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.


Custom calendar export

Maureen Reinert 3 weeks ago in BLOX CMS updated by Dave Von 5 hours ago 1

Does anyone have an example of a custom calendar export template that they would be willing to share with us? We are looking at improving our calendars and are getting some resistance from people who want to keep using the text files they've always used for building our print calendars.


Feature Request: E-edition clip and print tool

Chase Doak 5 days ago in BLOX CMS 0

As we get more and more readers moved from print subscriptions to digital-only subscriptions, we've had several older readers ask how they can easily print the crosswords, jumbles and Sudoku puzzles from the e-edition.

My request is for a simply clipping tool to make it easier to print a portion of the e-edition, similar to the print/save tool used by Newspapers.com. It works quite effortlessly and is user-friendly, even for readers who lack tech skills.


Webinar | What’s new in the BLOX Now app and BLOX CMS

Cherry Wolf (Marketing specialist) 2 weeks ago in BLOX CMS updated 5 days ago 0

Webinar recording now available.

At our November customer webinar, Susan Bell, product manager, and Christine Masters, director of product management, will show off what’s new in the BLOX Now app and in BLOX CMS.

Topics will include:

  • Exciting updates to the BLOX Now app, including: lucrative new ad positions, powerful full-site searching, updated weather features, and enhanced subscription support.
  • An introduction to BLOX Media Library, a new way to keep track of images and other binary files in BLOX CMS.
  • Fighting ad inventory fraud within your apps with new “app-ads.txt” support.
  • . . . and much more!

Ready to get started? Watch it now.

Under review

Scheduling blocks

eeckert 2 years ago in BLOX CMS updated by Patsy J. Moore 1 week ago 13

I think a nice feature would be a custom option within a block to schedule it for certain times.

We currently have a few blocks that I only have show up on a single day of the week so I manually disable it when we don't need it.  Having something with the block options itself where I could schedule it to enable and disable itself would be great.

Under review

Feature request: Support for Facebook Instant Article Metering/Subscription

Bob Rose 2 months ago in BLOX CMS updated by Patsy J. Moore 1 week ago 3

Facebook is offering an instant article paywall that lets publishers keep 100 percent of subscription revenue.
Details here: https://www.dropbox.com/s/tdcq6ocqd1x3hoo/2019-07-25%2013.36%20Subscriptions%20within%20Facebook%20Instant%20Articles.mp4?dl=0

The page that talks about instant article paywall(https://developers.facebook.com/docs/instant-articles/subscriptions/) shows that the integration requires custom FB Pixels events being triggered, on login, and during purchase.
This level of integration doesn’t appear to be something that can be done in GTM, nor in BLOX templates, and seems to  require BLOX software support.The page that discusses account linking (https://developers.facebook.com/docs/instant-articles/subscriptions/account-linking) mentions the need for “signed pixel events.”
That page shows sample code in PHP to generate the signed data, which requires access to the FB App secret, which would be unique to each BLOX website, just as the FB App is unique to that website.
This whole process requires running code server side to keep secrets. The “account linking” event requires an account_id to link the FB user to the BLOX user (for subscriber access details.) The only really reliable/secure account_id is the user’s UUID, which isn’t exposed in a cookie, so the front-end doesn’t have access to it .


Webinar | How to upgrade your ad targeting with data you already have

Cherry Wolf (Marketing specialist) 3 weeks ago updated by Patsy J. Moore 1 week ago 2

Webinar recording now available

Join Tim Turner, iQ Engage program manager at TownNews, and Tim McDonough, manager of client strategy at Lotame, as they show you how TownNews and Lotame can help you improve ad targeting, and make more money with your in-house (first-party) data.

Topics included:

  • Using your own proprietary audience data to maximize advertising revenue
  • Augmenting your in-house data with third-party audience data to unlock new ad targeting opportunities
  • Expanding your advertisers’ reach with look-alike modeling
  • . . . and more!

Ready to get started? Watch it now.


Facebook Instant Articles

Paul MacNeill 4 years ago updated by Robert110 2 weeks ago 4

Following up on Rob Weir's question, but with a Facebook focus. A Wordpress plug in was just announced making it easy for all publishers to access instant articles. Does TownNews have a plan to quickly match this?


Yes! We have already built the integration in fact. We haven't yet announced it because we'd like to have a customer go live with it to make sure it works properly and there are no issues. If anyone has a Facebook account that is approved for this, let me know, since it is still technically in beta on the Facebook side. =)




Feature request: Add column in Editorial/Assets next to Title, Status, Sections and Start Time for Notification Date and Time.

erikover 2 weeks ago in BLOX CMS 0

What I would like, if possible, is to have a column in Editorial/Assets next to Title, Status, Sections and Start Time for Notification Date and Time.

1) What problem(s) does this idea solve? Why do you need this idea implemented? Provide as many problems or use cases as possible.
As of now, to remember or view what assets are set for you have to open each individual asset. This takes many steps and extra time. Also, as you know, opening an asset after a notification has been set increases the odds the post is prone to errors.

2) How often would you use this feature?
Daily. It would be used just like the Title, Status, Sections and Start Time columns.

3) How many people in your organization would use this feature?

Everyone who posts assets.


private browsing / Incognito Mode Detection

The Keene Sentinel 3 weeks ago in BLOX CMS 0

It would be nice to have a detection and pop up for when people are viewing our site in incognito mode.    It should allow for a message and perhaps a promo code to purchase a subscription at a special offer.    

* It should work like the ad blocker detector*



jim.green 3 weeks ago in BLOX CMS updated by Joe Hansen (Product manager) 3 weeks ago 3

How do I block PRNewswire from getting included in my Town News Content Exchange? 


All PR Newswire content gets assigned to a specific set of section tags under Partners -> PR_Newswire. You can adjust your importer to exclude those section tags, or build an importer to import just the content exchange sections you want to import.


Link assets in vertical galleries

scott.rada 3 weeks ago 0

Even with a preview image, link assets don't display well in vertical galleries. My suggestion is to have them look just like an article asset (with image and preview option).


capturing still frames from video

Eric R 4 weeks ago in BLOX CMS 0

Since Blox includes the ability to capture a POSTER or PREVIEW image from a video clip, could we have the ability to save those captures as individual images?  That way, we could easily create a photo gallery or collection from stills taken from a video clip.


Find user: default to admin

Eric R 4 weeks ago in BLOX CMS 0

When creating articles, our writers typically want to assign an author to the story.  When selecting an author, the "find user" query defaults to ANY user.   It would be wonderful to be able to have this default to ADMIN so that our own users (authors) would appear at the top of the list.


Whole website search options

Kara Johnson 1 month ago in BLOX CMS 0

Any ideas on a search bar that includes multiple types of results like articles, classifieds, calendar, and marketplace. For us, we have a search on our homepage but it only includes the classifieds and searching, for say, a town name and receiving all of the assets that go along with that would make it much simpler for our viewers. Has anyone found a work-around for this?


Is there a way to designate assets not to be included in search results?

Dustin B. 1 month ago in BLOX CMS updated by Kevin M. Cox 1 month ago 1

It seems silly to have all assets be displayed on the search results list, especially if some are just images (and especially if some of those images have funny/incomplete titles). Also, we create some assets specifically for our e-mail newsletter, and those are not to be displayed anywhere else on our website, except in the newsletter, and those are showing up in the search results as well.

There must be some way to designate an asset to not be "searchable". Please advise. Thank you!