Apr
29
2013
4

The week in review – 24-29 April

book2The Global Labour Movement – An Introduction: We’ve now completed the work on this, awaiting delivery of 100 copies to sell at our book launch on 4th May in London. Andy has been sent the text for possible translation into French.  You can order copies already – here.

Campaigning Online and Winning: We distributed 769 copies so far, of which 44 were free copies and 725 were sales. (77 were in French and 692 in English).

Campaigns – new: On Friday, 26 April, we launched an urgent action campaign at the request of IndustriALL in response to the disastrous building collapse in Bangladesh. I’ve added some text about the campaign to the Wikipedia entry and hope to continue to use Wikipedia in future to publicize our campaigns.

Campaigns – closed: We closed the Korea campaign. Still waiting to hear from the KGEU about what effect, if any, it had.

Campaigns – overhaul: I’ve successfully migrated our campaigns from the old, flat ASCII (text) database to a relational database using MySQL. Now I’m working on correcting the script that shows campaigns to show this one instead.

News – by country: I’ve changed the sort order so the most recent stories now appear first.

News – posting: Now when you modify a news story posted by someone else (senior correspondents only) it will not change the name of the correspondent who originally posted the story.

2014 LabourStart Global Solidarity Conference in Berlin: Edd has begun work on this.

May Day party in London (Saturday, 4th May): We’re up to 227 yes/maybe. Edd and I visited the venue last week.

Apr
23
2013
0

The week in review – 17-23 April

The Global Labour Movement – An Introduction: We completed work on this book which is now with CreateSpace. We’ll soon be approving the proof and will begin selling the book by May Day.

New site design: This is now working in 24 of our 29 languages. It’s also working for all country pages in English as well as the state/province pages.

CloudFlare teething problems: It turned out that we really needed to tell CloudFlare about all our sub-domains, even the ones that they are not handling with their proxy servers. Once that was done, everything seems to have settled down.

Campaigns – new: At the request of the ITF, we launched a second campaign within a week, this time in support of workers in the Port of Vancouver, Washington. With 8,457 supporters, it’s already larger than the Hong Kong campaign (8,235).

Campaigns – renewed: The ITUC asked us to give the Turkey campaign another big push. We did. It went up from 11,098 to 12,549 in the last five days.  The KMU also asked us to reopen their campaign for a few more days and we’ve done so.

Campaigns – closed: At the request of the RMT, we’ve closed the Churchill’s campaign, which the workers have won, and the Bakerloo campaign as well. I’ll be closing the Korea campaign tomorrow, after 3 months online. It’s had 10,540 supporters.

Campaigns – overhaul: There is a VERY long list of things to do here, and I’ll be trying to make some progress every day on the list. Starting with the migration of our old flat database to a proper MySQL database. This should make the campaigns work faster, be more stable, easier for translators to do their work, etc.

May Day party in London: We have over 215 people who either say they are coming or may be coming; this is very good. We’ll have entertainers and guest speakers from a couple of London disputes, as well as the general secretary of the ITF. Details here.

Fundraising: I put in a proposal to a UK-based funding group which supports social change, the Edge Fund . We won’t know until July if our application is successful.

Apr
22
2013
1

New country pages now working in English

The UK was the first, but now all country pages in English work on the same model.

For example, see Canada, the USA or Australia.

The state/province pages under these work fairly well with the new format – see, for example, Ontario or New South Wales.

On the main country pages, the upper left column is reserved for country-specific content.  In the UK page, for example, we’re listing some May Day events at the moment.  For Canada, we’ll soon be showing logos of unions that support LabourStart.

The Canadian LS page in French is nearly complete and we’ll soon link to it.

I welcome your comments and suggestions.

Written by admin in: Site redesign |
Apr
18
2013
0

Using Reddit to help build our campaigns

reddit-logoAs I may have already mentioned, people at the recent e-Campaigning Forum talked up Reddit as a way to bring traffic to websites.

It costs nothing, so why not?

