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.