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Watch it now! At our June webinar, we showed you how the newly updated Article Designer for BLOX CMS can help you unleash your creativity and boost reader engagement.
New features include:
Dazzle readers with fresh photo options: parallax, full-width, panorama and more.
Set the alignment and width of inline story elements for elegant, magazine-like layouts.
Drag-and-drop related content like pull quotes and fact boxes into the body of your stories.
Tailor the look of inline story elements with a simple right-click.
The new ability to embed a collection with the mosaic presentation is great, except users can't just expand a picture without going to a separate URL. If the photos simply expanded when clicked, just like the images do at the top of stories, readers wouldn't have to load a new URL or leave their spot in a story.
It's a jolt in the experience when the page moves to a new URL. It forces users to hit "Back" to finish reading the story, and is disruptive as-is. Mimicking the features the photos display at the top of the page would fix this.
Thanks for this! To be honest, this was my oversight when building the mosaic. When we first created it, the images didn't link anywhere at all. So I just asked that they go through to the image page so I could see them better. But, I should have asked for our image overlay behavior. It is better user experience, it has potential ad spots, and it more consistent. Better all around!
I will put in a change request. Thanks for the feedback!
So, of course I have a feature request already re: thew new BLOX release, lol.
We love dragging related stories into body text. But we actually prefer an article asset's 'summary' presentation rather than the 'default' presentation for sibling assets.
Feature request: Ability to designate which presentation you want to be your default.
Is there any plans on implementing a REST API to return assets as JSON?
It would be really useful for integration with our home-grown systems (Mobile apps, internal APIs, etc) to be able to get a list of all the assets in a section as JSON, then query as asset for all it's data, child assets, etc in a JSON format.
The only way I can see to get data out of the BLOX CMS is via the RSS/ATOM feeds functionality, which is lacking much of the assets data and is no where near as easy to work with as JSON.
There is a new webservices API available after our next update, which should be out tomorrow. Docs are available by going to your domain and adding /tncms/webservice. (Again, you'll see the new CRUD API after 1.35 is released).
Is there a way to bring over assets from syndication with importer as "Do Not Publish"?
We now have the "workflow" option available as a setting on the RSS and YouTube channels. This way, you can set all incoming content to a workflow wish is not set to publish.
More channel types are coming soon.
I have a customer account that keeps getting disabled (at least once per week). And once I unlock it, he says that he still cannot login. I'm hoping that someone might have a solution
It's probably best to submit a support ticket so a customer service representative can help troubleshoot what might be happening with this account. There are a lot of variables that could cause a user to have issues ranging from browser plugins (like ad blocking), account sharing, or just plain old user error.
This would enable the copy desk to upload/attach photos to a story at one time instead of batch uploading separately then searching for files.
This feature was released with our Tuesday update to the CMS.
Is it in the utility regions under Bottom of Artilcle?
Mainly want to know how to create a block with recommended articles that will display under an article. What kind of parameters like sections would I set to that block so it would show recommended stories? Or is there a way to automatically set that?
As far as creating author biographies for employees (or in our case freelance writers) would they have to be the one to create the assets within BLOX or is there a way for us to set the author as a different person and create accounts for them?
For the recommended articles, the first question that I have is how are you determining what articles to recommend? If you signed up for the iQ Engage program (https://www.townnews365.com/solutions/products/data_management/iq-engage/article_3d0cdd9c-0ff8-11e7-a92b-e3179d72894c.html), you'll want to use a Card: Grid Behavioral block (https://help.bloxcms.com/knowledge-base/applications/design/blocks/page_customizations/article_549440ba-1325-11e7-bf32-8b5023483ffd.html). I believe you use the Asset query field under Content to determine what articles get shown to the user. And each user will get a set of articles that based on his or her preferences
If you aren't using iQ Engage and you are picking a set group articles to recommend all readers no matter what their preferences are, such as articles flagged Editor's Pick or just the articles from a particular section, then you would use a regular Card: Grid block and set up your query parameters to pull in just the articles with that flag or from that section.
In both of these cases, you would put the block that you make into a utility region. I believe the Bottom of Article region is one that TN suggests for the placement of iQ Engage block, but you could put the block in another region if you really wanted to.
For the author bios, if you are talking about something like this:
you put that text in the author's user account on the Profile tab in the About me area.
You'll also need to make sure that the page customizations for the site or the section that the articles are includes both the byline and the author or just the author depending on what you want. That setting is under Misc and it's called Asset author display. You don't need to create any blocks for this. The author display setting takes care of adding the information automatically.
