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.

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Feature Request: Upsell Reporting

Carl Appen 9 months ago in BLOX CMS 0

There should be reporting options for Upsell Manager. 

Right now, BLOX has stock reports for 

-Orders by category through Ad-Owl

-Transactions and Revenue through Forms 

-Subscription revenue by service 

-CPM reports from Ad Manager

Yet there is not a way to set up or see a report of Upsells. 


We have a number of upsell packages that users can buy. Some are standard on BLOX, like highlighted "news" releases and "Enhanced" business listings. Others are custom for our audience, like a Calendar option to buy a spot on a daily briefing podcast. Upsells are great for us. They're user-friendly and drive passive, engaging revenue. 


There is not an efficient way to appropriately allocate revenue. 


A pr firm contributes a press release and buys a $60 upsell to feature it for a day. Our Accounting Manager gets an email notification from BLOX and sees $60 deposited in PayPal. A similar process would happen for every other Upsell. At the end of the week, they have to use some combination of PayPal, Outlook and Upsell Manager in order to allocate the revenue appropriately. 

With reporting options similar to, say, Forms' Top Products, our Accounting Manager could receive a weekly report of Upsell Revenue by Type. Then they could consolidate bookkeeping based on which packages were purchased. 


There is not an efficient way for leads to be identified. 


a local physical therapist buys a listing on the daily Health newsletter every Friday for a month. Our Sales Manager would have to recognize the pattern based on the newsletters or irregular email notifications.  

With reporting options similar to, say, Editorial's Published, our Sales Manager could receive a monthly report of (newsletter) Upsells by Business. Then they could assign a rep to call that physical therapist and pitch them a contract that includes the daily Health newsletter. 

Reporting options would also make it much easier to identify and react to trends. Example: We could see that venues have begun opening up if music-related upsells become more frequent. That would tell us to promote the Arts section more or test additional Calendar upsell options. 

Would upsell reporting help anyone else? 

Under review

Confusing users with an admin login link?

Bob Rose 10 months ago in BLOX CMS updated by Kevin M. Cox 9 months ago 8

The latest Flex release said: "We are adding a new "admin link" to login screens which will be used by TownNews staff only."
So now, when users go to log in, they see an Admin login link ... thinking maybe that's where the log in to administer their account (change passwords, billing, etc.). When they click they are taken to or blox admin panel, where their login efforts will be unsuccessful. 

Question: How does having the Admin Login link their help users?
If we really needed it... couldn't we hide it somewhere on the site less prominently, or use lotame to only expose it to admins?

Under review

How to not display "updated" status above article

John Smitty 10 months ago in BLOX CMS updated by Christine Masters (Director of BLOX CMS) 9 months ago 3

Hi guys,

Quick question. Say there was an article you didn't want to show the "updated" status for next to the date. Is there a way to selectively hide that for a particular article? And if so, how? For instance, in Blox, there's a function for the paywall bypass, where we type in under 'custom properties' "subscription bypass" and "true" - can someone please let me know if there's something like this for not showing if an article was updated?

Thanks for your time.


Hi John!

Can you describe a little more about your use case? For example, if you're just making a small text change, and don't want to declare it as a real update, you can use this feature: https://help.bloxcms.com/article_1918d444-1034-11e8-bec3-4b39d1d4d4c7.html


Is there a way to show the number of votes cast in a poll?

Sam Watson 9 months ago in BLOX CMS updated by Christine Masters (Director of BLOX CMS) 9 months ago 1

Unless we are missing something, there does not appear to be a way to display how many votes have been cast in a poll. The results only show the percentages. Is there a setting to show the actual votes?


The counts are there, they are just hidden by default. You can use CSS to display them or move them around:

.tnt-chart-bar text.tnt-chart-count {
    display: block;
.tnt-chart-bar text.tnt-chart-percent {
    display: none;

If you display both, they will essentially be on top of each other, so you'll have to use CSS to move one of them around.


Webinar | The top 10+ new BLOX CMS features and additions of 2020 (so far)

Cherry Wolf (Marketing specialist) 10 months ago in BLOX CMS updated 9 months ago 1

Webinar recording now available

From new integrations and functionality, to design layouts and blocks, we’re constantly working to improve our products. At our August customer webinar, Christine Masters, product director for BLOX CMS, showed off the recent BLOX CMS features and updates you need to know about.

Topics included:

  • Reinvigorating your site with new design features
  • Improving your subscription conversions with promo codes and special rates
  • Increasing open rates for push notifications with emojis
  • Using Fotomoto photo sales to drive more revenue from your original photography
  • . . . and much more!

