WARNING: There is a known issue with iOS8 that keep photos and videos from uploading. This is an iOS issue and there is no workaround from TownNews.

You can still create articles using BLOX Go!

Table of Contents

 

Overview

BLOX Go is a mobile user-interface that allows users to access and manage BLOX CMS on the go, utilizing modern mobile technologies such as tablets and smartphones. The standard desktop user interface, which is usually accessed from office or home computers, is not completely compatible with the wide variety and quickly evolving mobile technologies in use by many professionals today. Just as Touch 5 Mobile offers a mobile and streamlined version of your online publication, BLOX Go offers you a similar experience for adding content to the CMS. 

The initial launch of BLOX Go does not mirror the complete functionality of the desktop UI. Rather, the intent is to provide you with a reporter tool which focuses on the core tasks of writing articles and uploading media. More capabilities will be added in the future, increasing the number of applications you will be able to utilize. Our goal is to maintain a "light-weight", responsive format that allows for fast loading on mobile devices. Sufficiently modern mobile units are directed straight into the mobile UI. Tablets and iPads also have the ability to switch between the desktop and mobile UIs after logging in, allowing you to complete reporting tasks from the mobile platform, and more in-depth content management from the desktop version.

BLOX Go is compatible with any browser possessing support for HTML5 standards. Essentially, this means it works with iOS 6 (Safari and Chrome), and Android 4.0 or higher (Chrome browser only).  

Main Menu

Upon entering the URL for your BLOX CMS Admin, the CMS will determine the type of device you are using. If you are on a standard desktop, you will be directed to the full site. If you are using a smartphone or tablet, you are automatically taken to BLOX Go's Main Menu.

The Main Menu provides you with several options. From the top half of the main screen, you can:  

The bottom of the screen allows you to choose to:

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Write an article

The Write an article option brings up a very simplified version of the Asset Editor, with only a few options for categorizing or supplementing the article. If Flags (other than Breaking) or multiple Sections need to be assigned, Child assets other than Image or Video need to be related, or many other option found on the tab subs needs to be used, the article asset can be created here, and then edited further from a desktop computer.

Full CMS Article (new):

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BLOX Go Write an article:

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Within the Write an article screen, there is no indication of required vs. non-required fields such as the red underline on field names that displays in the standard CMS Admin. However, be aware that you must have a Title. Section and all other information, while helpful in displaying and categorizing your asset, are supplementary.  

In total, the screen has seven areas in which to enter information, select sections or settings, and upload media.

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Title: This is a required field.

Content: Enter your article content here. While not offering as many options as the WYSIWYG, you are able to do everything you would need to in the course of creating a standard article.  

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Start date/time: If this field is left blank, the asset will publish immediately upon saving. Tapping in the date/time field brings up a wheel selector which allows you to scroll through the date, hour, minute, and AM/PM rolls to make your selection.

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Section: Tapping the Section field brings up the list of your publication's sections. Scroll through the list and choose the section in which you want this asset to appear. Unlike the full BLOX CMS, only one section can be selected. If one section has already been chosen, selecting another will replace the original section.

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Keywords: Keywords help to associate one asset with another, migrate content to the appropriate block, and enhance your Search Engine Optimization. We generally recommend at least five keywords per asset. Type the keywords in, separating each with a comma.

Checkboxes:  

  • Flag as breaking: Select this box if you would like your asset to be flagged as "Breaking News".
  • Do not publish: Regardless of the start date/time entered above, if this box is checked the asset will not appear on the front end. The default setting is that this box is not checked.
  • Share location: When this box is checked, the Mobile UI will use the location information provided by your mobile device (given as Latitude/Longitude) to populate the Location information for the asset. When placed in a mapping block, this information will be used to generate a map. This is useful if, for example, if you are submitting a story about a warehouse fire while you are at the fire location. You may not want to check this box and share your location information if you have returned home from the fire and are submitting the article from your living room as this could cause a map of your home's location to publish.

Media: The Choose Files button brings up a browser window from which you can select photos or videos from your device to associate with the article as Child assets. It is possible to select and upload multiple files at one time by holding the CTRL key as you click on the files. Once uploaded, a preview of the media files will appear in the Media section.  

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Once uploaded, the only option available within the media is to Remove files. You are not able to do any photo or video editing from BLOX Go.

As you are unable to open the Media files from BLOX Go, they will be automatically assigned the same name as the article Title. Multiple media files (such as the two shown above) will share the name. There will be no differentiation in the CMS Asset workspace.

When you are satisfied with your article, select Create article to save and close. A pop up window then appears from which you can select your next task.

