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Under review

scrolling ticker for quick news flash reporting

Ricky 11 months ago in BLOX Total CMS updated 8 months ago 12

Give us a scrolling blox that we can do quick post of short term information without having to put together a complete story asset. This would solve the issue of posting just a quick short news flash that would require a user to click to view a short news brief.
Examples would be:
UN-planned road closings due to water main breaks, accidents, down trees.
School closings.
Breaking news stories with more detailed information to come.
Live sports updates (mostly local high schools).
Live weather updates for road closings.
Fugitive and/or jail breaks.

The Breaking News and Weather Alert blox use to have a scroll feature but it has since been removed and replaced with a story title scroll with limited character spaces.

Under review

inefficient repeated advanced search solutions?

D Sackett 10 months ago in BLOX CMS updated by Carl Appen 9 months ago 4

Anyone else have this problem? We have writers that use the public-facing site to look up story references. Consequently they're interested in a date-ordered search result, from recent to older, not the default 'relevance' search. They have to use advanced search, which newly includes a date range with calendar controls to pick the dates that default to today's date. This works OK for the one-off search, but for those who make a dozen such searches a week, they have to repeatedly set the starting date range, which is repetitive, time-consuming and frustrating.

What might answer this problem is if all users could set a default search order, or barring that, a default search window. 

On top of that, if you're logged into our site with access to more than one of our publications, results from all available publications are included. It'd be nice to get search results from one chosen publication.

I think this may be an issue for some readers who search frequently as well. Any one else bugged by this?


Feature Request: Expansion of Alexa service to other smart home devices

Elizabeth Stephens 9 months ago in BLOX CMS 0

We are requesting that TownNews provide support for adding skills to other smart devices, including Google Nest and Facebook Portal. KOMU records audio for briefings on Alexa devices, and we'd like to reach more household by being able to provide that to other devices. We provide news and weather briefings three to four times a day and want to reach as many people as possible with that.


Ability to override syndication importer embargo date restrictions

Eric R 9 months ago in BLOX CMS 0

We'd like the ability to optionally override the AP embargo restrictions for the syndication importer. While there are good reasons for AP to enforce the embargo, we are missing assets in Blox because the importer won't bring them in if the embargo date is in the future. This means that when AP pushes articles ahead of their intended publish date, the importer doesn't bring them in and they are completely missed.

For instance, they push out several "Today In History" articles in advance of the current day. We no longer get those items as the importer won't bring them in because the embargo date is in the future. If the AP sends the "Today in History" for April 26 on April 20 (with an April 26 embargo date), the importer ignores it.

We should have the ability to override this embargo issue in the importer, and bring in embargoed items that have the start date/time on the asset set to the AP embargo date/time.


Webinar | New in BLOX Now: Live stream enhancements, customizable weather, analytics improvements, and more!

Cherry Wolf (Marketing specialist) 9 months ago updated 9 months ago 1

Webinar recording now available

At our April 2021 customer webinar, Susan Bell, senior product manager at TownNews, highlighted new and exciting updates for the BLOX Now mobile app, including:

  • Our new video player enables you to display live streams directly in your home topic feed, making it easier than ever to engage your mobile audience with live video.
  • An all-new in-app weather experience keeps users coming back with location-based weather reports and user-customizable location lists.
  • Get the latest updates on how TownNews has prepared for IDFA in Apple’s next software release.
  • Learn how we are improving GA4/Firebase Analytics so you can better monitor your app’s performance.
  • . . . and much more.

Ready to get started? Watch it today!


Webinar | Best practices for growing reader revenue

Cherry Wolf (Marketing specialist) 11 months ago updated 9 months ago 1

Webinar recording now available.

Growing reader revenue has never been more important. At our February customer webinar, Bridget Sibthorp-Moecker, Director of Audience for TownNews, shared expert tips and tricks to help you generate revenue from your audience. From identifying your meter strategy to presenting attractive offers to maximize conversion we showed you easy ways you can make a big impact today.

Topics included:

  • Building a meter strategy to achieve your business goals.
  • Increasing conversions with targeted offers.
  • Creating effective promotional campaigns.
  • . . . and much more!

