Monday, July 2, 2007

Killing Movie Notes' Email

You and I have been discussing this for some time, and here we go: Many people don't visit the site so often that they know to look for new Movie Notes, and enjoy getting an email alert that a new note has been sent to them. It's only on a new note and not for every reply or back-and-forth conversation. But some of you don't like the feeling that you're "spamming" your Friends. Absolutely. So here's what can be done: Disable the preference setting that sends you these notes. People who don't want to receive them have full control now, and you shouldn't worry that you're giving them anything they don't want to get.

1) Select Your Account link (at the very top of the screen).
It will take you to a page full of setting for your account. Look near the bottom for a block called "Account Preferences". Look for the link to your Email Subscriptions:


2) Select Email Subscriptions.
This opens a page of all kinds of emails you may (or may not) want to receive as part of your service. Look for the Friends Movie Note email:


Make sure it's not selected, and then you won't receive emails you don't want. Trust your Friends to manage this (but feel free to explain it to them if you're worried). I hope this helps. At worst, it's a start. (At best, we can move onto bigger tasks!) Enjoy.

23 comments:

  1. This comment has been removed by the author.

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  2. Great, but are we finally going to be able to receive REPLIES to our movie notes? These are often times the most important notes of all to receive, and we have never received our friends' REPLIES in the past. Will we now start receiving their replies?

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  3. michael, from netflixJuly 2, 2007 at 2:41 PM

    If you mean, "Will we get email notices that our friend has replied" then no, we don't send emails for that. You can, of course, Reply to any movie note.

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  4. I have no Netflix friends :*(

    When will I be able to find new ones?

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  5. Wow, there are some ungrateful folks around here!

    If I understand correctly, and this is a newly-added feature, let me be the first to say thank you. I hated receiving these emails, as well as forcing them upon others whenever I left a note. This certainly lessons my frustration with the whole notes-versus-minireviews issue. Once again, thanks!

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  6. This is actually backwards. Rather than making a friend disable the e-mail notification, I should be able to determine whether or not they receive the notification in the first place.

    I like the feature as it used to be. It should be good enough fro them to see my note next time they log into their Netflix Account.

    The sender of a note should be able to determine whether or not a friend is sent an e-mail. I would love to post notes for all my friends about every movie I see (3-5 per week), but I will no longer post notes knowing that they will receive an e-mail each time I do. And I should not have to show them how to disable it.

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  7. With all due respect anonymous, I think you're dead wrong here. Let's say you are one of my Netflix friends and you write a bunch of movie notes. Why should you get to decide if I get flooded with emails or not, especially if I decide that I don't want them? The receiver is the one who has to put up with the emails, therefore it is the receiver that should have the ability to turn them off. That's just common-sense usability.

    Now, if I had the ability to globally turn off the feature ("when I write notes, don't email my friends"), I think that might make sense. But the flip-side (forcing my friends to receive emails) is misguided.

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  8. Michael from Netflix:

    WHY won't you send us email notifications when our friends reply to our notes? Can't we at least have the option of receiving these? These are sometimes the most important notes to receive of all! For example, I loved "Children of Men" and I gave it 5 stars and sent out a note to all of my friends to watch it. If my friends actually watch the movie & post a note about it (which then becomes a REPLY to my original note), I want to IMMEDIATELY be notified to the fact that a friend of mine has made a comment about the movie that I highly recommended to them. I want to immediately know what their opinion was of this very same film. This is the whole joy of the Friends feature -- being able to have virtual conversations with your friends about certain movies. Without me receiving email notification that a reply was left about that movie, I may never see the note at all -- unless I manually remember to click on the "Your Notebook" link on the Netflix Friends page. Which is what I do now... obsessively... every day. But 95% of the time, there is no new activity in my notebook, so I'm just wasting my time. If I simply got an email alert whenever there was ANY activity in there, that would solve all the problems & enable me to be on top of what my friends are saying.

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  9. shaun: I think you misunderstood what the previous anonymous poster said. I took it to be the same as what you said: "...the ability to globally turn off the feature ('when I write notes, don't email my friends')"

    I, too, like the way it used to be, but would like a larger field than there was previously. I don't want to send e-mails, but would sometimes like to leave notes on the movie page for friends to see.

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  10. bet: Actually I think I understood anonymous' point just fine. Here's a quote from what they said:

    "The sender of a note should be able to determine whether or not a friend is sent an e-mail"
    (emphasis mine)

    I agree that the sender should be able to say NO emails to my friends. But anonymous appears to also be suggesting that the sender should be able to say YES send emails to my friends, without those friends having a choice about the matter. This is the part with which I'm taking issue.

    If I truly did misunderstand, then I apologize for belaboring the point, but I think I see where he/she is coming from and I just wanted to voice some disagreement.

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  11. This feature is nearly useless to me. I still will not set notes if it's going to fill people's mailbox. It's just rude. I don't want force people's hands where they have to turn off notification (or more realistically, drop my netflix friendship) because of something I'm doing.

    Friends don't intentionally spam friends.

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  12. Regarding spamming your friends: I used to think I was spamming my friends too, until I personally called each & every one of my friends on the phone and asked them if they wanted me to stop typing up so many notes about movies. Every single one of them, without fail, said "No! I LOVE receiving your movie notes! They're the best!" This surprised me to no end! You may be surprised that you're not spamming your friends at all! In the meantime, however, we really do need email notification when friends REPLY to our notes.

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  13. Here's a counter-example to scott's point: me and my friends detest that we get emails when each other leave notes. We enjoy reading notes from each other, but we like to do so within the context of the Netflix page, at our leisure, rather than have our inbox littered with emails.

