Answers to 5 Common Questions About Medium Series

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No, they didn’t sponsor me to write about this new feature.

I’m telling you that because people have been asking me.

I’m telling you that because I am an artist first, and a businessman second.

I’m telling you that because I wouldn’t risk my reputation for a few dollars.

I’m screaming about Series because I activate artists. It’s what I do. When I see a chance for people who have been sitting on the sidelines to step into the game, I’m going to be as loud about that opportunity as I possibly can.

Now is the time to start — when you are hesitant and nervous and scared. Later there will be noise and marketers and maybe advertisements. Later might be too late. Now you have a chance to define what Series can be. Why on Earth wouldn’t you take that opportunity?

A) How long did it take you to build your first Series?

I had the framework up for my first story (which was 46 cards all from scratch) in less than an hour on my phone, which is about the time I would spend on a post with the same amount of words.

If you don’t feel comfortable using your phone, you can do it in-browser. PLEASE preview it on mobile though as that is the only way your readers can view it.

It took longer for me to understand how to add images than it did to write a compelling Series. And GUESS WHAT? I can change it and add to it whenever I want. Series are living documents, even more so than posts.

When you are writing your own Series, think this way:

You don’t have to have the whole book written at once.

Give us Chapter 1 and tease Chapter 2.

Give us Chapter 2 and tease Chapter 3.

Continue this process as long as you want.

B) Is Series a way to journal?

One of the things I love about our species is how drawn we are to transformation.

If you were to post on a topic, a thought, a drawing, a poem, every single day for 365 days on Series, you end the year with a massive body of work. This would be fun both for the people following you along the way AND those who catch it at the end.

This is a no-brainer for someone going through a fitness transformation. The before and after documents itself.

And if you think people don’t care about what happens when you stick to something for a long time…

(Karen X. Cheng is one of my favorite people)

C) How do I choose between a post and a Series?

The traditional blog post — your thoughts on something at a given moment at a given time, is something I will keep in my traditional stories.

One thing I am worried about with Series is how accessible they are. There isn’t yet a tab for them on my profile, even in the mobile app.

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[UPDATE — Swear this wasn’t here when I wrote this, but they now have Series featured on your profile:

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I built my following on Medium through posts. I’m going to keep doing it because sometimes I want to write 181 words and be done with it. Sometimes there is nothing more to say

I would ask myself 2 questions to determine whether or not to make a Series:

  • Is this an experiment which I don’t have all the pieces put together yet?
  • Is this some kind of personal journey?

If the answer is “yes” to either of those questions, I would make a Series.

Think LONG term with this feature. Then think longer. When you’re finished, you can copy it all down and make a huge master post.

D) Do Series allow you to link out to a form to those who want to receive updates?

Even better, Medium allows people to follow Series updates in the feature itself. You don’t even have to think about it.

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(From Sing-Along Forever)

Again, though, I worry about accessibility. I subscribed to updates on a few Series and haven’t seen any notifications about updates. Have those stories not been updated or are they just not obvious?

I will say this, my first Series doubled in applause from the first update to the second.

Apparently people are getting the word somehow.

E) What will people use Series for?

I don’t know.

I guess that’s for you and I to decide :)

Thanks, Kyle, for opening up this new avenue.

Written by

An optimist who writes.

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