Friday afternoon shorts …

Conference: We’ve jumped from 69 to 85 registrants – and now have 11 from the UK, due to a special mailing I did.  The Solidarity Center is now telling us we should have 8 participants from 4 Arab countries as well.

Campaigns: Vale Colombia is now closed.  Malawi one should launch today.

Newswires: I’ve been doing a lot of work on the regional newswires, which had not been working for a very long time.  Most of them are now working fine.  I’ll give a full update when complete.

Absence: Early warning – I will be away from my desk from 15-30 August with only very limited email access (and none at all during the first week).

Written by admin in: 2011 conference,Campaigns,Newswires |

Time to get serious about our conference

With little more than 100 days to go, we need to work hard now to make sure that our conference is a success.

At the moment, I’m most concerned about turnout. As of this morning, we had 69 people registered – of these 7 were from Turkey and 62 from abroad.

Our target for the conference is 200 – 150 from Turkey and 50 from abroad.

And that’s not all the bad news — only 20 of those who have registered say they can pay their own way.

Obviously, we’ll have many more people attending than that. We have a commitment to bring in about 10 from the Middle East and North Africa region. Even members of our Turkish steering committee have not registered to attend yet. So realistically, we have closer to 40-50 who will certainly attend. The biggest problem is going to be mobilizing a large turnout from Turkey.

Every day for the next two weeks I will doing what I can to build attendance. Here are some of the things I did today:

  • Wrote again to every national trade union center in the region, and to key partner NGOs we have worked with, re-inviting them and pointing out that they can now register online.
  • Wrote to the Turkish steering committee about these problems.
  • Wrote to LabourStart senior correspondents focussing on their regions, asking what we can do to build interest.
  • Make a list of another half-dozen ideas, including specific unions/countries/individuals to target.
  • Posted a reminder to Facebook event, which 286 people have said they will attend or might attend.  I will be following up with another mailing via Facebook to all of them, as well as regular updates to the event page.

I’ll keep you informed.  But for the moment, the number to watch is this one:


Written by admin in: 2011 conference |

Conference mailing list set up; first newsletter goes out

Yesterday I set up a mailing list for people who have registered to attend the LabourStart conference in November.  The list includes both those who say they can pay their own way, and those who are waiting to hear about subsidies.  Many of the people who ‘registered’ on Facebook to attend the conference have not done so using our online form, so they will not have seen the message.  My plan is to send out an update every week over the next 13 weeks or so until the conference happens.  If you’re reading this, but didn’t get the email newsletter, you’re not registered for the conference.

Written by admin in: 2011 conference |

96 hours on LabourStart

In the last four days, in addition to watching our Palestine campaign grow, showing off our new conference poster, and and thinking about Cafe Press (see earlier posts), here are a few of the things that have been on the agenda at LabourStart this week …

  1. Have been holding an email conversation with our internet service provider (1&1) about the possible listing of their IP address in the SORBS spam database – some people sending off protest messages to Georgia have received reports that indicate this. Still investigating what’s going on.
  2. Attended a meeting at the Trades Union Congress to discuss Egypt and expressed a willingness to do more – including a possible campaign in support of labour law reform in that country.
  3. Fixed the newswire which is now featured on LabourStart’s French page on Facebook to open links in a new window (as is the case for the campaigns newswire).
  4. Received another nice donation from a Canadian union, processed it and had Derek thank them.
  5. Spoke with the International Metalworkers Federation about a possible campaign on Malawi – but after consulting with the ITUC, this has been placed on hold.
  6. Provided advice on social networking to UNI, which is campaigning against Deutsche Telekom – a union-buster in the USA.
  7. Mailed all members of UnionBook about our conference, the campaigns, and the need to recruit some 900 new members in 40 days.
  8. Improved daily campaign stats program to show only the current month; could not get it to show in reverse order.
  9. Backed up mailing lists, MySQL databases, and all files on the website.
  10. Added campaign supporters to MailChimp lists.
  11. Removed spam signups to the conference database.
  12. Updated conference website with the Turkish version of the ‘respect’ form.
  13. Sorted out tickets for travel to Istanbul in September for a meeting with our conference committee.
  14. Sent out the weekly mailing in German.
  15. Sent out a mailing to over 600 Francophone Canadians.
  16. And answered dozens and dozens of emails.

