Feb-2015: Relaunch of bilaterals.org

9 February 2015

Dear friends,

2014 marked the tenth anniversary of the launch of bilaterals.org. Over the past months, the bilaterals.org team has sought detailed feedback, comments and suggestions about the website to help enhance and improve it, as well as to try to build greater participation from a wider range of people concerned with bilateral free trade and investment agreements. We sincerely thank the many people who took part in our online survey, or who gave in-depth interviews in this evaluation process as we look back to move forward into the next decade.*

bilaterals.org is a collaborative project committed to open publishing. It was launched as – and remains – a trilingual website to inform and support the resistance to bilateral trade and investment deals as key vehicles for global capitalism (and tools of geopolitical power) all over the world. Among other things, we also co-organised the ‘Fighting FTAs’ international strategy meeting in 2006 and produced the collective ‘Fighting FTAs’ book in 2008. The site has grown, incorporating new features such as a multimedia section and social media tools.

This consultation and evaluation process affirmed that bilaterals.org remains a unique online resource for movements/activists struggling against bilateral trade and investment agreements around the world, as well as for broader publics interested in these issues. While the website has been continually updated and expanded since the beginning, we would like to draw your attention to the following points.

- The redesigned website is now re-launched with a new look and feel. While the overall structure, navigation and content have not changed, the site now works on mobile devices and is therefore more usable on social media. Please take a look and let us know if there is anything that doesn’t work or that you would like changed.

- The team doing the day to day work behind the site functions well, but we would really like to involve more people. The workload has grown - especially with the campaigns around TTIP, TPP, CETA and TiSA - and so we need more help, especially with posting articles and translating. We would also like to increase the participation of other groups and movements in steering bilaterals.org. We will follow up on this in the coming months, but please contact us if you have specific ideas or proposals.

- bilaterals.org is a site which you can use for your own work. You can use it to get any good materials out to a wider audience, be they articles, briefings, videos, announcements or leaks of documents that you have. You can translate any material you find on the site for use with groups you work with. We are also planning to open a section called ‘community pages’ to make it easier for groups or activists that do not have their own sites to host their own space for their own materials. This could be for a campaign, a blog or a microsite that you wish to run. More on this later.

We hope that these changes will make it easier for more people to take part in the daily life of the site. For more guidance, please see www.bilaterals.org/?how-to-participate-2682.

Heartfelt thanks for your continued interest and support. Please feel free to contact the bilaterals.org team at bilaterals.org@gmail.com if you have any further questions, comments or suggestions.

Sincerely,
the bilaterals.org team

* A summary of the survey results is available on request

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