Now that we’ve launched, you’re probably wondering what the team will be up to. It’s impossible to write a formal strategy brief as we have no Committee to confer with... yet. Which brings me to what we aim to achieve by the end of the cycle (December).
You would have noticed since the beta-phase a few changes. Some of these are obvious, others not so much, but we’ve tried to list some of the main ones in the beta-phase feedback summary. If you enjoy staying informed, I suggest you read the whole 7200 word document (to access it, just ask).
My motto for this cycle is simple: BUILD THE COMMUNITY.
Up until now my focus has been research and development. Now that we’re in formation, my aim is to ensure we have a solid and strong community of sex workers by the of the year. Here’s how we hope to go about it.
ENCOURAGING COMMUNITY INVOLVEMENT
What you put into Red Files is what you get. Each of the beta-members have done us a great service by sharing their user experience with Red Files. This in turn has helped make Red Files more accessible and enjoyable for all future sex workers. I cannot thank you enough for this.
I wish that was all the work done - but it isn’t. I will be reaching out to each and every one of you during the six months to keep you informed of updates (such as this brief), discuss the growth of Red Files and how you can be meaningfully involved.
We still need volunteers, Senior Members, Committee members, MODs and Directors. Only Full Red Files members can fill these positions and that’s why I’m looking to you. At the moment it’s only Charlotte and I making decisions, and if our workload becomes too much we may need to advertise the MOD position in other sex worker only networks.
I hope that by the end of this cycle (December) there will be members considered for each position. I highly encourage you to step up if you feel you can. I am a Director only by default as I am the founder. I hope to step back by the end of the year, but this cannot happen if nobody steps up. If we can fill all these positions it will also mean that I can look into evolving this organisation into a fully fledged non-for-profit.
NETWORK AND OUTREACH
One thing I have been doing, and will continue to do, is inform sex workers around Australia about the existence of Red Files. I will do this through a variety of ways: by tapping into already existing networks or clusters of sex workers, one on one through my work as a sex worker, and through online social media interactions with sex workers. For example I may be in contact with online directories, writing 500 word articles for sex worker org newsletters or flyers for local sex worker org outreach efforts.
Due to the fact that I am a Melbourne female private sex worker, and most of my contacts are made in this realm, I imagine our membership will make up mostly Melbourne female private sex workers to begin with. I have no intention of barring interstate, male, trans, agency, establishment or street based workers, but I must work with what I know before I outreach and diversify. You can help diversify our membership by recommending and offering to be a vouch for other sex workers.
I also plan on visiting H2H (a night that Rhed hosts for street based sex workers) and the Gatehouse here in Melbourne to help spread the word to street based sex workers.
I aim that by the end of the cycle (December) Red Files will be accessible to 200 members.
I founded Red Files with the vision that sex worker orgs around the country would be thrilled at the thought of connecting with sex workers online in new and innovating ways. In practise, my most difficult task is to liaison with other sex worker orgs.
It is my responsibility to inform each organisation about Red Files and it isn’t easy explaining Red Files intricacies with only words. Not only this but I don’t share the same physical location as most orgs (so either I fly to them or we Skype), and each organisation has its own unique governance structure. This means I need to inform many people of one organisation, and to get them all in the same room at the same time. It is no easy task. There’s a lot of back and forth phone calls or emails.
After coaching them about what Red Files is, easing any concerns and dispelling any misinformation, I then offer the organisations (remember, this is more than one person) 6 months free sponsor with Red Files. For unfunded orgs this is always free. Then I ask for graphics and not every organisation has a designer at hand and neither do I. Then I ask for information about their organisation to be added to the Resource List and a contact person for us to refer any Red Files members needing further support, contacts or support. After this I ask them to inform us of any events and such to relay to Red Files members through the News Room. Again, there’s a lot of back and forth phone calls and emails.
Nevertheless, it’s a work in progress and relationships cannot be rushed. You would have noticed Rhed has a sponsorship with us and their information is added into the Resource List. I am currently in conversation with Scarlet Alliance, Magenta, SIN/SWAGGER, and Respect and have yet to contact SWOP NSW, NT and ACT.
I aim to have each organisations information in our Resource List and their graphics for sponsorship by the end of this cycle (December). I also aim for Red Files to have a membership with Scarlet Alliance (and be authenticated) by the end of the cycle.
The MODs will be doing their role, duties and responsibilities as described in the Help Desk. I am really hoping to welcome another MOD into the team. At the moment Charlotte is in charge and you can expect a Newsletter from her once every two months (the next one will be August). Please get into contact with her to shoot her any idea or requests for what you’d like for the Newsletter!
Depending on how things unfold this cycle, the next cycle might focus on sustainability (donations and sponsors).
See something in the Strategy Brief you want to change? Make a comment. Want something added. Make a comment!