Category: Mobile

The last 3 weeks in review: 8-29 July 2014

Summer is NOT a quiet time at LabourStart …


  • We launched our Gaza Ceasefire campaign on 22 July; it is already our second largest active campaign.
  • We launched a campaign in defense of jailed Iranian trade unionist Reza Shahabi on 10 July.
  • The Ecuador campaign was closed after 3 months.
  • I’ve followed up with the translators for our top 15 languages, trying to make sure that as many campaigns as possible appear in as many languages as possible.
  • We did very well with the recent Turkish Georg Fischer campaign and promoted news of our victory to our list, as did with the victory at LATAM in South America.  That’s two victories this month that we contributed to.
  • Using a voucher we had from Google for some free advertising, we ran ads supporting out Polish LIDL campaign; they were seen by nearly 24,000 people, but only 103 clicked on the link.


  • We received a generous donation from Building and Woodworkers International (BWI) and from the Trade Union Advisory Committee to the OECD (TUAC).
  • We’ve had an offer from a well-known comrade to run a Marathon in Wales in October to raise funds for LS; more details soon.


  • Our under-utilized Events module just got better — now you can tag an event not only by country, but by state/province as well. You can see the results by checking out our UK/England news page.


  • People noticed that visiting our home page took you to a URL that included ’2013′. This has now been fixed and instead of ’2013′ it says ‘news’. Most people will not have noticed.


  • I’ve been given warning that we’re to be kicked out of our offices very soon. I visited possible alternatives in Finsbury Park, Bethnal Green and Muswell Hill. I’m leaning towards working from home for a few months, which will save us several thousand pounds.


  • LS has been invited to provide a speaker for a Unifor event in Canada.  Derek will probably do it.
  • Eric has also been invited by the European Trade Union Institute (ETUI) to help teach a course in Germany in September.

New contacts:

  • A comrade from a group in France called ReACT came to our offices for a meeting; we discussed many ways of cooperating.
  • I had a long meeting in London with the Morocco-based representative of the Solidarity Center; we discussed among other things the possibility of a correspondents’ meeting in the region, maybe in Tunis.
  • I followed up with all those who attended the IndustriALL communicators event last month in Italy, at which I spoke, and invited them to cooperate. Two replied, and we picked up a new correspondent in Cambodia as a result.



  • I’ve been encouraging comrades to post reviews of the Dan Gallin book on Amazon; some have already done so.
  • Even though book sales haven’t been amazing, for the first two months of our current financial year (June-July), book sales have made up about 10% of LabourStart’s income, though this is unlikely to continue.
  • I’ve begun adding reviews to the Gallin book to our page promoting the book — so far, only two.
  • I wrote to everyone who requested a review copy (PDF) and asked them to let me know when their reviews appear.
  • Thanks to Matt Heaney, the book is now on sale at ver.di’s bookshop, both off- and online.
  • I wrote to all 130 people who spoke at our Berlin conference reminding them that we want all their texts for our next book by the end of July.

Photo of the day:

  • For those who post these photos (mostly Derek) there’s now an explanation of how to post country-specific ones. If anyone wants to do this, email me and I’ll explain how it’s done.
  • The photo of the day is also now available on our mobile edition for the first time.

Enough for now … and now back to work …


LabourStart in Numbers – June 2014


* While most of our mailing lists are growing slowly or not at all, we saw a huge increase in our Korean list this month, now up to well over 3,000 addresses and our 7th largest list. The German list overtook Spanish to become our third largest list, as expected. A year ago, the German list had only 3,199 subscribers, so it’s gone up by over 2,000; the Korean list soared from 153 to over 3,000 in the same period. Meanwhile the English list has seen a net growth of just 5,000 in the same period.

* Our Twitter following continues to grow quite well. We’ve picked up almost 3,000 new followers to our main English feed in the last year.

* Traffic to our campaigns coming via mobile phones is soaring: we’re up to more than 1 in 4 people who visit our campaigns do so on a small screen device. More supporters of our campaigns come via iPhones than Mac desktops and laptops. Just three months ago, 18.6% of our campaign supporters came via mobile devices; today that’s 25.2%.


