Oct
31
2008
2

Wow! Overwhelming response from our readers

You have to see this to believe it.

2,227 of our readers have clicked through to look at our proposal for the News Challenge prize. 255 of them have rated it, giving it an average of 4.4 (Excellent).

But here’s the best bit — the comments. By my count, there are nearly 170 extraordinary comments from our readers.

Required reading, comrades.

Written by admin in: Knight News Challenge |
Oct
31
2008
0

Weekly mailing goes out – appeal for support for our $80,000 campaign

This week’s mailing has just gone out. The main thing is to ask people to give our News Challenge bid some support, both by giving us five stars and adding supportive comments. If we can flood the News Challenge website with such messages, it might convince the judges that we really do have such a global constituency. I don’t know if this will have any effect, but I can’t see it hurting.

We’re also reminding people about last week’s Oak Harbor/Gap campaign which has drawn a response from the company and a counter-response from the union (which we’re publishing in full).

And there’s a reminder at the end about the U.S. elections which we really can’t ignore, even if we know for certain that I’ll get a handful of angry emails from supporters of minor, third and fourth party candidates. For 99.999% of the organized working class in the U.S., the impending victory of Obama and the Democrats is an event of historic proportions an we need to acknowledge that.

Impact of the email message:

As of 31.10 07:38 GMT –

  • News Challenge – 21 views, rating of 2.3 stars
  • Oak Harbor campaign – 2,430 messages sent
  • Oak Harbor Facebook cause – 1,050 supporters
  • Labour Photo of the Year – 2,648 votes cast
Oct
30
2008
1

We apply for an $80,000 prize

Thanks to Yishay Mor for telling us about the Knight News Challenge – a five million dollar annual competition. I’ve quickly done up an application for $80,000 – the deadline is this weekend – and while our chance of getting any of this money is slim, it’s worth a shot. I’m going to ask our mailing list (at least the English speakers) to visit the site, to give us a high rating and to add their comments. Who knows? Meanwhile, please go to the site, sign up, find our application and rate us highly adding your comments. I think this is the direct link to our proposal, but I’m not sure.

Written by admin in: Knight News Challenge |
Oct
30
2008
2

Solicomm search – getting there …

As we’ve now learned, the ILO’s Solicomm search engine lags behind LabourStart somewhat in terms of languages, but they do have ‘About Solicomm’ pages in a handful of them. Where these exist, we are now linking to them — such as in French.

Written by admin in: Internationalization |
Oct
29
2008
0

English list grows, manual unsubscribes, and who’s the sender (continued)

I’ve just added addresses of new subscribers to the list who came through the Oak Harbor campaign. The total in the last few days is 199 which is a nice gain. This is for the English list only.

I also spent some time today going through 26 emails I’ve recently received from people asking me to either unsubscribe them, subscribe them, or change their addresses. Yes, people can do all of this themselves, but I’ve long followed a policy of doing this for individuals when asked.

The results are always the same — only a few of the people are on the list because between when they email me and when I get around to unsubscribing them, they figure out how to do it themselves. Or it turns out that they are not on our mailing list at the address they think and I can’t find them. It’s time consuming, but it’s important to keep people happy.

It still surprises me how many of our 57,000 subscribers write to me personally, asking me to note their change. This sense of being a small community will eventually change. What will happen when we have a million subscribers?

Finally, following upon the advice given to me by Nick Holden from Unionlists, I’ve now gone into every one of our mailing lists and changed the email address from which messages are sent. It should no longer mention unionlists and from now on, in all lists, come from LabourStart <[email protected]>.

Written by admin in: Mailing list |
Oct
28
2008
0

Our campaign ‘a contributing factor’ in ending dispute at Woolworths

I received this email today from Mike Abrahams from SACCAWU, in South Africa:

Clearly the LabourStart campaign was a contributing factor not only in putting pressure on the company, but also in strengthening the resolve and unity of workers who received regular updates of Solidarity including the LabourStart campaign. However we anticipate the possibility of further difficulties with the company around the same issues, especially since we’ve noticed a systematic suspension of shopfloor leaders since the return to work. I will keep you posted.

Written by admin in: Campaigns |
Oct
28
2008
0

One-click campaigns

Some time ago I began an overhaul of our campaign page — the page that shows an active campaign. The main thing the new page will do is allow one-click campaigning with no more need for a confirmation page. I still have a fairly long to do list but here are the changes implemented so far in the new page – which is not yet live:

  1. By default, all campaigns now have ‘utf-8’ (Unicode) embedded in the ‘reserve’ field; this ensures that they will display correctly.
  2. The ‘image’ field, which was not being used, is now used for a numeric code to be used for Facebook causes setup in parallel to the campaigns. You can see this at work in the Oak Harbor campaign.

I’ll continue to update this entry and will move it to the top of this blog as changes are made.

Written by admin in: Campaigns |
Oct
28
2008
0

Regional news pages in English – now complete

The regional news pages for Africa, Asia, the Caribbean, Central America and South America are now working again – in English. The JavaScript and RSS news feeds still need some work.

Written by admin in: News database |
Oct
28
2008
0

Stale campaigns

When we set up a campaign, we always tell the union that it’s for three months maximum. For a number of reasons, we just don’t run stale campaigns on LabourStart.

Still, unions sometimes ask us to extend a campaign beyond three months and more often, unions just don’t communicate well with us, don’t tell us when we can close the campaign down.

We have two old campaigns now running on LabourStart, both of which are overdue for closing down. I’ve written to both the campaign initiators today and if I don’t hear from them, will unilaterally close down the campaigns by the end of the week. I’m referring to this campaign and this one.

Written by admin in: Campaigns |
Oct
27
2008
5

Internationalization

LabourStart has lead the way in the international trade union movement with its 22 languages but we need to do more. We know that many of our pages retain elements of English and are not as user-friendly as they might be to non-English speakers.

Andy Funnell in France has made a number of helpful suggestions which I have begun implementing. I welcome other suggestions as well as offers to help.

Here’s what we’ve done today:

  1. The searchbox and mailing list signup now end with the more universal ‘OK’ rather than the English ‘Go’.
  2. In the French version – and soon others – the ‘search union websites with Solicomm’ phrase has been translated.
  3. In the French version – and others if they want – ‘ActNOW’ on the front page has been translated into French. I realize that in some languages, they would prefer to stick with ‘ActNOW’.
  4. I’ve now separated out top stories from others – in the French version with two separate titles and in all others, for the moment, with a horizontal bar. Your suggestions for how to title the two sections would be appreciated.
  5. I’ve improved the French translation of the signup to our mailing list phrase – the ones we were using were taken from the IUF site, but apparently the translations are not what our correspondents want to see.
  6. I’ve fixed a bug which meant that if you clicked on, for example, ‘Suisse’ next to a story on the French page it would show you English language stories from Switzerland. Now it shows the French ones. This is fixed for all languages.
Written by admin in: Internationalization |

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