townnews.com_logo.jpgLet us think of the simple building block. It can be stacked, rearranged and easily added and removed to build structures. That's the general concept with BLOX Web Content Management System, which was released last week at the Newspaper Association of America’s MediaXchange in Las Vegas.

BLOX is a SaaS-based Web content management system owned, a company which offers automation technology that helps more than 1,500 newspapers publish interactive editions online.

Block 1: Drag and Drop

The new content management system features drag-and-drop movable blocks of content for Internet sites. It allows editors, web masters or others designated by the newspaper to place programmable and movable blocks of content any place on a Web site.

The blocks can be moved by newspaper staff members, or can be programmed to move, appear or disappear at designated times and dates. As well, each block can be programmed to pull in text, photos, videos, graphics, html documents, related links and portable document files.


 Blox Web CMS

Block 2: Asset Tagging

BLOX claims to "turns the world on its head" by offering administrative tools that are easy to use and don't require HTML or programming knowledge. All the content is managed in a centralized database and content can be easily shared between other newspapers on BLOX CMS. It relies heavily on tagging, including content type, section, location and relational.

Each item – whether text, graphic, photo or video – can be tagged separately. To see the tagging through to the end, has built an export mechanism that allows tagged data to be fed to the Associate Press and other group news feeds.

Block 3: Design and Social Media

BLOX has big plans for design and social media. It contains its own word processor and photo editor, which can be linked with commercial word processors and photo editors. Soon, it hopes to allow BLOX content to export to Adobe InDesign and other page design products.

It also plans to release an integrated social marketplace solution later this spring, which will merge business information with user-generated content, calendar information and advertising content – all under a single sign-on.

Block 4: Saving Money

With BLOX, Web developers need not apply. Anyone can change the look of the site simply by moving Blocks around. They can preview in real-time, making sure the page is set before making it visible to end-users or change the content that appears in these Blocks by defining Assets.

In addition, fancy imaging software isn't necessary. Users can crop and re-size photos through the administrative interface, allowing reporters and editors to focus more time and energy on the news rather than maintaining a site.

Those behind the Saas solution are hopeful that BLOX will set the "new standard for content management systems.”

Their commitment to helping the newspaper industry master online publishing is evident by the more than 1500 daily, weekly and shopper newspapers that are hosted and designed by

Learn more about BLOX CMS at