Ready to get started? Watch it now.


Feature Request: Ability to disable "swipe to next article" feature in NowApp

Tom Houston 9 months ago 0

While the "swipe to next article" feature in NowApp is a great way for users to easily swipe to a new article, the swipe (or slide) feature can be a hindrance when interactive content is included in the app. For example, traffic maps, games, and 360 video or photo elements. When a user tries to interact with these elements, we've found that the app's swipe feature overrides these interactions, providing for a poor user experience.

It would be helpful to have the option to disable the "swipe to next article" feature based on section.


SEO Webinar

Jesus Sanchez 9 months ago in BLOX CMS 0

Hello, Given the importance of SEO, it would be helpful to have a webinar dedicated just to the SEO features within Blox and how to take advantage of them. 

I know there's a lot SEO services and plugins out there but I would like to find out which would be helpful when it comes to Blox or not compatible. 

There was a recent webinar that only touched on SEO among many topics. I think it deserves its own. It would also be helpful if the documentation on SEO tools would be updated.


Feature request: Read-only mode for article and collection assets

Chase Doak 10 months ago in BLOX Total CMS updated by Elizabeth Stephens 9 months ago 2

There are occasions when we have assets that are still being worked on, but that have information or elements that are relevant to people other than the person working on the asset. It would be nice to have a means of opening an asset in a read-only mode so that it is not locked by the person viewing it, but is not in danger of having conflicting edits made. This kind of thing would also allow editors to at least read and give feedback on an asset while the author has open.

Here's an example: A reporter is working on a lengthy Sunday feature that has a massive gallery attached to it. She is actively working on the asset, but does not currently have it open. Another employee is simultaneously working on a video to accompany the story, and needs information from the story and photo assets from the collection in order to produce the video. But if the second employee opens the article and collection to get the necessary information, the reporter can't make any edits to the story or collection, because they are locked. A read-only mode would allow the video production employee to open and view the assets without preventing the reporter from opening and editing them.


Notifer notifications

scott.rada 10 months ago in BLOX CMS 0

I just discovered that several of our social accounts had become disconnected in Blox notifier. 

I was able to go in and reconnect the accounts, but it would have been helpful had there been some sort of notification sent to our Blox admin users letting us know the connection was severed.

That would help ensure the problem was addressed more promptly.


Allow user to customize page content

Maureen Reinert 10 months ago in BLOX CMS 0

Is anyone aware of any news sites where the user is able to customize/personalize the content he or she sees -- sort of like the way you can often select the topics you want to see in an app? For example, I want to see crime news, features and just my favorite sport, but I'm not interested in business, so I select those topics and that's what I see on my version of the homepage or some other "my" page.

I think I have figured out a way to do this, but people here are reluctant to try it because they aren't aware of any sites that do this. If someone knows of a site that does this, I would appreciate the information.


TownNews weather blocks and WSI

Columbia Missourian 11 months ago 0

I'm looking for a site that uses WSI for weather data that feeds the TownNews weather blocks. Our meteorologist has a concern about how the high/low temps are showing, and I am trying to find another example to see if the behavior is the same. Most of the sites I know are in the Meredith group and use custom stuff for weather.


Feature Request: Add word wrap ability to HTML Block

Jeff Sebestyen 11 months ago in BLOX CMS updated by Kevin M. Cox 11 months ago 1

It's not often that I need to edit HTML on Blox, but when I do it would be very useful to have the option to word wrap so I can see my code while making quick edits.  At the very least a Maximize button would be cool too.  Of course if I am doing more vigorous work I would use a 3rd-Party notepad; however I find myself using this HTML block more and more often.  Thanks for your consideration.   I have placed a prototype image below.  


Syndicate eEditions between sites

dave.hon 11 months ago in BLOX CMS 0

It would be nice to be able to syndicate eEditions between sites. Kind of like other content.


Displaying Promoted/Sponsored content

Carl Appen 12 months ago in BLOX CMS updated by Maureen Reinert 11 months ago 4

Anyone have examples of integrating (local) paid content within a BLOX site that they'd share? How your blocks are set up to preview content on other assets, how you set a site's advertorial calendar, etc?