The retro site for Captain Marvel is a fun throwback. Yes, the graphics, features, and mismatched fonts were that bad back in the 90s; but, before Big Data and troll culture, sites had more accountability, and, in turn, value.
A lot of early Internet access was at libraries, often having to leave a driver’s license at the librarian’s desk and sign in and out on a time sheet. Home access was mostly through logging into service providers, with an account name and a password, which was connected to a credit card for billing and email was attached to it, as Gmail didn’t yet exist. Forum owners could and did contact the internet service providers of trolls and providers could and did suspend or terminate the accounts of trolls. Most of the time, it was an easy fix of talking to a parent and locking out an errant child’s login account for a week or so.
In the earlier days of social media, there were more mods and sites were more accountable and transparent. FB used to require proof of adult identity to go with each user account. Contacting customer service reps was done on a first name basis. dA would suspend or terminate every single alt account of rule breakers, including new alt accounts made to try to circumvent bans while the other accounts were suspended. Now, users openly boast of having dozens and it is near impossible to get even one of them banned, even for criminally violent explicit content. In product lifecycles, sites get greedy, cutting mod staff and allowing troublemakers in, just for more page views, ad clicks, data, and money. And, they go downhill.
These changes also impacted GW, which started in the late 90s. GW used to have a lot more mods. They would email me back every time, in a timely manner, they would step in when people made up scenes to derail threads, and they would stop fights in their tracks (and even delete all the posts related to them) so that things didn’t get out of control. Users knew arguing there was a waste of time because the posts would just be deleted. Things changed when SGU went off the air. Without rules or moderation, fans are left with only calling people out on making up scenes, misquoting, bigotry, etc., which wastes a lot of time. GW Twitter is better than GW itself for fandom happenings.
Younger people who haven’t experienced the bygone higher levels of customer service also know when their time is being wasted and are uninstalling FB’s app, choosing to visit sites which actually provide value and enrich their lives, and are reading more and listening to podcasts about research and business trends. Subscribing to their feeds is of much more value than social media.
Better graphics do not mean providing value. It would be great if content providers realized that, instead of looking at customers as brainless and manipulable numbers in piles of Big Data, and got back to accountability and value.