So The New York Times's main website, nytimes.com, went down this morning, and it only just recently returned. Almost immediately, the newspaper's Twitter feed posted that it would continue updating readers on the crackdown in Egypt:
Soon after, the media critic and Arizona State University professor Dan Gillmor proclaimed that The New York Times should start a secondary blog, hosted on a different server, for emergencies such as this.
The @NYTimes and every other news org should, at the very least, have a blog elsewhere (and mirrored) as a hedge against major outages.-- Dan Gillmor (@dangillmor) August 14, 2013
Which... the Times did.
Since the newspaper's website started to 404 this morning, it has posted stories—full news stories, bylined by some of the paper's most recognizable journalists —on Facebook. As "Facebook Notes." Where they will be seen, and where they will even the populate the News Feed, of some of the paper's 3.3 million Facebook followers.
I have two thoughts about this. First, we're almost past the era where a newspaper doing anything even slightly outré spawns tweets, excitable news stories, comprehensive blog posts. (We're not totally past it because, well, cf. this very article.) The "New Face Times" (my coinage) was delightful, but in a charmingly pedestrian way. Facebook was the best way for the news to get out, so that's how they put it out.