Once you have created the freelance writer's account, you can create the asset and pick that person as the author. The freelancer doesn't have to create the article.
Like the title says, is there any way to automatically add a block into a story page?
I've got a funky secondary nav I want to add to a section of our site, and I don't see any easy way to do it.
Hey folks, I submitted an idea to Town News, and they said I should post it here to see if this development idea would help others, too. Anything else think this would be helpful?
The idea is basically to add a few new controls — either on the section level or on specific photo types — to allow editors to turn off the "buy now" button on all mugs, all crime stories, or other examples like that.
Town News asked me to answer these questions:
What problem(s) does this idea solve? Why do you need this idea implemented? Provide as many problems or use cases as possible.
A: There are dozens of photos used daily on our website that we do not want to sell. Many of these get automated tags that remove the "buy now" button (AP photos, for instance), and that's great. But still a large number of photos get manually tagged with #nosale to keep that button hidden. It would be very helpful to have more specific, targeted and automated ways to blacklist some photos from being sold. For instance, we NEVER want to sell a photo of a criminal who just committed some heinous crime. And a huge number of the mugs we run on our website are handouts that we can't sell, and even the ones that are ours are not any real source of revenue. My proposal would be that we have some ability to turn on/off the "Buy now" button for specific photo types (like all mugs) or sections (so you could turn off sales for all photos attached to stories categorized as crime, for example).
How often would you use this feature?
A: This would be used daily. The automated button removal would impact dozens of stories and several dozen photos each day.
How many people in your organization would use this feature?
A: All online editors would gain from this function, and reporters would no longer have to alert online staff to photos that got missed during the tedious and error-prone manual #nosale application process. Dozens of employees would be impacted.
I am writing in regard to the Teaser field on the asset editor and asking another field be added — the social teaser. We are currently on Zen and when we move next month to Flex, we will lose one of the best uses of the Teaser. Right now, since Zen isn't completely supported by Teaser, when I add an image to Teaser its image shows up in the OG and Twitter tags for that asset(article). But, it does not show up as the thumbnail preview on the public facing home or index pages and it doesn't show up on the article page. That's fabulous.
Sadly once we move to Flex, the Teaser content, my understanding is, will show on the site's public-facing side on the index and home pages. Boo!
We aggressively use social images created in Adobe Spark to promote content in FB and Twitter. We often use these on stories where we have no art and on stories where we can make it more interesting in social media. But, there aren't really the type of images that make for good on-site thumbnails.
My usage of these promo images, which have no place on the story page either, really help spur forward user engagement. So, what I'm asking for is another tab called Social Teaser that acts just like Teaser except it isn't used for thumbnails — the social teasers url is passed only for social media. We want these images to come up when people share.
The hierarchy then for OG and Twitter tags would be
If not, then
If not, then
If not, then
Default image as stored in settings.
I hope you'll consider. This is a concession to the idea that like all platforms, social needs content built for it and that should be supported in the CMS. You can see by the images shared above these look strong in social media, but really don't have a place as a thumbnail. If there's already a way to achieve what I'm asking, please let me know, I didn't see it in documentation. Web editors, please vote up this idea, and if you want to learn more about this technique reach out to me at email@example.com
Thanks for your consideration.
Henry M. Lopez
We really need the "Do not publish" flag feature on content imported from Field59.
Thanks for your request! This is scheduled to be released next week.
Good afternoon, everyone,
We are trying to get a video feed from Blox to our app (which is made by Whiz).
The URL I am giving Whiz is not what they want. They said my URLs return articles with videos, but there is no direct link to play the video iteself.
What they need is...
- Feed is in Whiz format -- see the two urls above have 'whiz' in them
- If not Whiz format, then an standard mrss feed
- Feed has link to actual video -- an .mp4 or .m3u8
Would anyone care to sure their URL format for a MRSS feed?
Please and thank you.
Hi there -- we're looking to expand what we can offer to sell on our site, to include not just stories and photos but also other branded merchandise. Our sales contact, Carol, suggested SecondStreet for us and they would definitely fit the bill for photo and story reprint sales, but they indicated they're not doing much on the "other merchandise" front right now.
We could use something like Shopify for an online store, but we'd prefer to keep our number of payment processors kind of low if we can. (Among other things, we're in a university environment where we have to get full review from multiple departments with payment modules.)
Thanks in advance!
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