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Tyler, yes this is still available (though probably a bit out of date considering it was 2015) on our TownNews.com site.
TownNews Senior Solutions Team Lead
Photo Quality Down?
I've worked with BLOX/CMS for four years and noticed about half a year ago that the quality of photos, especially those that are more vertical and when viewing on a phone, were a lot less crisp. Specifically I've noticed a lot of jagged edges.
Has anyone else noticed this?
Is there any setting or adjust I can make to improve this?
I would like to create a suggestion mechanism for the Content Exchange. If we produce something that has broad appeal, that we can highlight it for other news organizations. For example, we are starting a op-ed-column on national issues and it can be helpful to organizations outside my area (CT). With so much of the Content Exchange being sports and celebrity stuff, this can be something that would be lost in that group.
Instagram in Broadcast channel
I would love to have Instagram added to the Broadcast channel with the ability to scrape a child asset photo from an article asset. We've found that there's never enough time to take the extra steps to post into Instagram independently.
Feature request: Allow subscribers to share articles
This has come up before, but was a good suggestion from one of our subscribers via twitter.
Is there a way that would allow subscribers to share articles that would not be subject to paywall? This could turn our subscribers into real ambassadors for our sites. NYT and WaPo allow subscribers 10 shares a month and remind them of that benefit each time they share.
Ability to remove user-facing asset timestamp after a period of time
We'd like to see the ability to optionally set a time for each block that would prevent the asset timestamp from being shown to the public. In other words, we may wish to suppress the timestamp on home page articles once they are older than 4 hours. It may look better to have *no* timestamp than a timestamp that clearly states to the public that we've not made any material changes to the article in x number of hours.
Ideally, this would be an option that could be set individually on each display block.
Alt text for images
We are working on improving accessibility on our site and the lack of an alt text field for image assets is an issue. Are there any plans to add that option?
Here are my thoughts...
A new alt text field on the image (next to caption):
By default it would use the image title as it does now.
Then, ANYWHERE where the photo is shown, the alt text in the HTML uses the alt text field.
This would mean that Top Story blocks will show this in the images, even there. Do you agree with this? Like in situations like this, it would still use the alt text:
Instagram spash page
Many publications now have a splash page from Instagram and I feel like this could be an easy addition in BLOX. We have interns run our Instagram and sometimes a post may be a story from a day or two before. If a reader uses the link in the Istagram bio, it takes them to our front page, however, the story may now be buried and readers may not take the time to find the related article.
What I would like is a splash page. When a reader uses the link it would take them to a BLOX page that just has the images from Instagram. These images would then act as a link to the corresponding story. This would be useful for all aging content and help to get more eyes on stories and less frustration.
I talked to TownNews and there's nothing available like this yet. Have any users built something like this or have any suggestions?
Online Merchandise Store
We are wanting to set up an online store, selling merchandise such as t-shirts etc for a host of promotional items we run. Currently, we have a https://PRINTful.com account set up this, but it looks like there is no easy way to integrate the API with Blox CMS?
Does anyone have any other platform they may be using or work around without building out another site with a Shopify account or WordPress? Screen Shot 2019-01-16 at 3.22.29 PM.png
sending an xml feed newsbank
We cut ties with Merlin at the end of last year and have been manually sending PDFs to NewsBank to archive every night, but when we stopped using Merlin apparently the XML feed of stories stopped sending.
I was curious if any other TownNews entities have anything automated through TownNews to send this feed to NewsBank? Or any best practices to get it from CMS to NewsBank?
Yes! We have a built in NITF feed for newsbank and work with them for a lot of our customers. Just submit a Customer Service ticket and we can get that set up for you.
TownNews Senior Solutions Team Lead
Is there a plan to allow users to cancel a digital subscription in the user dashboard?
Our staff has decreased dramatically in the past few years and managing manual transactions for digital subscriptions can eat up time.
is there a plan to add an option to cancel a digital subscription in the user’s dashboard?
Lost preference to uncheck Do Not Publish by default
What happened to the preference setting that allowed you to upload a batch of photos and have them automatically go live? The pref for newly created items vanished about a week ago. Now, if you upload a half-dozen photos, you have to go through a multiple-click process for each of them to uncheck Do Not Publish. The only alternative is, if they have a common name, to search and do a batch edit, also involving many steps.
you may not want a story to go live, but you can quickly check Do Not Publish before you start populating the story form fields or assigning it sections. Photos are more harmless to have live before the story. And often you're not uploading pix until just before the story goes live, anyway.
Separately, there also have been far more incidents lately where you can upload one or more images from within a story file but they don't link to that story. You have to search for assets individually to find and link -- another, frustrating step on deadline.
Keywords In Blox TCMS
Having issues with reporters typing in keywords into BLOX TCMS. They can only use keywords already in and can't create their own.
However, I can keyword whatever I want as an editor. Any ideas or help? Can i make a keyword list?
There is a user permission that controls who can create keywords. You can look at the group that reporters are in under the Users admin -> Settings panel. Open the group. If you look at permissions, you can add a new one under Editorial -> Assets -> Create Keyword Tags. They need to have that access in order to create new ones.
Otherwise they can only use pre-defined keywords (which can help control keyword spam and typos). The keywords list is maintained in Site Settings in the main blox menu. Then look for keywords. Reach out to our CS team if you need further help with this.
TownNews Senior Solutions Team Lead
Quick cropping tool for 4:3 and 16:9 for FLEX
With FLEX's reliance on 4:3 and 16:9 cropping it would seem that many photos will end up cropping off the subject in order to adhere to the ratio. And most sites surely have some blocks that pull an asset in 16:9 and others that pull the same asset in 4:3. I propose a quick-crop tool that allows users to select crops for both ratios without the user having to work out the math or upload a previously cropped photo.
I'm thinking something like the image below that would allow users to select the ratio in a dropdown box and blocks would pull the appropriate ratio.
Would anyone else with FLEX use that?
Hi everyone! We added fixed-ratio cropping tools in our latest release! Check it out!
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