Welcome to TownNews.com's customer community! Connect with other TownNews.com customers and with us to suggest features, share best practices and ask questions.

Though TownNews.com representatives often participate in discussions, this is not a customer service site. For immediate help, call 800-293-9576 or submit a support request via our online ticketing system.
Kevin M. Cox 3 years ago in BLOX CMS • updated by Rich Griffin | Product Manager (Product Manager) 2 minutes ago 10
We would like to request the option of having a "Coupon Code" function available for new subscriptions on the website.

We envision being able to link specific codes to specific subscription services (e.g. a code would allow a discount on a 7 day print subscription but not on a weekend only).

To be fully functional, the code should include options to select either: $ off, % off or length of free trial.

This would be a huge tool for our circulation/promotions department and we imagine would be a welcome addition for other newspapers as well.

--> Why we're asking:

To give a little more background I thought it might be helpful to give a specific use case. While we see tons of potential for this feature, there is a specific promotion we're trying to develop in the next month and are having trouble seeing a way to do it with the current system.

We're planning on a new subscription marketing push for our newspaper. We'd like to offer potential subscribers a free trial subscription (either print and/or online) to the paper.

In order to make things as easy as possible we'd like them to be able to sign-up online (create a new BLOX user account) and instantly begin their online trial (get behind the paywall) without having to enter a credit card. At the end of their trial period of course we'll offer to make them a subscriber and collect their payment information.

A "coupon code" function seems like the best way to make this happen but of course we are open to suggestions if we can already pull off something similar with existing tools. For example: Is there a way to link directly to a hidden subscription service?

Please let me know what y'all think.

Under review
Nick yesterday at 8:26 a.m. in BLOX CMS • updated 20 minutes ago 2

When someone creates a calendar event we get a notification to approve the event. That's great. But if they update the event we get another notification that we have to approve the update. I don't want new events to be auto approved but I would like updated events to be auto approved.

Can we get an option to auto approve updated events?


Hi Nick, 

Providing an option to auto-approve event updates would be a feature request. I would be remiss if I didn't point out that this request would allow users to update previously approved events with descriptions or images a site might deem inappropriate. 

Has that been considered? 

The current workflow, while it may require additional time, allows for proper vetting at each point during the submission process.

Paul 20 hours ago in BLOX CMS • updated 18 hours ago 3

Right now, if you have multiple sibling assets on an article, the first asset has an image, headline and summary. The remaining assets are just headlines. (Left)

We'd like siblings to be presented more like child assets; each one getting an image, headline and summary. (Right)


Hi guys!

We have an option for this!

If you go to the URL properties, under General Design, there is a choice for "Related asset display." You can choose between one card and then headlines (default), all headlines, or all cards (which is what you want).

We build this specifically for sites who were using lots of children in order to get the card display. We'd prefer you to use siblings for semi-related items, and children for very closely related items. If you want them to display as cards, you can use this option. =)

Remember that asset relationship has a specific interpretation by our software, and we make decisions based on those interpretations. This is why, for example, child assets syndicate along with their parent - because children are meant as an important (even necessary) element of the story. Siblings, for example, do not syndicate, because they are supposed to be only slightly related.

I hope this helps! =)

Kyle Whitfield 2 days ago in BLOX CMS • updated by Maureen Reinert 23 hours ago 1

Hi y'all, does anyone OneSignal (or another vendor) for desktop push?

Jayson 1 week ago in BLOX CMS • updated by Christine Masters (Director of Product Management) 4 days ago 1

I'm looking for good examples of these new inline display properties for image (or other) elements: Headline link, summary, asset presentation


Hi Jayson!

Here is a general overview in our online documentation.

I also put together a testing page with many examples of inline styles. There are some really cool ones... check out an inline mapped presentation, or the panorama collection. Neat stuff!

Note that the "full viewport" options, like full-bleed or parallax, only works on long-form presentation articles, because it needs a guarantee that the story area will be full-width of the page.

Here is an example of the same story in default article presentation (no long-form), so you can see the same articles in a normal asset situation. You can see that they also don't "stick out" from the column of the article.

Christine Masters (Director of Product Management) 3 months ago in BLOX CMS • updated 4 days ago 15

Hi community people!

Earlier today we had our big BLOX Core update! If you missed the release notes, they are here.

I've noticed a few media sites start using the User Reactions feature. Are any of you thinking of enabling it? Maybe on just a specific section? I'm interested in hearing your reactions or ways to improve it.

Kevin M. Cox 1 week ago in BLOX CMS • updated by Christine Masters (Director of Product Management) 4 days ago 2

Anybody have a suggestion for a good, free embeddable hurricane tracker map for use on our websites?

This one has potential, but it always defaults to the alphabetical first storm instead of the wider view or (currently) the second storm on the list: https://project.wnyc.org/hurricane-tracker/index.html

I miss the days when StormPulse was free...


I'm going with this one for now, but would still definitely be interested to hear what others are doing.


Under review
Kyle Whitfield 7 days ago in BLOX CMS • updated by Christine Masters (Director of Product Management) 4 days ago 1

We're having trouble recently with multiple editors being able to access the same block and are saving over each others' changes.

