Wednesday, August 29, 2007

Ask Mike:

A comment was posted tonight that requested "a way to contact you without having to comment on unrelated blog entries ..." and this came almost concurrently as I received a regular email to my personal email account from another blog reader. Now I don't go to great lengths to keep myself hidden, but i am serious that part of the work of the blog is to have these communications in the blog, transparently. So i'm not going to respond to direct emails - but i do want to leave a space on this blog that is an "Open Question Forum."

Idea: Number your questions/comments so I can reply by number (too many anons). Let's see if that works. FYI: if you've asked in other postings and i haven't replied there, there is a good chance i won't here either (although maybe i can tell you why).

So if none of the blog postings for the past 3 months seem to cover the topic you want to ask about, try it here. If your questions are about things I can address, Community-related things--there's a good chance i'll be able to handle it.

178 comments:

  1. Dear Mike, I haven't been able to take advantage of my "watch it now" hrs because my computer will not recognize the .MSI file extension needed to download your player.(BTW. why can't you have a way to just let us use players we use to watch the mailed DVD's? I have win media player11) I've done searches and found a compatble download for 7-zip which i use BUT my computer won't run it (or save) because It's in an .MSI format! I'm running xp home on an upgraded Dell Latitude laptop. Please Help (or lower my monthly rate because you have it setup so i can't use the "Watch It Now" feature :) Thanks, Frances

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  2. Any chance of the red stars ever going back to reflecting the consistently reliable 'consumer average' rather than Netflix' educated guess as to what we might possibly decide to award a movie once we've seen it? Which is just a few too many hypotheticals to put much trust in! I know that sometimes both sets of red stars are shown, but the ones we see all over the site are now those mysteriously arrived at algorithmic projections.

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  3. #3 While I love the watch-it-now feature on Netflix.com, I would love to see keyboard shortcuts for the play, pause rewind etc. functions of "watch it now" on Netflix so I can more easily integrate this function into my Home Theater PC.

    Thanks!
    Brent

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  4. Another watch it now suggestion is to create sub-genres for some of the instant viewing genres. Foreign movies would be a really good example of having sub-genres. This will make it easier to search a specific foriegn language instead of going through all the instant movies.

    Also is there a possability of getting movies in HD quality on instant viewing?

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  5. @randomnumber: MSI is the standard installer mechanism for Windows software. If your computer doesn't recognize what an MSI is then you've got much more serious issues than not being able to stream Netflix movies. You should contact Dell tech support and get them to help you figure out what's wrong.

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  6. # 6 (read the instructions, guys!). Did that job offer ever result in your getting some decent help over there, thus allowing you to take on this additional burden, or are you just cutting back from 4 hrs to 2 hrs of sleep?

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  7. #7 I think I great community spirit building addition would be for Netflix to create a more personal "About Us" section. Not just that generic media outlet page.

    Giving yourselves a face and a personality puts more of a human touch to the whole mechanism.

    Maybe a small photo, with a tiny bio with stuff like, what types of movies you like, beer and pizza or pop and buttered popcorn…

    Also, and this may sound silly but, can you guys make a small "How it Works, From Quene to You" video? I know your pick system is robotic and mostly automated, but it'd be cool to see how its done.

    In the years I designed websites for companies those that chose to put a human face to their corp seemed to have a great number of hits on the personal pages. It makes the business seem more personal.

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  8. michael, from netflixAugust 30, 2007 at 8:47 AM

    #1 and #3 - I can't help with Watch Now issues.

    #2 - Also not my field, but i'll tell you, Todd works very hard on making the star system clearer. I'll pass along your suggestion. You're correct that the red stars are algorithmically derrived - although most people find them remarkably good if you give us some ratings data to work with. If we have NO rating data on you, or insufficient info, the red stars ARE the average ratings. If we have both sets of info (average and prediction) it will show up in the "B.O.B." pop-up when you hover on a movie.

    #6 - nope, haven't hired anyone yet, and yes, me and my team just skip sleep.

    #7 - the avatars and nicknames are inplace, and yes we are working on a few more bits of personalization that may address your wishes. i'll let you know when they are close to releasing.

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  9. #8:

    The 500 queue limit is driving me to drink! I count at least 11 people complaining about it in the "queue" post, and, as someone said, Blockbuster allows 1000, so... is there a fix in the works for this? Is there some reason you can't discuss it?