Mailing lists [with 200 or more subscribers]

English: 85,258 [85,334]
French: 7,859 [7,827]
German: 5,242 [5,147]
Spanish: 5,176 [5,150]
Italian: 4,097 [4,099]
Turkish: 3,450 [3,442]
Korean: 3,081 [2,122]
Norwegian: 2,889 [2,876]
Russian: 2,525 [2,525]
Dutch: 1,369 [1,355]
Chinese: 1,105 [1,073]
Finnish: 655 [655]
Japanese: 494 [494]
Arabic: 471 [469]
Portuguese: 356 [356]
Indonesian: 325 316 [265]
Polish: 269 [269]
Tagalog: 254 [254]
Hebrew: 250 [246]
Farsi: 242 [242]

Social networks

Twitter followers

English: 12,455 [12,272]
Canada English: 3,273 [3,191]
Canada French: 465 [445]
USA: 344 [304]
French: 210 [209]
Spanish: 72 [69]
German: 58 [58]
Indonesia: 41 [32]
Japanese: 23 [23]
Russian: 17 [17]
Portuguese: 7 [7]


Like page (English): 8,763 [8,710]
Members of LabourStart group: 7,796 [7,691]
Like LabourStart page (French): 429 [421]
Like LabourStart page (German): 355 [344]
Like LabourStart page (Turkish): 137 [135]
Like LabourStart page (Hebrew): 108 [108]


Members: 5,793 [5,780]


LabourStart group: 1,680 [1,646]


Union group on Flickr: 782 [778]


Correspondents: 725 [714]

Website traffic (Clicky)

Total visitors: 34,769 [43,005]

Where they come from:

USA – 8,200 [9,670]
Canada – 5,899 [6,694]
UK – 4,655 [5,711]
Australia – 2,313 [2,630]
Norway – 1,480 [1,665]
Germany – 1,160 [3,126]
France – 778 [911]
Austria 729 [--]
Sweden 624 [--]
Ireland 586 [--]

Their operating systems:

Windows – 69.3% [68.3%]
Mobile – 12,6% [14.6%] (iOS – 7.5% [7.8%]; Android – 3.8% [4.8%])
Mac – 16.1% [15.1%
Linux – 2.1% [2.1%] (Clicky)

Total visitors: 28,332 [32,148]

Where they come from:

UK – 4,094 [4,995]
USA – 3,628 [4,943]
Canada – 3,603 [3,698]
Korea – 1,638 [--]
Australia – 1,474 [1,644]
Germany – 1,289 [2,408]
Norway – 1,081 [--]
France – 1,081 [983]
Belgium – 1,076 [1,036]
Taiwan – 813 [--]

Their operating systems:

Windows – 62.8% [66.5%]
Mobile – 25.2% [20.9%] (iOS – 10.5% [8.9% ] ; Android – 13.2% [9.5%])
Mac – 10% [10.4%]
Linux – 1.9% [2.1%]

LabourStart in Numbers – May 2014

Mailing lists [with 200 or more subscribers]

English: 85,334 [85,670]
French: 7,827 [7,801]
Spanish: 5,150 [5,131]
German: 5,147 [5,069]
Italian: 4,099 [4,115]
Turkish: 3,442 [3,440]
Norwegian: 2,876 [2,878]
Russian: 2,525 [2,524]
Korean: 2,122 [2,122]
Dutch: 1,355 [1,349]
Chinese: 1,073 [1,073]
Finnish: 655 [609]
Japanese: 494 [494]
Arabic: 469 [390]
Portuguese: 356 [351]
Indonesian: 316 [265]
Polish: 269 [269]
Tagalog: 254 [254]
Hebrew: 246 [243]
Farsi: 242 [242]

Social networks

Twitter followers

English: 12,272 [11,995]
Canada English: 3,191 [3,067]
Canada French: 445 [432]
USA: 304 [252]
French: 209 [209]
Spanish: 69 [66]
German: 58 [48]
Indonesia: 32 [26]
Japanese: 23 [23]
Russian: 17 [17]
Portuguese: 7 [7]


