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RE my last response. Now that I think about it, you could make a background image that involves some sort of repeating pattern, like your logo, and set it as a repeating background image for the container that holds the image using custom CSS on your site. It wouldn't always look perfect, but it would be automated.

Such as:

.photo-carousel .item .photo-container {background: url('url of your image') repeat;}

I might have to do that.

We have a page under the "Get Out" menu. As things are, we don't produce video regularly enough to warrant the ad reps selling many video ads, so video doesn't get a lot of exposure on our site. We do add them as child assets often on stories, though.

I guess I'm not sure about the YouTube ads. I'm just assuming there's some way to get your own ads onto your own YT videos. I may be wrong, though.

As for the image background, that's good ol' Photoshop. I made a background layer once upon a time and then just laid the photo on top. I don't actually use it much anymore since it's time consuming. I prefer just to crop images inside Blox or TCMS to a horizontal orientation if possible.

You can manage part of this with workflows, but unfortunately that doesn't stop another user without permissions from simply opening the asset. It only stops them from saving it.

I think the answer to this lies in bulking up what restrictions and permissions are available in the workflows system.

We use video sporadically, tending to produce a few videos a month, mostly environmental-type videos, short interviews, or a few breaking news clips — not trying to tell full stories most of the time. I think our experience will provide a contrast to Robert's more professional setup:

I prefer to upload the videos to YouTube first and create the YT asset in Blox. Yes, this means we can't run Blox ads on it, but we can use YouTube ads, which already integrate with our Google ad system. We'll also post some video directly to Facebook to promo stories or get some immediate social engagement.

As far as equipment, we tend to rely on reporters' iPhones, which produce pretty good quality these days, though we do have an HD Canon camcorder (Vixia HFR21, not a big professional model or anything) that we'll use occasionally. I use Adobe Premiere and After Effects from the Creative Cloud suite for video editing. I keep a few other niche apps around in case they're needed, like Handbrake (ripping DVDs), MPEG Streamclip (general video converter) and QuickTime 7 (general video converter). I run those on a big, powerful iMac that can render video in the background without breaking a sweat. I used to use Final Cut Studio 7, but I haven't used it in years and can't vouch for it anymore.

We have a cheap shotgun mic leftover from 10 years ago that produces a bad hum and doesn't work well. So we dropped less than $100 on a little digital Rode lapel mic that works with iPhones, so you can record the audio onto your phone and sync it with the video from the camcorder in post production. It has great sound quality for the price, but it's not wireless.

You can see our work at It's admittedly of varying quality.

We have plans to improve the quality of the videos, and our photographer is working up a list of equipment we're hoping to put together that'll include better microphones and lighting and, I'm hoping, a counter-weighted steadying rig for more stable handheld shots.

Hope this helps.

Human error causes that to fail. Reporters remember to put in a scoreboard with the custom properties. It's important to the readers. However, they hardly ever remember the custom tags or keywords. I even created a section to hold the assets with scoreboards — but things are never filed to it, no matter how much you prod the staff.

Querying by custom property would help reduce that error and open up a world of possibilities with little overhead from the systems standpoint at TN.

I wrote to TN about this directly, but I'd like to be able to query for social reactions with URL parameters in addition to being able to use the queries in block templates. I'd like to use that to create RSS feeds of assets with the most loves or hates or even the most total social reactions.

We drag most mugshots inline into the story to avoid the "gigantic mugshots at the bottom" problem. If you make sure to crop them all to portrait orientation, they'll flow nicely in with your text — ads depending.

A change was desperately needed to make the text of the longform presentation narrower. Great ideas here!

I don't think it's TownNews's job to regulate the ethics of how sites use the start time field. Some may want to change the start times to get readers thinking things are new, and that's their business.

That said, a lock feature on the start times would be useful, but it would need to be unlockable by a user with a high enough set of permissions.

Ditto for one of our sites using the mirroring. It simply didn't work, despite the little message beneath comment forms on both FB and Blox saying it would be cross-posted.