He resists a unitary definition of this new emerging genre: web documentary / idoc / new genre... This is a new format that crosses the boundaries of Old Media and the New (if you acknowledge the binary!) cross media ( maps, blogs, etc) and locative digital technology are used frequently in these productions intercut with standard linear video.
Refers to Lev Manovich considering the differences between the Database and the Narrative... I agree that Manovich's work (2001) is foundational in engaging with multivalent forms that resist the linear.
idocs - have gained the status of film... interacting as they do with internet, mobile forms, gps and other emerging forms. Web non fiction finds alternative ways of distribution too.
Bearing Witness: Five Years of the Iraq War (Ecer and Ahmad,2008)
A Year at War (The NYT, 2010)
Five years later: Hurricane Katrina (USA Today, 2010)
And in particular:
Prison Valley by David Dufresne & Philippe Brault - here a user has to register, before starting, and is given an identity within the platform, this film, this production takes us on a journey (with a motel as a homebase) in a linear video like a classical documentary, but every couple of minutes the user is given options to look at extra material, or to log in to forums... the individual is now no longer a viewer, or a user, but part of the experience... another revolutionary feature involves interaction with the story's subject, we are also encouraged to develop the story on twitter, or on a frequently updated internal blog.
Another example is Homeless Nation... also HIGHRISE is another excellent example of such a project - at highrise.nfb.ca sponsored by the National Film Board of Canada.