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Under review

Abusing the Report button

Mike Stickler 6 years ago in BLOX CMS updated by Kevin M. Cox 5 months ago 7
Our city was recently debating a "Fairness" ordinance. We had at least one instance where someone used the report button to get a comment taken down (pending approval/moderation) when it obviously was not abusive. I know I can look at the other properties for the comment and see how many times a comment has been reported, but I would like to be able to see a list of users who reported it. I do not want to see the report button used in this manner and if I see a person doing so would love to block them.


Nicholas.farnsworth1 6 months ago in BLOX CMS updated by David Dierker 6 months ago 4

Has anyone ever used webhooks in Blox? Specifically, to update their database?  We use Airtable to store our data and would like to setup a webhook/ zaiper to update and create new records from data collected via forms and other means. 

Any help would be greatly appreciated! 


Parse.ly analytics?

Elizabeth Stephens 5 years ago in BLOX CMS updated by Nicholas.farnsworth1 6 months ago 9

Is anyone using Parse.ly as an additional analytics tool? We're getting a six-month trial, but I'm struggling to get the necessary code working on our site through TownNews support. I thought I'd see if anyone had added it I could take a look at how it was added.


Hi guys!

I am actually working on a more official integration with Parse.ly right now. 

- We will be able to handle the UUID issue with their repeated meta tags implementation (you pass it as parsely-post-id in their script options if you want to add it now). https://www.parse.ly/help/integration/metatags/

- We will also count anything that is considered a "virtual page view" in BLOX (such as galleries, vertical galleries, etc.) as dynamic page views in Parse.ly. 

- It should also have AMP and Facebook Instant Articles integration.

It will probably take 3 - 6 weeks to get through our production queue.

As a side note, when I spoke to them today, they are looking at the ?amp issue right now. That doesn't appear to be coming from BLOX so they are looking at that and will let us know if we can help.


Feature request: Auto-approval for events from trusted users

Chase Doak 10 months ago in BLOX CMS updated by Carl Appen 6 months ago 4

We recently were forced to disable auto-approval of calendar events on billingsgazette.com due to an influx of event submissions from spammers. The submissions, which numbered in the hundreds and were mostly links to illegal livestreams of sporting events and current movie releases, were not caught by the spam filter.

We recently were released from an agreement with a calendar feed provider, and are looking at ways of better utilizing the calendar features built into Blox. Unfortunately, we just don't have the resources to curate and approve every calendar event that comes through. Having some extra features in place to make the process easier would certainly be welcome.

I'm proposing that Blox allow us to create a whitelist of trusted users who frequently submit events. This would allow us to disable auto-approval for spammers and new users, but would allow frequent users to have their events show up without our intervention.

Another option would be to disallow auto-approval for accounts created within a recent time span (ex. require manual approval of events submitted by an account that was created within the last 48 hours, but auto-allow events from older accounts).


Feature Request: Specify a block’s date range in “sorting rules”

Tom Houston 6 months ago in BLOX CMS 0

As a broadcast TV station, we will often create pages with “archived” shows and content. Some of this content can span several years. It would be helpful for us to have the ability to surface assets in a block based on a date range. Ideally this feature would be available in the block’s “sorting rules”.

A date range feature would also come in handy if we were to create a special “news” section that would feature a timeline or back-stories that contribute to our overall coverage.

Our current workaround involves either pinning selected stories to a block and then arranging them in chronological order, or tagging each asset with a common hidden keyword (i.e. #myshow-video-2019)


Feature Request: Two-factor authentication for admin accounts

Kevin M. Cox 6 months ago in BLOX CMS 0

An unauthorized or malicious user gaining access to the backend of either hosted BLOX or TotalCMS could very easily do great harm not only to a newspaper's credibility and reputation but also to the community it serves.

As such, I would like to see the addition of TOTP two-factor authentication for admin accounts in both BLOX and TotalCMS. This would allow newspapers to secure these systems to a higher level than the current password-only authentication allows.

I would be perfectly fine with a simple on/off option that requires all admin accounts to use 2FA, however if we had the ability to get even more granular that would be great as well. In that I mean allowing us to set the 2FA requirement at the Group level when configuring the access rules for a group.

For example, we could require 2FA for anyone with the ability to edit news articles or send push notifications, but not require it for those who only have permission to moderate comments.

1. What problem(s) does this idea solve? Why do you need this idea implemented? Provide as many problems or use cases as possible.

Helps prevent unauthorized access to the backend of publishing systems and greatly reduces the likelihood that a malicious actor could post fake information or subtly edit news articles.

