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.


Community submissions

Carl Appen 4 months ago in BLOX CMS updated 4 months ago 1

Anyone have creative/useful ideas for accepting and displaying community submissions? Content from a local author, press release or (legacy) calendar events? 

Is the PR Newswire concept (unlimited press releases for a monthly fee) dead in the water? 

How do you decide what sections a user can apply to their submission? 


Batch edit utility - change more than 25 at a time

Sara Hardison 6 years ago in BLOX CMS updated by Kevin M. Cox 4 months ago 29
We have a lot of section tags with hundreds of assets assigned that we are moving around and do change from time to time. The batch edit tool is great, but the limit to only changing 25 at a time makes it quite difficult when we are dealing with the number of assets we are. Would be great to have option to change number of assets you want to change at a time, so 25, 50, 100..etc.

There are several different requests in here:

  1. A "mass" batch edit. We are working on this currently... it should be available in Q2 of this year. It allows you to create a search and then apply batch edit to that entire search results, even if it affects thousands of assets. There will be an extra confirmation process where you must type in the number of assets so that you are sure that you know how many assets you are affecting. The task on large amounts of assets happens as a background task (so it can take as long as it needs) and then sends you an email when you're done. So, for Nick's needs, this would definitely work).
  2. The ability to see more assets on a search results page in the BLOX admin. The solution for this will likely come as part of our new backend UI, which will likely end up being some kind of infinity scroll.

Lastly, there is the request for a batch edit function to change headlines and captions. To be honest, we are worried about allowing content to be changed in a batch editing process. Firstly, it's considered bad SEO to have similar titles on multiple pages in your site. Secondly, having all headlines (such as on a vertical gallery) is kind of annoying and repetitive to the reader.

On the other hand, I of course realize that if you don't add a title, we'll use the filename instead. And typing 200 unique, accurate titles is a very time-consuming task to say the least! Also, the only thing worse than a vertical gallery with repeated identical headlines is a vertical gallery with filenames as headlines instead! And, we currently provide no mechanism for them to be hidden as an option.

However, maybe we can fix some of those underlying problems instead. Basically, we're thinking that batch editing headlines and captions is a symptom of a bigger problem rather than a problem in and of itself.

What about something like this:

- A collection asset has the option of not showing photos and captions, even if they exist.

- In places where we have to show some kind of title (such as search results) maybe we show the parent's title instead?


- A way for the photo itself to know whether or not it has a unique headline, and if it does, display it. If not, display the parent (unless on a collection page). I would have to think more on how it can know it is a unique title... 


    Feature request: A column to show child assets

    Lindy Ritz 4 months ago in BLOX CMS 0

    Would it be possible to have a Blox window column to indicate what kind and/or how many child assets are currently attached to an article asset?

    This would be a HUGE time-saver, especially with an aggressive push with video and collections - we wouldn't have to necessarily open (and tie up) articles just to make sure we remembered to attach that video/collection/etc.


    Mosaics in teaser images

    scott.rada 4 months ago in BLOX Total CMS updated by Bruce Potter 4 months ago 4

    When an article has multiple mugshots -- often two or more people running for office, or two or more people charged with a crime -- it would be helpful if Blox had a simple way to turn those multiple photo assets into a single teaser image. Here's an example. Currently we're using a separate photo editing software, slowing the process.



    Incorrect Article Title and Preview showing up in Google

    Marshall Hopkins 5 months ago in BLOX CMS updated by Adam Griepentrog 4 months ago 4

    Sent in a ticket for this, but I wanted to also hit up the Community to see if anyone else has seen this:

    I need help fixing a feed or article component problem. We are seeing errors when our articles show up in Google Alerts and I am wondering if it is just a scraping glitch or if we have our feeds set up improperly.

    • Weather information in place of Article Preview.
    • Photo Asset names in place of Article Titles
    • The Menu Bar text in place of Article Preview

    Seem familiar to anyone?



    Show me your newsletter!

    Jesus Sanchez 5 months ago in BLOX CMS updated by Carl Appen 4 months ago 2

    Hello. We are going to increase our focus on our email newsletters in the coming months. Right now our Daily Digest is based on a URL and also includes a few extra blocks for sponsored content, calendars, featured photo, etc.

    We want to take full advantage of the features that are available for newsletters within Blox and would like to see what some other TownNews customers have done to punch up their newsletters.

    I know we would have more options if we worked directly in Constant Contact but our goal is keep building the newsletter within Blox to minimize the work needed.


    Progress on circumventing metered paywall with incognito browsers?

    Jenna Duncan 5 months ago updated by Carl Appen 4 months ago 2

    Just wanted to see if anyone has heard if there's a timeline for finding a fix to this issue: Users can circumvent the metered paywall once they hit their limit by using incognito windows, and it's been pretty rampant in the past few months. 

    The last meeting we had with TownNews they said they were aware of the issue and working on a fix, curious if there's an update on this. 


