I used the serialization features to migrate a large amount of content off of an older Sitecore instance and import it into a newer one (gigabytes of content, so packages wouldn't work). Everything's loaded into CM fine, and I started publishing out to my CDs, but the process is taking awhile (Azure databases in different regions from the CM) and because this is the live CM, if people are trying to publish in their daily work they get stuck in a queue behind me.
When you serialize content, it always goes to a "master" folder, and I've seen serialized content from other publishing target databases, like the "web" database. The question is, could I theoretically take my serialization folder tree of content and change "master" to "web" for the folder name, then go into CM's desktop and change to the "web" database and do a deserialization from there?
I don't know if there are ramifications for future publishing doing things that way, which is probably my biggest concern. In theory it should work, and the only process it locks up at that point is mine, the publishing queue stays unaffected. Are there pitfalls I'm not seeing and I should just be patient with the publish process?