The deletion of Guardian Talk remains a mystery and inevitably subject to speculation. There are two apparent stories. From Monday the insistence that the reasons cannot be discussed suggest to some that there is a legal issue. Perhaps there is a super injunction from a celebrity preventing further comments of any kind. But if so why is there not some sort of response from other journalists? Often in such cases there is some form of resistance, perhaps a cryptic tweet from @arusbridger that others are only too happy to repeat.
From the Friday there was reference to "a period of review" and the difficulty of supporting more than one platform. So how long was this period of review and who was involved? @arusbridger did tweet on Saturday to say that discussion would be possible from Monday so he presumably was aware of the decision. Did the review take a week? Was it just over Friday lunchtime?
If it was a sudden letter from a lawyer would it have arrived late on a Friday? Earlier in the week seems more likely. Lawyers like their weekends to be free of complication. The timing seems more likely to be chosen to minimise reporting from media working normal hours. The complaints from bloggers etc over the weekend matter much less. This story is designed to be forgotten.
One person who probably did not know anything is the Networker, John Naughton
His warning about cloud computing should surely have made a reference to the danger of talkboards suddenly being closed down. I wonder if he will mention anything next Sunday? Probably not. There seems to ne a policy not to report this story in print.
PenfoldDavid has reported through Twitter that the Guardian has recently purchased a social networking site - unltdworld. Will this suddenly vanish also? The difference could be that this is a form of business to business. The Guardian group has already got out of local media. Perhaps they are changing focus away from general interest. But they sometimes make decisions that fail to fit a later pattern. Could there have been a social networking site around the Technology Thursday copy? Will the Monday Media be closed down? Is there any online preparation for this?
It is sometimes claimed that the Guardian is a news organisation in transition from print to online. The finances of this are complicated and they may have difficult phases. The disaster of Guardian Talk will feature in this story. So any information on how they reached this decision or what they think they are doing could only be helpful.