar menu, ordered alphabetically and stamped with a date when it was created.
  5. Click a search name to rerun the search.

Have fun reading and exploring!

If there is any topic you’d like to see in the how-to, please let us know!

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