Canadian Outreach

I’ve been asked to speak about LabourStart’s experiences with online campaigning at the national communicators conference that UFCW holds every few years. I’ve done this in the past and they are still one of our largest donors here in Canada. 🙂

I have a standard presentation that I modify for each such presentation so if anyone else is doing or thinking about doing something similar and would like to use it or parts of it just let me know and I can send it along. These kind of events are, I think, very good for us.

– Derek Blackadder

Written by derek in: Uncategorized |

Catching up after an absence …

I was away from London for 6 days, just returned this morning to a very full Inbox and To-Do List.  I appreciate everyone’s patience, as I’ve been away for 24 days out of the last 35.  At the moment, I have no plans to go anywhere — at least until the end of September — so I should be able to catch up …

— Eric Lee

Written by admin in: Uncategorized |

Twitter Milestone

A few minutes ago the global English-language Twitter account passed the 10,000 followers mark.

Written by derek in: Uncategorized |

Our book sales: the first 8 months

It’s been about nearly 8 months since we began selling LabourStart books and I’m pleased to report that our sales total is just under 1,500 books so far.

The breakdown is as follows:

  • Campaigning online and winning (English) – 868
  • Campaigning online and winning (French) – 78
  • The global labour movement – 552

Total: 1,498

The breakdown by type is as follows:

  • Paperbacks – 1,406
  • Kindle e-books – 92

377 of those books — all of them the paperback edition of Campaigning online and winning (English) were sold in the first 15 days (31 December 2012 – 15 January 2013).

Our next title will be appearing in September.

Written by admin in: Publications |

They Like Us, They REALLY Like Us

We’ve run online actions on behalf of the Canadian wing of the United Steelworkers on a couple of occasions. Here’s their media release on the current campaign.

And here’s a follow-up.


Written by derek in: Uncategorized |

Odds and ends …

  1. I’ve tweaked our front page in English yet again, getting rid of the Firefox ad, creating a new and more prominent ad for all our books (not just the most recent) and with a link to our new publications page.  This has resulted in today’s labour news being much closer to the top of the page (less scrolling).
  2. I completed work publicizing our Peru campaign, which is lagging somewhat as it’s August.  Please do what you can to help build this.
  3. Our popular Canadian edition has gotten a makeover in its French version, which now features French language Canada-only campaigns, French language events and some small corrections to province names.
  4. We’ve made some good progress on our LabourStart calendar — lots of great events added, and Edd working hard to find 13 great photos.
  5. Found a solution to a small problem we were having with the caption to our photo of the day feature.
  6. On our campaign pages, we’re now showing news in the local language first, so if you’re looking at our Peru campaign in French, in the latest news box, you’ll see the French news before the English news.
  7. We also had a problem with the campaign counter in the unusual situation where we may continue running a campaign in one language having shut it down in English.  Now fixed, sort of.
  8. Edd has given me a lesson in how to prepare a book for publication in CreateSpace — we hope to have our third book ready in early September.
  9. Our conference organizing committee met in Berlin yesterday — we’re told it was a productive meeting and they have another one scheduled in two weeks.
  10. The UE has given us permission to close down its campaign on August 20th – so this is your last chance to build support …
  11. I’ve reviewed our “dormant languages” – the ones we set up, but which haven’t been showing any news recently.  After a major push by us, we managed to revive the Italian and Portuguese editions, and there are even some signs of life in our Serbian edition.  But disappointment in the Nordic countries — only the Norwegian edition is alive, and despite our best efforts, we’ve not been able to revive our once-lively Finnish edition or the Danish and Swedish editions.  Will continue trying.
  12. Our campaigns employ a version of “responsive design” now and render better than ever on mobile phones (test this and compare what you see to what’s on the desktop). This is hugely important as a growing number of people get email messages from us on their phones and they need to see the campaigns correctly without needing to scroll horizontally.  Many campaigning organizations still get this wrong, unfortunately.
  13. Oh, and Twitter cards is now working for us.  Have a look at some of my recent tweets.  You may need to click on View Summary under the tweet to see what I’ve done.

Our largest campaign ever – closes …

The Turkey campaign has now been closed at the request of DISK.  As the struggle continues, we may well need to launch a new campaign in the coming weeks.

