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Hello, I'm new to TownNews and Blox so forgive the simple question, but how can I get/find a direct url to an individual asset thats hosted in our Blox (Flex) CMS? For example, if I batch import a bunch of pdfs and then search for them in the CMS, I'd like to be able to add a text link to one of them in another CMS for those viewers but I am unclear what the url is for that specific asset. Thanks for your help!
I think the easiest way is to go to the asset, then click on "live view" (under the "preview") button. It will open the live page and you can get the URL from there.
As soon as the asset is saved and publishable, you can get the URL from the live view link. Even before it shows up on the front page or on other pages. So, this is actually a good way to get a URL in order to send it to an email or other places quickly, because it is immediately available.
However, this is how you would link to the PDF page. We would highly caution against linking directly to any binary element, whether it is a photo or a PDF or a video, because sometimes those storage URLs change and will cause broken links. It is pretty rare, but the URL of the files themselves (not the asset URL, but the binary file) may change.
Getting more and more requests to provide non-employee/non-admin access to review and proof an article (or other) asset.
Creating an admin user with no groups seems like a (less than optimal) work-around.
What are other's doing for this?
We have multiple subscribers asking for the ability to "follow" (receive notifications when assets are posted to) a section. This would enable a notification to the subscriber whenever, for example, a new article is posted in the local sports section. Would your subscribers use this feature if it existed? Have you found a way to use existing functionality to accomplish the same end result? Thanks!
We would like a way to quickly and easily change the start date/time to now to accurately reflect when a story is published. I guess that would look like some sort of button or maybe an extra option by the start date/time in the default article asset window.
We work in a competitive market, and when a story is published is often critical for us. Also, we have times when a reporter or editor will create a file in advance of an event and the start date/time does not get changed to more accurately reflect when a story is published. The difference between when an article asset is created and when an article is published is a big one for us and one we don't want to have to explain to readers.
Yes, we can manually change it to get really close, but it would be simpler if there was a one-click way to make that happen. If there is, I've missed it!
We envision being able to link specific codes to specific subscription services (e.g. a code would allow a discount on a 7 day print subscription but not on a weekend only).
To be fully functional, the code should include options to select either: $ off, % off or length of free trial.
This would be a huge tool for our circulation/promotions department and we imagine would be a welcome addition for other newspapers as well.
--> Why we're asking:
To give a little more background I thought it might be helpful to give a specific use case. While we see tons of potential for this feature, there is a specific promotion we're trying to develop in the next month and are having trouble seeing a way to do it with the current system.
We're planning on a new subscription marketing push for our newspaper. We'd like to offer potential subscribers a free trial subscription (either print and/or online) to the paper.
In order to make things as easy as possible we'd like them to be able to sign-up online (create a new BLOX user account) and instantly begin their online trial (get behind the paywall) without having to enter a credit card. At the end of their trial period of course we'll offer to make them a subscriber and collect their payment information.
A "coupon code" function seems like the best way to make this happen but of course we are open to suggestions if we can already pull off something similar with existing tools. For example: Is there a way to link directly to a hidden subscription service?
Please let me know what y'all think.
Is there a way to add a presentation mode for a thumbnail only image that does not show in the article body? We would use it for stock images that show on the home page but when you click on the article, it won't show since it is not directly relevant to the article.
I think you can do what you want by putting a teaser image on the article and not using the image on the article as a child asset. The child assets will show on the article, but the teaser image will only show in the block that you have on the page.
(Ignore the fact that images don't fit, I just threw some logos on there because they were the images I had handy.)
This is where the teaser image goes on the article
The actual child image is a different logo that shows up at the top of the article
This is what the article looks like in a grid on the page
Does that help you do what you want?
We are trying to get a podcast into Apple Podcasts, but have encountered a number of roadblocks. We continue to receive an error message from Apple that it can't "read our feed." A few Town News teams have diligently been working on this for us for several weeks, but we're still unable to get it validated. We are using the podcast player on our site.