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  10. michael, from netflixAugust 30, 2007 at 9:35 AM

    #8 Yes I've seen this question. It also isn't my field, but this is what I can tell you: We have 6+ million subscribers, and by rough count, maybe a few percent have even 100+ items in their Queues. The number of folks who have hit the 500 movie ceiling is astronomically small (and I think most of them are us - netflix employees!) You're right that there should be no limit, but for a variety of engineering and internal efficiency-types of reasons, i don't see this changing any time soon.

    Once you get past some threshhold, in a way, you probably don't really want a "queue" so much as a big pile of selections, in no particular order, from which you can browse. There may be other ways to address this issue for our heaviest Queue-ers, and i'm sure we're exploring those kinds of features. Hope that helps.

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  11. #9

    Wow #8, how long will it take you to go through 500 movies?

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  12. Hi Mike. Watch It Now sounds like a great idea. Unfortunately I have no way to use this feature. I am setup as a secondary user on my wife's Neflix account. Even though I end up renting the majority of the discs every month, I cannot use Watch It Now. If you want to increase the use of Watch It Now, NetFlix should allow the primary account user to allocate viewing hours to secondary accounts or allow them to share the hours. As it stands, I cannot even browse the Watch It Now content to see if there is anything I may want to watch.

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  13. Well, I don't work for Netflix either and my queue frequently gets to 500, and it's a complaint I've heard from friends as well. There's nothing worse than wanting to add a movie and instead getting an error telling you that you have to remove something else from your queue first. I realize that it's maybe only a small percent of us that have such big queues, but hey, we are paying customers as much as those that don't have long lists. As a programmer myself, I have to disagree with the excuse of this being a big deal to change or a difficult engineering issue. It would actually be something super simple to change, and it really would not be a huge drain on any resources. It's simply a matter of doing it, and I seriously doubt it's a job that would take one of your programmers more than half an hour at most to accomplish.

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  14. # 12. I don't think the queue itself need be any longer, but there should be some way to 'save' titles somewhere instead of having to jot them down in a notebook or transfer them into a document, as I do now. Because who knows if that particular title is ever going to show up again unless you make a note of it there and then?

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  15. #13 - The 500 queue cap drives me nuts too. I agree that the addition of some other, non-queue, place to save movies would solve the issue... and might even be a better solution than increasing the queue cap. But I'd think it would be more of an engineering effort to come up with some entirely new mechanism to save movies than to increase the cap on the one that already exists. Am I completely off here?

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  16. Well if you simply want to keep a list of more then 500 titles with the title page links.

    Create a folder on you hard drive, name it "Netflix Quene"… Then visit your Quene, right click on each page and select Save Page… name each page something like titles 1to50, 51to100, etc. Once you have saved it all then you can clear your quene and start all over.

    Most of the Quene is link derived anyway, so you will at least save the title of the page and the link to the titles page.

    Though more then 500 movies? Wow… That's like all my movie free time for the next 5 years or so…

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  17. RE: How to save movie titles when your que is full.
    I have 500 in que and I have custom (Top 10 List) lists I put the others in when I want to remember movies.

    I have 1 list named Que Overflow for any type (has 105 in it now)
    1 list named Que Overflow - Docs (35 movies)

    1 list named Watch Now Someday for movies available to watch instantely (58 movies)

    It's easy to add to the lists from the movie page. Just scroll down and find "+add to top 10 list". Click on it and you can easily add the movie to your lists.

    I go through the Watch Now list often, watch a movie from it and delete it or move it to a different list.

    #14 Lists are excellent but it would be so helpful if we could sort them at least alphabetically.

    Michael, Community is your baby and lists are under that tab. Any change of sorting happening?

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  18. michael, from netflixAugust 30, 2007 at 1:35 PM

    #12, #13... (500 Queue folks) - Meghan will address this at some point in the near future. It's certainly not an unreasonable request.

    #14 - Yup, Top 10 List stuff is all me. I'd also like to see some management tools possible for these. My first priority is to get more people to discover and use them. There are lots of Top 10 List features that i'm prioritizing, and i'll let you know when improvements will be available. For now, just now I agree. Other big stuff is taking my full attention.

