Friday, June 8, 2007

Connecting to People Who Are "Similar"

That's a great idea, folks. You're browsing around and you come across someone who is really really similiar... you know, something amazing like 90% or more. You read their reviews and you clearly have similar tastes and even share some pretty obscure favorite movies. You don't want to lose this person. They don't really have to be your Friend, I mean, you don't want to bug them. They may or may not be interested in you. You just want to hear when they find a new movie that's great, or read their latest review... you want to "subscribe" to a feed of their ratings and reviews.

Let's say there is a big button by their avatar image, and if you clicked it, you'd be able to keep an eye on them (but not in a creepy way). What's the button say on it?

Are you Subscribing to this person? If you saw that would you understand what that meant? What about Bookmarking them? That's often understood to mean 'holding' onto this page, although that misses the passive nature of this. You could be Adding them to your Favorites list. Like being a Friend, there could be another class -- a Favorite. Is Adding a Favorite better than Subscribing? And then there is a simple Save this Reviewer.

Can any of you propose a label for this button that is immediately understandable, clearly describes what this activity is, and doesn't require a paragraph explanation.


  1. "Subscribing" to me indicates that there's an RSS feed--that would be great, and I would love to be able to subscribe to RSS feeds of similar people, but if you don't mean an actual RSS feed, I'd use "add to favorites" or maybe "track this person's ratings/reviews" or something like that. I guess the question is, are you connecting only on the Netflix site (their reviews would show up in a "Favorites" section of the friends page or something like that) or providing a feed I could use in an external reader.

    I think you should also be able to add people as friends, though, right from the site--it annoys me to no end to have to go through the e-mail invitation process, and hence, I've only added one friend.

    And on something completely unrelated, being able to rate in half-stars would be amazingly helpful.

  2. The words on the button could simply say "Similar to you." (I like Netflix's so-far demonstrated penchant for keeping things simple.) In keeping with the spirit of simplicity, I think a new tab under the "Friends" page could read "Similar to you." And when you click on the tab, you could see an array of reviewers with 85% or greater similarity, and have the option to read their reviews and lists and even contact them to request their being added to your Netflix Friends list. That's what I think.

  3. "Subscribing" to a person sounds more like getting my email box filled with unwanted notes or invites to play with this or that feature on Netflix. Cool, but I'm not necessarily wanting to subscribe to anything further on the Netflix site. How about "Remember this person" or, to be more to the point "stalk" this person. hee.

    Just a thought.

  4. How 'bout TRACK this person. Then, you can follow their activity. Without them being needed to connect with you.

  5. I think you could simply have a heart below or beside their avatar that would be your "Love" button. If someone is similar to you, clicking the heart button would mean that you like their taste in movies, and want to subscribe to their queue.

    Really though, what I came here for is to ask for a "Friends search". I really want to be able to search for new Netflix friends who are very similar to me. It is just to hard to find them in the current state.

    I also agree with the comment above that half stars need to be available for reviews! I've seen so many reviews on Netflix that say "I put 3 stars, but this is really a 2.5 star movie". That's not the way it should be. We should be able to pick half a star to accurately judge a movie.

  6. Jandy - I don't know if this helps you at all, but you can now give someone a link to make them your friend. It's on the Invite page.

    I know that still requires an IM or email, but I doubt Netflix will allow you to become someone's friend (and see their queue/history) without their permission.

  7. Subscribe, or Watch, is the best term to use. YouTube uses that term (subscribe to this user) and everyone knows that.

  8. Josh, I agree that friendship should be understood as a reciprocal agreement, and that I shouldn't have access to anyone's queue, etc., regardless of whether they want to be connected with me. I just think it should be more like Facebook, where I click something that says "friend this person", basically, but it doesn't actually make the friendship live until they've agreed, which they can do right from their Facebook profile without any e-mails required. (You can have Facebook send you emails when someone friends you, but you can also turn email notification off and handle everything on the site itself, which is the important thing to me.)

    There should be "friend requests" box or something on the Netflix friends page that would allow you to accept or reject friend requests without having a bunch of e-mails flying around.

    This goes without saying, really, but because of the thread we're in, I'll clarify that I think this is a totally a separate thing from "tracking" a person's reviews, which doesn't require reciprocity, because what you're tracking is already publicly posted.

  9. I like the Similar 2U tab maybe under the Friends tab. And if you find somebody that you'd like to read future reviews for, then you can subscribe to him/her. And all the recent reviews would appear under the tab.

  10. I would say Track Me without letting them see the Queue. Just the ratings and reviews.

    I also like the idea of Similar to Me button with the ability to track them on the Friends page that thatherepaul suggested.

