The recent evolution of the digi-novel was hyped by the "Level 26: Dark Origins" author, Anthony Zuiker, a talented author of the CSI television series. The media really noticed, brought to reader's attention, his work because it was and is billed as the first digi-novel. Some writers have cited other's that they consider digi-novels that came before his, however, perhaps he is the one who actually coined the term. This alone is a spin-off of the digi-novel conversation taking place on a global level.
The marriage of reading, viewing, and participating online as opposed to the old, traditional viral book reading is engaging people in a new way, and creating analysis pro's and con's like never before. Regardless of whether one likes or dislikes the novel or the delivery - people are responding, and that matters.
How many companies are jumping into the transmedia publishing business? Are the definitions of storytelling changing? Does an author now have to create, and make a story? Is the narrative confidence of writing an old mode altering the real meaning of literate? Traditional defining of literate was just the ability to read and write. Really, it means to understand what is read. It has to do with information access, which has really been freed up thanks to the internet. See how this digi-novel conversation evolves?
One of the main themes occurring about the digi-novel is whether it will replace the just plain book reading. I do think that the same question was posed when television caught on, and even more so with digital television (DTV). People are still reading plain old books. Much has been made about digital distraction amidst the technological advances. Those distractions may or may not produce better responses from users; it should depend on the writing quality.
Another more sociological theme is whether the fragmented distractions take us from the individual mind to the social mind? Are we becoming more of the herd mentality, and lamebrainish to interact digitally? One could argue in defense of the digi-novel, that the engagement of submitting possible sequels online entails some real use of imagination, not just visual passivity, therefore really engaging a reader. On the other hand are we embracing social networking more than documenting reality?
The marketing and publishing world is changing to keep up with the digi-novel. The iPhone even has an app for the digi-novel. Maybe electronic readers are already becoming obsolete. Editors digi proof work online. Digi this and digi that are becoming new words. Cyber scenes from cyber bridges are now prolific on You Tube and other sites.This all matters, because it is our human culture that is responding and evolving very quickly in the print and digital worlds.