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  19. #15) 500 Queue Response: I also have my queue capped at 500 almost all the time, especially since I have a lot of Saved TV shows that dumps in to my regular queue putting me over the 500 limit. I've had 513 once. One of the biggest violators of my queue size are TV shows. Most of my queue consists of TV shows, which span many, many discs. For example, I have Stargate SG-1 and Atlantis in my queue currently, which is taking up 67 discs. That's over 13% of my queue for 1 show. I have many more like this. If they could change the queue to count whole seasons as 1 entry in your queue, it would make a huge difference on queue sizes. Like how seasons are entered in to the Saved section as only 1 entry until they dump into your real queue. My 'Overflow' queue written in Google Docs has 100-150 movies and shows at least and that's not counting the individual seasons and/or discs.

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  20. This comment has been removed by the author.

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  21. #16 How about having a single night a month of doing a trivia night about general movie questions.

    #17 Having a virtual mailbox on Netflix so people in the Netflix community can share ideas even if they do not know each other. I can see an issue with flaming though. You can also have people opt out for this as well.

    #18 If someone is traveling for an extendeded period of time on business or some other reason and they want movies to be sent to another location, instead of completely changing the address, allow a temporary address so when they return to their permanent home, they do not have to fill all the information all over again. The temporary address should be registered with their credit card company.

    #19 Send a SMS message to add or remove a movie to/from their queue.

    #20 I think the link to the blog should open in a new tab instead of on top of the netflix page. Since this on a different site than Netflix, I have to hit the back button (usually a few times) to get back to the Netflix. its just easier to close a tab or window.

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  22. @ #15 About half my dvds are tv shows. I never keep more than 1 season per show in my queue, then just add the next season when I'm down to 1 or 2 in the season I am watching. I also keep a text file with the names of the 10 shows I am watching and about 10 more that I want to watch some day (and keep those completely out of my queue for now). With only about 20 names in it, its very easy to manage. If you don't feel like messing with a text file, you can also email the list to yourself, and then copy/paste into a new email anytime you finish a show or add a new one.

    @ #20 On Mac, you can option-click on a link to make it open into a new tab. I assume there is a similar thing for Windows or Linux.

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  23. # 21 This is not a community issue, and I don't expect you, Michael, can do anything about it, but perhaps you an pass it on to others in the company. I wish that Netflix provided an option not to have DVDs sent from other locations. I'm in NYC, have many movies in my queue, and I find it annoying when I see a DVD is being sent from somewhere distant. I have had two sent from Hawaii. I would prefer if there were an option that next available from your local distributor will be sent.

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  24. Can you give prudes an alternative website so that they can't hog reviews complaining of profanity and nudity when the rating says "R for graphic nudity and profanity" and delusional people who think that Hollywood is out to make marxists of us all? Good golly, these people need to get a grip.

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  25. Michael, The link to access this blog post should be posted on the list of links on the homepage titled "Ask Mike" so that people can access it directly down the road if this is truly to work as a ongoing forum for questions unrelated to other posts etc.

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  26. Quote from anonymous: # 12. I don't think the queue itself need be any longer, but there should be some way to 'save' titles somewhere instead of having to jot them down in a notebook or transfer them into a document, as I do now. "

    Create a list for those that you want to add sometime in the future.

    Quote from 2McAbre said...:
    Though more then 500 movies? Wow… That's like all my movie free time for the next 5 years or so…
    end quote

    well, just because it will take a long time to go through the whole queue, doesn't mean that i want to go through it in the order i put it in. maybe i want to move up a film bec. i'm interested in that one now but have it in my queue to see eventually.

    it is way to easier to pick a film to put at the top of the queue than to find one, bec. it is already in my face.

    quote Drew42 said...:

    For example, I have Stargate SG-1 and Atlantis in my queue currently, which is taking up 67 discs. That's over 13% of my queue for 1 show. I have many more like this.

    end quote

    Why put them all in your queue at one shot? Keep adding five or ten at time to your queue after you've watched some. this way you'll have room for other films too. no reason to fill the queue with films of related seasons when you can always add them later.

    quote from anonymous:

    I have had two sent from Hawaii. I would prefer if there were an option that next available from your local distributor will be sent.

    end quote

    I agree, why need to wait extra days for a DVD when another one could be sent that is closer etc.

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  27. #22, I think :)

    Michael, I can't remember where to go to see my community profile page as it appears to others. I'm talking about the page that appears when you click on someones avatar from beside one of their reviews. Am I confused, or is there not a separate page that other people see?

    I though I remembered you posting something about this a while back, but could not locate the post.