  11. I agree that it should be kept simple, but I would name it "Users I track" or something like that. There would hopefully be an option to search for users similar to you and then you could click a button to track them so that you would know what they have been renting or what is on their queue.

    If you just had a "Similar to you" page I think it would be rather weak because it would be hard to track the same users.

    I like commenting here. I feel like someone might read it, whereas on the main site, I always feel my suggestions go into a black hole.

  12. How about "Netflix Club" and you can add people to your Club with a...wait for it... "Add to my Club" button. Friends are closer, but you can be in all kinds of clubs with out being friends. That way you can see Similar Rated films, reviews etc. Maybe they could be 80 % or higher similar to you to add to your "Club'
    Yea, "Netflix Club" that sounds cool.

  13. You've got the a tab for Movies You'll Heart, how about one called Reviewers You'll Heart?

  14. I like the idea of having a "Similar to You" button as part of the Friends tab. You'd click on it and have a list of Netflixx users who have high similar-to-you ratings. (Maybe you could choose to be public on users' lists as part of your profile?) You could then click on a person's name and be linked to his or her reviews and lists page.

    I really also wish that you could send invites to friends from this page. I wouldn't feel like someone was bothering me by sending an invitation. If I did, all I'd have to do is decline the invitation or make my profile private. However, I agree with posters who wish it happened within the website without sending e-mails to me. (I have 12 Netflix friends, and it gets on my nerves to contstantly get e-mails everytime one leaves me a note.)

  15. I agree with the person's idea below:

    Anonymous said...
    You've got the a tab for Movies You'll Heart, how about one called Reviewers You'll Heart?

    June 24, 2007 1:58 PM

    This definately sounds like a good idea. most netflix users know the "movies you'll ♥" and what it means so having "reviewers you'll ♥" won't need to be explained

  16. That would be such a good idea. [Similar] is all I need to see. I am so anime centric that any other geek is someone I'll look into.

  17. How about "Netflix Neighbor"?

    The stuff about "tracking" seems a bit too close to "stalking" for me...

    (I just found this blog by the way - nifty!)

  18. Why are a number of people stuck with the small details like labels and terminology? My recommendation for the future of Netflix is something like myspace meets netflix. This is a "real" community. I know you have to deal with emails, etc. etc. However, this is how you do it, if you're going to do it big!

    My idea is: Give Netflix members a little customizable personal page (people love to customize); have a diverse forum where users can connect, discuss random interests, and so on; allow users to view other user's profile from the forum - you can watch(stalk) them, or request to add them; etc. etc.

    The main idea here is to use many of today's social internet tools, and to organize them in a very simple and understandable way for all users.

    I personally like the "Friends" features; and I think this feature can work with a user's personal friends as well as with internet friends - just that certain features(like share ques) should be a customizable option.

    My vision for Netflix is a real online community, where millions of people come together to do many things and everything relating to movies/tv series/etc. User's will come to Netflix whether they are rentings or not; renting movies is just a feature.

  19. How about "Pals" like a penpal, someone you can write about reviews and movies you both share. I agree it needs a mutual agreement. It would be freaking if someone could just peek into your life without your consent.

    How about a search buttonn with filters, like lets say how are similar ton me over 85%? or on my state?

  20. Favorites, Bookmark, Subscribe… all work for me as far as the functionality of tracking subscribers reviews and lists goes. ‘Tracking’ though might intimidate, confuse, and worry more casual users who might associate it with something sinister.

    About another suggestion of a few other members… If an ‘invite-friend’ or ‘request-friend’ button is implemented, I would want the option to refuse or ignore all such request to be my friend. To me a ‘friend’ is someone I actually know and trust therefore I’m unlikely to welcome a strangers request. I don’t want to have to fend off a bunch of requests all the time, I’ve seen how that kind of thing can go horribly wrong. I don’t want to make my profile private in order to refuse unsolicited friend requests.

    I’m not sure ‘reviewers you’ll love’ is going to be useful to me because the sim rating has been so unreliable so far.

    I don’t think Netflix should try to reproduce or replace too many of the social networking features that are already done so well elsewhere. The focus should be in increasing the functionality of the sight and offering features, such as feeds that social network users can adapt to the formats they already know, use and love.

    There is something to be said for the fact that you can write a review and not have to justify it to anyone, constantly defend it, or worry that someone is going to start flaming you. There is something to be said for the fact that I can put my opinion out there and people can take it or leave it as they please, but I’ll never feel pressured to participate in a never-ending tide of response and counter-response.

    What might be nice though, is providing the reviewers who wish it, the option of a link from their reviews and profile pages on Netflix to their own personal web-sites, blogs, what-have-you, outside Netflix.

  21. I would LOVE to be able to do this.