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Most “Original” CNYRadio.com Articles Restored

A belated gift from CNYRadio.com following our 10th anniversary earlier this month.  It’s also good news for those wishing to explore the history of local radio: almost all of the articles from the “original” CNYRadio.com are back online.  In the past, republishing our archives was a slow process, because each article had to be manually imported, one by one.  But someone finally created a program to automate the process — so the job is now nearly complete.

There are a few different ways to find old articles:

  • Use the search box at the top-right corner to find article with specific names, call letters or other terms.
  • Look for the “News Archives” box in the sidebars to the right and use the pulldown menu to jump to a specific date.
  • Click “Archives (2001-2005)” in the “News Section” box at right.  This will start with Scott’s very last article in 2005, and you can work your way backwards to 2001.

For The Technically Curious…

Why did it take so long for the old articles to reappear here?  The original CNYRadio.com (2001-2005) was built with ColdFusion software, while the new CNYRadio.com (2008-present) is based on WordPress.  The two platforms aren’t compatible — at least not without some gruntwork.

Shortly after current CNYRadio.com editor Peter Naughton revived the site in 2008, founder Scott Jameson provided most of his original CNYRadio.com news articles in an Excel spreadsheet.  But WordPress, as nice as it is, can’t import spreadsheets like that.  So at first, I would import a few “archive” articles here and there, as time permitted.  I’d have to re-post every single one of the original articles manually — copying the text from Excel, pasting it to WordPress, repeat, repeat and repeat.

Considering Scott’s spreadsheet included nearly 1,000 articles, I knew it would take a very long time.  At one point, I put out the call for volunteers to help, and two CNYRadio.com readers graciously stepped forward.  But the work is tedious and not-that-exciting, so I wasn’t surprised to see their interest wane after awhile.  Altogether, we had reposted almost 400 of the original articles by hand.  That left just over 600 which hadn’t seen the light of day since 2005 — until now.

The nice thing about WordPress is — it’s open-source and there are tons of people out there who love finding ways to enhance the platform.  Anytime I wish for some extra feature which doesn’t exist, it seems I just need to wait a few months, and someone, somewhere, eventually creates a plugin to make it happen.  And that holds true here as well — someone finally created a plugin that allows one to upload a spreadsheet, which is then magically converted into WordPress articles.  Win!

Exceptions

There are some exceptions.  They are few, but they are notable.

  1. Many of the older articles link to other sites — and those other sites may no longer exist.  It was easier to leave the links there, than to try to review every single one.  Leaving the original link also allows you to try to retrieve the original article from “The Internet Wayback Machine” at www.archive.org.
  2. Some of the older news stories may include links to parts of the original CNYRadio.com which don’t exist on the present-day site — like the old site’s “Ratings Section,” for example.
  3. Some articles are still missing.  The Excel spreadsheet only had the “main” news stories.  Feature columns like “Beyond the Studio” were exported to a separate “dump file” which I do have, but it’s not an “import-friendly” format, so I still need to repost them manually as time permits.  Old Pictures of the Week will not be reposted – even though I might have the text for those posts, I don’t have the photos.
  4. None of the auto-imported articles have “tags.”  I would have had to manually add tags to every single article, and that would have taken a very long time.  Tags are nice to have, but they aren’t a “requirement” for WordPress, so I decided to skip them.

Enjoy!

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