Monday, July 30, 2007

Small(ish) Bug on Community Home (FIXED)

Some of you (well, many of you) may have noticed that the "People Similar to You" zone is empty sometimes. Trust me, that shouldn't be happening. Our crack team is hammering on this as you sleep and with luck we'll have some solution in the next day or so. Sorry.

POSTSCRIPT TUESDAY: Okay, I think we've fixed this now. Now, to slow down and improve the useability of the Reviews feed...

28 comments:

  1. I just didn't know where else to post this but I had a couple of thoughts. When creating lists on the reviewer's page (i run on a Mac if that ends up making a difference) when entering a film it will not register commas or apostrophes, so some films cannot be placed on the list at all. The other issue with lists is the inability to choose which film you'd like if there are two films with the same name. For instance if I was making a list of movies Netflix should get that are currently not available and I wanted to put the 20s classic 'Underworld' on my list I could only put it as the modern vampire and werewolf film. Probably not a priority but it's been like that for a long time and I thought myabe no one had pointed that out yet. Maybe it is just an issue for Mac users as well. also has Netflix ever thought of doing a movie news section so that if I went on today and didn't know I might be alerted that Ingmar Bergman, Michelangelo Antonioni and Michel Serrault all died in the last day and half, which may inspire me to rent one of their movies...

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  2. Did anyone else notice Bergman and Antonioni just died? Or is this blog all about the technology of drag and drop?

    I appreciate the netflix service but have always been slightly amused at how banal your brand and presentation is. I supposed the VC's forced you to reference Blockbuster instead of Cahiers du cinema in order to secure more start-up funding. They make everything gray and safe and bland and commercial. Too bad. But now that you appear to be profitable, would it kill you to use your home page to pay some attention to the creators of film, past and present, instead of the consumers?

    The relentless push of what I might want to watch is boring. I have over 400 films in my queue. I know what I want to watch. And I don't care what people in Seattle are watching. Most people in Seattle are idiots with no taste. Give me something interesting to make me love your site. Right now it's just a delivery service. I have no emotional attachment, which makes me poachable.

    And if you can't get the licensing rights for say, Zabriske Point, tell us that. Don't just leave us wondering why your offerings are so full of gaping holes.
    Ciao Michelangelo, Tack Ingmar, God natt.

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  3. Take note how both dustin and c.d. made the same suggestion relating to the recent news about Bergman et. al., but while dustin's suggestion was presented thoughtfully and respectfully, c.d. just comes across as a pompous ass...

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  4. Sorry Shaun, I'm bitter and grieving over the loss of these great artists and frustrated by the blandness of netflix and what I think is a missed opportunity to be much greater. Your ad hominem attack makes you sound like a real prick, btw, so I guess you know what you're talking about.

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  5. Last I checked, I was not the one who attacked an entire city - unprovoked, no less.

    I also respect Ingmar Bergman and was sad to hear of the loss. But to my knowledge Netflix has never strived to be a source of all movie news, and as such it seems a bit outside the scope of what they're trying to accomplish. That's my opinion at least...

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  6. If you want a source of such news there are many other websites available.

    I think that netflix is trying to make it easier for us - the consumer to receive movies. what someone else is watching may very well be important to a whole lot of other people, so that would need to be taken up via a poll, imho.

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  7. I wanted to email Netflix through the contact us (help section) on the netflix site, but the email page is blank! You may want to look into this.

    Keep up the good work!

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  8. I think that's because Netflix has done away with their email support and went entirely to phone support.

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  9. Whoa, what happened to the "latest reviews"-section!? The reviews are shifting so fast that I don't have time to read any but the shortest of them. How about it loads once and then renews whenever I renew the page (F5) or return to it?

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  10. Somewhat unrelated note, I still don't have drag and drop enabled on my account... what can I do about that?

    Thanks

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  11. to knaldskalle...if you simply drag your cursor into the "stream" of reviews, it stops moving until you remove the cursor.

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  12. Is there anyway to have the option to turn off the community features? The format is completely overwhelming, the community page is too busy, and there's not a single piece of content on the page that I am interested in. I don't care what complete strangers think about movies. I added friends to my account because I want to see their ratings and read their notes. Instead of being able to quickly look at what friends are watching, the page has become significantly more unwieldy. It would be useful if there were a way to have those users who are interested "join the community" and leave the rest of us to our simplified friends list.

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  13. "Most people in Seattle are idiots with no taste....." "....I have no emotional attachment, which makes me poachable."

    Well boo hoo at the thought of losing you, c.d., someone that's clearly gained great insight, compassion and perspective from watching the oeuvres (I trust that's acceptable) of Messrs. Bergman and Antonioni! And I doubt very much that these 2 fearless and big hearted spelunkers of the human spirit would appreciate your tears.

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  14. "Is there anyway to have the option to turn off the community features?"

    Yeah, just click on the friends section of the Community tab and what you call overwhelming will go away.

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  15. "Did anyone else notice Bergman and Antonioni just died? Or is this blog all about the technology of drag and drop? "

    Go get your film news somewhere else. This is a place to rent DVDs.

    "Cahiers du cinema"
    Film snob! Film snob! Everybody run!

    "would it kill you to use your home page to pay some attention to the creators of film, past and present, instead of the consumers?"
    This is a consumer driven capital venture. Get your film news somewhere else.

    "And if you can't get the licensing rights for say, Zabriske Point, tell us that."
    Nobody, I repeat... nobody wants to see that film! That's why it's not available here. If people wanted to see it, Netflix would be making off of it.

