If 2020 has taught us anything, it’s to expect the unexpected.

Oh, and any challenges are likely to be amplified … beyond expectations.

So it was Sunday morning when I discovered at 4:05 a.m. that Noozhawk was offline.

That was unusual — both Noozhawk being offline and me being awake at 4:05 a.m. — but a wave of apprehension washed over me when I tried to contact our web host, Michigan-based Nexcess, and discovered that massive company was offline, too. Alarmingly, its telephone circuits also were overloaded.

I texted Hop Studios, our WebDev partner based in Vancouver, British Columbia, which also was down, and made a report in the Basecamp project management platform we use.

The entire Noozhawk empire was affected — the site you see, our backend database and our email program.

As I suspected, we weren’t alone. Not by a long shot.

Nexcess has not yet provided specifics on its outage, beyond a technologically obtuse description citing “excessive network saturation by a major upstream provider.”

According to news reports, however, a widespread outage by CenturyLink, a top-tier Internet service provider, took down websites across North America and in parts of Europe.

Joining Noozhawk in limbo were the Hulu video streaming site, the Cloudflare web performance and security company, the Discord and Xbox Live gaming sites, and the Feedly news aggregator, among tens of thousands of others.

Shortly after 7:15 a.m., CenturyLink reported that all of its services had been restored. Nexcess quickly followed and, an instant later, Noozhawk was flying again.

If we were going to have a significant disruption, early Sunday is about as optimal a time as any to have it. According to our Google Analytics, it’s our lowest traffic period of the week. So there’s that.

It did make a mess of our A.M. Report, which automatically sends itself at 4:15 a.m. Today’s edition has since been re-sent to our subscribers, and I apologize for the inconvenience.

In all, Noozhawk was offline for four hours and 18 minutes, a record that need not be broken.

But this being 2020 …

Thank you for your understanding. And your ongoing support.

— Bill Macfadyen is Noozhawk’s founder and publisher. Contact him at wmacfadyen@noozhawk.com, follow him on Twitter: @noozhawk and Instagram: @bill.macfadyen, or click here to read previous columns. The opinions expressed are his own.

Bill Macfadyen is Noozhawk’s founder and publisher. Contact him at wmacfadyen@noozhawk.com, and follow him on Instagram: @bill.macfadyen. The opinions expressed are his own.