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  14. I still will not set notes if it's going to fill people's mailbox. It's just rude. I don't want force people's hands where they have to turn off notification (or more realistically, drop my netflix friendship) because of something I'm doing.

    We enjoy reading notes from each other, but we like to do so within the context of the Netflix page, at our leisure, rather than have our inbox littered with emails.

    These two quotes sum up my feelings on the matter perfectly. Might it be possible to eat our cake and have it, too? Both the option to block receipt of e-mails on the receiving end, and block the sending of mails on the outgoing end would cover all of the bases and make everyone happy. However, I don't know how cumbersom this would be on the programming end.

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  15. "I agree that the sender should be able to say NO emails to my friends. But anonymous appears to also be suggesting that the sender should be able to say YES send emails to my friends, without those friends having a choice about the matter. This is the part with which I'm taking issue."

    No, my point is that I want to be able to leave notes for my friends, but I don't want it to generate an e-mail. I just want the note to show up on their friends page next time they log in.

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  16. OK, then I stand corrected and we are in agreement.

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  17. xThis is NOT a new feature. Months ago, when I was shocked to learn that all of my friends were getting emails when I sent notes, I discovered the box to uncheck and informed all my friends. this is not a sufficient solution. When I invite some one to be my friend, I now have to follow up with: "Now, I'm going to send you notes, and these notes are going to generate emails, and if you don't want them, YOU are going to have to take care of that yourself." After following along with this conversation, I have to believe that Michael, you are not paying attention. Tons of people have given you feedback and you have "solved" the problem by pointing out a feature that Netflix already had.

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  18. michael, from netflixJuly 5, 2007 at 1:27 PM

    d-
    fair enough. I'll tell you what happened. Up until a few months ago, this check box was about receiving a "Friends Newsletter," which we discontinued. We had also discontinued the emails that went along with suggestions. A few months ago, when we put back emails connected to new notes --my team changed this checkbox to its present function. Frankly, I hadn't realized it had been changed. As I read everyone's feedback, I checked around and "discovered" this functionality. It certainly didn't solve everyone's problems, but it DID solve many people's problems. And it was available right then. I felt it was appropriate to educate everyone about it. I understand many of you would like the option not to send emails. And this isn't that. Your perception that I am not acting on every request received here is perhaps true, but not synonmyous with not paying attention. On the contrary, I hope I have shown you that Netflix (in general) and me (in particular), listen VERY closely, and integrate your ideas and requests with lots of other information, and prioritize appropriately. Some things will happen right away, and you'll all get happy. Some take time, and in your darker moments you'll feel unheard. That's the story.

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  19. Michael, thanks for your reply, and I apologize for my disgruntled tone. There's no need for us to have "darker moments"--we're talking about a relatively small feature of a great website!

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  21. Is anyone interested in a Video Clip contest. If you are, go on the world wide web to bsflag and check out the contest.

    5K to the winner, 1k to 2nd, and 500 to 3rd.

    Also, all entrants have a chance to be contracted for future projects.

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    ReplyDelete
  22. The problem is that “Friends Notes” do not work for anyone.

    For those that do want to use ‘friends notes’ to communicate in a back and forth with their friends… they are frustrated because they can’t receive e-mail replies.

    Frankly I’m baffled that anyone wants to “communicate” in a back and forth like that with their friends using ‘friends notes’ rather than e-mail. I don’t see how anyone can possibly be having any kind of meaningful conversations using ‘friends notes.’ A quick heads up is one thing, but once a conversation starts you need more than a sentence or two to share anything worthwhile don’t you? I know I do.

    For the rest of us we don’t really want Netflix to supply a back & forth Flix-bound method of communication because e-mail is already far more useful and flexable. AND, if we are stuck with ‘friends notes’ as-is, we want to turn off e-mail notification both ways so we don’t pose a bother to existing and future friends by first spamming them, then being forced to, force them to drop us as their friend, or make an extra effort so we don’t spam them.

    The fact is my friends did have to notify me that my notes were generating e-mail spam and I was highly embarrassed. I had no idea such a ridiculous thing was happening. It caused them stress because they didn’t want to hurt my feelings by telling me to stop but at the same time they are busy people with a lot on their plates already and they, and I, don’t want needless hassles set against them.

    It would be far better, for me at least, if ‘friends notes’ worked the way I had thought it did. That is, my notes were mini-reviews held in archive that my friends could visit at their leisure within the Netflix site, and not when they are busily trying to sort through and find important e-mails at work. Why not add notification of new messages in the welcome message once we log-in? “Welcome ‘membername’. You have new 2 new notes.” It already is shown on the side-bar under the communities tab. That should be enough notification. If they don’t have the time to view the new notes right away they can get to it later. I know I want to be a help to my friends, not a nuisance.

    It would be nice to know if there is a problem that precludes opting-out of sending e-mail ‘friends notes.’ If it a simple matter of priorities, I don’t mind waiting for implementation of the new opt-out if more important matters are being addressed first. I can’t help but be curious though.

    Of course, a new opt-out still doesn’t solve the problem that ‘friends notes’ don’t persist as viewable to new friends. Which is how I wish it would work.

    PS… Looks like some advertisements got through here. Maybe someone should remove the comments about the contest…

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  23. I would love to be able to leave a note for myself about a movie that I watched or even one that I want to watch that would also be accessible to my friends. I don't always feel strongly enough about a movie to actually send a note to one of my friends, but if I wrote a quick little review about a movie I just watched, I wouldn't mind my friends checking it out if they were contemplating watching the same movie.

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