||Issue No. 143||05 July 2002|
Interview: Media Magnet
Bad Boss: Abbott's Heroes
Technology: All in the Family
International: New Labour's Cracks
Economics: Virtuality Check
History: Necessary Utopias
Poetry: Let Me Bring Love
Review: How Not To Get It Together
Satire: NZ, UK Added to Australia’s Migration Zone
The Locker Room
Week in Review
Buggering the Bush
The Great Giveaway
Down and Out
Why I hate Telstra
All in the Family
By Mark McGrath
- Social Change Online
Like the ACTU, this site employs best practice design and content publishing, with all the latest news and events of the NZCTU being automatically highlighted to a content-rich home page that's easy to navigate.
This site was developed by Social Change Online; the same organisation that developed the ACTU and all the other 25 sites on LaborNET.
Easy Content Management
The key feature of all these sites is dynamic content that keeps their audience informed and up to date. Every communication action that a LaborNET based organsiation makes can be published to their website in minutes, because all of these sites are using Social Change Online's content managment system (AIMS), which allows easy web management with no technical skill required. This breaks the web publishing bottleneck that many unions tend to be bedevilled by.
Providng an easy publishing pathway between printed documentation and a website enables LaborNET based organisations to effectively conduct much of their communication online in paralllel with their existing methods. This gives them greater organsising and campaign capacity.
But it isn't just about pumping out information from the top down; the NZCTU site has a set of online applications that enable users to:
Worker-Union Matchmaking Database
The Find Your Union worker-union matchmaking facility deserves special mention. This appears to be the first online directory of unions in this part of the world that intelligently matches up workers with their appropriate union based on their occupation and the industry they work in (no mean feat!). A very nice and very powerful recruiting tool.
So for the NZCTU site, this means that it will now be able to conduct its role as New Zealand's peak union body with much greater effectiveness by opening up online communication pathways between themselves, their affiliates and the public.
Online Community Building
Probably the most important aspect of all regarding this site is it's potential to build an online community for the union movement in New Zealand. The NZCTU, in collaboration with Social Change Online intend to develop the NZCTU site into a portal site for the union movement in New Zealand. Much like what LaborNET is for the union movement in Australia.
The backbone of this online community building will be the provision of news aggregation and syndication. Each affiliated union will soon be able to publish their own news direct to the NNZCTU site, and as each affiliated union comes online, they will be able to "pull" this aggregated news content down to their own site in the form of latest headlines from a NZCTU newsfeed.
The experience of LaborNET in Australia indicates that the strategy of aggregating and syndicating out news content will give the union movement in New Zealand a larger audience and stronger penetration in the media, which can only be good for the movement.
An Effective Solution for the NZCTU
NZCTU Communications Director Lyndy McIntyre says around a year ago the NZCTU realized that its web site wasn't working and started looking round for a solution.
"The NZCTU website was a campaign magazine, focused on union members and getting active in joint-union campaigns," McIntyre says.
"We wanted to retain the campaigning focus, but we also wanted to be the voice of the trade union movement for Aotearoa/New Zealand. We wanted and needed to be much bigger.
"We wanted to provide a site where New Zealand workers could log on and get a sense of what the trade union movement is about. We wanted that site to provide a way for workers to find their union and take the first steps to joining up online.
"We also wanted to satisfy the increasing demand for a library of union news, submissions, media releases and regular publications and direct access to our 33 affiliated unions.
"We wanted a site similar to LaborNet which had the ingredients we wanted. We wanted to be different from individual unions in New Zealand, providing a wider view and reflecting the diversity of union members and their issues.
"LaborNet brought us together with Social Change Online and that has really worked, because we wanted a lot on our site, but we needed it to be easy to manage the content.
"The AIMS content management system Social Change Online provided has achieved that for us. Now we've gone live with www.union.org.nz we're looking to the next step of providing our affiliated unions with access to Aotearoa/New Zealand Workers Online."
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