PAPER INTERNET: One of my aunts was at my house the other day and saw the anti-anti-war poster I was holding in this infamous AP photograph taken at the big anti-war walkout at UCLA in early March (link's broken, great... I'll find another later). She remarked, "that's the poster that from the protest; it's so neat that you got onto the internet!" I smiled and nodded, but her perspective on the internet (really the WWW) made me think.
My aunt's statement would have made much more sense if she was talking about me being on television, for example. It's unusual for any specific person to be on TV, and no doubt that was the connection she was making in her mind. However, the web isn't really like TV at all. Anyone can put anything up on the web, basically at will and for no cost. There's nothing significant about having your picture on a web page somewhere. In this instance, the only reason it was significant was because the photo was taken by an AP photographer and was carried by a few wire subscribers, as well as Instapundit.
If anything, the web is like paper more than it's like TV. Anyone can write something down or have their picture taken -- what makes it noteworthy is how that paper is then positioned and who sees it. The mere fact that my picture was available on the web is not remarkable, but its positioning was.