A short story is the equivalent of a sitcom.
A novella something akin to a one camera TV drama or feature-length film.
A novel being a miniseries.
As I see it (commercially viable) fiction as gone through an arc of sort, starting with serialized fiction and short stories being the original money makers, to a more modern mindset of novels being the commercially successful manner by which to sell fiction. That being said, it seems like with the advent of the internet and eBooks we have a culturally declining attention span. With short fiction it is difficult to make any money only because traditional publishing doesn’t support this model, but could self publishing through kindle (or other similar products) make this more plausible? Wouldn’t today’s reader enjoy something they could load, consume, and enjoy in a shorter time span?
Just some thoughts that have been swirling in my head recently.