So it's no surprise to me on this site that it's become a husk of its former self. I joined almost 10 years ago thanks to a friend who showed me Red vs. Blue for the first time. I was thoroughly impressed on how filming could be done that way; simplistic, yet complex. It was just a cherry on top that the community and site was small, simple, yet 100% functional. Buttery smooth notifications, knowledge of said notifications on what was happening, a sponsorship that was a decent incentive for having it instead of a small coupon on a store that, quite honestly, doesn't render enough options for me wanting to buy things on it. But now we've hit the u-turn and went the wrongest possible direction possible with this.
Don't get me wrong, the people I've made friends with and have met thanks to this site has been amazing. But in the recent years, the hardcore people that helped make this site have gone on and left. What was it exactly? I get it that life happens, you no longer have time to post and only watch the content, or if your interest in the show has changed. That's all fine and dandy. I myself have fallen prey to that spiral. I haven't watched an episode, yet a season of RvB or anything else for that matter on this site. Why is that? This site sucks. Plain and simple. It has lost it's luster. The ravages of time have sunk its digital teeth into it and killed it. It's stricken dead, but the body has yet to realize it. Here's why.
The functionality has sunk down faster than an anchor into a black hole. Notifications only apply to people's journals and not what's being posted on the site. Like how it used to be (god i sound like the old man in the rocking chair) notifications also applied to new episodes, the latest of RT comics, staff notifications, getting awards, etc. All of that is gone, or in a confusing place that many have cried foul since the newest layout arrived not long ago. No introduction on how the new site works, no real reason for the change now that I think about it. It all just sorta happened. Like waking up from an epic party/bender, only to find that you're half-naked, can't find your keys, and your wallet has only coupons to a Rite-Aid two towns over. It was unacceptable, former hardcore fans cried afoul everywhere, with only "We're working on it." as a response. Yet there's never been a side of improvement. I've stayed through this this whole time, where's the improvement? You've hired developers and IT pros to help, yet sometimes, you need to take a step backward and reassess what you have before moving forward.
I remember Gus saying years ago that RT wants to develop smartly. They've expanded what seems like majorly their art and animation department. Sure, content is a must on this site. It's the hard sell to keep people coming back and logging in, however, once the show ends, what keeps us in the seats. It was the community that kept us here. Discussing every frame of a classic RvB episode for easter eggs and the hidden Tex, chanting Drunk Tank whenever it mentioned something on the site, congratulating the featured user every day it swaps out. All of that has been now populated with the digital tumbleweed passing by. It's as if neglect has taken over and I feel like it has. The original crew have gone on to other sites like Twitter, which is fine. Diversification for your audience is grand, but at least keep things at home. We've lost a lot of things along the way, and if aesthetics are your only concern, then you forgot what it was like when we tuned in the second a new episode was posted.
Now I've rambled for some time, so what can we do to fix it? Well if we could first go back to the way things were; listen to the community and poll then implement what we want, it can work again. We miss seeing who modded our posts, having a one-click method that clearly marks our friend's journals, notifications that show when an episode releases, and then adding eventually new things. Take a page from Steam's book, make something great with a rock-solid foundation. And when a new idea with a lot of, for a lack of a better term, steam comes behind it, test it out, see how it works, then roll it out for everyone. If the staff can do that, I'm sure our trust will come back and so will the viewers who will stop viewing on YouTube only, and then create their own accounts, or log back in.
If not, then RT is only taking big steps to try and please some. But too many big steps, and you'll fall off the cliff. All I can hear now is the sound of Wile E. Coyote falling down the cliff; the sound of active members dying off.