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.

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Rob Weir 1 month ago in BLOX CMS • updated by Kevin M. Cox 4 weeks ago 2

Hi there -- our newsroom has been frustrated for awhile with the logic in the subscription module that requires users to register for the newspaper's website before buying a subscription. It's creating a bit of friction when e.g. we want to give out a complimentary subscription to an advertiser or other user, and is also a difficult workflow for some of our users if they don't get a confirmation email for registration. 

I understand the logic of registration being different from subscription status; and I also understand the internal logic of someone needing a registration before they buy a subscription. However, I'm wondering if the subscription page could be streamlined, either to allow people to register while buying a subscription or to create a user registration record as part of a new subscription (that is, prompt for a username when purchasing a subscription). 

Thoughts on that? 

Nick 4 weeks ago in BLOX CMS • updated by Kevin M. Cox 4 weeks ago 3

I set up a page for just Hurricane Irma assets since we got some significant damage. We have much more than 150 assets but when I try to set up the query size I can get it to display assets until 150. Beyond 150 the system changes the query size back to the first asset being 101. For instance... I change the "First item" to 151 to pull the next 50 assets but when I save the block it defaults back to 101.

I want to have a page for our comprehensive Irma coverage that people can look back through for months to come but the block settings aren't letting me. Is there a way to get around this?


I would create a URL for that topic, and then design a section around it. You can have groups of photos by date or by topic (before, during, after the storm, or by location, etc.).

Also, depending on the scenario, you could also keyword tag all of the assets, and then link to a search of those assets. That way, it is automatically paged and can go on forever.

I hope Kevin doesn't mind me pointing to this... but during Hurricane Harvey, galvnews.com had the same issue, and I helped them start this page: http://www.galvnews.com/harvey/ You could add to it by having more galleries, or lists of stories, ads, info boxes, etc.

Graham R. Archer 1 month ago in BLOX CMS • updated 4 weeks ago 3

Anyone know of a way to activate inline video ads — say, a player that pops up as a reader scrolls past the 8th paragraph, plays a 15-second ad, then collapses?

I'm very interested in the products Teads InRead, though I've seen countless copycats. Here's a video of exactly what I'm looking for: 

Anyone know how to make that work in Blox and target ads at it?


Hi Graham!

It is very easy to implement this kind of technology into BLOX CMS. We've had several partners do this sort of thing.

I would ask for the implementation documentation from the vendor you want to use, and then provide it to our Customer Support team. Usually this will just require a small JavaScript tag added to the head and / or somewhere in the story. Using custom optional points and in-story Utility Regions, this can usually be done with no (or very little) custom coding.

Kevin M. Cox 8 months ago in BLOX CMS • updated by Christine Masters (Director of Product Management) 4 weeks ago 7

Ticket # 617487 is already open on this request from our Zen to Flex transition, but posting here in addition per normal feature request protocol.

In Zen, when a staff/admin user leaves a comment on an article, it is indicated as such with a little flag as seen here.

Apparently this functionality wasn't carried over to the Flex templates and we would like to see it brought back. Right now there is nothing other than name recognition to help identify that one of our staff members is participating in a discussion with readers.

Having this identifier goes a long way to establishing that a response could be considered official or is coming from something with authority at the newspapers.

What do y'all think?


Hi Kevin!

This should be very easy to add. Just to make sure - is "Staff" the right verbiage? Maybe, "admin"? It would have to be the same always, though.

Kevin M. Cox 4 weeks ago in BLOX CMS 0

We're seeing a large increase in comment spam lately so I'd like to formally make the feature request for something that I know I talked to support about in the past. We require email confirmation when new accounts are created but obviously the spammers have automated their way around that.

I'd like an option to require an active subscription to post comments on the site. This offers numerous benefits to all Town News customers:

• Provides another perk or subscriber benefit to paying readers.

• Potential to increase Day Pass sales for those who aren't subscribers but really want to share their opinion or comment.

• Reduces comment spam to virtually zero.

I could see it being useful to allow this setting to be toggled per URL/section so that for example you could allow anyone to comment on obituaries but not news stories.

1. All of the items listed above.

2. Every day.

3. Every reader.

Please let me know if anyone has thoughts or questions!



Graham R. Archer 1 month ago in BLOX CMS • updated by Christine Masters (Director of Product Management) 1 month ago 3

Hey all, trying to find a way to have a block show a story for 7 days, then have that content disappear from that block (but not expire off the site, for instance). It should always be looking back a rolling 7 days. Is this possible?


Just add a query rule Start date/time set to no earlier than "7 days ago."

