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.
Under review

Does anyone use Flickr?

Christine Masters (Director of Product Management) 5 months ago in BLOX CMS • updated 5 months ago 3

I'm considering removing Flickr from the social accounts area on the User Profile page. It has changed a lot, been sold to SmugMug, getting rid of 1 TB of free storage, etc. We have very little use of it currently in user accounts.

Is it important to anyone - maybe photographers? - who would still want it?

Under review

Webinar | Introducing BLOX Notifier: A new way to manage social and push notifications

Cherry Wolf (Marketing specialist) 6 months ago in BLOX CMS • updated 5 months ago 7

Join us on March 14th @ 10:30 AM CDT

Introducing BLOX Notifier: A new way to manage social and push notifications

At our March customer webinar, Christine Masters, director of product management at TownNews, will introduce BLOX Notifier—an all-new BLOX CMS application that makes keeping users informed with Facebook, Twitter, BLOX Now App, email, and desktop notifications quicker and easier than ever.

Topics will include:

  • An overview of the new BLOX Notifier application
  • Using BLOX Notifier to create, schedule, and distribute messages and notifications
  • Streamlining your publishing workflow with automated trigger rulesets
  • . . . and much more!

Ready to get started? Join us on March 14th at 10:30 AM CDT.

Sign up today.

Want to take in the webinar on your own time? Register now and we’ll send you a link to the webinar recording once it’s ready.


Small feature request -- Ability to change close "X" on promo blocks to light or dark

Ben McCarty 5 months ago in BLOX CMS 0

We've had some issues with folks being unable to see the close button in the interstitial promo blocks. The problem is it's impossible to see on the block if it's black in front of an image, or if it's white against a default white background. It can be changed manually via css, but this would need to be changed anytime the layout of a promo block is changed. By adding the "light/dark" option to the close button text in the block options it would make it a quick adjustment that could be done via the admin panel. 

 1) What problem(s) does this idea solve? Why do you need this idea implemented? Provide as many problems or use cases as possible.
Makes it easier for users to see the button and not got frustrated by being unable to close promo interstitial. Would make it easy for administrators to correct small design oversights. . 

 2) How often would you use this feature?
All the time

3) How many people in your organization would use this feature?
Every site manager and web staff -- appx 12-20. 


Auto-save feature overwriting assets

Robert Armstrong 11 months ago in BLOX CMS • updated by Elizabeth Stephens 5 months ago 6

One of my colleagues brought this to my attention. I have played around with it, and it seems like a proper bug with the auto-save feature.

User 1: Makes edits to asset, window closes without proper save/close (due to needing to leave/shutdown, crash or whatever.) User 1 doesn't return to asset.

User 2: Makes further edits to asset, even publishes.

User 1: Returns to asset manager. Auto-save restore dialogue pops up. User 1 restores asset. Asset now reverts back to User 1 edits, overwriting everything User 2 did. Text and edits revert, flags and other settings are also reverted, such as the do not publish flag being set again. Even if User 1 selects "cancel," the asset is overwritten.

Has anyone else encountered this? What do you do to get around it? I don't see an option to turn off auto-save (for a short-term fix.) Maybe there should be a warning that there is a newer version available? Options could be:

There is a new version available!

  • Discard
  • Restore (Overwrite)
  • Restore (New Asset)

Feature Request for UI: Shorten browser tab titles

Andrea 5 months ago in BLOX CMS • updated 5 months ago 2

I manage multiple sites and have multiple tabs open every day on two monitors. 

With the new interface, browser tab titles are longer and often hide the site they belong to (since the sitename is listed at the end of the browser tab title). 

If "Editorial" could be abbreviated to "Ed.", as well as taking out the space before and after the "/", would definitely help clear up some real estate on the browser tab titles. 

Design = Des. 
Statistics = Stats.

If this annoys you, too, please click the vote button below to try to get this changed sooner instead of later. 



Alignment for Related Assets needs to be fixed

Nathan Bechtold 1 year ago in BLOX CMS • updated by Dustin B. 5 months ago 2

When I add a Child Asset to an article, but do not actually drop the Child Asset into the body of the article, I don't like what it does to the alignment of my page: it actually ADDS a "left rail" and shifts the entire text of the article to the right. But the only thing in the "left rail" is an image of that asset I added... so it looks really odd.

