In 2004, there was this music forum site that you could only get into with a password. It wasn’t an invite site. There was just a password, and it changed once a week. Someone on livejournal posted the password one week and I grabbed it and found myself looking at something rare on the web: exclusivity. The site had live event listings, some mp3s, and a forum. It felt cool at the time. I only knew the password for that one week and never saw the site again.
Maybe these things still exist today but if it does it’s well hidden. It was somewhat en vogue in the mid 2000s to put passwords on sites, though. you can still do this pretty simply with tumblr. But exclusivity is a currency we don’t value as much as access. If a “secret” restaurant opens in Toronto, there’s a narcity article about it in three days, and that links to a listicle about all the coolest secret spots. It’s over before it could begin. And that always feels a little lame.
Accessibility is good, but it isn’t cool. Exclusivity isn’t good, but it is cool. I have no idea how to solve this problem.