Should we use ZenDesk?

I admit that I’ve only skimmed this – – but I wonder if it wouldn’t be a way for us to share the workload, and track progress, on all the communciations we receive from our readers.  At the moment, these all come in as simple emails to me.  These include:

  • New submissions – either URLs or attached documents such as press releases
  • Requests to become correspondents
  • Requests for campaigns
  • Complaints and bug reports
  • General questions
  • Requests for new passwords
  • And others I’m not thinking about at the moment

Do any of you want to have a look and note your thoughts in the comments here? Thanks.

Written by admin in: Uncategorized |

Weekly roundup – 9-21 May 2012

It’s been more than a week because I spent all of last week in Geneva, attending the IUF’s 26th congress.

At the request of the North West Playfair group in the UK, I answered a half dozen interview questions about LabourStart for their new publication.

And it’s been a busy time for campaigns:

  1. One campaign launched (by Derek) in support of the USW.
  2. One on its way (Mexico) – launching very soon.
  3. One rejected (Pakistan) – following discussion among senior correspondents.
  4. One more to decide on (Kenya) – waiting for the views of a GUF.
  5. One still waiting for the partner union to be confirmed (Iraq).
  6. One waiting for better texts (Korea).

Lots of emails answered, more work done on the Iceland project (see below), new correspondents added, etc.

Written by admin in: Campaigns,Publicity |

The Iceland Project


A safe haven for our campaigns.

One of the problems we’ve faced in the past – and not only us – is that sometimes our web host, 1&1 Internet, gets upset when targets of our email campaigns begin claiming that they’ve been spammed.  Or when too many messages sent through our campaigning system bounce back.

They don’t want their server to be seen as a spammer or they could get blacklisted.  The problem is, when that happens they shut down – or threaten to shut down – the entire LabourStart site, which consists of a lot more than the campaign.

I’ve thought for some time now that we need to separate out the campaigns from the rest of the site, and a while ago even registered the domain name, but we let that lapse.

This week, however, I’ve contacted our friends at the WebArchitects co-op in Sheffield (they helped get the original LabourStart newswires to work more than a decade ago) because they’re offering a very interesting web hosting deal.  It’s inexpensive and it’s based in Iceland on “green servers” powered by renewable clean energy.  And they’re touting Iceland’s commitment to an open and free internet.  You can read more about their project here.

I’ve begun testing and hope to have something working in a few days.  There will be a short period of transition, but I hope the result will be a more secure, faster system, and an end to the threats to shut down LabourStart.

Written by admin in: Campaigns |

Showing our campaigns as online petitions

As employers and governments sometimes make our lives difficult by blocking our email protests, it’s important that we have alternative ways to get the message to them.

Today, we have a new tool – an online petition that shows who has sent off a message.

You can see an example of the most recent campaign in English by clicking here.

To see a link for every petition for every currently active campaign, click here and then on ‘show as petition’ for the campaign that interests you.

The petitions are shown separately for each language.

How would we use this?  Our partner organizations can print out these lists and hand them over, or send by post, when we’re being blocked.  The URL is also readily available and can be given to the target.  We can basically say to them – you can block our emails, but you can’t block people from showing their support for the campaign.

UPDATE: I have fixed the security issues raised below.  Try to look at the petition now.

Written by admin in: Campaigns |

LabourStart in Numbers – April 2012

Mailing lists (greater than 100)

Total for all lists: 95,921 [95,403]

English: 71,816 [71,466]
French: 5,387 [5,070]
Italian: 3,877 [3,850]
Spanish: 3,707 [3,674]
Norwegian: 2,433 [2,430]
German: 2,160 [2,097]
Russian: 1,767 [1,761]
Turkish: 801 [796]
Dutch: 734 [725]
Chinese: 357 [344]
Polish: 305 [305]
Portuguese: 246 [246]
Japanese:205 [ 206]
Finnish: 184 [184]
Farsi 193 [173]
Swedish: 171 [173]
Arabic: 114 [113]
Danish: 106 [107]
Hebrew 100 [99]

And just below the radar:

Korean 93 [93]

Social networks

UnionBook –
Members: 5,100 [5,050]

Facebook –
Members of LabourStart group: 4,766 [4,721]
Like page (English): 4,361 [4,217]
Like LabourStart page (French): 180 [146]

Twitter followers –
English: 6,199 [6,019]
French: 110 [104]
Japanese: 25 [24]
Spanish: 20 [18]
Norwegian: 9 [8]
Italian: 8 [6]
German: 7 [8]
Turkish: 6 [5]
Portuguese: 4 [5]
Russian: 4 [5]
Dutch: 2 [2]

Union group on Flickr: 682 [680]

LinkedIn – LabourStart group: 842 [792]


Correspondents: 972 [966] – 7 pending

Unique visits to the site this month : 590,196 [677,769]
Peak day: 25,708 – 17.4.12
Page views this month: 1,289,430 [1,521,870]

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