davewill said:

I can't give up the Mt. Dew MinH.

 

CreamFilling512 seems to think it has become both a place and network.  I tend to partially agree.  It is in the process of becoming a "place".  If the sense of "place" continues to increase then the sense of identity (brands, names, etc.) will decrease at a nonlinear rate.

 

The natural diversification of many places gives way to one super place.  In a world of one super place is chaos.  A small disruption in the "Internet" has large ripple effects.

 

Sven seems to think "on the Internet" is similar to living "on street xyz".  And to some degree maybe.  Most people say they live "at" address yadda or they live "along" street yadda.  However, in big cities the "on" street is more common.  Maybe it is the sense of being 400 stories in the air looking down "on" street yadda that lends to this.  I'm not sure.  But it leads to similar reduction of identity.  No longer does a person live in {insert favorite townhouse building here}.  They live on a non-specific point - the street.  Would the owners of each townhouse in the building be inclined to make their building the best to in turn continue to attract good neighbors if all references to the building were "on street xyz".  The equivalent street analogy to the "Internet" would be one massive single "Street".

 

Take big time retailers like Wal-Mart, Carrefour, Metro AG, and Tesco (http://retailindustry.about.com/od/famousretailers/a/retailercountry.htm), some of which I have never heard of.  If everyone who purchases something from walmart.com says they purchased it on the Internet then walmart won't be getting any new business from me.  However, if they say it was purchased on walmart.com then walmart might see a new purchaser.

 

How about a non-business walmart example.  Three people put in volunteer time to create an information portal that gives other members of the community help with basic clothing supplies.  If the people being helped referred to the help as coming from the "Internet" then that certainly won't help those 3 help more people.

 

Josh states a good example, the Weather Channel.  If 90% of the time folks referred to it generically would the Weather Channel have been rewarded for their work?  It is entirely likely that they could have died on the vine.

 

To some degree the human brain generalizes on purpose.  It has to or we would be overwhelmed.  The use of "the Internet" is overly generalized.  I wonder if the browser is the root cause of this generalization.  It seems to me that to many try to use the browser for more than it should be.  The browser is the "car".  It gets you from where you are to where you want to be ... and it should stop there.  You don't drive your "car" around Wal-Mart.  Why drive around Wal-Mart in a browser?  Silverlight and things of that nature are exciting as they give the operator (business or otherwise) the chance to build something, easily usable, that the user can traverse in other than the "car" of a browser.

When people say they heard something on the radio, don't they know that radio are types of waves! Instead, they should refer to the radio frequency at which they heard it from!