Like page (English): 8,710 [8,633]
Members of LabourStart group: 7,691 [7,511]
Like LabourStart page (French): 421 [418]
Like LabourStart page (German): 344 [315]
Like LabourStart page (Turkish): 135 [134]
Like LabourStart page (Hebrew): 108 [105]


Members: 5,780 [5,760]


LabourStart group: 1,646 [1,625]


Union group on Flickr: 778 [774]


Correspondents: 714 [703]

Website traffic (Clicky)

Total visitors: 43,005 [40,845]

Where they come from:

USA – 9,670 [9,419]
Canada – 6,694 [7,245]
UK – 5,711 [5,478]
Germany – 3,126 [1,671]
Australia – 2,630 [2,670]
Norway – 1,665 [1,562]
France – 911 [871]
Indonesia – 853 [760]
Netherlands — 813 [--]
Belgium — 738 [718]

Their operating systems:

Windows – 68.3% [68.9%]
Mobile – 14.6% [13.8%] (iOS – 7.8% [7.2%]; Android – 4.8% [4.7%])
Mac – 15.1% [15.4%]
Linux – 2.1% [1.9%] (Clicky)

Total visitors: 32,148 [33,523]

Where they come from:

UK – 4,995 [4,679]
USA – 4,943 [4,343]
Canada – 3,698 [4,980]
Germany – 2,408 [3,292]
Australia – 1,644 [1,450]
Indonesia — 1,643 [--]
Spain – 1,282 [1,153]
Belgium – 1,036 [1,186]
France – 983 [1,224]
Italy – 897 [884]

Their operating systems:

Windows – 66.5% [68.5%]
Mobile – 20.9% [18.8%] (iOS – 8.9% [9.8%] ; Android – 9.5% [7.7%])
Mac – 10.4% [10.6%]
Linux – 2.1% [2.1%]

LabourStart in Numbers – April 2014

My comments this time appear below, at appropriate points in the long lists of numbers.

Mailing lists [with 200 or more subscribers]

The most spectacular gain this month has been to our German mailing list — which grew by 850 subscribers net. This is substantially greater than the total growth for all other lists combined. At this rate, German will become our third largest list sometime this month.  A year ago, this list had just over 2,000 subscribers.

English: 85,670 [85,432] +238
French: 7,801 [7,707] +94
Spanish: 5,131 [5,106] +25
German: 5,069 [4,219] +850
Italian: 4,115 [4,110] +5
Turkish: 3,440 [3,253] +187
Norwegian: 2,878 [2,907]
Russian: 2,524 [2,525]
Korean: 2,122 [2,122]
Dutch: 1,349 [1,391]
Chinese: 1,073 [1,073]
Finnish: 609 [624]
Japanese: 494 [494]
Arabic: 390 [381] +9
Portuguese: 351 [338] +13
Polish: 269 [269]
Indonesian: 265 [262] +3
Tagalog: 254 [254]
Hebrew: 243 [250]
Farsi: 242 [242]

Social networks

Twitter followers

The big news here is the launch of our LabourStart Indonesia twitter feed — an initiative by our new correspondent, Pete Moss, who covers Indonesian news.  And the main English Twitter feed continues to grow at a healthy pace, and is just under 12,000 followers.  (The ITUC has 5,407 followers; the ILO has 29,885 — we’re in the middle.)

English: 11,995 [11,816]
Canada English: 3,067 [2,957]
Canada French: 432 [416]
French: 209 [205]
USA: 252 [209]
Spanish: 66 [67]
German: 48 [45]
Indonesia: 26 [new]
Japanese: 23 [23]
Russian: 17 [16]
Portuguese: 7 [7]


What’s interesting here is that 3 times as many people joined our Group than liked our Page in English this month. There’s obviously a dynamic to Group growth that our page on Facebook is missing. It’s very important therefore to always post new campaigns, etc to both the Page and the Group.

Like page (English): 8,633 [8,546]
Members of LabourStart group: 7,511 [7,268]
Like LabourStart page (French): 418 [409]
Like LabourStart page (German): 315 [301]
Like LabourStart page (Turkish): 134 [131]
Like LabourStart page (Hebrew): 105 [105]


Now really stagnant, the question is — do we spin this off somehow? Maybe someone could be persuaded to buy it from us?

