Go to the website of your favourite Canadian publication. In the address bar, type /wp-admin after the URL.
See a login screen? That means it's a WordPress site.
WordPress is an open-source publishing platform for millions of websites. It is the most popular publishing system on the web today, currently hosting 18 million sites.
I'd venture that about a third of major Canadian media websites use the WordPress structure in one way or another, either for blogging or entire sites. These include large corporate media like Macleans, National Post and a number of Toronto Star properties, but also smaller operations like Toronto Standard.
In practice, there's not much wrong with this. These are examples of good, user-friendly sites that don't attempt to reinvent the user experience, but instead build on it.
Except that in recent months the WordPress brotherhood has been rattled by hacks, outages and spotty service.
The plane didn't exactly crash into the mountain, but there was turbulence - enough to wonder, is it wise to concentrate so much media on one network? What happens if it all goes down in flames?
The first outage came in February. TechCrunch, a popular technology site, put it best in the headline "WordPress.com Outage Takes Us And 10,199,999 Other Blogs Down."
Then in March, WordPress was hit with a DDoS, a distributed denial-of-service attack, causing "sporadic slowness" on some major sites. "Readers of Financial Post or National Post blogs might have found them difficult, if not impossible, to access," the Post wrote at the time, putting it mildly.
On July 31, several WordPress-powered sites, including the Washington Post, experienced a 10-plus-minute outage. It was not a hack, the blogging company said rather vaguely (and defensively).
The problems have continued into August, with analysts zooming in on out-of-date plug-ins as the main security vulnerability.
What goes on at WordPress is beside the point. On its own, WordPress is quite a remarkable, safe and trustworthy service - home of the famous five-minute install.
What matters more, at least in the larger context, is the independence of the Canadian media.
Imagine 30 per cent of our newspapers using the same printing press. That press runs out of ink and a bunch of us are left without news.
Karl Marx would be horrified.
Marx, of course, placed all kinds of importance on ownership of the means of production - the tools and technologies we use to produce wealth. Those means of production, in this case, are owned by a company in Redwood City, California.
The fact that the National Post, the country's conservative daily, doesn't heed Marx's warnings is beyond me.
But seriously. If there is anything to learn from the recent outages, it's that using one company to power so much of the media weakens its ability to stand alone.
Instead, media outlets should create a homegrown system, one that gives publishers complete control and employs the talents of local web developers.
The Fourth Estate should never become a shed in WordPress's backyard.