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Watch it now | Digital Design Boot Camp: Crafting articles that engage

Cherry Wolf (Marketing specialist) 3 weeks ago updated 2 weeks ago 1

Webinar recording now available.

Though videos and podcasts are all the rage, the workaday, unsung article still accounts for more than half of all page views across the TownNews network. How can you make the most of this potential? At our October webinar, Christine Masters, director of product management for TownNews, led a panel discussion on easy design strategies you can use to create high-impact articles that grow and engage your audience.

Topics included:

  • Developing your article design “North Star” game plan, with KPIs
  • Creating beautiful, magazine-style pages with our built-in Article Designer
  • Distributing your content to AMP, Facebook, and other platforms
  • Keeping your audience engaged with push notifications
  • . . . and much more!

Ready to get started? Webinar recording now available.


Save search result format

Erica Smith 4 years ago updated by Kevin M. Cox 2 weeks ago 4

In the editorial section of Blox or TCMS, I can add columns, shuffle them around and just generally set things up in a way that's efficient for me. (Sort by start date, for example, or mark which stories have a site tag or which stories are marked "do not publish.") The next time I log in, the page will be set up the same way. That's great.

But when I'm in an asset and want to add child or sibling assets, the search results don't have the same functionality — I can show or hide columns that are or aren't relevant, move columns around to find what I want, but the next time I go to add a child or sibling asset, I have to do to the same thing again. It's time-consuming and, well, annoying. Any chance of being able to save those search result formats on a user basis?



mmeszoros 2 months ago 0

Trying to copy and paste is so frustrating. I would love to see it be cleaned up in two ways:

1. When you're pasting plain text, have what you paste appear right where you left the cursor. Now it creates a return before and after that. I don't understand why. It just makes the process longer.

2. Similarly, when you paste copy taken from the body of an article, can you make it so it doesn't jump that text to the bottom of the window? Again, it's just a pointless thing that slows you down. 


Webinar | Ad Tech 101: Understanding ad trends, platforms, and positions

Cherry Wolf (Marketing specialist) 3 months ago updated 2 months ago 1

Webinar recording now available.

At our August customer webinar, Joe Hansen, Senior Product Manager for TownNews, continued our series on digital advertising. We discussed current trends—including an update on the impact of viewability—and where the future of digital advertising is headed.

Topics included:

  • An overview of the TownNews iQ Ad Ops and Google Ad Manager 360 programs
  • Using HTML5 creative ad templates in Google Ad Manager
  • The differences between Fixed Ads, Smart Ads, Infinity Ads, and Automatic Article ads
  • . . . and much more!

Ready to get started? Watch it now.


Feature request: Add batch editing of assets within a collection

Dave Ellis 2 years ago updated by anonymous 3 months ago 7

Don't know if this is the appropriate means for suggesting an improvement, but here goes. There really needs to be a batch edit option within a collection.

I just pulled in a collection through syndication from the Times-Dispatch that included over 100 images of Dale Earnhardt Jr. Since they were not flagged appropriately, the "Buy now" button was appearing on the majority of images. The images all had varied titles and slugs, so my only recourse in flagging them as AP or contributed was to open each file > select the appropriate flag > save and close.

Easy work, but time consuming and unnecessarily repetitive.

This type of situation happens at least a couple of times per week.

Adding a batch edit function to the collections would be an easy fix.


Cover art doesn't scale on mobile

Beth OMalley 3 months ago 0

Cover art presentation doesn't "scale" on mobile -- the image doesn't appear at full-width on the mobile screen. That behavior is not documented in the Town News documentation. It would be helpful if all behavior was documented: 



Webinar | Your game plan for big revenue and engagement from prep football

Webinar recording now available

Your game plan for big revenue and engagement from prep football

Kick off your own turnkey high school football contests that convert local sports fans into lucrative repeat visitors. At this customer webinar, Doug Green, product manager for TownNews, showed how GamesPerform from TownNews gives you everything you need to launch hyper-engaging sports challenges that grab your audience’s attention, and keep them coming back.

