Welcome to TownNews.com's customer community! Connect with other TownNews.com customers and with us to suggest features, share best practices and ask questions.

Though TownNews.com representatives often participate in discussions, this is not a customer service site. For immediate help, call 800-293-9576 or submit a support request via our online ticketing system.


Nicholas.farnsworth1 1 year ago in BLOX CMS updated by Eric R 7 months ago 5

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! 

Under review

Requesting Explanation for the Forced Password Reset on October 29th.

Jeff Sebestyen 9 months ago in BLOX CMS updated by Aaron Gillette (Marketing Director, TownNews) 7 months ago 2

At the end of October 2020 all my Admin users were forced to change their password, and it came rather abruptly with no real explanation as to why this took place, nor was there any forewarning that made this seem like a planned feature update.  Was there a data breach of some sort?  

bward (CEO, TownNews) 7 months ago

Hi Aidian,

There was no system wide data breach.  We did see some suspicious activity we saw was limited to a few client accounts. Those clients were notified.

We decided that it was prudent to change all passwords and also institute more stringent passwords to protect our customers.   



Is Email Reach standard with our subscription, or is there an additional cost?

Travis Weik 7 months ago in BLOX CMS updated by Carl Appen 7 months ago 3

I'd like to start using Email Reach at 2 of our properties as a test for the market. Competing papers already use a similar service.

My concern is whether we will take on any additional cost for activating this feature. Is this something we are already paying for? If so, how to I turn the feature on? I've followed the tutorial video and cannot find an Email Reach option in BloxCMS.

Thanks for your help.

Under review

Feature Request: Option to set unpublish date for assets

daniel.buford 7 months ago in BLOX CMS updated 7 months ago 2

Would is be possible to add an option to unpublish an asset on a given date so that an item can be automatically taken down without it being deleted?



Community submissions

Carl Appen 7 months ago in BLOX CMS updated 7 months ago 1

Anyone have creative/useful ideas for accepting and displaying community submissions? Content from a local author, press release or (legacy) calendar events? 

Is the PR Newswire concept (unlimited press releases for a monthly fee) dead in the water? 

How do you decide what sections a user can apply to their submission? 


Batch edit utility - change more than 25 at a time

Sara Hardison 6 years ago in BLOX CMS updated by Kevin M. Cox 7 months ago 29
We have a lot of section tags with hundreds of assets assigned that we are moving around and do change from time to time. The batch edit tool is great, but the limit to only changing 25 at a time makes it quite difficult when we are dealing with the number of assets we are. Would be great to have option to change number of assets you want to change at a time, so 25, 50, 100..etc.

There are several different requests in here:

  1. 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).
  2. 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... 


    Feature request: A column to show child assets

    Lindy Ritz 7 months ago in BLOX CMS 0

    Would it be possible to have a Blox window column to indicate what kind and/or how many child assets are currently attached to an article asset?

    This would be a HUGE time-saver, especially with an aggressive push with video and collections - we wouldn't have to necessarily open (and tie up) articles just to make sure we remembered to attach that video/collection/etc.


    Incorrect Article Title and Preview showing up in Google

    Marshall Hopkins 8 months ago in BLOX CMS updated by Adam Griepentrog 8 months ago 4

    Sent in a ticket for this, but I wanted to also hit up the Community to see if anyone else has seen this:

    I need help fixing a feed or article component problem. We are seeing errors when our articles show up in Google Alerts and I am wondering if it is just a scraping glitch or if we have our feeds set up improperly.

    • Weather information in place of Article Preview.
    • Photo Asset names in place of Article Titles
    • The Menu Bar text in place of Article Preview

    Seem familiar to anyone?



    Show me your newsletter!

    Jesus Sanchez 9 months ago in BLOX CMS updated by Carl Appen 8 months ago 2

    Hello. We are going to increase our focus on our email newsletters in the coming months. Right now our Daily Digest is based on a URL and also includes a few extra blocks for sponsored content, calendars, featured photo, etc.

    We want to take full advantage of the features that are available for newsletters within Blox and would like to see what some other TownNews customers have done to punch up their newsletters.

    I know we would have more options if we worked directly in Constant Contact but our goal is keep building the newsletter within Blox to minimize the work needed.


