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

Though TownNews 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.

+7

Subscriptions - "Upselling" without expiring current service?

Ian McPhee 1 day ago in BLOX CMS • updated by Nathan 1 day ago 1

Hey ya'll,


We recently launched our Subscriptions (we call it Membership) and there are five different price levels, including the free trial. Yesterday we got a call from someone who signed up for the lowest paid tier for one year, about a month ago. They now want to up their membership to the top level - something hopefully everyone will want to do at some point! Unfortunately, they ran into issues, already having an "active" subscription. My temporary solution was to manually expire their service on my end and then have them sign up for the new one, but this is obviously not ideal. 

I almost posted this as a "Feature Request," but figured it has to already exist, I must just be missing something. 

Any ideas?

+1
Completed

Feature Request: Require active subscription to post comments

Kevin M. Cox 1 year ago in BLOX CMS • updated by Ian McPhee 1 day ago 4

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!


Thanks,

Kevin

+2

Subscription reporting improvements - cancelled subscriptions and new subscribers

Jay Allred 1 year ago in BLOX CMS • updated by Ian McPhee 1 day ago 1

Try as we might, we cannot find a report / reports that help us keep tabs on subscriptions that do not renew (a.k.a. lost customers). Here's what we suggest be either changed or added.


1. Create a report that let's us track non-renewed subscriptions by customer name. For example, if Amy Jones' monthly or annual subscription is scheduled to renew, but does not - allow a way for us to get a list of those folks. We want to be able to contact them and find out why, win them back.


2. Create a report that allows us to track first-time subscribers by name. Specifically, we are interested in the people that made the initial decision to purchase a membership. Currently, there appears to be no simple way to track this critical data.

0

Show description for video assets when embedded in stories

Brad Boner 3 days ago in BLOX Total CMS 0

For video assets embedded into stories, we would like the video asset's "Description" field to appear under the video (similar to how photo captions appear) when the video is set to the "Video player" presentation mode.

+1

Feature Suggestion: Pageview tracking for individual articles

Dustin B. 4 days ago in BLOX CMS 0

Feature Suggestion: Maybe this exists already and I've just not been able to find it, but would it be possible to track analytics for each article asset, so we can see page views for each article, not just the most popular ones? Thank you!

0
Completed

Webinar | Digital advertising 101: Optimizing your local and programmatic ad inventories

Cherry Wolf (Marketing specialist) 2 weeks ago in BLOX CMS • updated 1 week ago 1

Webinar recording now available.

Digital advertising 101: Optimizing your local and programmatic ad inventories

Navigating the ever-changing landscape of digital advertising can be a challenge. At our February customer webinar, Patty Bristol, Ad Ops program manager at TownNews, shared best practices to help you better optimize your overall digital advertising inventory. Using real-life examples and known challenges, Patty showed how using local and programmatic together can create the optimal digital advertising revenue stream.  

Topics included:

  • An overview of digital advertising, including commonly used terms
  • Generating revenue from local and programmatic ad sales
  • Introducing eCPM—the key metric for revenue growth
  • Tips for packaging and pricing digital ad inventory
  • . . . and much more!

Ready to get started? Watch it now.

0
Under review

TotalCMS Social Broadcast limitations

Kevin M. Cox 3 weeks ago in BLOX Total CMS • updated 1 week ago 5

I'm posting here as part of a formal feature request and also to see how the rest of y'all are working around this limitation.

What we've found is that social media broadcasts from TotalCMS are more often then not failing to actually happen. Support pinpointed that this failure will occur anytime an article gets edited (by a line editor or page designer) in between the time an asset gets a Site Tag and passes the Start Date/Time. For us this is a large portion of content.

Here is the note from support:

"The failure of the articles broadcasted from the TotalCMS system results from broadcasting an article that has a start date/time in the future that has additional revisions made to the asset in-between the time it was broadcast and the time it goes live. If the revisions are made after the start time has passed then the broadcast of the asset will be successful.

"To avoid this issue I would not broadcast the asset if the asset will need to be revised before it goes live or be sure to re-broadcast the asset after additional revisions are made before it goes live."

And my response:

"This is behavior that definitely needs to be corrected to support a real-world newspaper publishing workflow.

"We expect reporters to compose the social broadcasts because as the authors they are most closely associated with the content.

"However all articles still need to be edited before publication.

"With the details you've given us it means that we would have to ask the page designers to go back and set the social broadcast information after they have finished designing the pages at the end of the night which just isn't realistic.

"I'm sure we could make some minor changes to our workflow as well, but I feel like there might be some middle ground we need to work towards here.

"If the behavior cannot be changed there definitely needs to some change in the TotalCMS GUI that alerts users to the fact that the broadcast was cancelled. Right now it still just shows the "Syndicated..." text exactly the same as if the broadcast was successful."

In my feature request I'm asking that they either correct the problem of the broadcasts not happening or at a minimum update the GUI in that situation so reporters are aware the broadcast was cancelled due to a later edit.

How are y'all working around this problem or are we the only ones dealing with it due to our workflow?

+1

Users bypassing paywall with timing trick

Kevin M. Cox 2 weeks ago in BLOX CMS • updated 1 week ago 6

It seems an enterprising non-subscriber has found a little glitch to access articles behind the paywall and his instructions are now making the rounds on social media.

