The last three weeks in review – 14 August – 5 September 2013

August is traditionally a quiet time and I was away for most of the month. Nevertheless, we’ve made progress on a number of fronts.

Campaigns: We’ve won a great victory at the Toronto Plaza hotel and were praised by the United Steelworkers for the work we did. Another of our previously Canada-only campaigns has gone live — we’re supporting the union demand to released jailed Canadian film-maker and union activist John Greyson, who is being held in Egypt.

Berlin 2014: We’ve announced the date and are slowly informing people about it. We’re not rushing this out just yet as some people will be wanting to get invitation letters to apply for visas to Germany and we’re not yet ready for (we’ll want a partner union there first). The committee in Berlin has already met a couple of times. I’m planning a first visit to Berlin in late October. I with spoke with ITUC staffers who are in charge of their congress and ours will follow immediately after theirs. It looks like we already have a venue for our event, which is great as still have about 8 months to go. One of the members of our Berlin committee is visiting London and we’ll meet on Saturday.

Twitter: We reached a milestone of 10,000 followers on 26 August. Twitter cards now working (see the explanation below).

Books: We have a new publications page advertising all our books and sales are probably just over 1,500 in the first 8 months. We’re working to finish the third book in the next few days, and are discussing one more for later this year and some options for next year. CreateSpace is still not being great about payments, but we hope to have this sorted out very soon.

Calendar: The LabourStart Calendar for 2014 is now done — we’ve ordered one copy to have a look at it before we go public with it. It’s a beautiful design and kudos to Edd for all the work he put into it.

Photo of the day: There’s a brand-new feature — we’ll now be able to pre-load photos for future dates, and to archive the ones we’ve run.  Derek is currently testing.

Internationalization: The Italian and Portuguese editions have been revived. We expect to spend quite a bit of time on building up the Portuguese edition and have secured some pledges of funding for this. The translators’ mailing list is now considerably larger with all languages covered and our campaigns are now routinely appearing in a large number of languages, with mailing lists growing as well.

News database: When correspondents login now, they can see their default country and language and the next step is to allow them to change these whenever they want. So if you regularly post news about, say, Canada, but suddenly have a lot of news stories from the USA, you will be able to change your default country on a temporary basis.

Travel: The next two months will see me travelling to speak at a number of trade union events. These includes separate trips to Geneva, Brussels, Cardiff, Berlin, and Kiev.

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