    Give me your top BLOX sites

    Nick 6 years ago in BLOX CMS updated by abojmous82 4 months ago 19
    As the title of this post says give me what you consider the best BLOX sites. I'm interested in the sites you think have the best design taking news display, speed of loading, organization, etc.

    The reason I ask this is because I'm always trying to improve my sites(we have three BLOX sites) and make them the best sites they can be. BLOX makes it so easy to add content and move it around the page but that also makes it easy to clutter the pages, especially the home page. With my site I try to balance information with simplicity. I would say the most annoying thing I have to deal with is balancing the right-rail with the main content. One seems to always be much longer than the other.

    But I’d love for this to turn into a good discussion because we’re all using the same system, with a few differences here and there, and there are so many BLOX sites out there that it makes it hard to find the really standout ones. If you want to suggest your site, I guess feel free to do that. I’m my worst critic so it's hard for me to critique my own sites. None of the ones I'm suggesting here are my sites...

    I like the design of this site:

    I don’t have any experience with the newer Flex sites but these are nice:
    http://belvoireagleonline.com (I LOVE the left rail menu on this site)

    I recently found Richmond Times-Dispatch. I like how it gives you a good bit of information but doesn’t seem like info-overload. I’m not that fond of the bottom half of the home page.

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

    Cherry Wolf (Marketing specialist) 3 years ago in BLOX CMS updated by Seema Sharma 4 months ago 3

    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.


    Webinar | Editorial masterclass for BLOX CMS

    Cherry Wolf (Marketing specialist) 5 months ago in BLOX CMS updated 5 months ago 1

    Webinar recording now available.

    Editorial masterclass for BLOX CMS

    At our November customer webinar, Christine Masters, Director of BLOX CMS for TownNews, gave a masterclass to highlight some advanced, and sometimes overlooked, editorial functionality within BLOX CMS.

    Topics included:

    • Using BLOX Notifier to keep readers in the loop and drive social media traffic.
    • Enriching your stories with multimedia content using the drag-and-drop Article Designer.
    • Customizing your site with expert block management tricks—from permissions to scheduling, and beyond.
    • Writing headlines to improve SEO.
    • . . . and much more!

    Ready to get started? Watch it now.

    Under review

    Export custom user fields

    Maureen Reinert 5 years ago in BLOX CMS updated by W. Rags. 5 months ago 6

    Does anyone know how to export the custom fields that we are adding when our users register. I see the data on the Custom tab of the users' accounts, but when I export the users to a csv file the only fields that are exported are

    screenname email account_type firstname lastname createtime authtime country address municipality region postcode phone gender birthday

    There's nothing in the TN documentation about this. The documentation tells you how to add a custom field to the registration form, but it's not much good if we can't export that information.


    Linking advertisement to phone number

    michael 6 months ago in BLOX CMS updated by Maureen Reinert 6 months ago 3

    I'm trying to link a banner advertisement to initiate a phone call. Normally that would be done by using tel:xxx-xxx-xxxx in an HREF. I try to put it into the Link URL: section, but it converts it to tel://xxx-xxx-xxxx which does not work.

    Is there a way to do that?


    Adding moderators to Facebook comment plugin

    Jenna Duncan 8 months ago in BLOX CMS updated by Tom Houston 6 months ago 1

    We keep getting the runaround from FB/Town News but we have no idea how or where to add additional moderators to the Facebook comment plugin on our news website. Anyone have any ideas on how to do this? The person who set up the integration left and we haven't been able to figure out how to actually delete spam comments from news stories. When we asked Facebook, they gave us script that Town News said it doesn't have in the system. 


    I was trying to add a login...

    Matthew Digiacomo 6 months ago in BLOX CMS updated by Christine Masters (Director of BLOX CMS) 6 months ago 3

    Right now it keeps telling me  'BLOX CMS admin is currently unavailable' ... Of course, the person I am adding needs admin privileges ... IS this something related to the recent password update and is there an ETA for when this might be fixed?


    Hi guys!

    Yes we disabled the ability to promote a user account to an admin temporarily, but that should be working again now.

    If you are still having any issues, please submit a support ticket for our Customer Service team, they will be able to help you out quickly. =)


    More poll customizations: End dates, hide results, etc.

    Graham Archer 4 years ago in BLOX CMS updated by Nicholas.farnsworth1 6 months ago 3

    Hey all, I'm thinking we could really benefit from a few new options with polls. Some details:

    1. It'd be really nice to be able to put an end date on a poll. It just seems like a basic functionality, and I know several people up-voted the idea before: https://help.bloxcms.com/knowledge-base/applications/settings/urls/custom_properties/article_5fd6d870-2bdc-11e5-93e5-034d9f275a7e.html

    2. Can we have the option to NOT show results (and maybe show a field after someone votes — "Check back Aug. 8 to see the winner."). That'd allow for us to do some really cool stuff that's not currently allowed. You could have votes for an athlete of the week, person of the year, etc. and not risk people not voting because someone is out to a 2-to-1 lead early, etc.