On the Cohesive Web blog there's a new post looking at storing complex data types like data structures or objects effectively.
Think of a situation where you are working with some array. Now there may be some situations where you need to store the array and retrieve it back. If you are familiar with OOPS concept then objects are another type which you may need to store and retrieve. Serialization is the process by which you can convert an object or data structure into a sequence of bits which can stored and retrieve back.
They suggest an interesting option for storing object information - converting it to JSON instead of just serializing it and storing it that way. After running a few tests on the method, they found using the json method a bit better/lighter than the serialized way (for their purposes).