Wick Communications

Go mobile with BLOX Go

In Online media on March 28, 2013 at 4:28 pm

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It happens virtually every day. You are minding your business at the office when – blam! – something happens out there. There’s a car accident or a cliff rescue or a hostage situation or a frantic search for a child. You grab a pen and paper, hop in your car and go.

You may well have a smartphone in your pocket, and that is becoming the most important tool in your arsenal. Now, thanks to our friends at Townnews, you can use that mobile device to full effect.

Our content management system (I should say it’s used by most of us) rolled out several improvements last week that should help us do our job when we are on the run.

The most important of which, for my money, is called BLOX Go. Essentially, it replicates the desktop interface on your Android or Apple device. That means you can write a story, edit it, and post it right from your cellphone or tablet. In the past, I’ve tweeted information from breaking news scenes and sometimes sent stories back to the office to be uploaded. Now you can skip emailing stories to yourself or running back to the office. …

There is undoubtedly a more elegant way to do this (Pete? Christian?), but I simply searched Google for the beginnings of the Blox admin page – https://admin-Chicago2.bloxcms.com — and then copied that into the browser. Then you just punch in your user email and password. From there it is intuitive.

There are a couple caveats.

First and foremost, when you can, you should have a second set of eyes run over your story before you click publish. There is a box you can click to delay publishing, which would allow someone back at the office to read the asset before it goes live. That is a good idea, when possible. We all know it’s easy to make mistakes when typing on a phone. Be extra careful with BLOX Go.

Secondly, you are limited by your connection. The other day, we endeavored to post through BLOX Go using a 3G phone from a cliff on the ocean as many other people were texting and tweeting from a big local event. Didn’t work. (Review reporter Sara Hayden pasted her story into a text to me. Just for the heck of it, I posted it through BLOX Go back at the office.)

Every reporter at a BLOX newspaper should become familiar with this technology. If you have a smartphone or tablet there is no excuse not to learn how it’s done.

In addition, Townnews is offering the capability to upload from Dropbox, the ability to post through email and one-click geocoding. I haven’t tried those services, but I will.

Clay

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  1. You can log in here: admin.townnews.com and use your Blox username and password.

  2. But there still appears to be glitches, or can someone tell me: if I have an Android, why does it say that I have an unsupported browser so some features may not work … and most of it does not work (or at least properly)?

  3. I have an Apple product, William and it works fine. I’ve asked Christian to weigh in. Perhaps he knows something I don’t. And if he doesn’t know, I’ll ask Townnews. Thanks. –Clay

  4. William, seems to be working on my Android device. I’ll inbox you so I can troubleshoot your device.

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