Here are the instructions:

"I'm not too sure if I should be posting this. However, as someone who does PC/IT work and repair, I figure I could let some of y'all in on a way to read most of, if not all the article's without paying. (On Android using Chrome) Basically, I go to the article I want to read that is not free. Then I select "Request Desktop Site" in the browser settings. (the three dots on the top right)  Once that loads, (it puts a minor delay on the article loading) all of the article is displayed in its entirety for just a moment or two. A few seconds later the pop up to sign up for a subscription block's it all out. Now it's that small delay, prior to the subscription pop up, that we are after. In that delay, I do a screen shot of the article. (You might have to refresh the page and try again if you weren't quick enough the first time) After I successfully capture it, I then just read it via my picture gallery. If it's longer than my initial screen grab, 

I try a second time and scroll really quick to encompass the remainder of the article with another screen shot. If it's too long for those methods, I do a complete screen record. (video recording of your entire screen) then I go back through the recording and look frame by frame. Hope this helps some of y'all. You're welcome."

We've tested it out and have been able to confirm it works. While it isn't easy enough that I think we'll start losing subscribers over it, it also isn't that complicated to pull off.

I'm actually seeing it pretty consistently even on desktop browsers right now. It seems that the delay before the paywall message appears is much longer than it used to be. It looks like Town News might need to adjust the timing of how things are rendered so the full article isn't displayed until after the user has been evaluated as having an active subscription.

Have any of y'all come across readers doing this or something like it to bypass the paywall?

0

Google Analytics - Collection pageviews

Andrew Link 3 weeks ago • updated by Kevin M. Cox 2 weeks ago 1

I've noticed over the last four days, our collection pageviews aren't accumulating like they have in the past in Google Analytics. Now in the collections traffic, the pageviews are close to the unique pageviews number. They aren't inflated anymore.

Has anyone else noticed this with their pageviews? Has Google Analytics stopped recognizing the different pages in collection assets?

0
Under review

Ads block text

dakota 2 weeks ago • updated 2 weeks ago 2

We've received many, many complaints that ads block out text in the phone app. We've contacted customer service but nothing was done. This is a real issue for our phone users.

+10
Started

Set Broadcast time separate from Start Date/Time

Brad Boner 2 years ago in BLOX Total CMS • updated by Kevin M. Cox 2 weeks ago 8

First, thanks so much for adding the Broadcast feature to the TCMS. It's a very useful feature that will certainly get a lot of use.


It would be awesome if we could set a custom time to Broadcast assets separate from the asset's start time. This would enable us to send content to our social media channels for optimum visibility. For example, much of our content goes live on our website at 4:30 a.m. but it would be better to delay the Broadcast to Facebook until about 7:30 or 8 a.m. when there are more people on Facebook.

It would also be nice to have the ability to schedule multiple Broadcast times for different channels inside a single asset. For example, we would like to broadcast to Facebook once but may like to broadcast to Twitter three separate times, so it would be cool to have the ability to schedule a single FB broadcast and three Twitter broadcasts.


Finally — and I don't know if it's possible — but it would also be nice if media such as photos that are attached to assets could be broadcast to Twitter along with the asset's link.

Thanks,

Brad

+1

Ban commenting not user

Nic Stevens 4 months ago in BLOX CMS • updated by Kevin M. Cox 2 weeks ago 7
I would love to be able to ban someone from commenting without locking them out of their web site account. We have a column called It's Your Call and routinely we have people that push the limits and we have to determine if they are a subscriber BEFORE we can ban them because if they are a subscriber and we ban them, they can no longer get onto the web site. It's quite horrid to handle because you have to remember who you warned and once you banned them, you have to decide if you give them part of their subscription price back. We are on Facebook commenting for most things but this piece because we like the engagement it brings to the web site. Just sometimes don't like the comments. It's becoming weekly we have to make this call anymore. I also feel this would go along way to keep more and more pages with TownNews commenting instead of moving to Facebook commenting.

+13
Completed

Batch upload

Jason Schaefer 5 years ago in BLOX CMS • updated by Maunette Loeks 2 weeks ago 24
It could be quite useful for the batch upload feature to be included in the story asset (child assets).

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.
Answer

This feature was released with our Tuesday update to the CMS.

+1

Online Merchandise Store

Charlie Clark 1 month ago in BLOX CMS • updated by Kevin M. Cox 3 weeks ago 5

Hello everyone,

We are wanting to set up an online store, selling merchandise such as t-shirts etc for a host of promotional items we run. Currently, we have a https://PRINTful.com account set up this, but it looks like there is no easy way to integrate the API with Blox CMS? 

Does anyone have any other platform they may be using or work around without building out another site with a Shopify account or WordPress? Screen Shot 2019-01-16 at 3.22.29 PM.png

0

Report comment for "guest" users?

Robert Armstrong 3 weeks ago in BLOX CMS 0

It seems that right now, the only way to report comments is if the user is logged in. Is there a way to activate the report button for all non-logged in users? I understand that this may lend itself to abuse, so having an option to have a higher threshold for "guest reports" or even the ability to remove the report button on a specific comment could help curb that.