Every news story on LabourStart, in every language, and even on our country and state/province pages, now has a Twitter and Facebook icon next to it. I completed the writing of the code for this today. Click on the icons and you can tweet the story or post it to Facebook. (You need to be logged into Twitter or Facebook to do this.) This will (potentially) greatly expand the readership of these stories and provide a huge boost to unions trying to get their message out to an international audience. Try it out!
The previous month’s numbers are in brackets below. Notable growth is indicated in bold, green. Continue reading
I spent much of the last two weeks travelling — to Istanbul, Geneva and Brussels — so this will have to be a relatively short report as I have much to catch up on. Apologies if you’re waiting for an answer to an email — I’m struggling to catch up on that.
Mailing lists: These continue to grow quite well. The English list now stands at 85,419; the French list is up to 7,215. The German list is poised to replace the Italian one as our fourth largest list, as it’s now up to 4,072, just 75 fewer than the Italian one. That German list was around 2,500 a year ago, so it’s grown spectacularly. We’re migrating most of the lists back to MailChimp due to continuing software issues with Sendy.
Berlin 2014: We have 316 people signed up now (this includes some duplicates). The organizing committee continues to meet and a lot of progress has been made, including on fundraising. I continue with monthly mailings to all those who signed up — a mailing went out today. We’ll be holding the meeting for UK participants on 20 February at the TUC.
Books: We have all the content for the next book (Dan Gallin) and I met with Dan in Geneva in order to discuss and to pick up some photos of him. Andy has finished a translation of our second book (the global labour movement) into French. Our fifth book, which we could publish in June, would be a collection of papers and speeches from our Berlin conference.
Turkey: I wrote a number of articles about the KESK trial I attended last week. I’ll publicize these later today from my personal blog.
I’m in Istanbul for the next few days as part of an international trade union delegation. We’ll be attending the opening of the second stage of a trial of leaders of KESK, the public sector union, over 500 of whose members have been charged with a wide range of crimes including terrorism. In the photo – Lars Bengtsson, international secretary of the Swedish national trade union centre TCO; Abdullah Muhsin, from the British teachers’ union NASUWT; Eric Lee; and four KESK activists. More details tomorrow.
- The Cambodia campaign is doing very well — after just a week, we’re up to well over 10,000 messages sent, making it our second largest current campaign (Kazakhstan is the largest).
- We just launched a campaign yesterday in defense of Colombian unions; it picked up some 4,300 supporters in the 24 hours online.
- We closed the previous Colombia campaign just in time after it ran for three full months. Huber is, unfortunately, still in jail.
- I participated on Saturday in a very good meeting with four members of our organizing committee in Berlin. Gisela and I also agreed a number of changes to LabourStart’s German language page, some of which have been done. These include some new pages about LabourStart, a registration form for new correspondents, and so on.
- The total number of people registered is now 280, up 20 in the last week. Of those, 59 are from Germany and 42 from the UK (meaning that of those 20 new ones, 7 come from the UK and Germany).
- I wrote to the more than 100 people who’ve requested help getting a visa to clarify once again that we cannot help with airfares and to ask for some more details; about 19 have responded so far.
- The TUC is offering us a room to convene a meeting of people from the UK who have registered, or are thinking about coming to Berlin; we’ll hold this in February.
- We’re doing a lot of targetting of specific countries; Tom is doing some work focussing on the closest neighbours to Berlin: Poland, the Czech Republic and Denmark.
- I contacted the ITUC two days ago asking for a meeting when I’m in Brussels but no answer yet.
- I fixed the link to the conference on our home pages in all languages — it now points to the right place.
- Dan Gallin has sent us 12 essays with 3 more to come; we’re exploring new ways to produce this as we’re not happy with CreateSpace’s service and will probably use Lulu (who did our calendar). Our aim is the get the book out fairly quickly and certainly well in advance of the Berlin conference.
- I continue with weekly mailings; this time, I aimed to encourage yet again inactive correspondents. After 24 hours, we saw a result — a 10% increase in the number of correspondents posting news (up from 78 to 85 this month) and increase in stories (up by 326 in just one day — the previous daily average was just 167).
