The problem was caused by a server malfunction. It took several hours to get a back-up server online.
So, for a few hours, the company's blog was there to inform people that the main site was offline due to technical problems.
Get out your business continuity plans, everyone, and test them.
In a post earlier this year, Tom Murphy wrote that a dark site is the best approach in the event of a crisis. The company website is one of the first places people go when a company is in trouble. He warned against rushing to include blogs in the crisis communications mix.
Case in point - I'm sure the CBC PR folks would have preferred a bland statement on the blog that vaguely referred to technical difficulties on the cbc.ca server. Instead, the blog posting went into detail about the cause of the problem, which led some blog visitors to suggest there's not enough redundancy built into the news service's IT infrastructure.
Well, the blog was created to talk openly about what goes on at CBC, without management oversight. It served the added purpose of alerting some people why they couldn't get their fix of online news that day.
Job well done, I'd say, no matter what the PR folks might say.