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.


The ability to unlock assets within the Blox Go mobile interface

Lonnie de Lambert 3 weeks ago in BLOX CMS 0

Having the ability to unlock assets within the Blox Go mobile interface will solve the problem of having to switch to desktop view on a mobile device and log into the CMS in order to unlock an article. This will save precious time, especially in a situation when multiple staff members are working on breaking or developing stories.


FR: Disable username display in e-Edition "River of News"

Kevin M. Cox 3 weeks ago in BLOX CMS 0

(Apologies if I've simply been unable to find this setting and thanks in advance if anyone can show me where it exists already.)

We'd like the ability to disable the display of usernames in the e-Edition's "river of news." (See attached screenshots)

Showing them here doesn't add anything to the reader experience. They aren't clickable and just clutter up the display with un-useful information.

I'd be fine with them being simply removed completely but an option to enable or disable their display would allow other sites to make that decision themselves.

1. Create a cleaner reader experience by decluttering the display and removing information that is not useful.

2. Every day.

3. Every reader.



Under review

Embed form into story, or onto page

Meagen Finnerty 1 year ago in BLOX CMS • updated by Ian McPhee 3 weeks ago 3

I'm not sure if this has already been cracked, but it would be so nice if forms generated embed codes so we could put them at the bottom of stories, or embed them onto a landing page. Right now, we either link to them or use a third-party form that we can embed. 


Disable e-Newsletter Confirmation Email

Sally Reynolds 6 months ago in BLOX CMS • updated by Ian McPhee 3 weeks ago 1

When a reader signs up to receive our e-newsletters (https://lancasteronline.com/newsletters/), they get an automated confirmation email from Constant Contact that must be clicked before they are actually subscribed to the e-newsletter. While I understand that the purpose is to maintain list quality, the unintended consequence is that the confirmation email is a barrier to the reader. As such, it reduces e-newsletter sign ups. The confirmation email is an optional feature in the Constant Contact platform. However, it is not optional for our e-newsletters due to (I assume) a decision made between Town News and Constant Contact. This affects all Town News clients who use the Constant Contact e-newsletter integration. I would like to ask for a reconsideration of this requirement, such that it be turned off globally for all of us.

Under review

Email Reach - filter out users who do not have active subscriptions

Kevin M. Cox 4 years ago in BLOX CMS • updated 3 weeks ago 6
We’re looking to create an email newsletter exclusively for subscribers, as opposed to our normal newsletters that anyone with an account can receive.

As such we’d love to see an option that would allow anyone to sign-up, but on send the system would omit the emails of users who do not have an active subscription at the time of the email.

This would create an automated system that we didn’t have to constantly manage by adding and removing users as subscriptions are bought and expire.

Please let me know what y’all think and if there is a possible this could be implemented.


FR: Additional analytics for Email Reach

Kevin M. Cox 4 weeks ago in BLOX CMS 0

We'd like to request some additional analytics data be added for the Email Reach service.

• Statistics / Analytics / Email Reach: Add column for open rate. Yes we can do the math when needed but the system can do it much faster and have it available instantly when we need it or provide it in automated reports.

• Statistics / Analytics / Email Reach: We'd like to see columns related to active subscriptions. How many people on the "Sent" list had an active subscription when the email went out? How many of the "Opens" were active subscribers?

• Community / Email Reach: It could be helpful if the "Events" information was also available under Statistics / Analytics / Email Reach so it is all accessible from the same screen.

• Community / Email Reach / Contacts: Add a column for active subscriber status (yes/no).



Feature Request - Comment notification to Article Author

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

We've recently started using the BLOX commenting system. I would like for Authors to be able to receive a notification when someone posts a comment on one of their articles, as we are encouraging them to join in on the discussions / answer questions posed by readers. Right now the only way to set up notifications is to add their email to the "master list" which notifies them when a comment is posted on ANY article. 

If that's not possible, perhaps we could somehow achieve this through the "Per-URL settings"? If I could set an email to be notified by section that would work just as well too.



Adding collections to a story

akduncan 4 weeks ago • updated by Thomas Martinez 4 weeks ago 2

I'm just getting ready to launch, and am impatient. We have created several collections, but I can't get them to show up with stories. Any suggestions on what I'm doing wrong?


Google Analytics-prove site ownership

Sam 1 month ago • updated by Christine Masters (Director of Product Management) 1 month ago 1

Due to unresponsive former students, I need to be able establish site ownership in order to be able to regain administrator access to our Google Analytics information. Unfortunately, I cannot seem to figure out how to go about uploading the required .txt file to the default URL or even add meta tags to be able to accomplish this. Any help would be appreciated.

Maureen Reinert 1 month ago

Do you have a Google site verification code? It's 40 characters long and made up of letters and numbers. If you have that, you can go to the Page customizations for the top level page on your site. Under the Meta Data section, there is a Google site verification field. That's where you enter that code. That will create the google-site-verification meta tag for you.


Comment length restrictions.

Nic Stevens 1 month ago in BLOX CMS 0

Is there any way to restrict the number of words in a post? We have one individual that continually posts at least 10 - 15 lines. We'd like to cut this down to only 180 words.


