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.

What are people using for online merchandise sales?

Rob Weir 4 weeks ago in BLOX CMS • updated by Maureen Reinert 4 weeks ago 1

We have been slowly working through the process of getting approval at our university for online sales, and have gotten the ok to use our merchant portal to sell stuff other than subscriptions. (This isn't a TownNews issue, btw -- this is the issue we face for being a newspaper that operates as an agency of the university). So we're interested in setting up an online sales portal for merchandise. 

Absent building one ourselves, are there third parties that other TN newspapers are using for sales? This doesn't have to integrate with the site other than being able to access our credit card processor. Any suggestions are welcome.


An alternative to block quotes?

Bob Rose 1 month ago in BLOX Total CMS • updated by Aidian 1 month ago 1

We love the way the block quotes styling feature shows up to highlight pull quotes, whether inline or as content boxes dragged inline.

We were wondering if it would be possible to have another presentation for quoted material.

This might be when you have a series of quotes back-and-forth (maybe you are reporting on a phone conversation), or if you were quoting from a long passage.

These quotes would be the size of the rest of the body copy, but indented and italicized.  Ideally handled through the article editor.

Maybe there's a way to do this that I'm missing.


We Need A-B Tests For Headlines!

Lake Looker 1 month ago in BLOX CMS 0

This is a foolproof way that you guys could help publishers drive more traffic, almost immediately!

For an Article/Collection/Etc Asset Title, just give two (or more) boxes. If a publisher wants to A/B test the headline, they can fill in the second (or third, etc) box(es) with an alternate headline.

Alternate which of those is displayed to readers as they view the article on the site.

Let the publisher choose how many views the article needs in order for there to be a "winner" headline. Then by default pick the winning one.
PLEASE do this!!!


Anyway way to preview pinned assets in blocks that haven't been published yet?

jemoryparker 1 month ago in BLOX CMS 0

We're trying to transition to a more curated homepage with our editors manually pinning stories to blocks. The goal is to have the homepage feel like a bespoke document everyday.

I've setup multiple layout schedules for each day of the week so that editors can plan out what future layouts will look like but it's difficult for them because if they pin an article to a block that has not been published yet (but is scheduled to be published by the time the layout schedule is active) it will not display that asset in the layout editor. They have to select View Site > Preview at a specific time.

Is there anyway to preview the site at a specific time within the layout editor? Or a way to force the display unpublished pinned items in the layout editor? Or another strategy worth considering for putting together daily, bespoke editions of the homepage?


Video cover art

Ryan Dorgan 1 month ago in BLOX CMS 0

Would love to be able to feature short video clips/loops or even gif files as cover art to be used in the longform presentation. Would this be possible?


Better way to auto populate venues in BLOX calendar tool?

Kyle Whitfield 2 months ago in BLOX CMS • updated by Phil Pracht (Product Manager) 1 month ago 7

Giving the BLOX calendar tool a try on our website. Disappointed to see there's no good way to help auto-populate a venue from biz listings in an event asset outside from the 10-15 I'm told we could store in the venue library. What can we do to find a better workflow for this? We're talking about several hundred event listings per week in print pulling from thousands of biz listing entries.


Hey Kyle!

The Business Directory can be used as a "business hub" without using it on the front end. This way, you can associate Calendar events with venues, and businesses with banner ads, and so forth. Personally though, I would look into the Calendar upsell functionality - it's a great reason to get the full directory.

The venue library in Calendar is meant to be a "quick list" of your most commonly used businesses. You can have more than 10 - 15... there is not a physical limit it's just more that at some point it becomes unwieldy. It does put listings in alphabetical order and allows for type-ahead. But it isn't meant to be a database of listings.

But in general, I would use the Business Directory for most listings, and then the venue library for the ones you're using like every day to save you a few clicks. The venue library is useful for when you're entering things in manually.

Hope this helps!


Keyword Tag Links

Angela Mabe 1 month ago in BLOX CMS • updated by Kevin M. Cox 1 month ago 1

Feature Request - Ability to edit the keyword tag links. Instead of clicking the keyword tag and having it go to a generic search page what if it could go to a link you tell it to. For instance you are running an article on garage sales, well why not have that key word link to the classifieds section for garage sales.  


Mrsmatrimonial.com has revolutionized the way match-making was done in South India.

MRS Matrimonial 1 month ago 0

. Earlier family and relatives used to do this, but now it has become easier and more authentic. Now you can check every detail of your match online. This has been made easier by the mrsmatrimonial.com which has been tagged as the best wedding website of the region.


