Saturday, June 2, 2007

Notes, continued...

I'm game.

Shaun, you said "Reviews show up differently than notes; if I write a note, I guarantee my friends will see it. If I write a review, there is no such assurance." What if reviews from your Friends were treated differently. What if it was presented at the top of a page, or column, or highlighted in some way such that it wouldn't be buried in a pile of reviews. In other words, it was presented as a note. For other people who don't know you, who aren't Friends with you, yes it would still be visible but far less likely to be seen (who drills in multiple pages on customer reviews? And if I did drill that far, maybe i am interested in the rather idiosyncratic back-and-forth between another group of people on this topic. i'm just asking.) The other benefit of this is that reviews are both persistent (meaning, new Friends would be able to see them too), and edit/delete-able. How many problems would be solved if this worked for y'all? (AND there is no email that goes out when a review is posted, even...)

I pretty much agree with you about being able to turn off the notes emails. That's not as refined as it should be, and it probably should have a preference setting for it. [Meaning, you can select whether or not you want to send emails.] I had prioritized fixing that, however, after some other of these larger new features, like the avatars and changes to custom lists. Do y'all think turning off emails is more important than completing new features which all of us think will be more interesting? (I'm sort of being rhetorical--of course you'd rather it just work right; how much work could it take?) There are a lot more nifty ways to look for movies and share movie experiences than what we have now, and i personally believe you'll be pleased we prioritized this way, but i certainly don't know for sure. that's kinda why I think it's good to get everyone's feedback.)

one of you said: "i never feel like investing more than 5 minutes "reviewing" a movie. i bet most folks feel the same. a "review" feels more formal, and longer, and thought out. a "note" just feels better between friends. plus, nobody would get most of the inside jokes laced in my notes other than my friends. plus, who cares what i think (other than mom)?"

Why do reviews have to be formal? Some will, of course, be rather serious and educated in their critique. But others are no doubt going to be like talking to my brother, who has a lot of enthusiasm. Why is one better than the other? If I'm looking to get some sense of whether or not i should see a given movie, i like a range of voices. i don't need to "get" your private jokes, and i'll skip it if i don't get it. I suggest it might be okay to make your notes (to all your Friends) into reviews. If it isn't helpful to other folks, the natural process of sorting will pretty quickly drop it from much view -- and if it turns out to be helpful, and really crystallized something about a movie that appeals to other folks, well then, you've inadvertently helped other people.

I'm not suggesting there isn't a place for private correspondence -- that's pretty much what notes were designed for. The private kind of review, or query, or something that kinda demands response. But those notes don't really need to be persistent for all my Friends or future Friends. (Today's Friends may not get last years' private joke between me and the three Friends I had then.)

I miss the mini-reviews, i really do. But i more enjoy not having 3 distinct ways to communicate-- it's redundant, it makes things more complicated for everyone, harder to learn, more junk on the screen. I liked the subtle differences between each, but i think i can pretty much get what i need from just reviews and notes -- as long as new reviews from Friends are presented pretty clearly, and not more buried (as they are today).

Eric, you said you wanted the "ability to leave a note for all friends (including future friends that I might add). As it stands right now, I have no idea if new friends can see notes I've already left or not. I don't leave "notes" to people, I leave general comments about specific movies, so I'd like anyone who is associated with me to be able to read them." It sounds like the above solution might address this. Does it? And your second point, "Ability to leave a note on a movie that is independent of other notes my friends may have already left. I don't want my note to be considered a reply just because someone else left a note first. I just want to leave a comment, not start a conversation." Again, wouldn't sending the "note" as a "review" address this?

Finally: if you could edit/delete notes, how does that work? If I delete a note i sent you, does that mean it is removed from your Notebook? But edits i make on my notes ripple to every person who has that note? Is this correct? If i edit my review today, whenever someone reads that, they get the corrected version. And if i delete it it's gone from everywhere instantly. But if I write a note, and you reply, and I delete my note, what happens to your reply?

I'm not trying to be difficult; this is precisely the kind of questions that have to be answered, and alternatives that have to be debated.