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  28. #23
    Hello,
    I am a linux user. I would like to enjoy parts of netflix such as trailers and previews, and the nice queue overlays. But for some reason netflix sniffs user agents and doesn't allow firefox in linux to do these things even though it is perfectly capable of it. I use a user agent switcher right now to make netflix think I'm using firefox on windows, but it is really annoying to have to manually spoof my os just to watch a trailer. This would really be a simple fix (I think), around line 694 in the pkg-Core-143784.js file. Is there any chance of someone helping out the netflix penguins? Thanks.

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  29. #24. MacW., go to your own 'Reviews and Lists', erase anything in the URL after the word '...lists', and click again. Otherwise find one of your own reviews on a movie page and click "MacW's other reviews".

    The only problem with using a 'list' as a queue overflow is that it's then 'out there' for people to peruse when it's just a totally random list of movies that may or may not be any good. A problem I have with a lot of other people's lists, incidentally!

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  30. #24 - i sent this earlier as a 'suggestion', but i just noticed this blog section and thought i'd try here. perhaps this issue has already been discussed...

    I just noticed tonight that only the movies that I have received via the Netflix queue are showing up in the Friends section of recently rated movies. This seems to have been changed for everyone of my friends. I don't know if this is a transitory glitch or if it was a decision that was made, but i think it's pretty poor form to not show recently rated movies altogether. Not every movie i see is going to come from the Netflix queue, which really kind of hurts the overall effect of that function. Shouldn't that section be a way for you to build a history of movies you've seen and show your friends what you've thought of what you've watched recently? It seems short-sighted and crippling to limit that section to displaying only movies that one has received through the queue. rather disappointing to discover, actually.

    Please bring the old functionality back - what on earth could have been the reason to change it in the first place?

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  31. @#24 Are you sure this is the case? My friends page still shows all recent ratings -- both those from my Netflix queue as well as random ratings from movies I saw elsewhere (TV, theatre, etc.).

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  32. michael, from netflixAugust 31, 2007 at 12:57 AM

    @24 - i don't think this changed, and if it did it wasn't on purpose. it's working for me, so i'm not sure why its not for you.

    Everyone - not all of these are bona fide questions so much as feature requests... which is fine, but i'm not going to comment on them all. I LOVE how some of you are helping others with answers to things - that's so cool.

    Some very interesting suggestions here. I will think about them. And i'll see if some of my PM partners will stick their noses in and answer questions that might relate to their work, although like i always say - they're not much for blogging...

    Finally, Queue Overflow. I find this a very interesting use of the old custom list feature (now Top 10 Lists) - until you have a better option, this is a reasonable work around for many of you. NOTE: I filter out any Top 10 List with the word Queue or Q or stuff that i think might be a "queue overflow" list - so that it doesn't get presented on the Community Home page or other public presentations. It will still show up on your Reviews and List page, but we try not to present these lists as typical "Top 10 Lists". I'm also thinking about not presenting lists on the Community Home page that have more than, say 20 or 30 movies in them since they diminish in usefulness the longer they are. I haven't made any moves to adjust this currently, but think about shorter lists, maybe 10 items only- if that made sense -- it would certainly make them more useful, i think.

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  33. Mike, glad to see you too my suggestion. For the record, I did NOT email you after making that suggestion nor would I be able to since I don't have your email. :P

    -- John (aka Mr. Tangent)

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  34. Mike,
    #25 I have a quick question, I like so many others here use one of my "top ten lists" as a queue overflow list and I have been adding movies from that list to my queue but unfortunately it isn't allowing me to delete the title once I've added it. Am I doing something wrong? I hit the minus button and hit save, and then I'm told there was an error and the film shows back up? Any help on this would be awesome! Thanks for your time.

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  35. Michael said,
    "I'm also thinking about not presenting lists on the Community Home page that have more than, say 20 or 30 movies in them since they diminish in usefulness the longer they are. I haven't made any moves to adjust this currently, but think about shorter lists, maybe 10 items only- if that made sense -- it would certainly make them more useful, i think."

    The Ah Ha Moment - Now the insistence upon the name Top 10 List is understood.

    So if someone has 11 movies in their Custom List it will not show up to the public? That seems counter productive to me. It just sounds to me like someone who doesn't watch many or doesn't list them. I don't see any reason for any list being filtered out. It takes a couple of minutes to click on a list and read through it - I'd actually rather have a long list of "Odd Little Gems" than miss that list because the member has more than 10 in it. Members aren't profession critics (most aren't anyway) and I don't think they want to spend hours deciding on which 10 movies the pubic should be aware of.