Ready to get started? Watch it now.


Reporter Analytics

Nic Stevens 9 months ago in BLOX CMS updated by Joe Hansen (Product manager) 9 months ago 1

Does anyone have a good way to pull the number of stories as well as length from BLOX? I'm trying to create a report to track how many stories per week each reporter is putting into BLOX and how long they are. I'm finding how many but not how long. 


Nic, we have a new deep analytics platform called Data Insights that provides this data as well as a great deal more. You can get some information about it here https://townnews.com/news_room/townnews-to-launch-data-insights-a-powerful-new-way-for-media-companies-to-analyze-and/article_b0e65482-1db5-11ea-9b8b-3b88e060517c.html or contact your sales representative to get a demo of the product.


Feature request: Summary options

scott.rada 9 months ago in BLOX CMS 0

There is currently a 40-word limit built into the templates for summaries in RSS. I'd suggest having a URL setting where you can define desired number of words and/or use full summary when one exists.


NowApp custom alert tone

Eric R 10 months ago in BLOX CMS 0

I would strongly suggest that you add the ability for us to have a custom alert tone for the NowApp.  Having a distinct alert tone sets our push notifications apart from all other news apps (or for that matter, any other sounds your device might make).

Several other news apps have this capability, and I'd like to see the NowApp have this as well.

Under review

Story edit button for logged in admins on public site (like Wordpress)

Kevin M. Cox 4 years ago in BLOX CMS updated 10 months ago 3

I wanted to make the suggestion for Wordpress-style behavior that would display an Edit button on every article when the system detects that the logged in user is an admin. Clicking the button would then take the user to the asset in the BLOX admin for editing the story.

This would be very handy when an editor notices a typo and needs to quickly make a fix.

Now for papers like us that have TotalCMS obviously it would be much more complicated to implement; but wow, it would be awesome if it could be pulled off and open the TotalCMS admin panel with that asset selected in a search.

Either way it would be a cool feature for publications that only use Town News for their website.


Buttons for Posting to Social Media

dprint 10 months ago in BLOX CMS 0

We want to suggest a button in the backend for banner ads to be able to send our ads to our social media pages. We have customers that are currently requesting that their website ads be pushed out on social media for an upcharge. Creating these buttons would make this easy and efficient for us to do quickly instead of having to log into each individual account and post it. I know this is possible, because our classifieds at https://classifieds.douglas-budget.com/ allow us to share this when you click on one of the ads.


Feature request/bug fix: Scroll wheel functionality on e-edition pages

Chase Doak 10 months ago in BLOX CMS 0

A reader came into our office today with a couple of e-edition questions (one was about how to print portions of the e-edition - I started a feature request for this a few months back https://community.townnews.com/communities/1/topics/1241-feature-request-e-edition-clip-and-print-tool)

He said that he often uses the auto-scroll feature that is built into most mouse devices that have a scroll wheel, where if you click the wheel, a cursor pops up allowing the user to scroll up or down at an adjustable speed. That functionality is disabled in the e-edition due to the click-and-drag hand cursor that works with the left mouse button. I'm wondering if it's possible to re-enable the scroll wheel/third button functionality without disabling the hand cursor. If you need further clarification as to what I am talking about, let me know


Feature Request: Auto-moderation, hide comments instead of removing them

Kevin M. Cox 11 months ago in BLOX CMS 0

We had a reader make a suggestion that I like and want to submit as a feature request.

Currently, when the abuse report auto-moderation is tripped the comment is completely removed from the website and replaced with text that reads "comment deleted."

How about giving sites the configuration option to have these auto-moderated comments hidden by default instead of automatically removed. The system could display something along the lines of "This comment has been reported as inappropriate and hidden from view. To read it click here:"

It could then unfurl and display after the user has acknowledged they want to read it anyways.

If an admin later approves the comment that warning would disappear and it would become un-hidden by default again.

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

Allows the automating hiding of potentially inappropriate comments while preventing brigading that allows users to completely remove a comment they disagree with until an admin has time to review it.

2. How often would you use this feature?


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

All readers.

Under review

Abusing the Report button

Mike Stickler 7 years ago in BLOX CMS updated by Kevin M. Cox 11 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.

Parse.ly analytics?

Elizabeth Stephens 5 years ago in BLOX CMS updated by Nicholas.farnsworth1 11 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 1 year ago in BLOX CMS updated by Carl Appen 11 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).