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Please add an autosave feature. I'm having to redo tons of work when something stupid/unexpected happens and my Blox window closes before I saved. Working in another text editor that has autosave isn't a great solution because it usually means I have to fix every paragraph break in the story once I've cut and pasted it into blox, on top of just adding even more complication to my workflow.
I've had a feature request open about this since last May (Ticket 666975) but wanted to get some public visibility on it as well. The addition of BLOX Notifier actually makes the situation worse and I have some good example images to share.
There are now two different ways to automatically send emails upon specific conditions in BLOX and both of them lack the customization ability needed to maintain a newspaper's brand and achieve specific goals.
First are examples of what our current breaking news emails look like, but they have to be sent manually through Email Reach's "Single Run." They maintain the style of all our other email newsletters and meet branding goals at the expense of being a manual process that gets forgotten at times.
Automatic Alerts for BLOX Email Reach
This option has been around for a couple years and allows filtering that most papers would need, however there is no ability to customize how these emails look. You are stuck with the examples below.
I was hopeful the newly released BLOX Notifier would bring some improvements but unfortunately it is even worse. Emails produced by it are completely void of branding and most other useful information.
A few quick things:
1. The BLOX Notifier alerts should look like the BLOX Email Reach alerts. This is something we're working to fix.
2. We can make changes to the asset page "email" mode design in a generic way, so let me know what type of thing you'd like to see there.
3. We are working on a new way to be able to send better branded emails of all kinds... email alerts and reset password, etc. We are building a "Site Branding" panel where you can set your colors and your logo, etc. That way we will be able to use your logo and colors in a standard way on system-built items such as this.
We have been doing more data viz/mapping/database projects lately and it would be great to update the table tool to be more robust, with sortable and searchable data.
Right now we are learning Datatables since it has the functionality we need and can hosted on /app and then iframed in but it would be a lot neater and easier for non-developer types to just be able to add the data without coding up an HTML page and FTP'ing it over.
So now you cannot enter the email address and password at the same time. The creates an issue with the web browser auto-populating the credentials, actually hindering workflow. And of course, creating an headache for I.T...again.
We'd like to submit a request for magazine style "flip book" e-Editions, similar to Issuu with double-truck views:
Right now we are having to host these off-site to have this magazine view that readers like.
1) What problem(s) does this idea solve? Why do you need this idea implemented? Provide as many problems or use cases as possible.
It allows for magazines and other special sections that aren't newspapers to be hosted in the native BLOX e-Edition.
2) How often would you use this feature?
At least monthly.
3) How many people in your organization would use this feature?
Everyone, including all readers.
Promo Designer works well if you're using an image, or if you have a written offer of some sort. Taking it one step further, how hard would it be to include the use of video assets in Promo Designer? I would imagine we could increase our video traffic if we were able to create a pop-up that displays a chosen set of video assets either on load or when exit intent is exhibited. Video assets would be chosen from a Block, a Search or an RSS feed. how hard would that be to build out?
We envision being able to link specific codes to specific subscription services (e.g. a code would allow a discount on a 7 day print subscription but not on a weekend only).
To be fully functional, the code should include options to select either: $ off, % off or length of free trial.
This would be a huge tool for our circulation/promotions department and we imagine would be a welcome addition for other newspapers as well.
--> Why we're asking:
To give a little more background I thought it might be helpful to give a specific use case. While we see tons of potential for this feature, there is a specific promotion we're trying to develop in the next month and are having trouble seeing a way to do it with the current system.
We're planning on a new subscription marketing push for our newspaper. We'd like to offer potential subscribers a free trial subscription (either print and/or online) to the paper.
In order to make things as easy as possible we'd like them to be able to sign-up online (create a new BLOX user account) and instantly begin their online trial (get behind the paywall) without having to enter a credit card. At the end of their trial period of course we'll offer to make them a subscriber and collect their payment information.
A "coupon code" function seems like the best way to make this happen but of course we are open to suggestions if we can already pull off something similar with existing tools. For example: Is there a way to link directly to a hidden subscription service?
Please let me know what y'all think.
We offer promo codes for subscriptions now:
Is TN familiar w/ the ability, through Google Chrome, to send a reader notifications if they opt-in? Been seeing this a little more frequently among news sites. Just curious.
We now offer web notifications as part of BLOX Notifier and a block web notifications block.
As we get more and more readers moved from print subscriptions to digital-only subscriptions, we've had several older readers ask how they can easily print the crosswords, jumbles and Sudoku puzzles from the e-edition.
My request is for a simply clipping tool to make it easier to print a portion of the e-edition, similar to the print/save tool used by Newspapers.com. It works quite effortlessly and is user-friendly, even for readers who lack tech skills.
This is now available! Check it out: https://townnews.com/releases/software_releases/readers-can-now-clip-and-save-or-print-content-from-blox-live-e-editions/article_6dc1e614-0759-11ec-b324-133af128e6b9.html
There are several different requests in here:
- 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).
- 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...
An example of one of the ideas we’re considering is a partnership with a community college or school district. Our thinking is we could possibly have them pay $X,000 per year and allow all of their employees and students (with an email account on their domain) free access to our website. A perk of employment or enrollment at that institution.
As several recent studies have revealed, millennials are adverse to paying for news, but maybe we can convert them into readers if they can get it for free. It could be a win-win for both us and the institution. They could easily incorporate the newspaper into their teaching if they know all students can access it for free.
One of the stumbling blocks we’re considering is how to disable these free accounts once someone is no longer a student or employee.
What we’d love to see is an option to “re-confirm” accounts created under these Domain services at set periods of time. e.g. Have BLOX send out address confirmation emails every year and then disable (or remove from the service) any accounts that no longer have valid/active email accounts.
I’d love to hear what others think. As it stands this seems to be the real limiting factor in putting these Domain Subscription Services into use.
We'd like the ability to allow users to review push notifications that have been sent to their devices. Currently, a user needs to rely on their device to be able to see any alerts they may have received and not acknowledged. But Android and iOS devices typically only give you one chance to review alerts (notifications), then they are removed.
It would be great to have a feature within the NowApp that would allow users to review any push notifications that they may have missed (while the device was off, while it was in DO NOT DISTURB, etc).
I think a nice feature would be a custom option within a block to schedule it for certain times.
We currently have a few blocks that I only have show up on a single day of the week so I manually disable it when we don't need it. Having something with the block options itself where I could schedule it to enable and disable itself would be great.
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