    Just please don't censor the lists at all. If you feel strongly about this why not do a poll to see if this is something the public wants.

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  36. "If you feel strongly about this why not do a poll to see if this is something the public wants."

    Because the poll will only be voted on by about 1/10 of 1% of the entire Netflix community. Wouldn't seem fair to have a vast minority make a decision that would affect everybody.

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  37. Re: the poll -
    "Save to Faves" seems to be clobbering the soppy "Reviewer I (Heart) - thank God!

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  38. # 26 Perhaps not related, but I've noticed it being a common complaint.

    Regarding those who are not able to "View Now" due to missing Codecs etc..

    Perhaps an interim fix would be for Netflix to make the "View Now" feature an option. I realize its not Netflix fault for the missing codecs, but to be be fair, its not the subscribers fault either.

    So maybe until the codecs come out make it so that when a person selects the subscription level they also have a choice to subscribe to the "View Now" feature. With an appropriate change in the fee structure.

    To be honest I do not use the view now "yet", doesn't mean I wont, I just prefer to have the physical disk in my hands so that I can FF, skip chapters, watch included trailers, etc.

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  39. #27. @Chawk : Michael suggested an upper limit of 20 or 30, not 10. Maybe it could be a bit higher (say 50, if only to cover all of Bergman's movies?), but I've been waiting until this long weekend to tackle "Thrillers (806 movies)"!! And "Top 10" is still a totally dopey and confusing heading; a rabid David letterman fan perchance, Michael/Mike? (which do you prefer?)

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  40. TO: Anonymous said... #27

    Perhaps I misunderstood but Michael's post seemed to imply that he was considering using lists with only 10 entries.

    Adding the % similar to me beside the list would be the most helpful. If I saw a list with 500 movies in it and 79% similar - I'd look at it. A list with 50 and a low % similar wouldn't be much interest.

    If the reasoning is that the fewer movies in a list, the more helpful then a list with only 5 movies would be twice as helpful as 10. No?

    The number of movies is already showing beside the name. If someone doesn't wish to look at long lists they don't have to. If I want to see why the list An Appetite for Violence has 380 movies in it why not allow me to see that? I might find a gem at #1, #50, or #380 that I add to my much overloaded que.

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  41. #28. Yes sorry, I miswrote. He suggested that WE limit them to 10, but talked of actually excluding anything above 20 or 30.

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  42. michael, from netflixAugust 31, 2007 at 8:53 AM

    I prefer Michael; but somehow "Ask Mike" felt more... familiar. I dunno.

    #28 (I think; having a little trouble following everyone's numbers!) - I'm not about to cut off the Top 10 lists at 10 or 30... i'm just noticing that fewer tends to be more useful. One reason we called it top 10 - in spite of the obvious disconnect - is that we're getting more and more lists created taht have only 10 in them -- which i think is good. We also give people a target: the open ended nature can sometimes be daunting. Now you only have to come up with 10 to feel like you've 'done your job.' And finally, because of david letterman and others, people instantly understand what a "top 10" list is, where they really don't quite grok "customer lists" or the like. I still may change the name to something else, but it's not as bad as you might think.

    About the "Cute" names: hmmmm... SAVE is a pretty good option, but many people just don't understand what they are 'saving' and i'd like to be clear. I'm sort of glad "save to faves" has some degree of popular support. "Faves" is admittedly cutesy, and thus irritating, but it's SHORT and thus fits in many places that "Save to my favorites list" just doesn't. And it also provides a bit of consistency between Friends & Faves ... It's not a done deal. Still thinking about what works and in the end we'll see from our more robust testing.

    Okay, off to work...

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  43. #29 ?. Love that you're able to get back to us so quickly and to-the-point, although in fairness to you I think we should all continue to use the existing threads whenever relevant. Plus I really wish your colleagues would pitch in to help you a bit more.

    'SAVE' would make sense in context because you'd be on a particular reviewer's page with their name right above/below (?) it. If people are confused the first time they encounter it, they can go to 'help', poor things, as with everything else

    Speaking of which, I'm very sad for our once Great Land that 'Custom Lists' apparently confused so many people! Seems like we DO get the leader we deserve.

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  44. #30.
    First time really delving into this blog. It is great to see Netflix take such interest in their community.
    I always thought it would be a neat feature to have a shuffle/random button working along with your queue. I currently have close to 500 movies on mine and sometimes I would like to be surprised with what comes next. Would this be too hard to implement? Thanks!

