Guardian Unlimited Talk or GUT as us confirmed Guardianistas called, was a set of Talkboards run by The Guardian newspaper for about ten years.
It was a set of over overlapping online communities, some people were friends in real life and others were just online acquaintances. The thing that made it work was the mix of people; ordinary ones, eccentrics, whimsical types, weirdoes, nutters, moderates, extremists, dyed-in-the wool atheists, moderate atheists, religious believers of all kinds, agnostics, fantasists and a range of sockpuppets, trolls and others who were just plain odd. For many posters, tin-foil hats were de rigueur as headgear.
Weirdly, it worked, most of the time.
Well, that is to say it did work, because last night at around 5:30 PM, the site was trashed by The Guardian and it is no more.
Some of us have regrouped in other places;
#gut and #guardiantalk on Twitter
and on Facebook at GuardianTalkExiles
There are two other FB groups;
http://www.facebook.com/home.php?sk=group_154073141315522 (40-odd members)
http://www.facebook.com/home.php?sk=group_190637657634118&ap=1 (a dozen people)
To say that this was a shock is an understatement. For many people, GUT was something of a sanctuary, a lifeline and, dare I say it, an obsession.
There is something behind the death of GUT, something that is hinted at but no one really knows. Mysterious forces may be in play, it would be a typical GUT activity to speculate wildly about what they might be.