Guardian rolls out memberships and a physical space for members


Sounds interesting - how much does it cost to join? May check it out if I move to the big smoke

My interest is piqued; I might be tempted to join despite living near Manchester if the events are worth travelling for.

I like the “disclosure” I write a column for the Guardian; no one from the Guardian contacted me about this story or asked me to write about it

They didn’t need to, you’ve swallowed the celebrity puff without even being paid to do so.

Yes, engagement in meat space is important, but let us imagine if a newspaper that you weren’t engaged in annilingus with had done exactly the same thing, say for instance the Daily Mail ?

You are not 1% as naive as your article suggests, the “intimate events” guest lists will be in order:

Senior editorial staff
Friends of senior editorial staff
Girl or boy that a senior staffer wants to impress
Relatives of above
Ad sales guys who’ve met their targets
Junior editorial staff
A reader.

For anyone else you’d have pointed out that for a mass market newspaper, the odds of any given reader being invited to any “intimate event” must be just this side of zero.

A 3D printer, well that’s nice. My 3D printer takes an hour to do anything much, that means a given Guardian reader (according to their readership numbers) will give each reader a go every 147 years.

Also, if it had been the Daily Mail you would have ripped them a new one for claiming credit the expenses scandal.

Not only did the Guardian have little to do with this but echo the investigative reporting of others, its leadership tried to set an agenda that this shold not be a big issue (because it supported the party in power) and when that failed, conveniently “forgot” that the scandal involved MPs of all parties and did its best to ignore nasty truths about the party it likes, even to the extent of those that write for the Guardian.

It’s a coffee shop.
Maybe it’s a nice coffee shop.
Maybe it starts a trend for “themed” coffee shops
Maybe someone I vaguely recognise might be there once.

But its a coffee shop, get over yourself.


Sometimes I feel like my username is wasted on myself. I mean yeh, I’m a cynic, but I try not to be a total dick about it…

I’m a Guardian reader and if I were in London right now I’d definitely sign up for this. An area of meatspace run by just about the only left-wing voice left in the media? Yeh, I’d like a piece of that. Given your response, I’d hazard a guess that you’re not exactly their target audience; do you feel the need to be angry about it every time a group that you don’t feel part of does something novel? Maybe you should talk to someone about that…


Actually I fear I am the target audience…

I’m a media type working within a few hundred metres of the place, drink far too much coffee and enjoy political debate.

The “intimate” gatherings aren’t really the voices of the “left” are they ?

Although that is harder to define these days, fashion designers and comedians who have supported the Conservatives don’t meet my definition of left wing.

Alsd, if I am to be informed or entertained I would rather that the decision tree had “is this stuff interesting/important” and “does this person present an interesting view” before their celebrity status is considered.

Is 3D printing a left wing thing ?
As it happens the people who go on about it to me in the UK are without exception self-affirmed right wingers, several of them being paid up members of the tory party. It’s an interesting side issue as to why 3DP is a left wing thing in the US, but right wing in the UK ?

What it isn’t is interesting enough to have it’s own media space.

Within 5 minutes walks of the Guardian are a dozen or more 3D print shops. I recall back in the 1980s people came to look at my cool new laser printer, some even believed that it worked by burning the paper :smile:

Today, even I don’t care what printer I use.

3DP is like that. Critically important, yet curiously dull.


Will there be an annoying lightbox about it on the site? And if so will you post about how to remove it. :smiley:

Neither’s the Guardian if you done arx me. If I wanted a paper that was a voice of the left, I’d read the Morning Star or Class War, not the bloody Guardian, with it’s Saturday puff pieces about million-pound houses and ads for coffee machines that cost as much as a used car. And carries on giving Nick Cohen money, for that matter. Having said that, the crossword’s proper hard, that I do like…

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I’m not really sure what to make of this.

Yes, I’d be very down on the Daily Mail trying to make an event space for discussion of its articles, because I disagree wit the Daily Mail. The fact that I’d support people whose politics I like over people whose politics I dislike is self-evident and tautological: I would approve of a community centre in my street where they rented space to social justice activists, and would disapprove of a meeting hall devoted to anti-immigrant events. So what?

As to “intimate events” – as is pretty plainly stated, the events are open to everyone. Members get a 20% discount. I don’t know where you get all this stuff about girlfriends and boyfriends. The sole Guardian event I’ve been to – Tedxobserver, where I spoke four years ago – was open to the general public and was largely attended by readers who bought tickets, as far as I can tell.

3D printers – yes, they have a fablab. I’m in favour of them. As someone who has a 3D printer, I assume you would be too. What’s the objection to this?

As to the expenses scandal, as Heather Brooke detailed at length:

The Guardian’s crowdsourcing of the scanned expenses was the primary means by which the dump was turned into politics.

