We’ve had a Facebook Group for several years now, but there are certain advantages to having a Facebook Page as well — another way of raising our profile. I’ve just created such a Page and have embedded code onto our front page in English to show it, to allow people to ‘like’ it and to show our latest announcements. Think of this as ‘Inside LabourStart’ but for the masses, not just for correspondents.
Back at my desk after being away for more than a week … here are some updates:
- There’s now a shortcut to our news about Wisconsin – just go to www.labourstart.org/wisconsin . I’ve also fixed the page the displays state/provincial news; it had been showing a link to our old mailing lists.
- I’ve written to the CTUWS to ask if they want us to do a campaign opposing the Egyptian government’s plan to ban strikes.
- I spoke last week at the New Orleans conference of the UALE – on a panel on the subject of global solidarity. My lecture notes are here. The conference was an opportunity to do some networking and I learned a lot about Wisconsin and other issues that concern the labour movement in the US.
- We’re up to 55 people attending (or possibly attending) our conference in November.
- MailChimp suspended our account last week because one person on one of our lists claimed he never signed up. I proved to them today that he had, so I hope that later today we will be able to resume mailings.
We’ve now done five mailings using MailChimp – 2 to our correspondents and 3 to our English language list. I’ve only gotten one bit of feedback – someone who noticed and liked the improvement. No complaints from anyone.
I’m in discussions with Mahesh about getting the Hindi and Bengali editions of LabourStart off the ground – hopefully soon.
I’ve been working on my presentation for the debate on Monday at Oxford on activism vs slacktivism, as well as Thursday’s talk in New Orleans at the UALE conference.
We’ve had a slow flow of nominations for the Labour Video of the Year competition – only 16 nominated so far. I’ve sent out a reminder to our lists.
We’re also just beginning to collect pre-registrations for our global solidarity conference in Istanbul using Facebook. At the moment we have 10 saying yes and 12 saying maybe, for a total of 22. I expect this to increase in the next few days as we’ve not only mentioned it in our mailings, but have just sent it out to members of all our causes on Facebook.
The first mass mailing we ever did with Mail Chimp went out 4 hours ago and one result is that we have just under 1,000 messages sent to the Chilean government — coming in at the rate of about 240 per hour. This is considerably faster than what we were able to achieve in the past. But it was expected.
A few years ago I wrote about the ‘velocity’ of campaigns and noted that when I demonstrated this in Canada, it took us 40 hours to get from 1 message to 1,000 sent. Today it takes one-tenth that amount of time – only four hours.
But also interesting to note another number that is persistent over the last four hours. About 20% of those who open their email — even if only to glance at it — then go on to support the LabourStart campaign we’re promoting. That’s an extraordinarily high number. At the moment, we’re talking about 970 people out of 4,550. Imagine if all 60,000 people were to open their email message — it would mean 12,000 messages sent to the Chilean government, our largest campaign by far.
This is the first campaign we’re promoting using MailChimp and we’ll see if the vastly increased speed of delivery as well as improved graphics capability leads to better results. In the first 20 minutes, all the messages were delivered to our list, 915 people opened and read them, 168 of whom supported the campaign (an astonishing 18% response rate!). In addition to this campaign, we’re promoting BananaLink’s campaign in support of women plantation workers, telling people to save the date for our conference, and promoting our book of the month.
I’m experimenting with MailChimp for doing our larger mailings (the English language ones).
We need a system to mail out frequently and to deliver our messages within minutes and this might be the one for us.
The first mailing to test capacity was yesterday’s to our correspondents list.
Today we’ll mail something to the entire English list.
Work has begun on promoting our upcoming 2nd annual Global Solidarity Conference, to be held in Istanbul on 18-20 November 2011.
Following my meetings last week in Turkey we have set the date and venue (the headquarters of the oil workers’ union Petrol-Is).
This has now been added as an event on UnionBook and Facebook, posted as a tweet by myself and by LabourStart, posted to the wall of LabourStart’s Facebook group, mailed out as a save-the-date mailing to our correspondents, and mentioned to unions in other countries in the region (Georgia, Egypt, etc.).
Here are the totals with the changes since the end of last month in brackets:
Mailing lists – subscribers: 76,177 [+3,774]
LabourStart’s English language mailing list: 63,403 60,240 [+3,163]
Unique visits to the site this month: 466,615 540,582 (-73,967)
Page views this month: 1,318,172 (-209,368)
Popular language home pages (last month in brackets):
* English 41,236 (44,183)
* French 5,707 (5,084)
* Norwegian 5,306 (5,033)
* Finnish 2,281 (2,121)
* Polish 1,670 (2,016)
* Russian 1,340 (1,851)
* Dutch 1,232 (1,523)
UnionBook 2.0 – members: 3,379 [+285]
Facebook – members of LabourStart group: 4,313 [+163]
Twitter – followers: 3,114 [+202]
Correspondents: 855 [+11]
Union group on Flickr: 617 [+22]
LinkedIn – members of LabourStart group: 300 [+24]
Some highlights from the mailing lists — the other large groups are:
Norwegian 2,753 [+10]
French 2,452 [+67]
Spanish 1,591 [+303]
German 854 [+8]
Turkish 694 [+179]
Italian 538 [+6]
Russian 498 [+3]
Polish 303 [no change]
Portuguese 253 [+11]
Chinese 245 [+1]
Dutch 236 [no change]
Swedish 228 [+3]