Members: 5,760 [5,750]


LabourStart group: 1,625 [1,605]


A small gain this month as we asked our worker-photographers to submit May Day photos and join the group. Still, when you email 90,000+ people and that leads to a gain of just 26, it’s not that impressive.  (Our LinkedIn group, which we do absolutely nothing to promote, grew by  nearly as much.)

Union group on Flickr: 774 [748]


Correspondents: 703 [699]

Website traffic (1&1 statistics)

Total visits: 638,835 [635,661] (Clicky)

Total visitors: 40,845 [40,645]

Where they come from:

Sweden continues to bring us hundreds of visitors every month — even though we still don’t have a proper news page or active correspondents in that language. Something to work on.  The other popular news pages here (English, German, Norwegian, French and Indonesian) are all updated regularly.

USA – 9,419 [8,525]
Canada – 7,245 [8,140]
UK – 5,478 [4,809]
Australia – 2,670 [2,618]
Germany – 1,671 [1,526]
Norway – 1,562 [2,132]
France – 871 [820]
Sweden – 784 [888]
Indonesia – 760 [1,252]
Belgium — 718 [--]

Their operating systems:

Windows – 68.9% [68.2%]
Mobile – 13.8% [15.6%] (iOS – 7.2% [7.3%]; Android – 4.7% [5.6%])
Mac – 15.4% [14.8%]
Linux – 1.9% [1.4%] (Clicky)

Total visitors: 33,523 [29,094]

Where they come from:

Good to see Turkey back in the top 5, no doubt due to our having just launched two campaigns relating to Turkey. Note also huge gains in German traffic to our campaigns, up six-fold in two months.  Also note increased traffic for every single one of our top ten languages.

Canada – 4,980 [6,464]
UK – 4,679 [3,965]
USA – 4,343 [4,087]
Germany – 3,292 [1,236]
Turkey — 1,805 [--]
Australia – 1,450 [1,349]
France – 1,224 [1,152]
Belgium – 1,186 [1,030]
Spain – 1,153 [1,038]
Italy – 884 [750]

Their operating systems:

Nearly one in five people who support our online campaigns now do so using a smartphone or tablet — watch this number grow month on month.

Windows – 68.5% [68.4%]
Mobile – 18.8% [18.6%] (iOS – 9.8% [10.1%]; Android – 7.7% [6.9%])
Mac – 10.6% [11.1%]
Linux – 2.1% [1.8%]

LabourStart in Numbers – March 2014

Some highlights – focussing on the good news:

There have been huge increases to our Japanese, Portuguese, Arabic and Korean mailing lists — as high as a 27% gain for the Japanese list. The German list continues to grow, and has replaced Italian as our 5th largest list.

We saw growth in traffic to both our websites (the news and campaigning sites), with a doubling of traffic to the latter (due to new campaigns being launched in March).

For the first time we’re seeing Morocco appearing in the top 10 countries bringing traffic to LabourStart — this  is no doubt due to our campaign on behalf of the “Casablanca 5″.

In this report for the first time I provide data on which operating systems people are using to access LabourStart. It will be interesting to compare this month on month. Interesting to note that almost one in five users of our campaigns does so through a smartphone or tablet, with only about 80% still doing this through desktop and laptop computers.  The launch of our website for small screen devices couldn’t have come at a better time.

Mailing lists [with 200 or more subscribers]

English: 85,432 [85,207]
French: 7,707 [7,603]
Spanish: 5,106 [5,136]
German: 4,219 [4,062]
Italian: 4,110 [4,143]
Turkish: 3,253 [3,253]
Norwegian: 2,907 [2,836]
Russian: 2,525 [2,518]
Korean: 2,122 [1,834] +16%
Dutch: 1,391 [1,400]
Chinese: 1,073 [1,073]
Finnish: 624 [622]
Japanese: 494 [390] +27%
Arabic: 381 [319] +19%
Portuguese: 338 [269] +26%
Polish: 269 [269]
Indonesian: 262 [254]
Tagalog: 254 [254]
Hebrew: 250 [246]
Farsi: 242 [242]