Restrict site search utility block to a specific URL/tag

Nick 2 months ago in BLOX CMS • updated by Christine Masters (Director of Product Management) 2 months ago 4

I want to create a microsite on my main website. And I'd like a search block on that page that will only search assets on that specific URL. I can't do that with the "Utility: Site Search" block. I can do that with the "Utility: Site Search Range" block but I'm forced to also include a date range. It would be fine if it defaulted to "any day" but it doesn't. You have to actually set it to "any day" or it will search a smaller time frame. So it seems like the range block has an option the regular block doesn't. Can this be fixed?


Hey Nick,

Both the "Utility: Site Search" and the "Utility: Site Search Range" have a search URL override option.

If you don't see it - perhaps you have a customized version because we did add the Site search version after the Site Search range block. 

Note that by default our system will look for the FIRST search-based URL that it sees in order to perform a search. I believe that if this happens we have ways to fix it in all cases now, but if you have a situation where you create a special search URL for "archives" and then find that obits is now re-directing them when you search - then you need to go through and force the other searches into the alphabetically inferior URL.

And, this works really great for obits! The Search Range block was actually specifically made for obits. Firstly, our testing shows that many obits users just want to browse to the last few days of obits, so that's why the ranges are set up that way. And, search is very popular in obits, so having a separate search URL can help with a few things:

1. You can set up your search to be obituaries/search. This way, all of the search traffic actually stays within the obituaries umbrella so you can track it together in terms of analytics.

2. You can assign specialty ads to the search pages, separately from your other search pages. So, you can sell an obits package that gets impressions on the obits index page, article pages and search pages.

In theory, you could do this with recipes as well.

Let me know if you still can't find this and I can look at your site.


Weather inconsistency

Kevin M. Cox 2 months ago in BLOX CMS • updated by Christine Masters (Director of Product Management) 2 months ago 5

We just had a reader point out this inconsistency and I'm wondering if anyone else has ever noticed it on their site. In particular this is with the Email Reach | Email: Weather today block.

I've checked past emails and it seems to be consistently in disagreement with itself. Note the high temperature of 102 in red under the graphic and compare it with the "Highs in the upper 80s..." right below it and the "High 89F" in the text forecast at right.


This fix is now available.


Print view shows ads on FLEX

Nick 2 years ago in BLOX CMS • updated 2 months ago 6

Someone just alerted me to the fact that when you click the print icon in a FLEX article the printout includes all of the in-story ads AND any hovering ads. The hovering ads are on every page, usually blocking content.

With Zen when the user clicked the print icon they were taken to a page with "?mode=print" trailing the URL. This mode stripped all of the other elements of the page save for the story and any child assets. It was great.

Here's what FLEX printing looks like...


I will enter this as a bug ticket so we'll fix it. Thanks!


CNN syndication from TCMS>Blox

Bob Rose 2 months ago in BLOX Total CMS 0

Is anyone else able to syndicate assets (article and HTML) from TCMS to Blox when i try to do that with CNN content, I'm not allowed to place a site tag, getting a "Modification prevented by DRM rules."



Paul MacNeill 2 months ago 0

Micropayments are increasingly seen as one component to offset a decline in ROP, at least in Canada. The Winnipeg Free Press, Canada’s second largest independent daily, has successfully pioneered a model. Readers pay .27 cents for the first story. As more stories are read the system works to make the client a full subscriber. We’ve given our news away too long chasing clicks that don’t translate into substantial revenue. This is not a panacea. But it is important. The Canadian industry will see a significant number of papers lock down their sites in the coming year. Micropayments will allow them to still maintain a social media presence while generating revenue. https://www.inma.org/blogs/conference/post.cfm/micropayments-bring-in-new-readers-activate-subscribers-for-winnipeg-free-press


Package Blocks

Kevin M. Cox 2 months ago in BLOX CMS 0

Present breaking news or enterprise projects with new "package" block

Once y'all start using this new block on your site I'd love to see some samples. Please share them here if you remember!


Webinar | Google News Initiative fundamentals training for BLOX CMS

Cherry Wolf (Marketing specialist) 3 months ago in BLOX CMS • updated 2 months ago 2

Watch the recording now.

From reverse image search to trends and alerts, this course teaches practical skills for reporting in the digital age. Nicholas Whitaker, training and development manager for Google News Lab, presented a Google News Initiative fundamentals crash course specifically for BLOX CMS users.

Topics included how to:

  • Finding stories and terms gaining attention.
  • Giving important context by building interactive maps.
  • Checking the authenticity of an eyewitness photo or video.
  • . . . and much more.

Ready to learn more about Google News tools? Watch the recording now.