Monday, July 2, 2007

The Friends Sliders

Maybe I should have done this back in the beginning: a quick review of some of these Friends features. I apologize if this was too long in arriving.
Here is a somewhat typical Friends Slider:

Each one of your Friends gets one. It's a small window into their world. There are two main tabs on the top of this slider: Watched/Rated and Queue. Both of these tabs present movies in order of activity, that is, the order movies were watched or rated, the order they were added to a Queue (or reordered in that Queue). As you all have noticed, the Queue slider is not in Queue-order. The logic is that I like seeing what has recently interested my Friend, what they just added, just discovered, just moved, just rated. I'm not quite as interested in what they have at the number 5 spot. What's at that spot also might sit around for some time. I like to see new stuff and this is the best way to reveal it.

But, of course, it's fun to know what's in their Queue too. What they have at home. (Well, if they have it at home, that will show up as a little notice on top of the box art in the slider [see photo in this para], but even so...) On the far left part of the slider is a little info about your Friend. Notice here are two bits of information that are also links (I've circled them in the top image in the first para). This shows the number of rated movies and the number of movies in the Queue -- but if you click on either, you go to your Friends' page. Here you can see their full Queue (in a presentation that will be much more familiar), or all their movie ratings. There is a drop down menu of variations on their movie ratings, and the one I like the most is "Movies in Common." (It is also the page you see if you click on their "% Similarity To You" back on the slider). This page shows their ratings of movies side by side with your ratings of movies that you have also seen. It's a quick way to gauge your taste similiarity for yourself, or to rate a bunch of movies if you haven't.

The sidebar you get with your Friends is pretty similiar to the one you get for any reviewer you want to check out - except you can't see reviewer's Queues. With Friends, you can.

I hope this clears up a few questions about these features. Let me know if this makes more sense or if you have further need of explanation.


  1. A helpful rundown, thanks. If I may make a quick suggestion: I like the "movies in common" list, and along those lines, I'd love an option to see my own queue, but with my friends' ratings next to the movies on it.

  2. Lots of the new developments have been great, but I have to say, I do not like the sliders, and never have. I just find them annoying, and the out-of-order aspect is one of the worst, for me. I agree that seeing recent activity is interesting, but the old setup allowed for that, as does going to the friend's page. However, at a glance, not enough is visible in the sliders, and it's not always clear what the action or placement is.

    In this case - along with the changes to Notes - the old way was better.

  3. I should clarify a little. I like the sidebar information with the links to friends' pages, but not the actual sliders and tabs.

  4. I like the feature, but could you clean up the code a bit so that it displays properly in Firefox? It's always been just a little screwy for as far as I can remember.

    direct link
    link (if the above doesn't work, but it's sized down here)

  5. Thanks for the run-down. I've been noticing something with my sliders for awhile that I've been meaning to ask about: I have 7 friends, and every time I go to the friends page, the last 2 have their sliders collapsed. Even if I press Expand, and leave/return to the page, they are collapsed again.

    Is this because they are below a certain "percentage threshold" to be expanded? Or are only the top 5 friends expanded? Or is it a bug, since I collapsed them long ago, and it remembers that (even though it doesn't remember that I re-expanded them)?

  6. While I'm at it, I have another question: when I go to the Friends page my sidebar says I have "62 new notes (1124 total)". There's no way this can be right, unless I'm totally misunderstanding what are considered "notes".

    All of my friends combined may leave a total of 5 notes a month. Does this total include notes that I wrote? I went to my notebook and counted 62 notes back, and the timeframe was around March 2007. Is a "new note" anything written in the last 4 months or something?

    Also, is there any way to mark something as "no longer new"? I would love if "new" meant "unread" and I could use the sidebar as a quick-glance way to know if a friend has left me a note. As it is now, with no way to mark a note as read, I find this "new notes" feature to be frustrating (probably because I don't understand it).

  7. Thanks for the info. I love the sliders. I'm constantly looking at them for all of my friends. I also love the order they appear in. I still have a friend though that has a blank slider for watched/rated even though he's rated movies.

  8. I like the sliders. I do have to say that I would like a way of identifying movies I have rated (or rented) when looking at my friend's lists.

  9. I too like the sliders though they are awkward. The left side information for each Friend is definitely useful, though to reiterate two suggestions I made when this blog first appeared I think that bringing back Average Rating for each Friend and the ability to see Ratings from All Friends would be great. I particularly like to watch films that many of my Friends have seen and enjoyed just to be "part of the conversation" with them.

  10. Is there any way to have the "AT HOME" movies always stay on the left side of the queue slider? Sometimes I have to slide forever to find my Friends' AT HOME... Also, how about adding the ability to see SHIPPING TODAY?

  11. As you all have noticed, the Queue slider is not in Queue-order. The logic is that I like seeing what has recently interested my Friend, what they just added, just discovered, just moved, just rated. I'm not quite as interested in what they have at the number 5 spot.

    That's interesting! I feel just the opposite. I've rated so many movies that I'm at the point where I'm rating stuff I saw when I was a teenager. Now that stuff is showing up on my friends' pages and they see it as if I'm just now interested in those shows! lol -- It's really kind of embarrassing! :D

    PS: I love this blog. I like knowing what's going on and what's being worked on (and what's not) and how other users feel about everything, too.

  12. I can only reiterate what I've sent to customer service before -- that the old friends page was far more interesting than these "sliders" are, and I miss it, to the extent that I keep hoping you'll bring it back...

  13. I don't know anyone that is a netflix member and I would like to use the friends feature to watch movies. Anywhere thta you think I can meet people with netflix accounts???

  14. While I like the most recent four of my friends, what I really like about sliders is to see my queued movies in the order that I've put them in. One of every 15 watched is pulled off the end. It also helps me reorder if other family members mess up our master queue.

    Now if I could get to the far end quicker ...

  15. I have a problem with my friends' queue not updating. The "At Home" titles update regularly but the rest of the list appears to be stuck at some point in time about two months ago.

    This makes it hard for us to synchronize our viewing. This happens in all browsers and I've tried clearing caches, cookies etc.