On December 7, www.1077thebronc.com vanished, leaving thousands of listeners without a direct way to listen to both WRRC and WRRC2. What had caused the website to no longer be active was a server crash. To viewers of our website, this was out of the ordinary. Until the server was repaired or the website rebuilt, the 107.7 The Bronc team had to come up with other ideas to communicate with listeners as well as drive them to different sources to listen live. We used social media as well as our weekly email blasts to help communicate the unfortunate news. Linktree became our listeners’ best friend, housing multiple ways to listen live to both Intercollegiate Broadcast System Media Award nominated radio stations by downloading our Apple and Google Play apps, Alexa skills, Tune In, MyTuner and Audacy.
Alli Burton, the web manager for the website, actually was the student who had found out the website was down. “My reaction was a little confused, and I first thought that I needed to restart my computer, and after I did that it was still down, so I told John Mozes and it was down for everyone. It was crazy.”
“I was speechless. I was speechless because the website is such a big part of what we do.” John Mozes, 107.7 The Bronc General Manager, reflecting on finding out the website was gone.
107.7 The Bronc worked with webmaster Alye Ancianis, who helped us recreate our website, giving it a new modern look and making it easy to navigate and ADA-compliant. We used Wayback Machine to reference the old website; students Alli Burton, Nick Witkowski, and Emily O’Connor jumped in to help create a new website with Alye. Each was tasked with a different aspect of the website, which needed to be relaunched by the first day of classes for the spring semester: January 22.
Nick Witkowski, Assistant General Manager, was tasked with creating a digital library for all of the old website links, “We created a subpage on Google Drive where every website page had a folder. I used Internet Archive to get a bunch of the links, as well as pages that we need from the old site, to create the new website.”
Emily O’Connor, Creative Services Director/Assistant Social Media Director, helped pull different images from past years as well as links for all the previous Beyond The Mic blogs. “Something that was really important after our website went down was communicating with our listeners about how they can still listen. We posted updates on our social media pages and added multiple options to listen to student radio shows and to listen live or on-demand through our Linktree.”
“I absolutely love the new website. The one thing I always thought that was lacking from 107.7 was an updated, modernized website. We have beautiful new studios and award-winning products on the air, and our website always seemed to lag behind. To have a new website that is sleek, well designed, and gives us a very professional look is fantastic.”
Mozes on the overall new 1077thebronc.com
The New Website
“The website now is much easier to edit; it’s more organized and easy to navigate. On the backend it’s more technical. I realize now I need to have more of a technical mindset with it, but once I adapted to it, it’s super easy,” Burton said about the new website after her and other students took website training.
Alye Ancianis rebuilt the website through WordPress, a web content management system, recreating the different pages of the website, adding new elements, and making the entire website compliant with the Americans with Disabilities Act. Ancianis changed the website for the better. “Especially with the add-on Elementor, which allows you to add different buttons to links, instead of “clicking here” for the link, adding better quality videos and photos, as well as different forms; and I thought that was really cool,” said Burton on the new advancements on the website that change the whole dynamic of the website.
“The second our website went down, our listenership plummeted. Just because we rely so heavily on our listen live page, and our transmitter signal doesn’t go too far—we are a college radio station. Having the loss of our networking connectivity was huge for us; quick thinking and being on top of everything, having to organize and delegate different things to everyone involved in the rebuild of this website was crucial to its success,” said Witkowski about his takeaway from the whole experience.
“This whole process showed me the value of teamwork—the fact that the five of us rebuilt a website in about a month is crazy. We still have some fine-tuning to do, but it’s good to know we are back up and running,” O’Connor says about the experience.