Several news organizations cranked out stories about Gmail's outage Monday.

Any good Gmail-is-down story has four major elements: 1) Notice that the service was unavailable; 2) Vague references to people complaining on Twitter; 3) News that Google's Apps Status Dashboard had no updates; 4) A promise of updates. Here are the five best stories:

1. "Gmail Is Down, Permission to Give Up Granted" (Betabeat) You might as well use a good headline.

2. "Gmail Blackout: This is The End of The World Mayans Predicted" (PolicyMic) Bonus points for shameless SEO, apocalypse reference.

3. "Gmail Down Briefly, Thousands Take to Twitter to Complain" (Central Florida News 13) A lead with a human touch: "No, it wasn't just you. Gmail was briefly down for many, many others Monday."

4. "Gmail Is Down, People Are Freaking, And You Can Check On The Status Of The Outage Here" (The Huffington Post) Replaces dateline with word "PANIC." Nice touch.

5. "Gmail Experiences A Widespread Outage, Many Users Affected" (TechCrunch) Includes valuable update: "Update: Some users report that they can load the Gmail web interface again."

Honorary mention: "Gmail Is Down for Some Users" (Mashable) Judges were unimpressed by article length but found the tick-tock in this report compelling:

The outage appears to be intermittent, with the service going down for some users for about 10 minutes. Service was then briefly restored, but soon afterward all access to appears to have stopped.