Wikis, Workers and the Web

June 11th, 2003

In the mid-1990s, all journalists writing about the net were focussing on the

Google and Online Campaigning

May 13th, 2003

In a previous column, I made the case that the Internet has made campaigning much easier, cheaper, faster and more effective than ever before.
All of us who are connected to the net are by now aware of the many different ways in which unions and other progressives campaign — by email, through websites, and so on.
But one of the less-well-known tools we have at our disposal — and one which has proven very effective in LabourStart’s own campaigning efforts — is the search engine website known as ‘Google‘.

Read the rest of this entry »

Real-time campaigning for trade union rights

May 13th, 2003

In early May this year I visited Canada as a guest of the trade union movement and conducted several workshops on the subject of online campaigning.
During one of the workshops, an all-day session with national trade union staffers held in a Toronto hotel, I was able to put into practice some of the ideas I had been discussing.

Read the rest of this entry »

Email: The ‘killer app’ of online campaigning

April 8th, 2003

Given a choice between having a website or an electronic mailing list, I always tell people to choose the mailing list.
The web is a fanastic tool — don’t get me wrong. But there’s nothing like email when you want to do online campaigning.

Read the rest of this entry »

Organizing, language and the web

March 6th, 2003

If we want our unions to grow, we have to recruit thousands of new members. Many of those new members will not speak English as their native language. If we want to use the web as a tool for organizing, we have to build web pages in languages other than English.

Read the rest of this entry »

Trade union websites: Maximizing their use

February 24th, 2003

According to recent Internet surveys, there are now around 580,000,000 people online. Most of them live in North America and Europe. That number continues to swell even after the “dotcom bubble” burst, and even though in many industrialised countries, Internet growth seems to have reached a plateau.
In light of these nominally huge numbers of Internet users, we wanted to look closer on how IMF affiliates use ? and not use ? the World Wide Web and email.

Read the rest of this entry »

Online syndication opens new possibilities for union rights campaigners

February 12th, 2003

When we think of how we can use the Internet in the service of trade union rights, we’re usually thinking of three things:
1. Provision of information through websites
2. Online protest and solidarity tools such as email generators and petitions
3. Email lists for spreading the word
All of these are essential tools in any online campaign. They are used very effectively by campaigning organisations around the world. But here’s the problem: to know about these campaigns, you either have to visit the campaigning organisation’s website, or be on its mailing list.

Read the rest of this entry »

Online campaigns work

February 8th, 2003

In November last year, the Hilton Hotel in Sydney, Australia closed down for a $400 million face-lift. It was scheduled to re-open in 18 months time.
Several weeks earlier, the Hilton management told shocked employees that they were all going to be fired. Due to a loophole in the law, the maximum redundancy benefit was going to be only eight weeks pay (instead of the usual 16 weeks). Many employees would receive no redundancy pay at all.

Read the rest of this entry »

Why a website is not an online magazine

January 1st, 2003

Trade union websites, including those of teachers’ unions, are about to enter their third generation.

Read the rest of this entry »

Beyond the website: The experience of LabourStart’s labour newswire

January 1st, 2003

It’s one thing to have a website that a few hundred or thousand members of your union visit. It’s quite another to have a newswire service of your own, with your content appearing simultaneously on dozens — or hundreds — of other websites.

Read the rest of this entry »