Improvements to ActNOW campaigns: There’s now a new field for inputting the photo which will accompany each campaign. This will be very useful for the front page redesign (every campaign needs a photo) and the new app (see below). The field we use for entering details about our partners is now partially filled in to make it easier for people; I will be writing to all campaign translators about this.
App for tablets and smartphones: I’ve made some real progress on this. There’s really only one or two more things to do before we launch, which I aim to do by the end of February. If you’re interesting in seeing what we have already, email me and I’ll send you a link to a web app that approximates the final version.
Twitter: I’ve been aggressively promoting the various versions and there’s a steady flow of people signing up as followers. In the last 3 days, the English Twitter account has picked up 76 new followers, and the Canadian Twitter account even more.
Interface for correspondents: For some time now we’ve had English, French and Russian versions of this — today I requested our translators in several other languages to translate a short file which will make things easier for our nearly 1,000 volunteer correspondents, many of whom do not have English as their first language.
Conference 2012: Andrew and I have had regular Skype calls; we’ve set up a Basecamp account from which we manage everything; we have a venue (thanks to the NSWTF) in Sydney and we have the beginnings of an organizing committee.
Conference 2014: I’ve had discussions with a potential LabourStart staff person for Germany to even now begin the work of raising our profile there, which is a pre-condition for a successful conference in May 2014 in Berlin. I’ve also made tentative plans to meet with the ITUC in Brussels next month to discuss this and other issues. They are aware of our intention to hold our Global Solidarity Conference on the eve of their congress.
Fundraising: We normally do a pitch to our readers in May, and we will do this, but I’ve been approaching unions even now to begin the work as our expenses are skyrocketing and we need to raise more money than ever before. Derek and Andrew have done terrific work in the past in Canada and Australia; I’ve gotten some great commitments from British unions this year. Anyone reading this who can help – please email me.
Tech problems – newsfeeds and Unicode: We’ve had problems with the Finnish RSS news feed – some characters not rendering correctly – I’ve spent quite a bit of time trying to get this to work. If the solution I’ve deployed solves the problems, I’ll sort this out for all other languages as well.
Broken link on our home page: Derek noticed that the ‘Join a union’ link had stopped working suddenly. This turns out to be our only program written in Python. I have no idea what has gone wrong, but have contacted our web host, 1&1 Internet, and they’ll look into it.
Wikipedia: I update our page there every month, both adding new links, numbers and campaigns, and also monitoring to make sure the page isn’t vandalized. Many people visit this page and we need to treat it as an important gateway to the LabourStart project.
New campaigns on the horizon: In the last 24 hours we’ve had three requests – from the USA, Peru and Italy. We’ll see if we can find a way to stagger these and not overload our lists.