Social networks and microblogging / I

Facebook?  Twitter?  Our Twitter page is updated automatically every time a Top LS story is posted.  UnionBook:  Elgg allows us to build a Facebook-type site, an integrated social-networking tool.  Eric demonstrated the use of UnionBook and how it can be set to automatically update Twitter page.  Once the coding problems are solved, UnionBook should become much more useful.

UnionBook can be used for immediate and continuing news, such as updating the situation in South Korea’s auto plants recently.

Spammers’ access to UnionBook is a new problem that needs to be solved.

Are we duplicating our efforts?  Different networks reach different people.  Some people spend much time with Twitter who don’t necessarily check UnionBook.  One can receive UnionBook RSS feeds through email.

Keep in mind that if we had had this same discussion a few years ago, it would be in reference to MySpace and not Facebook.

Written by rnitzberg in: 2009 conference,Uncategorized |

LS Conference–primary issues, introduction and discussion

Eric Lee’s  introduction.  Topics:  LS campaigns.  Australian Right to Work.  Written campaign guidelines.  “Super Campaigns” on enormously popular issues.  International relations.  Revive Portuguese LS.  Top Ten languages and  new editions of LS.  Spanish LS edition has doubled in the past year.  LS news service syndicated to hundreds of labor sites.  Regional meetings.  Take Unionbook to the next phase.  Blog aggregators.  Use Unionbook as a blog platform.  Multimedia:  Radio LS.  Labor film.  Photo of the day.  Sell more books online.  Success and lack of success of various projects.  Fund raising:  LS must be the cheapest project that the labor movement has ever known.  Next year’s conference.  Where should we be this coming Wednesday?  “To do” list for 2009-2010.  Most trade unions in US to not know about LS.  Welcome to Washington … let’s have a great conference!

Discussion:  More than half Australian labors use the LS news feed.  After lunch tomorrow, we will continue to discuss how to make ourselves better known to American unions in more detail.

Is is possible to get a feed for particular states?  Yes.

When labor-website writers create websites, about 70% request LS news feed.  Many American trade unionists do not have a sufficient degree of interest in labor projects not directly related to their own work.  Still, many trade unionist don’t appreciate the necessity of having websites.  Average trade unionists are different from “hard-core” organizers and activists.  LS is often approached by individuals who seem not to understand whether their particular concern is one that deserves international attention.

It is surprising that many union locals will allow a LS news feed on their sites.

Languages:  LS began only in English.  We add new languages quite often.  Other than English, LS’s most popular languages now are Finish and Norwegian.  We will not promote an “English only” agenda.  LS is now in 23 languages. What are languages would be useful and that have large constituencies?  Spanish news feed for Latino-speaking unions and locals would be useful.

Computer literacy and access are concerns, too.

See this …

… for James Park’s report on the LS conference.

LS podcasts?  Should we?  May not be sufficiently popular now.  LS and internet radio:  BBC once sent a reporter to see our London “studio.”  WINS still exists:  mostly American labor news.

Written by rnitzberg in: 2009 conference |

AFL-CIO President John Sweeney addresses LabourStart conference

Tula Connell introduced President Sweeney.  President Sweeney discussed the role LabourStart has provided for online labor news for the past ten years.  The labor movement hopes to pass the Employee Free Choice Act, hopes to pass health care legislation.  LabourStart has helped the labor movement to provide new models to reach out to trade unionists and the American labor movement hopes to use the internet and these new technologies to reach out to new members and to spread the word.

Written by rnitzberg in: 2009 conference,Uncategorized |

LabourStart conference 2009

Next week, LabourStart will be holding a small, invitation-only conference in Washington DC at the headquarters of the AFL-CIO.

The conference will take place over the course of three days and will involve participants from the USA. Canada, Trinidad & Tobago, Australia, India, Finland, Switzerland and the UK.

We’ll be discussing a broad range of subjects including LabourStart’s news and campaigns, blogging, social networks (including UnionBook), podcasting, labour film festivals, labour book sales, union jobs boards, and much more.

We’re hoping to blog about the conference as it happens here, and welcome all LabourStart correspondents to follow the blog and post your comments.  We promise to read out some of the comments at the event, as if you were there, so this is a wonderful opportunity for you to be involved — even if you can’t be in Washington.

Written by admin in: 2009 conference |

In brief …

  • We’ve successfully upgraded our web hosting account with 1&1 Internet and now have 10 more MySQL databases we can fill up.
  • Some changes to Twitter: we’ve taken some ideas from our Dutch edition, and have changed our Twitter icon from a red fist to a coffee cup, our background from a Korean photo to white, and the link on our home page to a very cute Twittering bird – which now links directly to our Twitter feed, where we have 992 followers.
  • A lot more people have been invited to our conference and the list of those attending or invited is updated every day.
  • The fundraising concert held in Sheffield earlier this month was not a huge success – but £50 was raised for LabourStart.
  • Our French edition is now using an interesting Flickr box to display the photo of the day.
  • Our photo of the year continues to appear in print — I just sent a packet containing several recent examples to the photographer.
  • Two upcoming events: on 20.5 I’ll be doing a fringe meeting at the PCS union conference in Brighton on the subject of online campaigning.  The following week, I’m in Brussels doing a communicators event for the Education International on the same subject.

Odds and ends

A few things from the last couple of weeks that I haven’t updated yet here …

  • will finally close down this summer.  We needed to give 6 months notice.  Once this is closed, we can consider launching a free jobs board for trade unionists – this is something we might want to discuss this summer.
  • UnionBook now has over 2,500 users though not all have confirmed.  We continue to send out weekly mailings to all of them.  In the last 7 days, we’ve picked up another 122 users.  We have a list of things we want done to the site and have hired someone to do these things.
  • The ActNOW wire in French has been fixed – this is part of a whole bunch of problems we’ve had after we converted LabourStart to Unicode without waiting for the rest of the trade union movement to join us – meaning that we’ve had to re-convert some of our content back to earlier formats to display properly on union websites.
  • We’ve submitted a proposal to Unite, the largest union in the UK, asking for support.
  • The link to show more news for individual countries now works properly in all languages.
  • Having written our first script that can read the UnionBook database – it shows the size of the various groups – we can now do much more.  We can create our own tools to monitor and administer the system.
  • We’ve submitted a draft early day motion to the British House of Commons regarding UnionBook – this will probably be introduced in the next few days.
  • The Labour News Network in its most recent incarnation (Jottit) has now been closed down.  UnionBook replaces it.
  • We’ll shortly begin selling this book – waiting for final confirmation from the publisher.
  • We’re exploring moving our campaigns from the existing 1&1 server – which could not handle the most recent flood of participants – to our new dedicated server which we use for UnionBook.  This should solve the problem.
  • NoSweat Apparel in the US has offered to produce UnionBook t-shirts which we will shortly begin selling.
  • There’s probably more, but I can’t remember it all.

AFL-CIO confirms: LabourStart conference in Washington, D.C. – August 2009

I’ve exchanged emails with the AFL-CIO this week about this.  Now we need first of all to nail down the actual conference dates and then move on.  Details soon, as soon as I have them.

Written by admin in: 2009 conference |

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