When we reached out to Apple, they said the reason why it can't validate our feed is because it does not have support for HTTP HEAD requests.
Town News says at this time, it does not believe its the 400 request, partially because it does not allow those requests and it would affect all podcasts.
Has anyone else ran into this/issues with Apple validating an RSS feed generated through Town News? If so, what worked for you?
Excellent. Thanks for the feedback Rachel. I'm going to add a feature request to have the section tag selection be a drop-down instead of a text entry field after seeing how picky Apple is about that.
For folks here using Facebook Instant, how are you forcing Facebook to update stories from the RSS feed you've submitted?
We notice a lot that a story that's been "Instant-ized" won't update automatically during the day as the story is updated/saved.
Curious to see if there's a solution someone has found. Thanks.
I am sure we are all getting more requests to take down articles that portray people in a bad light. And even though we are loathe to "rewrite history" by pulling stories off the site, we are sometimes sympathetic to people who are followed by minor past crimes like marijuana possession that now show up high on Google searches. Rather than pulling stories down entirely, can we simply exclude specific articles from search engine updates?
I'm looking for some examples and experiences from other papers who are successfully utilizing (or gave up on) the BLOX calendar feature of their sites.
Ours is currently empty: https://www.galvnews.com/calendar/
But we're looking to see how hard it would be to jump start it and then of course what opportunities there would be to monetize it.
I'd appreciate any thoughts, examples and/or experiences that y'all are willing to share.
What are other sites doing with NIE? We no longer deliver papers to schools, instead giving them access to the E-Edition. We recently went to a metered pay wall, and don't want to give a bunch of accounts out. What are you doing?
TownNews added official support for IP address white listing early 2019. Here is the help document for it
if you have questions our customer service team we be happy to assist.
I can't find a solution to this, other than to set a block up to display something for only a certain time. But that still leaves a flag on a story.
I think it would be helpful if we can automate a way to take a flag off a story (for example, keeping a "breaking" flag on a story for only two hours) after a certain time frame, or to set it to last only a certain time frame.
Perhaps there's already a way for this, but I can't seem to find it. Anyone have any ideas?
What’s new in BLOX CMS
Become a master of efficiency and automation with the latest updates from TownNews. At our June customer webinar, Christine Masters, director of product management, will highlight the most exciting new features from the latest major release of BLOX CMS.
- Super batch processing makes it a snap to update a large selection of assets.
- New promotional button block lets you create dynamic, trackable text buttons.
- New map vendor give you an alternative to Google Maps, no credit card required.
- . . . and more!
I've submitted a ticket about this but would like to see how many other would find this useful.
We would like the ability to "feature" a comment on pages other than articles. With the increased focus industry-wide on a more engaged journalistic approach, this is something I think all TN customers would find useful. For us, the reader has become much more involved in every step of our writing process. We want to combat the recent "don't-read-the-comments" mantra that has become so commonplace.
Ideally, there would be a block that can pull in or pin Comments just like blocks can with Assets. This would allow us to have various blocks that show the latest comments in every section on the homepage, or every comment in a given section, for example.
I thought this might also be possible somehow by embedding the comment as a "widget". I played around with Google Console and was able to pull the html for a comment and paste that into an html block to pull it in, which obviously isn't ideal for several reasons (if the user edited their comment, that wouldn't be reflected, for example). But I didn't see anything like a "comment id" in the code, or in the Comments feature in general anywhere, which is how I would assume this would be done.
Has anyone done something similar or want to do this as well but can't figure out a way?
I followed the instructions listed here to set up Firebase and connect it to BLOX. But when I send the test push notification, nothing happens. The error in the log says "The caller does not have permission."
I deleted my keys and redid everything from the start, and same thing. Don't know where I should look or what I need to do to get it to work. Anyone have a similar problem, or any ideas on how to fix it?
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