This doesn’t mean it feels similar to cutting episodic TV. Though I don’t have experience of this (and would love to hear from editors who do) I can imagine there are a lot of differences – story line complexity, character development within an ep, multiple plot lines. This is not to say a web series couldn’t have these, but the one I cut only has one plot line, the characters progress within their relationships in each ep, so the story line is not complex. It doesn’t operate the way a short film does, but it does feel more like a series of short films than a series of scenes within one story.
There are attention limits, but this doesn’t mean all episodes have to be short, it just means they all have to be good.
“Convergence” is a huge question mark for industry right now, and there are plenty of signs that the distinctions between online and TV are collapsing. We get and watch TV digitally. Aggregators like YouTube and Blip-TV make channels, commission work with high production values, and sell ads. Ads might clearly be labeled ads, or they might be branded content. The models are shifting and potentially giving rise to new forms, certainly new structures of story telling. This is, by my estimation, the biggest opportunity for developing the craft of editing since the rise of music videos in the 1980s.
The questions for editors are not just about craft, but will of course also be about industry. Employment for editors could increase as this form becomes more professional. As my colleague Mike Jones writes “In the age of the internet a whole range of institutions have become 'broadcasters' and 'post production houses' that in the past would not have been so - museums, galleries, arts institutions etc. are now much more likely to have a team of editors in-house working on web-series, episodic productions all year round as well as often producing traditional Broadcast TVCs.” My own view is that, like the Borg technology on Star Trek, ‘resistance is futile’ so a pro-active stance that embraces the opportunities and guides them toward best practice is a better one for the guild to take than one which tries to stop the tidal wave.