Webinar | Introducing BLOX Now, a better mobile app for local media

Cherry Wolf (Marketing specialist) 9 months ago in BLOX CMS • updated by Amrita Spa 1 month ago 4

Webinar recording now available.

Taking cues from social media, the BLOX Now mobile app eschews conventional news app design in favor of a single, continuously-scrolling stream of community news and events that keeps users engaged. At our June customer webinar, Susan Bell, BLOX Now senior product manager, and Christine Masters, director of product management, introduced the BLOX Now mobile app.

Topics included:

  • Increasing user engagement with a hybrid news and information app.

  • Feature highlights, including: in-stream video playback, push notifications, and convenient fly-out menus.

  • Monetizing your app with Google DFP integration.

  • Managing your app, website, and mobile site in one easy workflow.

  • . . . and much more.

Are you ready to get started . . . now? Webinar recording now available.


Can we get an integrated alternative for Google Maps since it's no longer free?

ShorthornAdam 6 months ago in BLOX CMS • updated by Kevin M. Cox 1 month ago 20

College newspaper here -- we resumed publication after summer break and noticed that all of the maps on articles were not working (grayed out with a "for development use only" message).  It looks like Google Maps has gone to a paid usage model: https://cloud.google.com/maps-platform/user-guide/

I had to go through a bunch of rigmarole of setting up a Cloud platform app, enabling a tons of APIs and putting in a credit card since usage is no longer completely free. It was annoying because we don't do any cloud computing and don't need any of the datacenter-type features.  They do provide $200 of free credits every month, but there is no easy way that I could tell to stop it from charging you $20 or $200 or $2000 or $20000 if the site gets DDOS'd or has a huge traffic spike, or to set a $199.99 max usage and then have it disable itself.

Would you all please start investigating the feasibility of having integrated maps that use a free/open alternative, like maybe OpenStreetMap?  

I would like to remove my credit card from Google and not have to think about it.



Hi guys!

As I said previously, we are investigating the ability to provide a new mapping option, and have been investigating different providers.

Right now we are very heavily leaning toward HERE, and have chosen to start development on that. I don't want to say it is a final choice because things may be discovered or could change as we build... but as Aidian said, the free 250k transactions appears to be the most generous.

You'll have to get an API key from HERE, but a credit card is not required. 

We will also begin to look at ways to store geo-data since this service allows that, and then for future map renders we don't need to geo-code each time. Our editorial application, for example, allows you to store your geo-data.

Anyway, as I said, we are still doing dev on this - but let me know if anyone has any thoughts or input. Thanks!


I am trying to create assets that I can use as master files, but then can't find them when I search.

Elleda 3 months ago in BLOX CMS • updated by Kevin M. Cox 1 month ago 2
I create various assets to be used as master files to be copied and used over and over again. No matter what I do, I can't find the asset after I've created it except for the first few times. After that, I can' find it. I've tried text searches, slug searches, you name it. 
We actually have this as a feature request on our road map, so I hope that we can provide built-in functionality for this at some point.

That being said, to address the issue of helping to be able to find an article that you need to reference over and over, you could:

- Add a special keyword tag to it, such as #master, and create a saved search for that keyword. Then, keep referencing that saved search (you can even make it your default starting search).

- Put the start time far into the future, and then sort your assets by start time. This will put the "master" files at the very beginning.

That being said, none of these options are totally ideal unless there is a built-in feature for this, which is why it is on our list. =)

Let me know if this helps!

Ability to customize email receipts for marketing.

Mary Shepard 4 years ago • updated by Kevin M. Cox 1 month ago 9
Email receipts receive on average a 70.90% open rate compared to the 17.19% average of regular email marketing.
It's important to remember that a customers trust is at it's highest right after they complete a transaction with a company.
Email receipts are the easiest way into an inbox, yet they’re the most underutilized form of email marketing, especially when working with Town News.

Having the ability to further communicate with our already engaged customers opens up opportunities to cross sell, upsell, offer discount codes on future transactions, promote social media accounts, set up a feedback loop to better understand the process/customer experience and offer logical next steps to customers who have completed a transaction, submitted content or posted a review.

Today's companies want to reach and engage more customers with every contact and e-receipts are an easy way to do so.


Hi Alfonso!

To start: it might be better to put this question into our ticketing system where our support staff can help. They will often have quicker response than posting here for these sorts of questions. Or, call our Customer Support line (we offer 24/7 emergency help!) and one of our support staff can help you.

Incidentally, I'm actually serving as that after-hours support right now, so I will try to help. =)

Firstly, if you're trying to get the weather alert into the Breaking News (NOTICIAS DE ÚLTIMA HORA) block at the top of the page, that block is populated by the "breaking" flag, not the "weather alert" flag.

There are lots of ways to fix this:

  • You can just flag the article as "breaking" instead, and it should show up.
  • You can change the block to also include stories based on the "weather alert" flag.
  • You could use the "pin" feature to add the story to the block even though it didn't meet the block's requirements.

Will all that being said, I believe there is a weather alert on your breaking news block already, so perhaps you've already figured this out. =)

If you need more help, let me know. Thanks!