Learn how to:

  • Let players compete with others, test their knowledge against your experts, and follow their progress with detailed stats.
  • Offer local advertisers a variety of high-visibility banner positions and contest sponsorship opportunities.
  • Extract big value from your programmatic advertising impressions with Google Ad Manager.
  • . . . and much more!

Ready to boost your revenue and audience engagement with turnkey high school pick’em contests?

Watch it now.


Is there a most popular block for Email?

Marshall Hopkins 4 months ago updated 4 months ago 2

Or how would you create one out of the headline list block?


Ads block text

dakota 8 months ago updated by Joe Hansen (Product manager) 6 months ago 3

We've received many, many complaints that ads block out text in the phone app. We've contacted customer service but nothing was done. This is a real issue for our phone users.


Is anyone using the BLOX podcast feed feature?

David Rouse 6 months ago updated 6 months ago 5

We are thinking about adding a podcast at our paper, and I've been looking at the BLOX documentation about setting up a /search/ url to create a home for the podcast feed - but I'm not quite able to visualize how this is supposed to work. It would be nice to see another BLOX site that hosts podcasts to see how it looks and to learn how it was configured. I'd like to have both an iTunes friendly RSS feed, as well as a way to have an asset page for each episode with show notes and a link to the audio. The answer "we have a podcast, but don't host it with BLOX" would also be an interesting.


Allow for downloading a csv of notification send times/dates by channel

Beth OMalley 6 months ago 0

To make compiling analytics on pushes easier, would be so helpful to be able to prepare a downloadable report of all pushes sent to a particular channel, with options on what columns to include in the report. 


Webinar | Introducing BLOX Offers: Digital offers for the mobile generation—no clipping required

Cherry Wolf (Marketing specialist) 6 months ago updated 6 months ago 0

At our May customer webinar, Doug Green, product manager for TownNews, will introduce BLOX Offers and show how you can launch a turnkey digital coupon site that drives engagement and thrills advertisers.

Topics will include:

  • An in-depth overview of BLOX Offers
  • The benefits of coupons in the digital age
  • Tips you can use to launch a successful coupon site
  • . . . and much more!

Ready to get started? Join us on May 2nd at 10:30 AM CDT.


Notifier Feature Request Ideas

Allie Peters 7 months ago updated by Christine Masters (Director of Product Management) 6 months ago 2

1. Is there a way to trigger repeat notifications on the same asset? This is a fairly big deal, as breaking news stories are constantly updated as more details are available. The same story could be sent out 3 or 4 times.

2. Is there a way to define custom Facebook preview text? Currently, it seems Notifier grabs the story lede. Could, perhaps, the ‘Summary’ area on an article asset to define custom preview text? Of course, if no Summary text exists, it could default back to the story lede.

3. I’ve attached two images – one shows a Twitter post via Zapier/Buffer; one shows a Twitter post via Blox Notifier. You’ll notice some repetition with the lead text, as it’s also in the story link preview. Ideally, we would like tweets could be structured more like the Buffer version that is a photo post. That means: Structured as a photo post (<Raw Enclosure @URL> element) Text (<Title> <Raw Link>)


    Hi Allie!

    I'll go through each item step by step:

    1. Currently, you can re-notify a message by just posting an additional manual message. You can do this ahead of time (one post today, one post tomorrow) or when needed for breaking news. The automatic trigger will not re-trigger (which is good, because you wouldn't want that) - but if you create a new message for breaking news, it will re-post it.

    2. To define a custom Facebook message, you can type the message in the notifier message area. I believe that it will also use the Summary text as well.

    However, you may be talking about the summary that is in the news "card" area on Facebook, which is scraped from the page itself. See my docs here:


    3. What you're describing here is the "Twitter card" layout, which is specified on the page that is scraped by Twitter. For the example you have there, Butter is overriding the card type through their API.

    Usually, this is something we have by default as part of Flex templates. We have built-in logic that will specify a large photo in most circumstances. For some reason, this isn't showing on pantagraph. If you could submit a CRM ticket to see if there is something custom on this site or why the Twitter card logic isn't displaying for you.

    Let me know if you have more questions!