Social networks

Twitter followers

English: 11,816 [11,571]
Canada English: 2,957 [2,853]
Canada French: 416 [395]
French: 205 [201]
USA: 209 [187]
Spanish: 67 [67]
German: 45 [42]
Japanese: 23 [23]
Russian: 16 [16]
Portuguese: 7 [7]


Like page (English): 8,546 [8,475]
Members of LabourStart group: 7,268 [6,843]
Like LabourStart page (French): 409 [389]
Like LabourStart page (German): 301 [279]
Like LabourStart page (Turkish): 131 [131]
Like LabourStart page (Hebrew): 105 [105]

Members: 5,750 [5,737]

LabourStart group: 1,605 [1,562]

Union group on Flickr: 748 [744]


Correspondents: 699 [698]

Website traffic (1&1 statistics)

Total visits: 635,661 [552,898] (Clicky)

Total visitors: 40,645 [32,524]

Where they come from:

USA – 8,525 [7,311]
Canada – 8,140 [5,317]
UK – 4,809 [3,408]
Australia – 2,618 [2,083]
Norway – 2,132 [1,791]
Germany – 1,526 [1,126]
Indonesia – 1,252 [849]
Sweden – 888 [683]
France – 820 [721]
Netherlands – 712 [--]

Their operating systems:

Windows – 68.2%
Mobile – 15.6% (iOS – 7.3%; Android – 5.6%)
Mac – 14.8%
Linux – 1.4% (Clicky)

Total visitors: 29,094 [15,361]

Where they come from:

Canada – 6,464 [1,933]
USA – 4,087 [2,144]
UK – 3,965 [1,755]
Australia – 1,349 [882]
Germany – 1,236 [554]
France – 1,152 [644]
Spain – 1,038 [446]
Belgium – 1,030 [1,133]
Italy – 750
Morocco – 720

Their operating systems:

Windows – 68.4%
Mobile – 18.6% (iOS – 10.1%; Android – 6.9%)
Mac – 11.1%
Linux – 1.8%

The weeks in review – 17-28 March

Technical innovations: This week we made two technical steps forward. The first is a web app for smartphones and tablets that’s now been tested on iOS, Android, Windows and Blackberry smartphones and seems to work. The second is our own URL shortening system (like or that allows us to create addresses like

Berlin conference: The number of registrations continues to grow — we’re now up to 494, up 46 in the last 11 days. The number of German participants (crucial if the conference is to be a success) is up to 103, a gain of 12 in this period. We’re currently working on sending visa invitation letters to several dozen registrants who requested it, sorting out solidarity housing for those who can’t afford the hotel or hostel, building the nearly 50 workshops that are planned, getting speakers for all 3 plenaries, organizing the Saturday night party, raising the money to do all this, and much more. The organizing committee in Berlin is growing and meeting regularly. There’s an international Skype conference call each week that Eric, Tom, Gisela and Derek have been holding as well. We have less than 8 weeks to go …

Campaigns: We haven’t launched any new campaigns in the last couple of weeks, but our Casablanca campaign is going quite well and we think we’ll get one of the five sacked call centre workers to come to speak in Berlin. We had a big surge in supporters for our Rana Plaza campaign yesterday after announcing that a couple of companies had agreed to pay compensation. We promoted — for the first time — our new social media links on the campaign page, and this has generated a number of Facebook likes (1,187) and Tweets (185) for that campaign. Not surprisingly, the links to promote campaigns on Google+ and LinkedIn are proving far less popular. We closed our Kazakhstan campaign a few days ago as well (see report by Kirill below).

News: A couple of weeks ago we had only 76 active correspondents (out of some 700); following my appeal to them to get more active, we now have 99 active ones, who have posted 5,003 news stories in March — an average of 179 news stories every day this month, with each correspondent contributing an average of 51 stories, or nearly two per day. The most active correspondents in March were (in order): Derek Blackadder (Canada), Andrew Casey (Australia), Andy Funnell (France), Roy Nitzberg (USA), Patrick Craven (South Africa), S. G??bi?ski (Poland), Efraim Davidi (Israel), and our intern, Tom Harris (UK).