Basically, when creating a campaign (or translating one), make sure to go to Reddit’s ‘labor’ section, login (you should create an account for yourself first), and add the link to the campaign.

After you’ve done so, Reddit will show a “shortlink” that will look like this: http://redd.it/1bih7f

Modify the campaign and in the “Reddit_URL” field, paste in that shortlink.

You’ll know you’ve done it correctly if the Reddit icon then appears on your campaign, underneath the Facebook and Google ones on the right side of the page.

Written by admin in: Campaigns,Social networks |
Apr
18
2013
0

Turkey campaign: Getting the next 10,000 names

The ITUC has asked us to give the Turkey campaign another push as 15 women trade unionists appear in court today.  I’ve amended the campaign page in English, French and Spanish and publicized this on Facebook, Twitter, Google+, LinkedIn, Reddit and UnionBook.  I’ll do a mass mailing in a few minutes as well.  We’re currently at 11,098 supporters – let’s see if we can grow that to 20,000, which would be a record for us.

Written by admin in: Campaigns |
Apr
18
2013
0

CloudFlare: Next steps

On the whole, the transition to CloudFlare seems to have been successful.  The only sites that weren’t viewable, according to reports I received, were oz.labourstart.org and usa.labourstart.org (and possibly fr.labourstart.org).  These were all sub-domains (oz, usa, fr) which I had not instructed CloudFlare to use or ignore.  I’ve now ensured that every sub-domain we registered on 1&1 Internet is now recognized by CloudFlare.  CloudFlare gives us live reports on what it does, and it has prevented a very large number of attacks on LS in the last 48 hours, so this has to be a good thing.  I hope overall it will ensure we stay online when 1&1 has a problem, and that it will speed up the rendering of our pages no matter where you are in the world.  Please continue to update me if you notice something else offline.  Use [email protected] for this purpose just in case the whole labourstart.org domain is offline.

Written by admin in: Security |
Apr
16
2013
0

New campaign launched – USA

The ITF has given us a second campaign in a week – this time in supported of locked-out port workers in the state of Washington.  Please do what you can to help promote this.

Written by admin in: Campaigns |
Apr
16
2013
7

The week in review – 9-16 April

The biggest news:

I just set up CloudFlare as a way of ensuring that LabourStart stays online no matter what.  It should also theoretically really speed up the display of our site, anywhere in the world.  It should kick in sometime in the next 48 hours.  If LabourStart suddenly becomes unusable  that probably means I did something wrong with the setup. In that case, please email me making sure not to use a labourstart.org address — email me at [email protected], which will get through.  Make sure you note that email address now, as this blog will also become inaccessible if our site goes offline.

Other news:

Facebook: We have a new Hebrew language Facebook page, updated daily and picking up followers fairly quickly.  We’re up to 48 likes.  We also have pages in Turkish (99 likes), French (300 likes) and English (6,441 likes).  We only have 209 people on our Hebrew language mailing list, so this is quite good — 1 in 4 are now Facebook fans.  If we had the same result in English, we’d have something like 19,000 fans on Facebook.

New home page: The new home page is now working in 11 languages and should be working in all 29 by the end of this week.  Following a vigorous discussion about the logo, we’ll make a decision in the next few days.

New pages for countries and state/provinces: This is also being configured according to the new design, and hugely improved.  See for example the new UK home page at http://www.labourstart.org.uk.

Campaigns: The Hong Kong dock workers remains our latest, with over 7,300 messages sent so far, though we will likely be launching a new one today for the ITF.  We’ve added a prominent link on campaigns to Reddit which, according to participants in the recent e-Campaigning Forum, can be a very effective way to boost traffic to a site (at no cost).  Two of our oldest campaigns — Nissan USA and the Philippines — have been closed.  A new version of a Canada-only campaign has also been launched, with over 600 messages this week.

Mailing lists: We now have a mailing list in Thai with 49 subscribers, and our first campaign in that language.

Book: We’re nearly done with the writing of our introduction to the global labour movement — we hope to go to press this Friday and have copies ready for sale by 4th May, when we hold the LabourStart May Day party in London.

