- We’ve resumed the book of the month. The next mass mailing will feature it. Today, social media was used to publicize. This month, it’s Joe Hill.
- ITUC General Secretary Sharan Burrow has agreed to open our conference with a video message. She can’t be there, but this is the next best thing. We hope to get the message in time to allow us to subtitle it in Turkish (and Arabic?)
- Our first app for a smartphone is nearly ready (within 24 hours). If you have a Nokia smartphone, let me know. We have submitted something to their app store. (The iOS and Adroid versions are in the works.)
- We’ve sent a long message to PSI about their Korea campaign with suggestions about how to revive it after two months online. Some 3,000 of the 3,200 messages were sent in the first week.
- At the request of our Russian comrades, we’ve now closed down the Valentin Urusov campaign. We may need to revive it later this year, as he is still in jail.
- We will almost certainly have a campaign focussed on India next week (in support of Suzuki workers). We’re waiting for final approval from the IMF.
- Work on the upcoming Global Solidarity Conference is going well, if a bit behind the scenes at the moment. I have weekly phone conferences with our staffer in Istanbul, Eyup. This Monday, we’ll begin the process of approving who gets subsidies. I have made special efforts in the last week to encourage participation from Jordan, Palestine, Iraq and Georgia.
- We have a much more prominent signup form on our home page now for our mailing list (in English only at the moment). This will be an important feature of our site redesign, which will begin probably just after our conference ends.
- We have a new newswire for Fiji – created at the request of the Australian unions, who are using it.
- I’ve upgraded our Facebook group – not sure exactly what that means, but people now need to be approved to join and there’s a lot more activity there than before.
- UnionBook has reverted to much more staid colors after a pink and purple phase. No one seems to have noticed …
I’ve been posting this item today to UnionBook, Facebook and Twitter:
This week, I hope to begin targetted sales once again – there’s a new, interesting biography of Joe Hill out there which our readers might want to buy.
First, let’s keep this in perspective. I sent out a mailing to 65,000 people with that as the subject line yesterday. A very large number of them responded to our Georgia and Kazakh campaigns. Ten (10) of our subscribers wrote back with messages supporting, to one degree or another, Soviet Communism.
I share these with you (below) because I find it odd, to say the least, that there are still die-hard Stalinists (who actually deeply admire Stalin) who are prepared to defend the USSR even now, decades after its collapse. And I don’t mean Russians — I mean people in the West who should have known better.
So here goes: (more…)
I’m in the processing of closing down existing campaigns for Palestine and Georgia, and opening up new ones for Kazakhstan and Georgia (again).
The two campaigns we’re closing were not successful (in the sense that the employers and governments involved did not capitulate to our demands) but they were medium-sized campaigns with a significant presence on Facebook, and each of them were larger than the five previous campaigns — probably part of a boost we got from the very large Canadian postal workers campaign. Several of the currently-running campaigns are even larger than these, so there is some sign of sustained growth.
I’ve just written to every member of UnionBook to announce the good news – the social network for trade unionists will continue.
But I’ve asked them to redouble their efforts (literally), aiming to recruit 6 new members per day (instead of the 3 members a day we’ve been getting in September) between now and the end of the year. If we can do this, we can reach 5,000 members.
And I’ve suggested that each and every one of them use this as their Facebook status update today:
Union member? Fed up with Facebook? Join me on UnionBook: www.unionbook.org
Please do so yourself. Thanks.
If you search Google for ‘LabourStart’, the first two sites found point directly to our website, the third is our Twitter feed and the fourth is the Wikipedia entry about LabourStart. That entry gets a significant amount of traffic – 176 visitors in the last month, for example. Some people are clearly learning more about our website here. Which is why we need to keep it updated.
The article was first created back in November 2003 by me; it was updated by me a few years later, and Dave Smith has made sure we’re part of the Organized Labour Portal on Wikipedia. But we’ve not been good at keeping it up to date, or making it as informative as we can.
At Derek Blackadder’s suggestion, I have now begun to regularly update the page, and will be doing so at least once per month. The idea is not only to keep the numbers up to date, but to keep adding new references – in the hope of attracting attention to some of the things we do (like our campaigns, conference, competitions, and so on).
Anyone can edit the page, and I urge correspondents to sign up for a Wikipedia account — you don’t need to do so in order to edit, but it helps identify who has made changes. If you make changes, please note what you’ve done in the appropriate space.
If you write in another language, please do what you can to make sure people who do not read English can still learn about LabourStart on the Wikipedia. At the moment, it appears that our page is only in English. (To see an example of a multilingual page, go here and look at the left side of the screen.)
The campaign in support of joined diamond miner Valentin Urusov is now closed after 3 months.
UPDATE: The campaign has been temporarily reopened for two weeks in English and Russian.
The campaign generated only 1,759 messages – but it should be noted that it explicitly asked people to use the ‘official form for e-letters’ on the Kremlin website, which will have reduced participation in the LabourStart effort.
Of those 1,759, only 56 were in Russian.
And focussed on one thing above all others: the LabourStart conference in Turkey which begins in another nine weeks (63 days) from today.
Expect to see progress on this from today reported on the conference website.
Yes, there are many other things to do as well (my Toodledo account lists 125 LabourStart tasks), but the conference takes priority.
UNI has asked us to launch this campaign today – Labor Day in the USA. They sent us translations into German, French and Spanish, so we went live in four languages simultaneously.