This is only an issue on desktop, not on mobile.

It creates an additional problem when I add an Article as a Child Asset to another Article. Now, since I'm in the Parent Article, it's not too much trouble to simply place each Child Article into the body of the Parent Article. But it has now affected the alignment in all of those Child Articles -- because it added the Parent Asset to the "left rail" for each of those Child Articles! So now I have to go back into each of the Child Articles and drop the new Parent into the body of those articles, to fix that alignment.

This is terribly cumbersome and awfully time-consuming, but it's necessary if I don't want most of my articles to be misaligned on desktop view.

The easy fix is to create a default that adds all Related Assets into a horizontal "block" at the end of each article.

Under review

New BLOX UI: We like it -- with one caveat :)

Kyle Whitfield 6 months ago in BLOX CMS • updated by Robert Armstrong 5 months ago 4

Refreshed blox UI really taking off here. One thing bugging us a bit.

-- Searchable assets aren't color-coded anymore

It's just tough to scan thru and easily distinguish, esp pdf vs. img

See attached screenshot. Any suggestions or consideration to reverting back or adjusting?


Infinity Scroll Limintation

Kevin M. Cox 10 months ago in BLOX CMS • updated by Christine Masters (Director of Product Management) 6 months ago 4

After a lot of back and forth with support we finally figured out why Infinity Scroll was not working on our main section pages:

"Blocks with infinity scroll enabled won't work with a dynamic setting (section tags set to 'Matches current URL or descendant'). There will need to be a hook set (setting a section, keyword, flag, etc.)."

This limitation does not appear to be documented anywhere at the present time.

This means Infinity Scroll will not work at all on the default Town News blocks that get assigned to every top level URL and all sub-sections (through inheritance) in the system. I assume most customers are using these across most areas of their sites.

Having to work around this will greatly increase the number of blocks needed for a site if they want to use Infinity Scroll on every section front. It could easily scale into the hundreds of blocks needed for a site. Then every time a style change is desired, such as showing the comment count in the summary block, it'll require editing each of those hundreds of blocks instead of the standard dynamic one.

Every single sub-section URL will need it's own block created instead of being able to inherit the blocks from the parent URL.

With this limitation Infinity Scroll is basically dead in the water for large scale deployment.

I really hope Town News is working to fix this but I wanted to post it here for wider awareness because before the answer came back the template developers I was told that there were other sites having the same trouble I was.


Feature request - infinite story scroll

doug nelson 1 year ago in BLOX CMS • updated by Christine Masters (Director of Product Management) 6 months ago 6

I would like to request an infinite scroll feature. When you get to the bottom of one story the next story published in chronological order shows up on the same webpage. This goes on for ever. 

Under review

Apple News Format

Kevin M. Cox 3 years ago in BLOX CMS • updated by Robert Armstrong 6 months ago 8

Apple is finally opening up ANF to everyone. We've been pushing an RSS feed to Apple News for a while now, but publishing in ANF will over a more robust experience to readers.

Information on integrating the format here: Use a CMS with News Publisher

Any thoughts on getting BLOX to push out in ANF? There are already WordPress and Drupal plugins available.

Under review

Users bypassing paywall with timing trick

Kevin M. Cox 6 months ago in BLOX CMS • updated by Patrick O'Lone (Director of Software Development) 6 months ago 12

It seems an enterprising non-subscriber has found a little glitch to access articles behind the paywall and his instructions are now making the rounds on social media.

Here are the instructions:

"I'm not too sure if I should be posting this. However, as someone who does PC/IT work and repair, I figure I could let some of y'all in on a way to read most of, if not all the article's without paying. (On Android using Chrome) Basically, I go to the article I want to read that is not free. Then I select "Request Desktop Site" in the browser settings. (the three dots on the top right)  Once that loads, (it puts a minor delay on the article loading) all of the article is displayed in its entirety for just a moment or two. A few seconds later the pop up to sign up for a subscription block's it all out. Now it's that small delay, prior to the subscription pop up, that we are after. In that delay, I do a screen shot of the article. (You might have to refresh the page and try again if you weren't quick enough the first time) After I successfully capture it, I then just read it via my picture gallery. If it's longer than my initial screen grab, 

I try a second time and scroll really quick to encompass the remainder of the article with another screen shot. If it's too long for those methods, I do a complete screen record. (video recording of your entire screen) then I go back through the recording and look frame by frame. Hope this helps some of y'all. You're welcome."

