Weekly review – 7-22 March

Absence: I will be travelling all of next week, back at work on 1st April. Edd will cover for me in the office.

Campaigns launched: We launched a new UK-only campaign for the RMT — our third currently-active campaign for them.

Campaigns to come: In April we anticipate at least two new campaigns — DISK in Turkey wants our help dealing with a German employer who is trying to impose a yellow union on its employees. And UNI and BWI in Asia want us to campaign on behalf of an anti-trafficking campaigner (and LabourStart correspondent) who is being taken to court by a company in Thailand.

Campaigns closed: We closed two campaigns in the last two weeks — Netherlands (FNV) and El Salvador. No clear result in either case.

Campaign improvements: There will be a number of improvements in light of things I learned recently. In all upcoming campaigns, we’ll try to include a Radio Labour component; Marc Belanger has kindly offered to interview key people and we’ll integrate this into the campaigns. I’ve fixed how the campaigns will show when we link to them on Facebook — it will no longer show by default the LabourStart logo, and instead will allow us to choose a better photo from the campaign page itself. Finally, when we’d look at closed campaigns, the number of supporters shown was always wrong. This has now been fixed.

Mass mailings: We did our first A/B testing — see below. Interesting results.

New website design: Launched around 11 days ago. We are now working on getting many of the internal pages to conform to the new design. Masha has suggested a number of new logos. Derek pointed out two problems — top stories with long titles were over-writing the text below, and some stories were being orphaned over the three columns at the bottom; both now fixed. We learned that top news stories in other languages were appearing on the English home page; this too is now fixed.

Internationalization: We now have campaigns and mailings in Slovak. We have a home page displaying news in Korean (we’ve had Korean campaigns for some time). And our new home page design has been implemented in Esperanto — the first language other than English to use this.

The Global Labour Movement: An Introduction. Our second book — due for launch in early May. In addition to the bits that Edd is writing, we’ll have contributions from the British TUC, Amnesty International, ICTUR, the Global Labour Institutes, and Dan Gallin. And we have activists on the ground answering email interview questions about their relationship with the GUFs. Should be interesting and useful, and we hope to launch it on 4th May. Which brings us to …

LabourStart’s First-Ever May Day Party: Due to be held at London’s only union-owned pub, the Bread & Roses, on 4th May. We’re building interest in this and intend to push it very hard throughout April.

Public speeches: I spoke last week in Oxford at the annual e-Campaigning Forum, on a panel with Anita Gardner of IndustriALL and again on the closing panel. Next Sunday, I’ve been invited to speak at a fringe meeting at the annual conference of Britain’s largest teachers’ union, the NASUWT, on the subject of jailed teacher trade unionists.

Third Annual Survey of Trade Union Use of the Net: Closed today. Expect a report shortly.

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