Prizes and competitions: LabourStart has been entered into three international competitions the results of which we will know within a month. See below for details.

At long last, LabourStart is now ready for the smartphone

iphone5The last time I wrote about this was some six months ago.

At the time we were struggling to create a version of LabourStart that would work on phones — this after several failed attempts to create native versions for iPhones and Android phones and later even for Firefox OS.

But today we have finally got a working version of LabourStart for the hundreds of millions of people who access it on smartphones.

You can see it by going into your web browser on your smartphone and going to

That’s right — no change to the URL.

It’s using a form of “responsive design” so that it detects whether you’re using a large desktop computer or a tiny smartphone, and renders the correct version.

What you should see is something like what I’ve illustrated this article with, above.

To get this to appear on your phone’s home screen, follow the instructions.

On an iPhone or iPod Touch, tap on the ‘Add to home screen’ link in your browser.

You should then see this icon appearing on your phone’s home screen:

The next step is to internationalize this, as for the moment it’s only working in English.

We also need to test it on all kinds of phones.  It seems to work fine on Apple and Windows devices, but it would be good to test on Android, Blackberry and Firefox phones too.

We’ll also need to write up instructions to people on how to install it, as it’s not a native app you’d download from the iTunes Store or Google Play — it’s a web app, so it downloads differently.  We may even want to do this as a short video.

And we’ll want to tweak it even more, making it look less and less like a web page, more and more like a proper app.  We may even want to break it up (it’s now a long scroll) into separate pages for news and campaigns.

I look forward to reading your feedback and learning from your experiences before we introduce this to the wider world.

The week in review – 11-17 September

Calendar: Sale of our LabourStart Calendar for 2014 have stalled — we only sold 18 in the last 6 days (of those, 8 were in Canada, 5 in Australia, 3 in the UK and 2 in the USA).  I’ve already done two rounds of publicity and today will be mailing to nearly 500 state federations of labor and central labor councils in the USA in an attempt to boost sales there.


  • August was an exceptionally slow month for us, so 5 days ago I wrote to all our campaign partners — GUFs and others — asking if anyone needed help.  We got answers from a number of them an expect to launch several new campaigns in the next couple of weeks.
  • Edd and I met with a leader of the UN staff union and they have been facing a brutal attack on workers’ rights from the Secretary General, Ban Ki-moon, and will probably be needing a campaign from us in the next few days.
  • We closed down the Philippines campaign one month early (see below) and the GE Erie campaign one month late (at the request of the union).
  • We did a special mailing to our Canadian subscribers boosting a number of campaigns there (not all of these were hosted by LabourStart).

Intern: As I reported below, Edd is leaving us at the end of this month (though will continue working one day a week for LabourStart) and we’ve begun the process of recruiting a replacement.


  • The biggest improvement, described below, is that now you can get beyond the first 50 news stories on any of our country pages.   (This will soon work on our home pages in the different languages as well.)
  • I’ve also fixed a problem with links to the country names that were appearing on the home page in English — the first time the name appeared, the link would take you to our new, correct country news page, but the second appearance of the country name still took you to an old page.
  • With so much coverage of the British TUC conference last week, we did a special mailing to our UK list promoting the news page.  It’s very important that we continue to draw attention to our news service, as many of the people on our mailing list are familiar with our campaigns — but not with the news we provide.


  • As reported below, a correspondent can now change their default language and country — either temporarily or permanently.  This caused a small problem for senior correspondents, as Derek discovered, but this has now been fixed.
  • We’ve been struggling to make sure that we have current email addresses for all the correspondents and Edd has nearly completed this task.
  • This week, I resumed weekly mailings to correspondents and I intend to keep doing this.


  • Our failure to sustain LabourStart news in any Nordic language except Norwegian has been with us for some time.  This week, I wrote to all our subscribers on the English list from Denmark, Finland, Iceland and Sweden and have received responses from 10 of them — at least one has volunteered to be a correspondent, others have already contact their national trade union centres in the hope of growing interest in LabourStart.
  • Our French home page was the last one to be converted to our new format and this is now complete.

