Why do you want a local union page on the World Wide Web?

Usually the first motivation is to show that your union has joined the modern age and is part of the future.  Absolutely -- but a good union web page involves planning around other issues, too.  This can be a good way to help younger members and potential members feel involved.   You may want to design your site to be both educational and fun -- to give people another positive way to relate to the union.   In addition, people expect timely news and information.  The right information will build understanding of your union and what it does, and encourage people to turn to union leaders first rather than to the employer and the rumor mill when they have questions or ideas.  But remember that everything on a web site is public, and that timely information has to be updated.  Union leaders never before had the chance to communicate so quickly and directly with, potentially, the entire world -- including both friends and union-busters looking for ammo.  Talk to your leadership about the kinds of information you can put on the web that will make their jobs more effective, and how this will be done.

Think about it: What can you do on the web that's different from other forms of communication?  Will the web page enhance other forms of communication -- such as direct contact with representatives -- or will it bypass those communications?  Will this page encourage people to come to meetings and be active, or will it give them an excuse to stay away?  That all depends on how well you think through the functioning of your site, and the extent to which you work with the rest of the union to design a page that's useful for them as well as for members and the public.

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