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  45. #31. My police officer scenario (RSS post) is obviously tongue-in-cheek, but I would in all seriousness urge you to extend the flagging and -- if the predetermined thresh-hold is reached -- removal of so-called reviews that simply complain about movie content that people have been clearly forewarned about (nudity/profanity/drug use/etc.). They're not only a complete waste of everyone's time, but often end up displacing real reviews.

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  46. #32
    My favorite thing to do is search netflix for movies I've seen throughout my life so I can rate them and track my whole viewing history. Along the way I find movies I still want to see. So I never click "not interested" b/c that messes up my total # and feels, well, just kinda cheating :) So what I really wish is that when I wanted to rate movies it'd present me with movies it hasn't presented me with before, or at least random movies, so I wouldn't have to search for where I left off and would get "deeper" into the list of offerings. I hope that makes sense. Thanks for many hrs of self-absorption! Yours, Bonky

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  47. #33. Bonky, sounds like you might sign our imaginary petition to have Netflix provide a list of everything they carry so we weren't just limited to this fun but limiting peek-a-boo system of theirs?

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  48. Couple of things here:

    After I write a review for a movie, it shouldn't ask me to write one each time I visit that page.

    The option to clear a rating should be on every page where I can rate a movie.

    Can there be a notification by each description - when it pops up, to say if there's a trailer available or not? It would save time if I want to just go to the page to see it.

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  49. Suggestion: That there be a "Add to top 10 in Queue" link. or add to Queue but not at top 10.

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  50. Dear #33: I'll totally sign your imaginary petition! Bonky (#32)

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  51. I am really getting annoyed. I went to post a blog (my own thread if you will asking for feedback about something) I was directed to sign up at Google.com for a Blogger name which I did and I haven't seen the link to click to Post your own for over 45 minutes now. What happened to it? This is very annoying - esp. when you read things like "we hope to make this an interactive forum etc." Not if it is this hard to use. THANK YOU an sorry but I'm really ticked right now. And it is late and I'm tired which isn't helping

    Jaroslaw99@aol.com

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  52. Michael,

    To do away with at least some of the game playing and stupidity going on with reviews and voting 'helpful' and 'not helpful', how about this or something like it?

    On the film's at a glance page:

    Give the number of votes rating that film 1,2,3,4 and 5 stars. Then give the highest rated reviews for each individual rating in the order by which the film's actual rating votes scored to give a glance of Netflix subscriber sentiment, much like the glance at professional reviewers' sentiment.

    Then, under member reviews, instead of, or in addition to, putting reviews in order based on 'helpful' & 'not helpful' votes overall, put them in that order by individual rating. Example: One can click on one-star ratings to view the those in order of 'most helpful', then click on two-star ratings.

    Something like this really needs to be done. I've been a subscriber for four years and have really noticed, this year, more and more films where one, or a few, individuals are voting the one & two-star ratings to the top (people with negative emotions seem more obstreperous) and the four- & five-star ratings to the bottom making it much more difficult to decide whether to rent or not to rent.

    Please give us a less corruptible system for member reviews. The one I've out-lined above isn't perfect, but I think it would be less corruptible and wouldn't be a horrible starting point.

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  53. Yikes-my lists have dissapeared!!!!! Any clue as to what happened?

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  54. michael, from netflixSeptember 2, 2007 at 9:53 PM

    Let me make sure i understand this, as it's out of left field: you guys have an imaginary petition to get us to have a list of all 85,000 titles, alphabetically? You don't like being able to Search? You want to scroll through an enormous list? I just want to see if i have this right.

    Tell me why you want to shuffle your queue? You don't want to pick something yourself? And you have hundreds of items in your queues, right? Do you think people with 20 items would still want to shuffle them? or is it really only for people with big queues?

    @RL loves movies -- i'm not sure what your issue is? This blog is on blogger, and you don't have to sign in to post anonymously. (You do if you wanto to use your google account info - but clearly you don't). I think this is pretty simple.

    @cynder -- that's strange. I just checked and my lists are still there. Once in a blue moon your lists (or reviews, i suppose) could disappear from the site - but it's been my experience this is an odd glitch and they're all back either the next time i log in, or a day later. Is any one else missing lists? Is this an epidemic or isolated? Cynder66 - let me know if they're still gone after a day or two. Very strange.