2. How often would you use this feature?

Every day.

3. How many people in your organization would use this feature?

All staff members.


Those of you with paywalls, instant way to get more subscriptons!

Jerry Lee smdailyjournal.com 6 months ago in BLOX CMS updated by Kevin M. Cox 6 months ago 2

On the page customizations for COMMENTING there are currently two options:

1) All users can view comments and post comments,


2) Require subscription to view and post

I would like to figure out a way to have an option that allows everyone to view, but ONLY subscribers to post.

This will increase subscriptions for those of us who charge for access or for commenting.

Non-subscribers will see comments, and some may be inspired to comment back, which would require a paid subscription.

Currently, our options are limited to all or nothing. Having the middle ground option

3) All users can view comments, and subscribers can view and post comments

would generate more subscriptions from those folks who feel the need to respond to comments.


Feature Request for Ad Owl: Preview Ad for Online Only Ads in Ad Owl

Karen Triplett 6 months ago in BLOX CMS 0

I have had customers request to preview an Online Only ad in AdOwl before they submit payment. At this time only the a print ad has a preview.

Under review

Option to export a query of business listings in Marketplace

Jacki Gray 6 years ago in BLOX CMS updated by Nicholas.farnsworth1 6 months ago 2
I don't see an option to export a query of business listings in Marketplace. For example, after doing a search of funeral homes or florists in Marketplace>Businesses, I would like to export that list to use in print. We use the businesses to create online service directories. We would like to use the same information in print (at least business name, address, phone number, logo).
Under review

Email Reach - filter out users who do not have active subscriptions

Kevin M. Cox 6 years ago in BLOX CMS updated by Nicholas.farnsworth1 6 months ago 11
We’re looking to create an email newsletter exclusively for subscribers, as opposed to our normal newsletters that anyone with an account can receive.

As such we’d love to see an option that would allow anyone to sign-up, but on send the system would omit the emails of users who do not have an active subscription at the time of the email.

This would create an automated system that we didn’t have to constantly manage by adding and removing users as subscriptions are bought and expire.

Please let me know what y’all think and if there is a possible this could be implemented.


Video cover art

Ryan Dorgan 2 years ago in BLOX CMS updated by Nicholas.farnsworth1 6 months ago 5

Would love to be able to feature short video clips/loops or even gif files as cover art to be used in the longform presentation. Would this be possible?


Whitelisted calendar users

Braxton Carroll 3 years ago in BLOX CMS updated by Carl Appen 6 months ago 1

Due to past experiences with spam and trolls, we have to moderate calendar submissions. 

It would be great if there was a way to whitelist particular users that we know post events that do not violate any site policies. These include local service organizations, churches, community groups, etc. Being whitelisted would auto-approve their events and bypass the queue for unapproved events.


Ad Blocker Detection should work WITH, but independently of, subscriptions

Nathan B 6 months ago in BLOX CMS 0

MAIN POINT: Ad blocking is a rapidly growing problem, and TownNews's Ad Blocker Detection tool needs to be more usable by all clients, regardless of their subscription model (or lack thereof).

We're trying to implement Ad Blocker Detection on our site, but we don't currently have a subscriber model we're ready to pursue (we're free-to-read, and our competitor uses a pretty strict paywall, so this has been our competitive advantage and we've grown dramatically as a result).

But TN support tells us the Ad Blocker Detection tool requires subscription integration in order to work.

I understand the rationale behind tying Ad Blocker Detection to subscriptions, but that's very limiting and I think unnecessary. I'd like to see Ad Blocker Detection work, period, regardless of subscription integration. Then websites that want a premium subscription model that doesn't show ads and allows ad blocking could have that too.


Does anyone know a way to mask URLs in an umbrella site?

Kim Mason BGDN 7 months ago in BLOX CMS updated by W. Rags. 6 months ago 8

We are moving to an umbrella site and found out that this will cause all our sites to have a url with the base site.  For example our TV station is currently bgdailynews.com/wdnz instead of wdnz.com.  That address will take you there but we would like the browser window to show wdnz.com.  TownNews has told us they don't have a way to provide masking to accomplish this.  Has anyone found a way to do it on their own?


Anyone else getting spammed on form submissions?

Elizabeth Stephens 10 months ago in BLOX CMS updated by W. Rags. 7 months ago 3

We have been getting tons of spam submissions via a feedback form on our site. It's regarding CBD and vaping stuff. TownNews says it's people submitting so a spam filter or recaptcha wouldn't stop it. But just curious if others are seeing anything similar. Ours just started in the last month.