Can this type of "locked" asset messaging be added to blocks? "Saving disabled: this asset is locked by XXXXX"

1. What problem(s) does this idea solve? Editors not saving over each others' work when they both have the same block open.

2. Why do you need this idea implemented? Provide as many problems or use cases as possible. Editor adjusts order of stories in a block. Unknowingly another editor has the same block open and saves over the other's work.

3. How often would you use this feature? Daily

4. How many people in your organization would use this feature? Everyone

Nick 8 months ago in BLOX CMS • updated 6 days ago 9

Zen has fairly decent in-line photo options. If I dragged a photo into the body of an article it would stay right where I put it as long as the presentation was "None." That was great because if the photo was for a specific section of the article it ensured that was where it displayed. The new "Long-form" and "Personality" presentations have abandoned that. FLEX has abandoned that altogether. So even in "None" it puts the images wherever it wants to in the body.

For example...

Here you have the Zen photo display. A lot of white space but at least I KNOW the photo will go with the content.

On the other hand...

This is FLEX. Is that photo of a scarf headband, a fake knot or a hidden knot? I can't tell.

So could we please have more options for displaying in-line photos? I want to switch our magazine to FLEX because the templates are far superior to Zen. But I I feel like we're taking a step backward when I can't display in-line photos that stay with their corresponding body copy. I'd love to be able to display in-line photos as full width photos so there isn't that white space seen in the top screenshot. But I prefer the white space over the random image placement.


Flex does full-width inline photos (which was a highly requested feature), instead of 300px like Zen.

The problem was that if you had a vertical image, being full-width ended up with REALLY BIG images that looked pretty crazy.

So now we do a check - if it is a vertical image (as you show here), it will float right. If it is horizontal, it will be full-width. Most of the time this works well since you're just trying to put the image near the copy, and it looks better since it is not super huge.

In your case I would recommend cropping the image to be slightly horizontal (literally one pixel more width than height) and it will be full-width in the article as you intend.

(We do have a feature request in to add some tools to inline photos to give them some options... like half-width, float left, float right, etc. So you can choose more of the display. We are hoping it will be on the docket for next year but I don't have an ETA yet.)

Kyle Whitfield 3 weeks ago in BLOX CMS • updated 7 days ago 4

Hi y'all, we're on board with TownNews' preferred Google Analytics setup now (woo hoo!) ... Now that's done, we'd like to setup a way to track analytics for Facebook Instant articles and Google AMP pages. Because the URLs generated for those pages aren't always on a site's domain, how do you accomplish this in GA?


Hey Kevin!

We're actually in the process of experimenting with this so we can document it with our full GTM launch.

Because Google AMP requires its own GTM container, you can just tell that container to create an AMP dimension for each page view.

For FBIA, you should be able to track tncms.page.platform = 'facebook instant articles'.

Like I said, this is still in test mode, but let me know if you need more explanation or help setting this up.

Under review
Laura 1 week ago in BLOX CMS • updated by Phil Pracht (Product Manager) 1 week ago 1

We would like to have all of our site Marketplace directories to link to Google Map directions. Right now when you click on a Business pin on the Google Map embed, it only displays the address. We would like to request that the address link to Google Maps directions.

Post and Courier example:


Thanks, Laura!

I'll submit this as a feature request and update here as this gets closer to a release.  

Under review
Ryan Mellon 2 weeks ago in BLOX CMS • updated by Christine Masters (Director of Product Management) 1 week ago 2

We are loving the new alignment features that were just released for child assets. Stories are way more engaging and better looking with the new options. We've tried to use the Twitter function, but have noticed those cannot be formatted. Would it be possible to have them automatically centered in stories, or given the option to align right, left, center like the other child assets?


Actually I think you're right. It is left-aligned (but not floated) on regular stories. On long-form mode, it sticks out awkwardly to the left.

I will see if we can center both with CSS for now.

Adding alignment options will be more complicated than a simple CSS fix, but I think that's a good idea if it is possible.

sansone941 4 years ago in BLOX CMS • updated by Maureen Reinert 2 weeks ago 7

Hi Ellen, 

Website is not included for basic info, however, Business Directory listings contain the appropriate website fields. In the example you've added, Abel-Keppy Animal Hospital business listing would need their website field filled out.

Under review
Christine Masters (Director of Product Management) 4 weeks ago in BLOX CMS • updated 2 weeks ago 3

Cherry already posted a reminder about this webinar! Thanks Cherry!

I had a few questions for you community folks...

1. Do you have any specific questions regarding these tools that you'd like me to cover?

Right now I will give an overview of how they work, and then some best practices to create nice looking content.

We will also have Elizabeth Stephens (famous member who frequents this board, in fact) give some sage advice from a journalism / newsroom perspective.

Then I'll show a few examples of what you can do.

2. Speaking of which... if anyone has examples of great uses of the Article Designer tools, or even your favorite parts of what you've seen so far - let me know. I'd love to highlight some customer work in this webinar!

Nick 7 months ago in BLOX CMS • updated 2 weeks ago 14

Can we somehow limit ads on short stories? It just looks REALLY bad to break a couple of sentences up like this.