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  55. Michael, though I'm not one of the people who wants the comprehensive list of all movies available from Netflix... I certainly understand the desire for one.

    Search is not only helpful, but necessary. However, you have to know you want to see a movie to be able to search for it. And with the current search engine, you'd better get the name exactly right. If there was a list, I might search through all the A's or B's when I'm bored. I'm sure I'd stumble across titles that I had completely forgotten that I wanted to see (there are a lot of movies I want to see).

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  56. Thank you Michael! I see that others are having the same issues in the new post, and that it is being looked into. Just an update so you know and can pass it on-on my Community Page-the personal menu thing on the right hand side says for ratings: -1, my reviews are there but no lists (although it's a blank page when visiting), and the friends section is unnavailable.

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  57. Well, maybe even 'imaginary petition' is somewhat overstating the case, but I suggested it the other day and several people seemed to like the idea. You make it sound like a totally bizarre concept that a company would provide a list of everything that it sells/rents, but it really is pretty common practice, you know! And I often thumb through something like Halliwell or 'Leonard Maltin 2008' and almost invariably find movies that I've seen or heard about over the years but had completely forgotten about -- and Maltin has a pitiful 17,000 to your 85,000! Since you're going to all this great trouble to help us find new movies why not add this rather obvious and simple one? You can't search for a title if you don't know or remember that it exists (or know EXACTLY how to spell it!!), and unless that incredible movie that you saw at Chaillot back when you were devouring 3/4/5 movies a day happens to show up on someone's list, or Netflix happens to decide that you'll love it, then chances are it's lost to you forever.

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  58. You don't like being able to Search? You want to scroll through an enormous list?

    This request is hardly out of left field, and I'm not quite sure why you are having such a difficult time comprehending the request. It has been expressed on many threads by many people.

    The search is nice, but it falls short in one very major way. If you do not enter the exact title, you are screwed. Alternative spellings, etc, will not be suggested. A list would let a member look for a title without you guys having to do a bunch of programming to correct the suckitude of search.

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  59. #44? Hi Mike! Is there any way to change/refresh the movies on our browse page without voting on them? If not, maybe a 'not enough info' or other rating-neutral button could be added? Thank you.

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  60. Tell me why you want to shuffle your queue? You don't want to pick something yourself? And you have hundreds of items in your queues, right? Do you think people with 20 items would still want to shuffle them? or is it really only for people with big queues?

    I guess the real reason that I want a shuffle is some spontaneity in my queue. You are right in that I have a large list and I think it would really just benefit those with huge queues like mine. It would just be a fun feature that I and other friends of mine would take advantage of. Does it have any hope?

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  61. michael, from netflixSeptember 4, 2007 at 10:13 AM

    @super
    It's a pretty cool feature, but honestly, i don't think so. I'd never say never - as it might be opportunistic at some point, but my strong hunch is this doesn't add as much value as a number of other things we're all working on. If anything changes on this, or if I learn otherwise, i'll let y'all know. sorry.

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  62. My low-tech shuffle solution is to let my young godson re-number all the boxes every so often (no series split-ups allowed, natch). And of course now he's even more thrilled with 'drag 'n' drop' (although it only seems to work properly for the first couple of hundred or so, much to his disgust). And it gets pretty freakin random real quick that way, I can assure you! Plus he's turning into a real movie nut, yea!

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  63. Priority #1 should be to keep the site up and running. Now that I'm addicted to "Watch Now/Instantly", I get very upset when the website is down for hours/days.

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  64. So you can perhaps, for a few brief hours at least, understand how Mac, Linux and low-bandwidth users feel for the 99% of the time that the site is up and running?

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  65. I also want to be able to use Watch Now using MS-DOS 2.0, my cell phone, microwave, and electric razor. Anything with a chip inside should be able to do anything that any other machine with a chip inside can do.

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  66. Oh well. Still love your service! Keep up the good work! (And get more Mystery Science Theater 3000 episodes on "Watch Now")

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  67. #45 (?)

    Mike,

    This is more of a bug report - for the last month or so when viewing my friends' queue it is inaccurate - it is not the same queue they see and edit. Effectively, apart from the "At Home" section, the friends queue does not appear to be updating.

    Very frustrating because we reference each others' queues in order to sychronize our movie viewing.

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  68. michael, from netflixSeptember 5, 2007 at 9:43 AM

    #45
    Remember, the slider shows movies in the order ADDED or MODIFIED in the queue, not in queue order. If you want to see the "real" queue, click on the Queue link in the left pane of the slider. That will show it exactly as they see it.

