What's Info Got to Do With It?

David Weinberg is wondering what information has to do with the web. His essay in Darwin says,

    The information that shows up on the Web is part of the Web's world. But you could never get to the world of the Web if you started only with information.
In short, I guess he's saying that it has everything and nothing to do with the web. He ponders the definition of information and offers some answers. Not sure I agree with his contention that you don't get information when you view search results. Even when you are viewing meta-information in a pointer (e.g. search result descriptions, abstracts of articles) you are still using information in my opinion. I think of the roots of the term inform, which means to me, "revealing the shape within". Surrogates that stand in for an object are information for me because they they reveal something of the nature of the thing I am interested in. For example, if I look at a picture of a painting in a text book, or a description of a painting in an index, I may be sufficiently informed or some information need I had may be fulfilled by just viewing that surrogate without having to come close to the real object. By this definition, almost every bit of data with some context becomes information for me.

What I do begin to agree with is the notion that the Internet does not only have to do with information. There is experience. He says at one point that "it's more about connection than the transfer of facts," and that it's about doing things using different kinds of media. I think he's on the mark there.