becoming-sysyphus

Constant Improvements

“The struggle itself towards the heights is enough to fill a man’s heart. One must imagine Sisyphus happy.” – Camus

We have awesome users at Ambassador, many of which send us suggestions and improvements they desperately need. We recently received an email from one of our most prolific beta account users with a laundry list of items, whom we will keep anonymous. We’d like to share with you the recent fixes that occurred over this past weekend and want you to come away knowing we’re listening and appreciate any and all feedback. Our product is constantly morphing into what you, our users, want and need it to be for your ministries.

Here is the email below:

Greetings.  As I mentioned last week I would send you a list of my observations.  Among this list the first two are serious problems.  The rest are more or less important, some are simply FYI’s or suggestions.  However, I will say that I would like to hear from you concerning the first two since they directly compromise the reason why this app is so beneficial. I hope you find this helpful. 

 I also want to see this app succeed.  It is truly phenomenal and I have received at least one email a week telling me of how important the program has been to people.  For all my suggestions I do not want overshadow the fact that I love this app.  The Spirit is using your work to spread the Gospel.

He goes on to list nineteen issues, some major some minor, that he was having trouble with. We’d like to address the fixes we’ve made based off of one pastor’s email.

Resolving Issues & Adding Features

1. Sermon overwrite issue

This was a bug in our system that affected all sermons prior to May 1st, where our sermon id generator was crunching out previous numbers, overwriting archived sermons with sermons recorded by other users. Please check your old sermons to determine if they have fallen victim to a sermon overwrite. It has since been rectified.

 

2. Time Stamp Error

The sermon time stamp would never save on the correct date. The problem was that the current time was always stamped on the uploaded recording from the app, but we used Time.now instead of the much more reliable Time.zone.now function. The fix has been implemented.

 

3. App Time Stamp Issue

The sermon list dates every sermon at April 17th, 2014. This should be resolved in the next release. The issue was that we had commented the code section that properly sets this value on the screen when we were commenting out the inline stats code. The date value was actually coming from the UI component defaults we had set.

 

4. “Who Has Listened” Count is off

Fixed. There was a bug in the query that would show the members ONLY if they had listened AND downloaded.

 

5. Secondary admin email for secretary

If it’s simply a matter of receiving weekly digest emails, this is no problem. In fact, we’ve added an Account BCC setting in your accounts page to allow you specify a comma-separated list of emails that will get a carbon copy of all account emails. Simply add extra recipients to that list.

 

6. Member List Export Function

Done, you can now export most member data on the members page in either XLS (Excel) or CSV format.

 

7. Automated Signup “Welcome” Email

You can now specify a subject/body for your welcome emails and they will be sent to the member whenever a member record is created (either manually added or newly subscribed)

 

8. “Notes” Section Formatting for Bullets & Outlines

Giving you the ability to add some formatting options to description and transcript is a great idea, which is why we added Markdown support to those fields to allow you to give them a little style. You’ll have to familiarize yourself a bit with Markdown, but its a pretty easy way to format things online: https://github.com/adam-p/markdown-here/wiki/Markdown-Cheatsheet

 

9. Default Group List

If a group is marked default, then the checkbox is checked on the subscribe page. This should solve the problem of people subscribing, but not selecting a list, and give you some more options for getting people into groups you *wish* they would subscribe to. This is done.

 

10. Control Your “greatest hits”

We’ve added a flag on the sermon edit screen to allow you to identify it as a greatest hit. Any item marked as a greatest hit will appear at the top with a secondary ordering of the original algorithm score.

 

11. When did my members subscribe?

We’ve added the date they subscribed (or were manually added), plus a relative time to quickly tell you how long they’ve been there.

 

12. Pick One App and Desktop Member Display

Added the number of members to the header of the members screen. Incidentally, also added the recording count to the recording list screen as well.

 

You might be thinking, “that’s only twelve.” You’re right. We’re still working on tweaking several features before releasing them and tracking down more. Building Ambassador is a constantly evolving process, one in which we’d like you to be involved in as a user. We hope, if you find yourself struggling with an app or interface issue, that you feel comfortable enough to email us with your issues or suggestions. We do read every email and add them to our list of growing features.

Barry has been secretly working on two big new features that will be dropping in the coming weeks. Stay tuned for more!

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