Thursday December 06 2012

Fighting fund - Streamlining

Robbie Rix reports on CPGB website version 2.0 and thanks our readers for their solidarity

Just a picture

My appeal last week for 11th-hour donations to our November fighting fund didn’t fall on deaf ears, I’m pleased to say. Three comrades transferred cash via PayPal on the last day of the month - thank you, PC and EJ (£50 each) and AN (£20). Add to this the three standing orders that also came through and we reached a final total of £1,481 - tantalisingly short of our £1,500 target.

But not a disaster by any means. Especially when you take into account recent problems some comrades have encountered with the website. There are immediate technical questions that have to be addressed, including errors on some pages and overall slowness. Like the Weekly Worker itself, however, our website is designed entirely by our own comrades, who learnt much on the hoof, having created the current site after a virus destroyed our old archive.

The same comrades are now preparing for a serious streamlining of the underlying code. We also want the website to be updated more frequently than the Weekly Worker publishing cycle allows. The aim is not just the odd article, but new podcasts and video series. Comrades will also be interested to hear that, following the positive response to the relaunched site early this year, the web team has already begun work on ‘version 2’. The aim is to make the valuable political material on it even more accessible, and the site more useful as an educational tool for both experienced comrades and those new to Marxism.

Speaking of web readers, two comrades have reacted unexpectedly to my November 22 column. I had itemised some of the costs incurred in the production of the print version of the paper, and as a result they decided to cancel their subs - to save us money! As they read us online anyway, they saw no reason to burden us with the cost of postage. But both comrades are keeping up their PayPal or standing order payments.

While the postage savings involved are small, these much appreciated acts of solidarity did underscore an important point about the way our paper is accessed by most people. Last week, for example, we had 9,172 web readers, compared to the few hundred who read the printed version. Clearly, a significant minority subscribe at least partially as an act of solidarity.

But we do not intend to stop printing! We know how much the paper version is valued, and how useful it is on stalls and at meetings. Which is why we need that £1,500 each and every month.

Speaking of which, our December fund has got off to a good start, with £242 received in standing orders. Keep it up, comrades!

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