Under review
Matt 1 month ago in BLOX CMS • updated by Christine Masters (Director of Product Management) 1 month ago 7

I have created two dfp (simple) blox for a desktop and mobile pencil pushdown. I tested both of these yesterday in the global-container-top-fullscreen region, but I really want them at the top of the page. I took them out of that region, and it shows that they've been added to the top of main container in the utility regions pullout bar. I have saved the layout, however even the placeholder for the blox is not showing up when I preview the site. I also have the Google Publisher Toolbar extension installed, and the ad unit overlay is not showing up there in the live site either. Do I have to enable this utility region somehow before the changes take effect?

Under review
W. Rags. 1 month ago in BLOX CMS • updated by Christine Masters (Director of Product Management) 1 month ago 1

What I would like to see is an API (like user, subscription, assets, etc) for the Calendar system.

It would allow 3rd partysoftware the ability to directly interface the calendar system from Townnews without having to resort to FTP'd files

We currently have an in-house calendar that we use for print.  Currently we have to manually export each of the calendar items from the townnews hosted management system, and enter it into our system by hand.  Using an exported .CSV file will work, but we would then have to create an import system for it. 

  • The API would allow any 3rd party program a way to interface directly, in nearly real time, with your calendar system.
  • For us, this would allow us to Add/Remove/Edit entries on-the-fly without having to wait for a batched upload and download to take place.  It would give a much finer control to managing the entries in the calendar without having to 'translate' them into files for processing.  Also much less change of any errors creeping into the individual entries.
  • For a large company such as The New York Times, it would mean faster processing, less chances of failure, and more real-time processing instead of batches.
  • For  Townnews it would mean a lot less proccesing power would be needed at any given time to process the batch.  Spreading this load out over a longer time would reduce any bottlenecks in the work flow that might be created with a large 'batch' being processed.
Mary Shepard 1 year ago • updated by Pat Checketts 1 month ago 3

Local organizations have contacted us about integrating their calendars with ours. They have been able to accomplish this with other local news sites. This would allow them to post the event to their calendar and it automatically appears in ours. Since most modern calendaring software supports the iCal format (as does Town News), would it be possible to integrate approved calendars? I understand we can currently import iCal, however making this more automated would be beneficial for both us internally and our community contacts.


Hi Mary, 

We can accept an iCal feed from other sites and feed that into your Calendar. The site hosting the events would need to provide you that feed. Please contact our support team for setup.



Cherry Wolf (Marketing specialist) 2 months ago in BLOX CMS • updated 1 month ago 2

Join us on September 7th @ 10:30 AM CDT

At our September customer webinar, Christine Masters, director of product management at TownNews.com, will highlight the exciting new features in the latest major release of BLOX CMS.

Cover art

We’ll show you how to:

  • Create eye-catching article intros with our all-new Cover Art feature.

  • Bounce back when your browser crashes while editing with our new auto-save functionality.

  • Boost user engagement with the new, mobile-friendly Vertical Gallery presentation mode.

  • Use automatic ad placement to lift revenue from article pages.

  • Keep your site’s tags up-to-date with Google Tag Manager integration.

  • . . . And lots more!

Ready to take advantage of the latest and greatest improvements to BLOX CMS?

Join us on September 7th at 10:30 AM CDT to learn more.

Want to take in the webinar on your own time? Register now and we’ll send you a link to the webinar recording once it’s ready.

Under review
Jason Schaefer 4 years ago in BLOX CMS • updated by Maureen Reinert 2 months ago 27
Since business/schools/daycares/etc closings is a issue that all newspapers/media have to deal with it would be nice to have a built in way to have approved businesses input/update closings/delayed starts within BLOX.
Under review
Aidian 2 months ago in BLOX CMS • updated by Christine Masters (Director of Product Management) 2 months ago 2

So we've got one block in which we want to display a story which will be randomly selected from a list of stories.

We've got a second block where we want to display the remaining stories from that list -- but not the one selected to display in the first block.

Does that make sense?  And how to do it?

Under review
Graham Archer 3 months ago in BLOX CMS • updated by Christine Masters (Director of Product Management) 2 months ago 6

Is there a way to grab all the "author bio" information we put in Blox user areas and pull it into one coherent page? Like is there a block that we can pin author assets to to create a "meet the newsroom" page of some sort?

Under review
Nick 2 months ago in BLOX CMS • updated by Christine Masters (Director of Product Management) 2 months ago 1

Our page curl ad isn't displaying correctly. It jumps around and shifts behind the curl. I'm used to the curl revealing an image that doesn't bounce around. Check out the video and let me know if any of y'all have similar issues.

I found a video that demonstrates how I think it should work. Notice how the ad graphic doesn't shift. It just fades from the small ad to the large ad.

Bob Rose 2 months ago in BLOX CMS 0

We like the new article designing functionality, but notice that we lose the sharing tools for any longform. So our best stories become the most difficult to share. How about larger, persistent share buttons along the left edge of longform stories?