I’ve been struck lately by what a powerful tool we have here now, in the form of the Internet in general and these “Comments” on Brigada in particular. In the old days, someone would volunteer to act as a compiler for a special subject. We’d all send our emails to him/her and, with any luck, 2 or 3 weeks later, that compiler would remember to prepare an executive summary for us. The trouble was, sometimes the compiler had great intentions, but forgot to send the summary. Second, sometimes we needed/hoped for the information *today* instead of 2 weeks from now. What’s more, third, we could never be sure what would happen with your email address as you sent it to these would-be compilers.

By contrast, with this new form of Brigada, we truly are a “brigade” in motion. You can record your feedback the moment you read the item and it *instantly* becomes visible to the entire Internet world. You can save a bookmark to the perma-link (the permanent URL) of a particular Brigada item by right-clicking on the *time* of the posting (on the next-to-last line of the item, printed in blue instead of black). Just choose “Copy Shortcut” and you have just gathered the permanent place for the item on the web. You can set a bookmark to watch the “Comments” grow long-term. Suddenly, our community response has vaulted forward in time by 2 weeks, at least.

All of this is to say that Brigada is developing per your requests. You asked for a way to find items by topic, instead of just by date. Now you can scan major topics in the “Tag Cloud” in the left column of any Brigada page. You asked that we simplify the “Donate” feature. Now you can click “Donate” from the “home” handling page, then use either a PayPal identity or the identity of any major credit card… and you don’t even have to register a PayPal identity.

Do you have an idea for Brigada? Just write us at:

We’ll try to use it. Got an item? Click on “Submit an item” in the menu at the top of the home page. We become all the more powerful when we form a cloud of witnesses together.