- We added several new correspondents this week.
- We continue to make progress, having made at least half a dozen fixes this week. Some of them are small fixes to all languages and are contributing to making the site more useful for non-English speakers.
- I moved some things around on the page at Derek’s request; it looks better now.
- I’ve fixed the search, which now always brings up the new pages.
- I’ve also created a search on all languages, which we had on the old site but hadn’t preserved.
- It’s been a week since we launched our quarterly appeal to “power users” (people who’ve supported 3 or more campaigns in the last year). Results have been good — we’ve taken in just over £4,000 in donations this week. This is similar to how we did last April, and probably better than the two appeals since then.
- I’ll be travelling for most of the next two weeks — all of next week in Istanbul as a guest of KESK, to participate in the opening of the trial of their activists. The following week I’ll be in Geneva and then Brussels. This may mean slower response times to emails, but I hope you’ll all understand.
If you manage one of the LabourStart Twitter feeds could you update me (Derek Blackadder) on what you’re doing? I’m about to do another quick survey of the people following the feeds I run to see what they think about tweet frequency, hours, etc and it would be useful to know what you’re doing I think.
FYI, here’s what I currently have set up:
Management software: Hootsuite
Global English feed: one tweet every 3 hours, 24/7. Plus campaign tweets, the auto feed of Top Stories as they are posted and the odd tweet from Eric et al at the office.
English Canadian feed: one per hour, 12 per day, 7 days per week from 0700 to 1900 Eastern.
French Canadian feed: one every two hours, 6 per day, 7 days per week from 0700 to 1900 Eastern.
I also have some boilerplate tweets (re. the Flickr group, newswires, donations, that sort of thing) which I throw into the mix as the mood takes me.
We just closed the campaign demanding the release of Huber; today we launch a new one at the initiative of IndustriALL following the attack on the president of CUT and SINTRAELECOL-Caldas, Arturo Oscar Orozco. Here’s the link to the new campaign: http://www.labourstartcampaigns.net/show_campaign.cgi?c=2141 Several other campaigns are in the pipeline at the moment from Russia, Fiji and Israel … it will be a very busy week for us.
In the first few hours of our quarterly fund-raising appeal, we’ve raised over £1,500. We’ve had 35 donations so far in 5 different currencies, and pledges of more to come.
By comparison, in our previous appeal (October) we managed to raise £2,985 in the first 3 days — and £2,188 of that in the first 21 hours. In July we did poorly, raising only £1,844 in the first 10 days online. And last April we raised about £4,050 in the first week of the campaign. So it’s a good start …
The message went out to 22,560 people who have signed up to 3 LabourStart campaigns or more in the last 12 months. This is about 10% larger than the list we used in October.
- We’ve closed the Korean teachers’ campaign and will soon be receiving a report back on the results.
- The Cambodia campaign, launched yesterday, is taking off very quickly — already considerably larger than the Carnival (Crown Holdings) campaign launched a week earlier.
- We’re now running our first campaign ever in Ukrainian.
- I’m off to Berlin tomorrow with Tom to meet with the organizing committee.
- At the moment we have 260 registrants for the conference, 54 of them from Germany, 40 from the UK.
- We’ve updated the database adding a number of new fields to begin recording where people will stay, their flight details, contact phone numbers, etc. This information will be added by the conference organizers.
We’ve just heard from Dan Gallin that he’s assembled the texts for our next book, which we can now begin to produce and sell. This will be LabourStart’s fourth book.
We had a problem with Sendy, trying to resolve it with help from them.
Derek and Andy have made several suggestions for improvements which we’ve begun to implement.
- We’re about to do the quarterly fundraising mailing to people who regularly support our online campaigns.
- I’ve also written to all our correspondents about the Svensson prize (having already told our entire list about it) and fingers crossed maybe this year LabourStart will be considered for this.
We now have a Vietnamese English-language newswire at the request of our comrades in Australia, and it appears on the website of the committee to protect Vietnamese workers.
We’re adding additional languages to allow new correspondents to post news without having to deal with an English interface. The Finnish one is now ready and others are on their way.