We've tested it out and have been able to confirm it works. While it isn't easy enough that I think we'll start losing subscribers over it, it also isn't that complicated to pull off.

I'm actually seeing it pretty consistently even on desktop browsers right now. It seems that the delay before the paywall message appears is much longer than it used to be. It looks like Town News might need to adjust the timing of how things are rendered so the full article isn't displayed until after the user has been evaluated as having an active subscription.

Have any of y'all come across readers doing this or something like it to bypass the paywall?

Under review

Form submissions into Editorial app as article assets

David Marsters 5 years ago in BLOX CMS • updated by Jesus Sanchez 6 months ago 7
We use the forms platform for a lot of things, and in many cases, the submissions we get ultimately have to get put into the form of article assets into the Editorial application. It would be great if there were a way for this to happen automatically. An example would be a candidate questionnaire form for elections - ultimately the text is going to get used as an article asset, and right now we have to manually paste it in and format it.

I recognize that not all forms are soliciting information that we would want in our Editorial assets, even if they came over with "Do Not Publish" checked, so perhaps this would be a setting on the form that you could tell it do export to Editorial on a case-by-case basis.

Thanks very much.
We do this for some things now - like Letters to the Editor can be submitted through the User Dashboard, and those will automatically become assets.

But, for fielded data that becomes more difficult because we don't always know the format that the resulting asset should have.

For some simple submissions though, this could be done in the User Dashboard.
Under review

Subscriptions - "Upselling" without expiring current service?

Ian McPhee 6 months ago in BLOX CMS • updated by Rich Griffin | Product Manager (Product Manager) 6 months ago 2

Hey ya'll,

We recently launched our Subscriptions (we call it Membership) and there are five different price levels, including the free trial. Yesterday we got a call from someone who signed up for the lowest paid tier for one year, about a month ago. They now want to up their membership to the top level - something hopefully everyone will want to do at some point! Unfortunately, they ran into issues, already having an "active" subscription. My temporary solution was to manually expire their service on my end and then have them sign up for the new one, but this is obviously not ideal. 

I almost posted this as a "Feature Request," but figured it has to already exist, I must just be missing something. 

Any ideas?


Purchasing a different package is indeed possible when you have an active service. A Customer service ticket was resolved on the issue. There was apparently some miscommunication with the subscriber.


Subscription reporting improvements - cancelled subscriptions and new subscribers

Jay Allred 2 years ago in BLOX CMS • updated by Ian McPhee 6 months ago 1

Try as we might, we cannot find a report / reports that help us keep tabs on subscriptions that do not renew (a.k.a. lost customers). Here's what we suggest be either changed or added.

1. Create a report that let's us track non-renewed subscriptions by customer name. For example, if Amy Jones' monthly or annual subscription is scheduled to renew, but does not - allow a way for us to get a list of those folks. We want to be able to contact them and find out why, win them back.

2. Create a report that allows us to track first-time subscribers by name. Specifically, we are interested in the people that made the initial decision to purchase a membership. Currently, there appears to be no simple way to track this critical data.


Webinar | Digital advertising 101: Optimizing your local and programmatic ad inventories

Cherry Wolf (Marketing specialist) 7 months ago in BLOX CMS • updated 6 months ago 1

Webinar recording now available.

Digital advertising 101: Optimizing your local and programmatic ad inventories

Navigating the ever-changing landscape of digital advertising can be a challenge. At our February customer webinar, Patty Bristol, Ad Ops program manager at TownNews, shared best practices to help you better optimize your overall digital advertising inventory. Using real-life examples and known challenges, Patty showed how using local and programmatic together can create the optimal digital advertising revenue stream.  

Topics included:

  • An overview of digital advertising, including commonly used terms
  • Generating revenue from local and programmatic ad sales
  • Introducing eCPM—the key metric for revenue growth
  • Tips for packaging and pricing digital ad inventory
  • . . . and much more!

Ready to get started? Watch it now.