What's going on with the TU site

tu newspaper box

Maybe newsprint does have some advantages...

As many many people have pointed out today, the Times Union's website has been down for about 24 hours now. So, what's going on? They're not quite sure. Here's what Rex Smith, the TU's editor, told us in an email this afternoon:

Amazingly enough, we do not even know what the problem is. For more than 24 hours, some sort of technology problem has affected timesunion.com. It's perhaps coincidental that we have experienced significant email problems today, too. With the help of the Houston Chronicle, we hope to have up this afternoon some sort of a diminished site -- kind of a blog that you could reach if you go to timesunion.com. But that's not happening speedily, either. The smartest Web folks I know are working on it.

In the meantime, the TU is posting to a stripped down site at timesunion.wordpress.com.

We've heard through other channels that the TU has been going through a massive overhaul of the computer system that runs its newsroom during the last few months -- an overhaul that's included a few hiccups. We haven't heard if this website outtage has anything to do with that, though.

By the way, a useful site for these types of situations is Down For Everyone or Just Me.

Update January 27: If you're still having problems accessing the site, there might be an issue with the software that runs your cable modem.


This all started when one of their articles about the truck falling in central park made the front page on digg.com. This seems to be continuing from it.

Ack! The weekend is near and I need my Steve Barnes' fix!!!

Is it just me, or is the wordpress page so much more pleasant to read than the usual timesunion.com site? No clicking over and over from article to article... all the news is right there, as though I were reading an actual newspaper! Crazy!

Thanks AOA for the information. I thought it was crazy that timesunion.com looked like it ceased to exist -- not even a "server not found" message. I'm so hooked on TU blogs that I'm going through withdrawal.

Did anyone else type in timesunion.com on the "Down for Everyone or Just Me" site and get a message "Huh? doesn't look like a site on the interwho."?

The TU didn't even have a DNS entry for several hours today. That's like having your name removed from the phonebook. Without a DNS entry services like downforeveryoneorjustme can't even try to access the website because it doesn't know where timesunion.com exists on the Internet.

I'd be surprised if getting featured on digg could result in such a catastrophic event that they lost their DNS server. But stranger things have happened.

Anyone notice the Barak "Osama" typo today in the anthrax article????

Erik your probably right. I just assumed it was digg because it was on there and this has been known to happen to sites(although I would have guessed they could have handled digg ahead of time). However, I agree with you, I don't think digg could cause a DNS entry to go away.

If the TU site can't handle a digg, they need some fixin'.
But I'm pretty sure they do.

The blogs, at least, are back up (right now). Still working on the main site.

Astonished. There's got to be more to the story. Ordinary heroics that any sysadmin would do are not being done.

No doubt that many newspapers will shutter in 2009. More still will hang their legacy brands on new and different product, and hope we don't notice too abruptly.

Somewhere under this is a big-ass resource shortage, a pile of cut corners, and a pair of fingers crossed too hard for too long.


A news website goes down and it makes news? Me thinks the TU has got themselves a pretty popular page.

I, too, can honestly say that I like the wordpress TU version better.

I may have missed it, but I haven't been able to find any mention of the TU.com website problems in today's nor yesterday's print editions.

On one hand, who wants to advertise such a situation? On the other, having the website of the region's biggest newspaper be offline for over 24 hours is a pretty big news story in and of itself. Interesting to see if Rex Smith will bring it up in his weekend piece. I bet he will.

I agree with other comments that the Wordpress layout, while basic, is more easily read than the regular site layout. I hope it remains even after the full site comes back online.

The TU website is back up!

I appreciate that it's back up, but now heads up Oh we're sorry we've been down for ages message?

Give us something. Their website is hard enough to read as is. They should just switch to wordpress.

IS the site still down for anyone else?

Still not working for me.... :(

Their main section isn't loading at all for me in Firefox. Their blogs section is displaying very oddly (in a stripped-down sort of way) is wicked slow for me, again in Firefox

TU site is still not working for me along with TU Center site. If anybody has any solutions, I would greatly appreciate it. Thanks.

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