The biggest news:
I just set up CloudFlare as a way of ensuring that LabourStart stays online no matter what. It should also theoretically really speed up the display of our site, anywhere in the world. It should kick in sometime in the next 48 hours. If LabourStart suddenly becomes unusable that probably means I did something wrong with the setup. In that case, please email me making sure not to use a labourstart.org address — email me at [email protected], which will get through. Make sure you note that email address now, as this blog will also become inaccessible if our site goes offline.
Facebook: We have a new Hebrew language Facebook page, updated daily and picking up followers fairly quickly. We’re up to 48 likes. We also have pages in Turkish (99 likes), French (300 likes) and English (6,441 likes). We only have 209 people on our Hebrew language mailing list, so this is quite good — 1 in 4 are now Facebook fans. If we had the same result in English, we’d have something like 19,000 fans on Facebook.
New home page: The new home page is now working in 11 languages and should be working in all 29 by the end of this week. Following a vigorous discussion about the logo, we’ll make a decision in the next few days.
New pages for countries and state/provinces: This is also being configured according to the new design, and hugely improved. See for example the new UK home page at http://www.labourstart.org.uk.
Campaigns: The Hong Kong dock workers remains our latest, with over 7,300 messages sent so far, though we will likely be launching a new one today for the ITF. We’ve added a prominent link on campaigns to Reddit which, according to participants in the recent e-Campaigning Forum, can be a very effective way to boost traffic to a site (at no cost). Two of our oldest campaigns — Nissan USA and the Philippines — have been closed. A new version of a Canada-only campaign has also been launched, with over 600 messages this week.
Mailing lists: We now have a mailing list in Thai with 49 subscribers, and our first campaign in that language.
Book: We’re nearly done with the writing of our introduction to the global labour movement — we hope to go to press this Friday and have copies ready for sale by 4th May, when we hold the LabourStart May Day party in London.
May Day party: This important fund-raising event takes place on 4th May this year at the Bread & Roses pub in London. I’m hoping to raise up to £1,000 pounds. So far, over 200 people have either confirmed their attendance or said they may come (slightly more say they will definitely come). The general secretary of the ITF is due to speak, as are others. Two performers have volunteered to provide the entertainment for the evening — Dave Thorpe and The Ruby Kid.
Today in Labour History: Edd’s added many more items, as we need to ensure that we have at least one for each month for each of the major countries. This appears on the bottom of our UK page, if you want to see what it looks like. Comrades who can help should contact us [email protected]
Dormant languages: We’ve identified 11 languages where correspondents have ceased posting news — we’ll need to chase them up and find replacements, but if comrades have any suggestions they’d be most welcome. The languages are:
- Czech (nothing since 2010)
- Danish (nothing since April 2012)
- Greek (nothing since 2011)
- Farsi (nothing since November 2012)
- Italian (nothing since 2011)
- Georgian (nothing since July 2012)
- Kreole (nothing since 2010)
- Portuguese (nothing since July 2012)
- Serbian (nothing since 2011)
- Suomi (nothing since April 2012)
- Swedish (nothing since July 2012)
Techy stuff: I had to review our server on 1&1 Internet as they are no longer supporting the MySQL 4 format starting from the end of this month. Fortunately, all our databases are MySQL 5 so we should be fine.