    "Don't just leave us wondering why your offerings are so full of gaping holes." The absence of Zabriske Point is not a gaping hole, in fact not even a tiny pin prick.

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  16. "Instead of being able to quickly look at what friends are watching, the page has become significantly more unwieldy...and leave the rest of us to our simplified friends list."

    Complacency with the familiar makes for a dull boy.

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  17. Fasten your seat belts......

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  18. michael, from netflixJuly 31, 2007 at 9:36 PM

    I've had a few rare and memorable moments in my career, but one was spending an afternoon with Antonioni, as he was interviewing me for a job (with Bertolluci) back in 1989 or so. He had recently had a stroke and was partially paralyized, but was being helped by his younger wife... but even in his diminished physical capacity, he was so wonderful to talk with about film; he had a great influence on me -- and with his recommendation I ended up getting the job. Netflix loves these great filmmakers, and we all are saddened by the loss. Still, we aren't a news site. We just want to make sure you can get movies you'll love, efficiently and economically. But if you want to suggest Netflix should be the BE-ALL ONLINE movie site, for news, reviews, headlines, movie tickets, rentals and shopping -- well then, suggest it. That's what I like about ya'll. Anything goes.

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  19. To the contrary, the saddest thing about these, shall we say, spirited exchanges, is that even as the indefatigable Netflix Team tries to modestly expand the scope of the site, most people are crying out "No, make it just like it was". Shame on us, I say, and good on YOU all.

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  20. "most people are crying out "No, make it just like it was". Shame on us, I say, and good on YOU all."

    I'm thinking that, like most comments on discussion boards, we are hearing from the dissatisfied minority that tend to be more vocal more than the majority.

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  21. My "People Similar to You" box is working now, and I really like that feature, but it makes me curious as to how the four people are selected. The sim% for the people I see isn't all that high (65% to 75%), which seems kind of odd to me since a couple of my friends are over 80%.

    Does that mean that nobody (beyond my friends) is really all that similar to me? How are those people selected?

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  22. "...we are hearing from the dissatisfied minority that tend to be more vocal more than the majority."

    This is a good point. I'm wondering what proportion of the 'how can we improve the site?' suggestions' on the 'Contact Us' page have also been generally negative, and if so, how NF detects all the 'dark matter' of un-expressed opinions which might, for all we know, be running 10 'yeahs' to every 'nay' on these new features. For instance, one molecule of that unquantifiable mass, my blogaphobic friend Vicki, finds the reviews avalanche (just kidding, the cursor stops it just fine) "very entertaining"; but when pressed, admitted (and I paraphrase) "I only like about half the movies you tell me watch, so I'm going to listen to these bozos?" Ouch!

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  23. When I hold my cursor over the reviews, it doesn't stop it from refreshing. Is there a trick?

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  24. Boys, Boys - if you're going to quibble, do in in B&W and film it at the Cinecetta. Make the auteurs proud. I do have to agree with c.d. on some points - it is hard to find on Netflix community people who are more "hard core" in cinema. I am much more likely to find people who "LOVE" "Saving Private Ryan" or someone who thinks that "Closer" is an indie film. But, believe me, there are a LOT of people within Netflix that are huge cineasts and aren't about volume or the corporate masses.

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  25. Here is my current minor bug:

    With two calls to Netflix customer service, I've now been instructed to post my problem here. Mine is specific to Friends. Curently, I have only one friend linked, however, I would like to have more.

    Here is the problem: What I see as my queue and what she sees as my queue are completely different. The ranked order of my movies is way off. Her version of my queue shows my top ten as movies which are, in actuality, relegated to my queue's bottom, in the 300's. Also, she has let me know that my movies never change in order. It's as if I never get any of my top movies. Ever. The same movies have been listed for months with no change.

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  26. @christina - I was at a friend's house just yesterday looking at how they see me. What they saw in my queue was the movies I currently had and the movies that I most recently added to my queue. It had nothing to do with the order of my queue, just with the order I added them to my queue. Have you added any movies to your queue lately? So, try adding a few and see if that changes what your friend sees.

    @michael - Also when looking at my friend's computer I saw that they see me as having rated about 300 fewer movies than I actually have. I haven't rated a big block of movies recently. I'm thinking it might have to do with movies I have rated that have been removed from the regular netflix database, though they can look at my movie ratings and still see the greyed-out movies. Its not a big deal to me, just letting you know about a discrepancy.

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  27. Baff, much appreciated. When I saw my friend's queue through my account, it was exactly the order she had hers listed. Also, I would think in the last few months, at the very least, the top ten she could see of mine would have shifted, even a little bit. As for adding movies, I probably add 5 a week and change the order of my queue, especially my top 50, often.

    I'm glad it works for you, though.

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  28. Michael, I was one of the complainers of the new community page. I didn't like the name, I didn't like how fast the review scrolled by and I said I had no interest in reviews from random people.

    Tonight when I logged in I saw "Friends Tab" (nice!), the reviews scroll slowly (very nice!) and ta da... I can see how similar to me the reviewer is (way way cool).

    I was so turned off by the new community page's fast review scrolling I actually couldn't look at it so I didn't compliment you on the good things and I should have. You have done a great job laying this page out and I think the majority of your Netflix viewers will love this feature and really appreciate it.

    You combined several features of Netflix onto a well designed easy to find useful page.

    And thank you for asking the posters on here for feedback and taking that into consideration when making changes.

    You are very much appreciated!!!

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