Our conference banner

2011 conference logo

From social neworks to social revolutions - the theme of this year's conference

Written by admin in: 2011 conference |

Campaigns, conference, donations

First of all, my goal of 10,000 messages in the Canada Post campaign by the weekend turned out to be not ambitious enough.  It’s only Thursday and we already have 11,213 messages sent.  Unfortunately, the Colombia Vale campaign launched the same day, has received only one-fifth as many supporters – 2,455.  Which raises some questions in my mind about how we go about building the global campaigning capacity of the international trade union movement.  I intend to address these in a column I’ll be writing later today for Solidarity, a British weekly.

Conference registrations are not exactly flooding in — but at least today I’ve sorted out some error processing.  If you try to sign up without giving your name, or an email address, or a country (e.g., you leave ‘Select a country’ as your choice), you’ll be prompted to fix these.  You might think, who would register without giving such basic details, but a significant percentage of those who fill in the form leave out their name, country and email – which are the basic things we need.

Finally, a £500 donation from a union in New Zealand has pushed us very close to the £20,000 mark in this year’s May Day fundraising campaign.  This is great news, but we can do better — and I’ll be following up today with 6 unions which last year donated a total of £7,000.  While the amount of money coming in is nearly double what we raised last year, and that’s great, this is nothing as compared to what other groups manage to raise.  We can do so much better if we try.

Written by admin in: 2011 conference,Campaigns,Fund-raising |

Wednesday updates

  • We’re around 500 people short of our goal of 10,000 supporters for this campaign – we’ll do another push this afternoon.
  • A prominent Facebook ‘like’ button now appears on top of every campaign page.  Please click on it.
  • Later today, I have a phone call scheduled with the AFL-CIO international department to discuss a major campaign we may need to do in defense of Georgian trade unions.
  • The review (overhaul) of our website that was due to appear in .net magazine did not appear yesterday – but the editor has assured me that it will appear in next month’s issue and apologized.
  • Now we have a correct link on every language page in LabourStart that allows you to sign up to our list in that specific language.
  • We’ve fixed the Turkish title of our conference and added a registration page in Turkish to the site.
  • I’ve completed the task of writing individual, personalized messages to every national trade union center within 1,000 km of Istanbul (that’s 20 countries).
  • We now have an online page that shows who has registered for our conference – email me if you’d like to see it and I’ll send you the URL.

Publicizing the conference registration form

It’s now time to begin actually registering people for our conference.  Today I’m beginning publicity for the English language version of the form (still waiting to hear from the Turkish comrades about a translation).  Here is how I’ve publicized this form today:

  1. Personal status update on UnionBook
  2. Posted to my personal Twitter feed
  3. Posted to my personal Facebook status
  4. Posted to my pesonal Linked In status
  5. Posted as a LabourStart tweet
  6. Posted to the LabourStart Facebook page
  7. Posted to the Wall of the LabourStart Facebook group
  8. Posted as an ad across the top of UnionBook
  9. Wrote to all 80 who indicated on Facebook that they would attend
  10. Wrote to all 151 who indicated on Facebook that they might attend
  11. Posted to the wall of the conference Facebook event
  12. Wrote to all 4,373 members of the LabourStart Facebook group
  13. Wrote to nearly 700 LabourStart correspondents
Written by admin in: 2011 conference |

Conference registration – now working

I cracked the problem of the conference registration script this morning – we’ll begin publicizing this far and wide tomorrow, but feel free to register today if you want:

Written by admin in: 2011 conference |

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