I hear this refrain all the time from my colleagues in government communications. Usually it goes something along the lines of, "the web’s not x, it’s a communications vehicle/medium/platform/tool." I’ve echoed variations on this theme myself. After all, it’s a catchy bit of sloganeering.Except. The more time I spend doing digital, the less I am sure of the truth of this. Recent example: A peer who was expressing frustation at people treating their organization’s web site as a document repository – like some giant S:\ drive that just happens to be publicly accessible and wrapped in a CLF 2.0 template. Talking of how reports and publications and such get posted and then are forgotten forever, never to be tocuhed again even if they are hopelessly out of date. Fair enough; it’s frustrating to deal with this. So out comes the slogan – in this case, the web’s not an IM tool, its… But there are times when the web *is* a repository. Wikipedia is the prime example of this – although it is in danger apparently (losing close to 50k editors in Q1 of this year alone – http://twurl.nl/0n05cu). Further examples : http://www.archive.org, the Wayback Machine, Flickr and Delicious are other examples of the web as repository. GoC examples: the Canadian Parliamentry web site (http://parl.gc.ca) with Hansard and voting records for MPs and whatnot. Or PWGSC’s meta-catalogue of government publications (http://publications.gc.ca). Clearly the web can be a repository and quite a useful one at that. Many of these websites are only about communications in a tangential sense. There are other examples – when the web gets transactional (Amazon, PayPal, etc.), or when the web is about services (Canada Revenus Agency’s online tax filing services, etc). There are times when digital is about other business functions than communications and marketing. Of course the web a wonderful communications medium too. But the slogan doesn’t admit that the web can be all sorts of different things, often all at once.