As to analingus, well, to each his own. I don’t think writing columns every fortnight-ish qualifies, but if that’s what it takes to get you to stick out your tongue, I hope you find a willing partner and best of luck with it. As Frank Zappa once said, “whatever it takes to have a good time/let’s get on with it/so long as it doesn’t cause a murder.”


Have you ever tried to read the Morning Star for news? It’s so busy inserting unneccesary rants into articles that don’t require them that it utterly fails as a newspaper. Perhaps I should have said “…just about the only left-wing voice [that isn’t criminally badly-written] left in the media”, but the point still stands; the Guardian is firmly left of centre and unashamedly so, and if they want to throw some money at making somewhere where people who buy into their worldview can meet and hopefully share ideas, great.

Admittedly, the line-up they have so far isn’t the most inspiring, but they have to start somewhere, and if you’re trying to pitch your new member-space, celebrity speakers are the best way to do it. What’s going to attract more new members to join up, “vaguely left-wing speaker you may have heard of” or “my mate Brian the Bolshevik”?

Equally, I didn’t even notice the reference to the 3d printer when I skim read the article at work. Amongst other things, there’s a 3d printer there but you’re making it sound like the Guardian has constructed a shrine to the 3d printer like it’s the new Hammer and Sickle.

Give it a chance; no one is forcing you to become a member and it has the potential to grow into a genuinely interesting experiment. I absolutely don’t understand why you’re convinced that it is going to be the Worst Thing Ever before it has even opened and feel the need to share that opinion with everyone. Great, you’re not excited about it. Don’t join, and then you can feel smug about it later when it turns out to be as crap as you thought.

If your input is not going to be any more constructive than “I have absolutely nothing to back myself up but just know this is going to be shit!”, why even bother posting about it? Just roll your eyes, say “fucking pretentious new-left pricks” and go about your day.

Meh, I’m at the other end of the country anyway. I’m not saying it’ll be the ‘worst thing ever’. My point was more about the Guardian itself than the user-space, and I am of the opinion that all newspapers are pretty much equally risible, if I’m honest. And Nick Cohen’s still a git.

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Not worth being a member of the Guardian because you live near Manchester.

Well, that’s ironic.


For me, their peak of risibility was when the Observer (the Guardian’s Sunday sister) claimed that

Clive Feather is a director of Demon Internet which for £14
provides paedophiles with access to thousands of photographs
of children being sexually abused

because Demon had an uncensored usenet feed. They went on to state that

“The Observer unhesitatingly backs all those - from the police to children’s groups - calling for control and prohibition.”

Not very liberal.

Their alarmist spider egg story from a couple of days ago was pretty risible, too.


I love The Guardian but don’t buy the physical newspaper, I don’t know why The Guardian don’t have a donate button on the side of their website, I’d certainly donate to them if they gave me the option.

If you have an iThing you could subscribe to their digital pack, should you so desire.

About £0.00 , though you can pay more if you’d like.

It’s easy to beat up on the Guardian, but at least they’re not a mouthpiece of the criminal Murdoch empire, or Dacre/PCC crew, or any of the other organs faking evidence, invading privacy, or drumming up mob violence.

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There really only seems to be two serious newspapers in the UK with any meaningful online presence.

The Indy seems to have pretty much given up, if it was ever really trying, and the Times has almost entirely disappeared from my consciousness. Might as well not exist.

The Guardian is streets ahead of the Telegraph (which has a toxic waste dump of commentors BTL), even with the linkbaity outrage op eds about linkbaity outrageous Daily Heil op eds, the occasional trolling of its own readers and vacuous middle class problems articles.

Its cricket coverage is excellent, anyway, so not much else matters. It also retains a decent sense of humour about its own foibles, which goes a long way in my book.

Long replaced the BBC as the first page I go to.

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I’m of the opinion there’s probably more lefty commenters on the Fail’s page than the Grauns. It has some truly annoying trolls (though, I suppose, from a Mail aficionado’s POV, so do they). The Indy’s seems to be mainly Nigerian spammers and American religious right types for some bizarre reason. As I’ve opined elsewhere, we need to make the internet harder to use again. For the public good.

While I’m all for this concept, I shall not be joining as the picture in this blog post clearly shows that the event space is full of ghosts.


Memberships are one possible model that could get around the problem of generating revenue to support on-line news, and it’s good to see someone trying a courageous experiment like this.

But I would note that this is their second attempt at a membership scheme. Their previous one appears to have vanished with nary a trace. And the details of this one do little to solve the Grauniad’s enduring metropolitan bias problem. The whole thing continues to exude the prevailing attitude of “London is the centre of the universe. Other places vaguely exist, but everyone important is within easy reach of zone 2”

Of course, if they really wanted to increase reader interaction, they’d allow the readers to rate the articles and commission writers based on that metric. At the moment, they seem to have a few writers who continually churn out nonsense that is quickly refuted in the comments section, yet have no problem getting regular space on-line and in print; whereas some of their greatest talents are rarely picked up.
However, I fear that such a policy might not go down well with some friends and family of the editorial team.