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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
In the event that anybody else runs into this problem, we identified an issue a few weeks ago where the Facebook comment plugin on our website, GazetteXtra, developed a bug that prevents users of iOS mobile devices from posting comments.
We're going to look at other options for commenting on articles.
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!
How could I add a CSS class that hides the block on the mobile view?
You can use bootstrap 3 visibility classes (https://getbootstrap.com/docs/3.3/css/#helper-classes). You can place these classes in the "CSS Classes" field at the bottom of the "appearance" tab in the Design/Blocks application.
TownNews Senior Solutions Team Lead
Be a great idea for a user to create a multi-article playlist, with an audio ad in between each (or every other) article. The user could then begin listening a playlist of articles. Kinda like an Amazon 'Alexa' news player, but without the hassle of Amazon :)
Text to audio. Is there a tool we can use with our site that would "speak" our text articles? I've seen this on other news sites. And I am able to get my Alexa Echo to read our website. But wondered about a tool on the site to read articles.
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.
When you click on an image to preview it in the image asset editor, it expands to maximum size and there's no way to close it via UI. A page refresh is required.
It's not exactly site-breaking, but one misclick means a whole bunch of finagling and hassle to reopen closed windows in the session. Please make it so re-clicking the blown-up image element closes it or add a close dialog.
Has anyone discovered that they no longer can access their Blox admin site with old web browsers?
In the new e-edition under FLEX there is no way to make the e-Edition pages larger or zoom in on just part of a page on a desktop computer (once you are in full screen). With the old e-edition readers could use a magnifying glass and zoom in on just the part of the page they wanted to read, making the type larger for those with poor eyesight.
To do that now readers would have to download the e-edition to their computers, find the download and open it in a pdf reader. That's a lot of work for an elderly reader who may know little more about computers than how to navigate a website. Although the reader who brought this to my attention did know how to use Control + to zoom in on webpages (something I didn't know) but sadly that doesn't work on the e-Edition newpaper page ( it only makes the navigation arrows and hamburger menu at the top larger).
I know you can set the default workflow on an individual basis, but is there a way (or is it planned if not) to have the option to set all users default workflow, or even set the default workflow upon user creation?
Hi community people!
Earlier today we had our big BLOX Core update! If you missed the release notes, they are here.
I've noticed a few media sites start using the User Reactions feature. Are any of you thinking of enabling it? Maybe on just a specific section? I'm interested in hearing your reactions or ways to improve it.
Hey folks, I submitted an idea to Town News, and they said I should post it here to see if this development idea would help others, too. Anything else think this would be helpful?
The idea is basically to add a few new controls — either on the section level or on specific photo types — to allow editors to turn off the "buy now" button on all mugs, all crime stories, or other examples like that.
Town News asked me to answer these questions:
What problem(s) does this idea solve? Why do you need this idea implemented? Provide as many problems or use cases as possible.
A: There are dozens of photos used daily on our website that we do not want to sell. Many of these get automated tags that remove the "buy now" button (AP photos, for instance), and that's great. But still a large number of photos get manually tagged with #nosale to keep that button hidden. It would be very helpful to have more specific, targeted and automated ways to blacklist some photos from being sold. For instance, we NEVER want to sell a photo of a criminal who just committed some heinous crime. And a huge number of the mugs we run on our website are handouts that we can't sell, and even the ones that are ours are not any real source of revenue. My proposal would be that we have some ability to turn on/off the "Buy now" button for specific photo types (like all mugs) or sections (so you could turn off sales for all photos attached to stories categorized as crime, for example).
How often would you use this feature?
A: This would be used daily. The automated button removal would impact dozens of stories and several dozen photos each day.
How many people in your organization would use this feature?
A: All online editors would gain from this function, and reporters would no longer have to alert online staff to photos that got missed during the tedious and error-prone manual #nosale application process. Dozens of employees would be impacted.
We have now added more logic to our "automated" photo sales option. See this updated doc:
We have also added the ability to turn off photo sales per section (via custom properties), as well as batch update photo sales.
Hope this helps!
I know the system is set up to restrict photo purchasing through MyCapture to anything with the keyword #nosale. But I'd say about half the time, maybe a little less, the reporters/editors forget to add the keyword. What they almost always add is "Provided" or "Provided photo" in the byline field because typically they're more concerned with making it look good for print.
So if there's a way to do this please let me know. But if not, this would be a really handy feature.
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