brigada

14) The Last Bit: New Brigada App (iOS and Android): Clean & Quick

Finally, after months of development and testing, Brigada has released apps for both iOS and Android. In keeping with its ad-free web page, the Brigada app is clean, quick, and uncluttered. There are no banners, no flashing images, and no ads whatsoever. Headed overseas for a long flight? No problem. Open the app in the gate area just before departure, then catch up on items while you fly, even with your device in airplane mode (once accessed, all items are available offline). The user experience is just smooth and easy. Searching is blindingly fast. And as with everything Brigada, the app is completely free. Download it today from your regular app store. (Note that because the iOS app is literally brand new, you’ll find it more quickly by searching for “Brigada News” rather than simply “Brigada.” The Android app, which has been available for some time now, pops up first when searching simply “Brigada”.) Learn more about the Android app at…

https://play.google.com/store/apps/details?id=com.Brigada.android&hl=en

Those with iOS devices can visit…

https://itunes.apple.com/us/app/brigada/id1276448456?mt=8

14) The BackPage: God bless you for Boosting Brigada into 2016

2016-new-year-ss-1920With this edition of Brigada, we wrap up our end-of-year giving opportunity. So many great encouragers have boosted us into 2016… to the point that the total for the year ended at $12,217. We look forward to serving you throughout the coming year and we look forward to seeing what God does in and through the entire Brigada family (you included!). Thank you and God bless!

One of the most exciting aspects of Brigada is the way that many people pitch in to find answers to tough questions. We pledge to stay true to our mission of help you do yours! Our goal is to provide you with motivation, resources, and trends in fulfilling the Great Commission.

This week, find a brand new online Submission form at…

http://www.brigada.org/submit-an-item

We hope it will assist you in submitting items for publication in Brigada. Have a great week!

6) The Case of the Invisible Brigada?

Sleuth_LogoSeveral readers mentioned that the last edition of Brigada arrived as if it were an empty email. However, upon closer examination, the text was there, it was just turned “white” or invisible. Thousands of other recipients received the edition just fine, however. So we’re still looking for the common thread. (If you can solve the case, you’ll receive our “Hardy Boys Hero” or “Nancy Drew Mystery-solver” award.) Seriously, if you discover what happened, please let us know. We subscribe too — and our own copies looked normal. In the meantime, don’t forget, if you ever have any problems with an issue of Brigada Today, the entire history of every edition is archived at…

http://www.brigada.org

In fact, the editions always appear at Brigada.org before minutes they are emailed.

10) Subscription help: “Can I Send you a List to Subscribe?

This past week, a mission agency executive wrote to ask, “Can I send you a list of 85 of our workers for you to mass subscribe?” Unfortunately, our protocol is that each recipient of Brigada needs to sign himself or herself up individually. We are not allowed to “force add” anyone, by protocol. In fact, in the entire history of Brigada, we’ve never force-added ANYONE. But there’s nothing stopping this mission exec from signing his staff up, I guess at our guest registration service at …

http://www.brigada.org

in the upperrighthand side of the page. Just enter an email address then hit “subscribe.”

12) Guess What! We’re Plunging in: An Assistant is coming!

It’s official. Our full-time assistant at Brigada arrives May 6th. It’s a step of faith, but we believe it’s time. Then, maybe we’ll get these Brigada editions out to you on time! Because we lead a missions agency on the side (with 360 employees), we’re able to write about things that we believe might be relevant to many in our shoes. But, the flipside of that is, we have to write when we can. So sorry that this has resulted in late editions, time and time again. Hopefully, with a full-time assistant, life will be better. Thanks for your patience. Please pray we can pay her. :-)

2) Improvements at Brigada.org: Goodbye Captcha, and Old Server

no-more-captchaFor years now, the web version of Brigada has relied on CAPTCHA testing to prevent spammers from plastering our comment boxes with spam. (Captcha testing is the deal where you see a warped word and try to guess the letters. We’ve never liked it; but we figured it was necessary to prevent all those “bots” from filling in our comment boxes.) But we want to encourage all the more participants to comment on our items. So starting today, we’re trying only Akismet spam prevention. We’ve actually been using Akismet in the background for some time. In fact, Akismet has intercepted nearly 1/4 million attempted spam comments so far at Brigada.org alone. We’re thankful. We hope they can keep up now, without Captcha pitching in. We’ll see.

Another improvement this week: If you’ve tried to log on at Brigada during the past week or so, you might have noticed things were beginning to slow down a bit. As our user load increased (or maybe as we picked up some denial-of-service attacks from non-like-minded folks?), our site was beginning to experience incredible strain. So this week, we swallowed hard then moved the entire site to a new cluster-driven set of servers. Things are humming again. And you’ll note: the site remains ad-free: Never have we served up Google ads, and we hope to stay ad-free and clean for your reading convenience, for as long as we can. Haven’t seen a Google-ad-free site in a while? We encourage you to visit Brigada.org. (We think it’s quite a different experience to see a site that doesn’t flash or wave banner ads in your face.) Brigada is completely supported by gifts from people like you, and by churches and agencies like yours. We’re grateful for your help that makes our work possible. God be praised.

12) I’m Not Color-Sophisticated

By the time I was 9, I was so color deficient, Indiana University used me in a nationwide study on color blindness. So I’m probably the last person you want developing your color templates for the web. But thankfully, Brigada reader, Eric, has pointed us to…

http://www.DOT.lighthouse.org/accessibility/design/accessible-print-design/effective-color-contrast

Web designers there, who can detect color combinations much more effectively than I, tell us basically what works and what doesn’t. I like it. And by the way, if you have trouble seeing any of the colors or combinations you see on Brigada’s online web version, please tell us. If you like, just use the comments below this item to point out our mismatch(es).

5) Trouble Viewing Last Week’s Edition?

At least one reader had trouble, apparently, understanding last week’s Special Missions Music Video Edition. If the little video snippets didn’t show up in your email version, the idea was to navigate to…

http://www.brigada.org

to actually VIEW the videos. So if you were frustrated, sorry if we didn’t make it plain enough. You had to click on the LINK in the Brigdaa Today, or alternately, just read the edition on the web. But those videos really did exist.

1) Need Something from a Past Issue of Brigada?

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Actually, the search engine at

http://www.brigada.org

is really fast. And although we write Brigada first as pieces of Word documents, it’s actually faster, even for us here at the office, to search Brigada’s website than it is to search the Word doc, partly because it’s more sophisticated at sorting out the hit list. So next time you need a reminder of a URL, website, or phone number, try the search box at Brigada.org. It’s always at the top of the page as well as in the menu structure.

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