    Give me your top BLOX sites

    Nick 6 years ago in BLOX CMS updated by abojmous82 8 months ago 19
    As the title of this post says give me what you consider the best BLOX sites. I'm interested in the sites you think have the best design taking news display, speed of loading, organization, etc.

    The reason I ask this is because I'm always trying to improve my sites(we have three BLOX sites) and make them the best sites they can be. BLOX makes it so easy to add content and move it around the page but that also makes it easy to clutter the pages, especially the home page. With my site I try to balance information with simplicity. I would say the most annoying thing I have to deal with is balancing the right-rail with the main content. One seems to always be much longer than the other.

    But I’d love for this to turn into a good discussion because we’re all using the same system, with a few differences here and there, and there are so many BLOX sites out there that it makes it hard to find the really standout ones. If you want to suggest your site, I guess feel free to do that. I’m my worst critic so it's hard for me to critique my own sites. None of the ones I'm suggesting here are my sites...

    I like the design of this site:

    I don’t have any experience with the newer Flex sites but these are nice:
    http://belvoireagleonline.com (I LOVE the left rail menu on this site)

    I recently found Richmond Times-Dispatch. I like how it gives you a good bit of information but doesn’t seem like info-overload. I’m not that fond of the bottom half of the home page.

    Webinar | Introducing BLOX Now, a better mobile app for local media

    Cherry Wolf (Marketing specialist) 3 years ago in BLOX CMS updated by Seema Sharma 8 months ago 3

    Webinar recording now available.

    Taking cues from social media, the BLOX Now mobile app eschews conventional news app design in favor of a single, continuously-scrolling stream of community news and events that keeps users engaged. At our June customer webinar, Susan Bell, BLOX Now senior product manager, and Christine Masters, director of product management, introduced the BLOX Now mobile app.

    Topics included:

    • Increasing user engagement with a hybrid news and information app.

    • Feature highlights, including: in-stream video playback, push notifications, and convenient fly-out menus.

    • Monetizing your app with Google DFP integration.

    • Managing your app, website, and mobile site in one easy workflow.

    • . . . and much more.

    Are you ready to get started . . . now? Webinar recording now available.


    Webinar | Editorial masterclass for BLOX CMS

    Cherry Wolf (Marketing specialist) 9 months ago in BLOX CMS updated 8 months ago 1

    Webinar recording now available.

    Editorial masterclass for BLOX CMS

    At our November customer webinar, Christine Masters, Director of BLOX CMS for TownNews, gave a masterclass to highlight some advanced, and sometimes overlooked, editorial functionality within BLOX CMS.

    Topics included:

    • Using BLOX Notifier to keep readers in the loop and drive social media traffic.
    • Enriching your stories with multimedia content using the drag-and-drop Article Designer.
    • Customizing your site with expert block management tricks—from permissions to scheduling, and beyond.
    • Writing headlines to improve SEO.
    • . . . and much more!

    Ready to get started? Watch it now.

    Under review

    Export custom user fields

    Maureen Reinert 5 years ago in BLOX CMS updated by W. Rags. 9 months ago 6

    Does anyone know how to export the custom fields that we are adding when our users register. I see the data on the Custom tab of the users' accounts, but when I export the users to a csv file the only fields that are exported are

    screenname email account_type firstname lastname createtime authtime country address municipality region postcode phone gender birthday

    There's nothing in the TN documentation about this. The documentation tells you how to add a custom field to the registration form, but it's not much good if we can't export that information.


    Linking advertisement to phone number

    michael 9 months ago in BLOX CMS updated by Maureen Reinert 9 months ago 3

    I'm trying to link a banner advertisement to initiate a phone call. Normally that would be done by using tel:xxx-xxx-xxxx in an HREF. I try to put it into the Link URL: section, but it converts it to tel://xxx-xxx-xxxx which does not work.

    Is there a way to do that?


    Adding moderators to Facebook comment plugin

    Jenna Duncan 12 months ago in BLOX CMS updated by Tom Houston 9 months ago 1

    We keep getting the runaround from FB/Town News but we have no idea how or where to add additional moderators to the Facebook comment plugin on our news website. Anyone have any ideas on how to do this? The person who set up the integration left and we haven't been able to figure out how to actually delete spam comments from news stories. When we asked Facebook, they gave us script that Town News said it doesn't have in the system.