May Day party:  This important fund-raising event takes place on 4th May this year at the Bread & Roses pub in London.  I’m hoping to raise up to £1,000 pounds.  So far, over 200 people have either confirmed their attendance or said they may come (slightly more say they will definitely come).  The general secretary of the ITF is due to speak, as are others.  Two performers have volunteered to provide the entertainment for the evening — Dave Thorpe and The Ruby Kid.

Today in Labour History: Edd’s added many more items, as we need to ensure that we have at least one for each month for each of the major countries.  This appears on the bottom of our UK page, if you want to see what it looks like.  Comrades who can help should contact us [email protected]

Dormant languages: We’ve identified 11 languages where correspondents have ceased posting news — we’ll need to chase them up and find replacements, but if comrades have any suggestions they’d be most welcome.  The languages are:

  1. Czech (nothing since 2010)
  2. Danish (nothing since April 2012)
  3. Greek (nothing since 2011)
  4. Farsi (nothing since November 2012)
  5. Italian (nothing since 2011)
  6. Georgian (nothing since July 2012)
  7. Kreole (nothing since 2010)
  8. Portuguese (nothing since July 2012)
  9. Serbian (nothing since 2011)
  10. Suomi (nothing since April 2012)
  11. Swedish (nothing since July 2012)

Techy stuff: I had to review our server on 1&1 Internet as they are no longer supporting the MySQL 4 format starting from the end of this month.  Fortunately, all our databases are MySQL 5 so we should be fine.

 

Apr
15
2013
2
Apr
08
2013
1

The week in review – 1-8 April

Campaigns: We launched two new campaigns this week, both focussing on Asia. One is in defense of labour rights activist Andy Hall, threatened with jail and a multi-million dollar fine in Thailand. The other is in support of Hong Kong’s dockworkers, on strike for more than a week. We added a graphical link to Reddit which you can see on the Hong Kong campaign — we’ll be working to make this more useful in the next few days.

Helping our friends: We devoted one of our mass mailings in English last week to promoting — for a second time — the IUF’s current campaign targetting Mondelez (Kraft) for its violations of workers rights in Tunisia and Egypt. As a result of that extra push, we helped this turn into the largest online campaign the IUF has ever run. We also gave a special push to Radio Labour last week, timing the launch of the Andy Hall campaign to coincide with an interview they did with him. The result was a record 4,000 listeners to the interview. We also helped three GUFs (ITF, UNI and IndustriALL) as well as our correspondents by sharing with them (the correspondents) details of three new jobs at the GUFs in campaigns and communications.

Our home page: The photo of day/week is no longer a fixed height, as Derek requested. And I’ve publicized the 9 logos Masha prepared for us to correspondents by email, getting a lot of comments. We’ll make a decision soon.

Our second book: A first draft is now ready and we hope to have the book in hand in time for our May Day party in London.

Internationalization: We now have a mailing list in Thai (46 names) and will soon begin mailing to it. We have the beginnings of a LabourStart Facebook page in Hebrew as well.

Fundraising: We did a mailing last Wednesday to 12,867 “power campaigners” — people who have supported at least 5 of our campaigns in the last year. We asked each person to donate $50 to LabourStart and I set myself the fairly randomly-chosen goal of hoping that we’d get 1% of that list to give an average of $50 each — for a total of £4,271. We reached over 95% of that target by this morning, less than five days after the fundraising campaign began. We are also continuing to build for the LabourStart May Day party/fundraiser in London on May 4th. 162 people have said they are either coming (80) or thinking of coming (82).

Publicity: We had a very complimentary article appear in the German newspaper Woz (see details below).

Survey: We sent out a summary of the results of our annual survey of trade union use of the net to all our readers.

Mailing list migration: We’ve nearly completed the migration of our mailing lists from MailChimp to Sendy. Still working on the issue of templates, and for the moment, French and English lists remain on MailChimp, costing us a small fortune every month.

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