The Guardian have been pursuing a digital strategy with great gusto for several years now. Their mobile apps are well designed and well thought out. They have now decided that what a good digital strategy needs is physical meetings, and so they have started Guardian Membership. Alan Rusbridger, the editor-in-chief, explains this by saying that “The only relationship our journalists have is with our readers. Membership gives the real possibility of deepening the intense bond between the producers and consumers of the Guardian.”
They have also bought or rented a large physical space in London where they will run meetings, seminars and gatherings for their membership. As the site says,
In 2016, the Guardian will reopen the Midland Goods Shed at London’s King’s Cross to create a new kind of civic space.
The building will be a hub for big ideas and stimulating conversations. It will host events, activities and courses from Guardian Live and institutions we admire, as well as being the home of Guardian Membership.
Membership has three tiers: Friend is free; Partner costs £135pa; Patron costs £540pa. This is obviously intended as more than a data-scraping exercise, and as more than a fan club.
I feel that this is an interesting and important move from a news organisation, which is now moving away from being “old media” in several different directions at once.