LabourStart senior correspondent Oskar van Rijswijk (Netherlands) often comes up with the coolest tools.  He found Twitter for us, for example.  More recently, he strongly recommended that we check out Posterous.  I’ve had some time today to check this out and can see that even with the first few steps, we’ve got a solution to several problems.

Here’s what I’ve done:

  1. I added the Posterous email address to our English language mailing list.  (That took about a second.)
  2. Then I sent out three test messages to Posterous by email – including our two most recent posts to our mailing list.
  3. All 3 were automatically posted to our LabourStart Posterous web page, which means that this becomes an easy-to-find repository of our mailings, both for archival use and for our translators.
  4. In addition, all 3 were automatically routed as Tweets — initially to my own Twitter account, but in future, to LabourStart’s.

We have the potential to do more — such as posting to Facebook, Flickr, blogs, etc.

At the moment, there’s no additional work needed — every mass mailing we do from now on gets routed through Posterous, appears on our blog there, and is Tweeted.

Written by ericlee in: Uncategorized |


  • Andy

    I checked this out for myself and it’s true, it does seem a pretty “cool” tool. But it is still a service run by a private company which could later delete, modify, make us pay for our content or simply bounce us for not being in compliance with their terms of service (which they are at liberty to modify as they wish).
    Our newsletter archives on UnionLists are slightly complicated to use. But we could make them prettier by posting by email to a WordPress blog (or this one) on our own server thus preserving our independance.

    Comment | September 10, 2009
  • Oskar van Rijswijk


    If stuff is confidential it is best to *not* post it at all on the web, not even on your own server or (moderated) weblog.

    All other stuff (public stuff!) can be posted to websservices like Posterous. As long as you keep your own backups in case that websservice goes down or “bounces” the stuff you publish.


    1. The more people use a websservice, the more your stuff is read when you publish it on that websservice. The popularity of Posterous is growing fast. LabourStart can surf on that growing wave.

    2. The easier a websservice is for you (and Posterous *is* very easy to use), the better. It saves us (i.e. Eric Lee) time. Time saved for other actions.

    3. The easier a websservice is for you, so it is for a lot of others. Here we can repeat #1.

    And yes – Posterous is a private company. So what? As long as it is not a unionbuster we can use their service.

    Why not?

    Comment | September 11, 2009
  • Andy

    Lets get this straight! My comment was neither a personal attack on yourself nor Eric Lee.
    But do you really think that news that does not pass by twitter, facebook and other fashionable sites or is hosted on one’s own server is confidential?
    Let’s look at this in another way. “Stuff”, even union news, stays confidential if you can’t read, write or understand the language it’s broadcast in.
    I see this every day… Major strikes in the UK or US that are not mentioned on French TV, actions in France that are not related in the English language press… (not “OUR” colonies, etc). So what happens to the labour news from non-english non-french speaking countries? Why sould LabourStart back services which are are English only? has the possibilty to occupy a unique “niche” to become an international multilingual union platform. That’s why (on a very modest scale), like Eric Lee and no doubt yourself, I’ve put many hours per week into translating “stuff” for LabourStart (LaborStart?)
    Now how do we translate that? Dé Anyone who reads French knows that these translations are ridiculous. Translating Labour news and campaigns is a speciality and it should remain “ours” (I mean human union member based and not automatic shit).
    Unfortunately, it seems to me that the time spent on developping presence on tweets, retweets, facebook (I don’t forgive them having sent the “lose 20lbs in 10 days” ad to my “friends” and especially my niece with thyroid problems – is that a risk we should take for our “i-union” beliefs?) might have been better used developping our own multilingual union site i.e.
    Even worse, the stats seem to prove my point. Over the last year has passed from 1800 to 6500 visits/day to 1000 to 2300 visits/day.

    Amazon was not a union buster until it started busting unions and I believe we were using it until then. So, ermmmm, perhaps we should continue helping private capitalistic services rather than union based non profit services. Whaddya’think?

    Once again, I’m LabourStart! Private funded services are not the not the only way forward for union web services!

    Comment | September 12, 2009
  • admin

    The readership of LabourStart has obviously not declined in the last year, Google stats notwithstanding. We have many ways to measure how many people receive our mailings, respond to our campaigns, etc., and all indicate continuous growth.

    There is obviously no link between the five minutes it took me to set up Posterous and any long-term decline. The whole point of Posterous — and previous postings I’ve written about the integration of UnionBook, Facebook and Twitter is that all of this is not time-consuming at all; we’ve automated everything.

    We made the switch from Amazon to a unionized bookseller because because until we did so, there was no such thing. When unionized, we went with them. When a great unionized alternative to Twitter or Facebook comes along, of course we will promote them. (Don’t hold your breath.)

    Finally, the idea that somehow I should be devoting MORE time to developing LabourStart is, well, funny.

    Comment | September 13, 2009

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