Kiev 2013: There will be a meeting of LabourStart correspondents from Russia, Ukraine and Georgia (and other countries?) in Kiev at the beginning of November.  Masha has drafted an invitation letter which I’ve read and approved, and Edd has found email addresses for all our correspondents from the region who have been invited.  I will be attending myself.

Berlin 2014: I’ve fixed a meeting at the ITUC in Brussels for two weeks from today to discuss how our conference ties in with theirs.  They’ve been exceptionally cooperative and this is hugely important for the success of our global solidarity conference.

Small screen version of LabourStart: Edd’s been working on a version of the site that will automatically appear when you view it on a smartphone, as we’ve done with campaigns.  This is nearly ready.

Daily tech tips for trade unionists: I  wrote ten of these which appeared over the last couple of weeks and got some nice and interesting feedback.  Would be interested to know if comrades would like this to continue.  Meanwhile, I’m pausing the effort.

Odds and ends …

  1. I’ve tweaked our front page in English yet again, getting rid of the Firefox ad, creating a new and more prominent ad for all our books (not just the most recent) and with a link to our new publications page.  This has resulted in today’s labour news being much closer to the top of the page (less scrolling).
  2. I completed work publicizing our Peru campaign, which is lagging somewhat as it’s August.  Please do what you can to help build this.
  3. Our popular Canadian edition has gotten a makeover in its French version, which now features French language Canada-only campaigns, French language events and some small corrections to province names.
  4. We’ve made some good progress on our LabourStart calendar — lots of great events added, and Edd working hard to find 13 great photos.
  5. Found a solution to a small problem we were having with the caption to our photo of the day feature.
  6. On our campaign pages, we’re now showing news in the local language first, so if you’re looking at our Peru campaign in French, in the latest news box, you’ll see the French news before the English news.
  7. We also had a problem with the campaign counter in the unusual situation where we may continue running a campaign in one language having shut it down in English.  Now fixed, sort of.
  8. Edd has given me a lesson in how to prepare a book for publication in CreateSpace — we hope to have our third book ready in early September.
  9. Our conference organizing committee met in Berlin yesterday — we’re told it was a productive meeting and they have another one scheduled in two weeks.
  10. The UE has given us permission to close down its campaign on August 20th – so this is your last chance to build support …
  11. I’ve reviewed our “dormant languages” – the ones we set up, but which haven’t been showing any news recently.  After a major push by us, we managed to revive the Italian and Portuguese editions, and there are even some signs of life in our Serbian edition.  But disappointment in the Nordic countries — only the Norwegian edition is alive, and despite our best efforts, we’ve not been able to revive our once-lively Finnish edition or the Danish and Swedish editions.  Will continue trying.
  12. Our campaigns employ a version of “responsive design” now and render better than ever on mobile phones (test this and compare what you see to what’s on the desktop). This is hugely important as a growing number of people get email messages from us on their phones and they need to see the campaigns correctly without needing to scroll horizontally.  Many campaigning organizations still get this wrong, unfortunately.
  13. Oh, and Twitter cards is now working for us.  Have a look at some of my recent tweets.  You may need to click on View Summary under the tweet to see what I’ve done.

Responsive design and our campaigns

“Responsive design” is a new buzz-word in the world of web design and was coined by Ethan Marcotte in this landmark article.

It basically means – your website should render correctly on every device, from the smallest mobile phone to a large screen television.  I’ve spent the last few days working on our campaigns and am very pleased to have made a breakthrough in the last 24 hours.

I still have a bit more tweaking to do, but basically if you go to it should look pretty normal on your desktop or laptop, but visit that on your phone or tablet, and it should look very different — one column, red top, etc.

If you want to test this on your phone, no need to type in that whole URL – use this shortcut:

The main reason to do this is because we know that a large number of our readers — possibly tens of thousands — are now using email on their mobile phones and tablets, and when we send a message saying we want them to support our campaign, and they click on the link, we want this new, single-column screen to come up so it’s easy for them to sign up to campaigns while sitting on a bus or in a cafe.

The next step is to fix this page so it renders well on the phone and then, of course, to change that URL by dropping the “_responsive” bit.

Edd has already begun work on the next stage — making sure our news pages also render correctly on phones and tablets.