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Continue editing:  This option returns you to the article that was just created.  Make any further desired changes then select Create article again to save and close.

Write another:  Selecting Write Another opens a new Write an article screen in which you can follow the same procedure to create a new article asset.

Back to menu:  This button takes you to the Main Menu, from which you can select a different task or Log Out.

Upload standalone media

Selecting Upload standalone media opens a screen within which you can upload Image and Video assets.

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Clicking Choose Files brings up a browser window from which you can select the file or files you wish to upload. It is possible to select and upload multiple files at one time by holding the CTRL key as you click on the files. After the selected file or files upload, a screen appears with a preview of the file and options for entering a Title,CaptionStart date/timeSection, and Keywords.

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Of the fields shown above, the only one that is required is Title. The others are optional, but each allows for better asset categorization.  

Title: This is a required field.  Generally, the name of the file will upload automatically to the Title field. This can be changed with a manual entry.

Caption: Enter a descriptive word, phrase or paragraph about the asset.

Start date/time: If this field is left blank, the asset will publish immediately upon saving. Depending on the device being used, you may have a calendar to choose from when selecting the date, and a clock feature when selecting the time, or you may have up/down toggle arrows. If you're presented with toggle arrows, the simplest way to enter the date and time is to click on a field (such as the month) and type in the month's two digit entry, "04".

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Section: This is a required field. Select the section from the dropdown menu in which you want this asset to appear. Unlike the full BLOX CMS, only one section can be selected. If one section has already been chosen, selecting another will replace the original Section.  

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Keywords: Keywords help to associate one asset with another, migrate content to the appropriate block, and enhance your Search Engine Optimization (SEO). We generally recommend at least five keywords per asset. Type the keywords in, separating each with a comma.

Selecting either Create or Create all (regardless of the number of assets selected) saves the asset as an Image or Video file.

BLOX CMS will attempt to convert different video file types to those required by BLOX software. The recommended file types are .flv files or .mp4 videos (with H.264 video codecs and AAC audio tracks). However, you can upload .avi, .mov, .mpg, .wmv and other commonly used video files. Your file will be converted to an .flv after you save the asset. If BLOX is unable to do so, you will receive notification of the failure in one of two ways:

-Either a red message will appear after selecting Create or Create all indicating the inability to open the file type,

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-Or opening the asset from within the full BLOX CMS Admin will display the following in the Asset Editor.  

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It may be possible for you to convert the video to either .flv or mp4 on your device or computer, even when BLOX CMS cannot.

Modify your recent articles

Selecting Modify your recent articles opens a window which lists the most recent article assets you've submitted. Standalone video and image assets will not appear, nor will assets submitted by another member of your staff.

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Assets appear in descending order of creation time and date. The title of the article as well as a portion of the first paragraph displays above a preview of any media associated with the article. The Start date assigned to the article also displays.

Select the Edit button to make changes to an article, its settings, or to add or remove media.

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Make any changes to the selections on the left side of the Edit an Article screen: TitleContentStart date/timeSectionKeywords and check boxes.

From the right side of the screen, you can add media files by selecting Choose Files. You can also Remove any media already associated with the asset.

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Selecting Remove will fade the media preview, and the Remove button changes to Undo removal. If you should decide to retain the media, select Undo removal. This will continue to be an option for this asset until it has been saved.

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When your modifications have been made, select Update article to save changes; or choose Cancel to discard.

Change site

If your publication maintains several sites, you are able to update content on other domains my selecting Change site from the Main Menu of BLOX Go. This button will bring up the Change to another site screen.

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This screen presents two methods for switching sites. You can either entire the site's domain name in the top field, or you can select from the list of alternate sites. After either entering the domain name or selecting from the list, you will be taken to BLOX Go's Main Menu for that site, containing the same options as those discussed here.

Log out

Clicking the Log out button will take you to the standard BLOX log in screen. You may choose to log back in if necessary, or simply move on to other tasks.

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Switch to desktop interface

Selecting Switch to desktop interface will re-direct you to the full BLOX CMS Administrator which you are accustomed to using on your home or office desktop computer. The full BLOX CMS may or may not work properly on a mobile device, depending on the age and operating system. Also, on a standard smartphone screen, it would be very difficult to navigate and perform administrative functions.


NOTE: That once in the full BLOX CMS, there is no "return to BLOX Go" button, so the only way to return to the BLOX Go interface is select the 'Back' button from your browser, or to log out of CMS completely, then re-enter the URL.


"Switch to desktop" is only available on tablets - this is not an option when a device is detected as a phone.

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