Written by admin in: Campaigns |

The last 3 weeks in review – 24 July – 14 August

As I was travelling, there were few updates to this blog during this period.  So here are some highlights:

Campaigns: In my absence, we launched a new campaign in support of public sector workers in Peru.  Edd has followed up with translators for missing languages in our earlier campaigns.  We have a new Canadian campaign as well, and have closed down the funeral home campaign there.  We helped Amnesty promote their new campaign protesting death threats against Colombian trade unionists.  We’ve received permission from DISK to close down the Turkey campaign — our largest ever — but are aware that there will almost certainly be the need for followup campaigns.

Books: CreateSpace is still dithering, not paying us the royalties owed.  I’ve shipped 60 copies of our global labour movement book to the International Domestic Workers Network who will be distributing them to delegates to their international congress in Montevideo in October.  Jeremy Green and I are working intensively on our third LabourStart book and hope to have a draft ready in the next week or two.  All our books now appear on our new publications page on LabourStart.

Calendar: Edd and I are in the final stages of preparation for the 2014 LabourStart Calendar which we hope to sell lots of copies of.

Internationalization: Our Italian news page has come to life again thanks to new correspondents.   We’ve sent out a special appeal to our Hindi language list to get more people involved.

Upcoming events: I’ve been asked to speak at a Unison Wales event on campaigning in October — this will be my third visit to Unison Wales in the last year or so.  That same week, I’ll be speaking at a European Trade Union Institute event in Brussels.  In November, we have the Kiev event, mentioned earlier.

Global Solidarity Conference 2014 – Berlin: The committee will be meeting there this week.  We’re awaiting a phone call from the ITUC regarding the final dates and then we’ll send these out in a ‘save the date’ message.  I’ll go to Berlin probably in September for a first meeting with the committee and to see venues.

Donations: We’ve received a substantial donation from the IUF, as well as donations from unions in the UK, India, Canada and elsewhere.


Twitter cards, publication page

These are two unrelated things, but wanted to tell you about both.

First, we have a new publications page on LabourStart.  This is where we’ll list all our books as they’re published.  I’ve done some publicity for them today and hope that you’ll do what you can to promote this page.  Thanks.

Second, I’ve integrated Twitter cards into our campaigns.  What this means is that once Twitter has approved us — and this could take several weeks — when people tweet our campaigns, it will look something like this.



Written by admin in: Publications,Twitter |

LabourStart in Numbers – July 2013

This report has been delayed by about ten days due to my holiday.

The numbers in brackets are for the previous month. Strong gains (100 or more) are highlighted in bold.


  • German has moved up to being our 5th largest mailing list.
  • We have a new mailing list – in Hindi.
  • For the first time ever, the top five languages have over 100,000 subscribers — that’s English, French, Spanish, Italian and German.
  • The total of all active lists is now 113,976.
  • We’re just under 10,000 followers on Twitter – and we should reach that goal any day now.
  • More people sign up to follow us on Twitter than like us on Facebook — by nearly two-to-one.
  • Our Facebook group is growing much faster than our ‘likes’ for our page.

Mailing lists

English: 81,875 [80,623]
French: 6,413 [6,162]
Spanish: 4,886 [4,750]
Italian: 4,021 [3,990]
German: 3,295 [3,199]
Turkish: 3,284 [3,279]
Norwegian: 2,441 [2,438]
Russian: 2,049 [2,046]
Dutch: 1,359 [1,320]
Chinese: 1,011 [1,011]
Finnish: 575 [573]
Japanese: 334 [333]
Arabic: 313 [312]
Polish: 282 [281]
Tagalog: 253 [231]
Portuguese: 245 [244]
Hebrew: 217 [209]
Farsi: 207 [207]
Swedish: 195 [196]
Korean 154 [153]
Indonesian: 152 [141]
Danish: 137 [138]
Czech: 88 [88]
Thai: 68 [68]
Esperanto: 52 [50]
Hindi: 39
Slovak: 19
Vietnamese: 12 [12]

Social networks

Twitter followers –
English: 9,936 [9,710]

Facebook –
Like page (English): 7,793 [7,673]
Members of LabourStart group: 5,631 [5,433]
Like LabourStart page (French): 324 [318]
Like LabourStart page (Turkish): 124 [112]
Like LabourStart page (Hebrew): 94 [83]

UnionBook –
Members: 5,594 [5,557]

LinkedIn – LabourStart group: 1,376 [1,348]

Union group on Flickr: 729 [728]


Correspondents: 665 [649]

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