Fans who are actively involved in forums may consider themselves to be an Author in the digital writing arena. A digital writing author is a fan who creates a discussion in the form of a post, forum thread, or any other form of online composition. Digital writing has therefore increased democratic authorship, allowing everyone the freedom to write online.

Oftentimes, the method of authorship an individual chooses is determined by their intentions. For example, an author looking to get their foot in the door and garner a fan base may release a free book online and start a blog before charging for his or her premium product. On the other hand, a football fan looking to relax after a long day's work may enjoy surfing through their favorite football forum and engaging in a little back-and-forth banter. There would be no need, unless the individual had an untapped desire to shift into the writing career, for fans to spend their time compiling material for a blog in which they have no interest. Similarly, it would be far from profitable for authors to spend their time engaging in heated discussions on forums when they have not made any progress on their material.

Thus, it can be safely concluded that an individual's form and level of involvement in digital writing is relative to his or her goals. For more about this, check out Purpose

Levels of Involvement


Digital authors whose involvement could be considered "light" would be users like the hypothetical fan above. Someone whose productive contribution to the digital writing community is limited to an occasional post on a football forum or an occasional comment on a blog. These users generally do not seek to gain profit from their involvement, and generally don't employ an strategic measures in when they are active in the digital writing community. This segment of digital authors compose the bulk of digital writers that are currently active.


There are a rare few (ex: hardcore fantasy football fans) whose involvement in the digital writing community is not quite regular enough to be considered heavy, but is too frequent to be considered light. Users that fall into the "medium" category are the people who regulars on forums. These users often have a passion for something (whatever it is that they are a fan of), and use digital writing as an outlet to express that passion.


"Heavy" digital writers may be defined by their level of commitment to the digital writing community. This level of commitment can often result in compensation that allows authors such as these to make a career out of digital writing, and digital media as a whole. Steve Pavlina, for example, is widely know for, among many other things, his website He took the success of that enterprise and expanded upon it.

Forms of Involvement


Forums typically correlate to the level of "light" involvement in digital writing, but are also stomping grounds for "medium" level users. It is typically a "heavy" level user operating the forum from its helm. The structure of forums vary widely. Some are layered and lead to multiple sub-forums. Others present the entirety of the forum upfront, and aren't even separated into sections. These forums tend to be more "open" in nature, while forums with sub-forums are generally more directed (hence, the need for sub-forums).


Blogs and articles are typically "medium" to "heavy" level territory. "Light" level involved authors generally do not go so far as to publish articles or build blogs from scratch. "Medium" level authors, however, contain in their category the likes of free lance digital writers who obtain compensation for writing assignments they find and complete online. "Heavy" level involvement writers often run blogs or their own websites from which they generate a profit due to the heavy flow of traffic they receive. These digital authors are sometimes like traditional authors, however, in the sense that their effect may be heavy, and at some point their involvement most certainly had to have been for them to garner success in the first place; but, after they reach a certain point of success, the amount of material may decrease. Generally, this is when digital authors move on to the ultimate compilation of material: a book.


Books as they pertain to digital writing can simply be described as books online. This includes e-books, free books ( see "The Hero Handbook"), and every other type of book the digital writing community has to offer. This form of involvement is almost exclusively reserved for "heavy" level writers. It is rare that even a "medium" level writer will digitally publish something in the form of a book.

1: Steve Pavlina :
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