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  69. #45(b)

    Mike,
    Thanks for your prompt response...unfortunately:

    The "real" friends' queue is inaccurate and has been for the past month or so... my friend's updates are not being reflected in the version I see.

    At first I was sceptical... how could this be?... but we have sent screenshots to each other and we are definitely not seeing the same queue lately. I even tried clearing my IE cache and cookies.

    BTW, when it works, this is a killer app for bi-coastal virtual movie-dating.

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  70. Hi. I’m at Dell Headquarters and am with Dell's Online Community Outreach Team. This post is in response to randomnumber, who posted at the very top of the thread with an issue of XP not being able to access .msi files. The mod was correct that the issue is on your end and not with Netflix and that XP should be able to use .msi’s without a problem. I wanted to suggest that before trying a repair install or various registry edits, that you try a System File Check (SFC). Your problem could be smoothing that ends up requiring something more drastic but this is worth a try. I like to the service too. This is cool.


    Neil
    Dell, Inc.

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  71. #46

    Okay Mike, I know this is the wrong place to put this, but I've sent in at least half a dozen emails to the 'Movie Corrections' form over the past 2 months, and they have yet to correct it.

    Your list of the AFI Top 100 Movies incorrectly lists a 1998 film titled "The General" starring Brendan Gleeson. The movie it SHOULD be referring to is the 1927 "The General" starring Buster Keaton.

    Again, I know this is not your department at all. But it's frustrating that no one who answers the 'Movie Corrections' email will make this simple fix.

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  72. #47
    I find it interesting that the sidebar of this blog states "We are not a social network and are not trying to be."

    Netflix now has public profiles, member reviews, member lists, friends lists, etc.

    How is Netflix NOT a social networking site? Why doesn't Netflix embrace this concept?

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  73. michael, from netflixSeptember 7, 2007 at 12:28 AM

    #47 - that's an interesting question. I make a distinction - subtle it may be - between a social network and an online community. A social network has as at least one of its objectives as connecting people together... a sort of "meet up." I look at Facebook or Linkedin as excellent social networks. Netflix is not this. We are an online community - a group of like-minded folks, bonded by a common interest in movies - using our numbers to help each other. We don't need to meet or know each other, but we can still utilize each other to discover great movies from a very very large collection. That process does involve discerning things about each other, to help give context to suggestions/recommendations. But the purpose isn't for you and me to meet. Anyway, I wanted y'all to know that i wasn't interested in turning this into a dating site. Sometimes people see the word "community" and they get the wrong idea. (Does this merit a post of its own?)

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  74. "(Does this merit a post of its own?)"

    Yes. One that clearly lays out all the new privacy implications as more of our formerly 'friends only' stuff is put out there for all to see, as well as this important community vs socializing distinction. Between all the threads you have (for me, at least) totally clarified these issues in various answers to questions, but it might be worth pulling them all together in one place for the non blogoholics?

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  75. #48 -- This is more of an "Ask Everyone Else" question than an "Ask Mike" question, I suppose. But has anyone ever received email from Netflix that wasn't regarding a sent or returned movie? I've signed up for almost every newsletter on the Email Subscriptions page and I've yet to receive even one (I've been a member since 2003). Just wondering what everyone else's experience with this is.

    Not that I'm unhappy with this. If it's a choice of hiring staff to write newsletters or hiring staff to work on the Community pages, of course I'd rather see the Community features get worked on.

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  76. #49. No, not that I remember (joined in '03 as well). And I have 'Netflix News', 'Member News' and 'Netflix First' ticked. But not 'Lights, Camera, Action'; has anyone ever received that?

    And if I may presume to join this informal survey : has anyone managed to send or edit a review in the last few weeks without getting an error message on the first attempt? And has anyone else's reviews on their 'Reviews and Lists' page been gone (all of them) for the last 3 or 4 days? If so, rest assured that Customer Service is "looking into it". Although they are certainly extremely courteous and eager to help these days, just as promised, so praise where praise is due.

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  77. @ang: I've been a member since 2000. E-mails from Netflix are rare at best (not including e-mails about DVD shipping or Friends Notes).

    A few years ago, I remember that occasionally I'd get an e-mail about a movie coming out in the theatre that I might like. Also... I've recieved a couple (2 in total, I think) e-mails recommending some of the Netflix-exclusive titles (now Red Envelope Entertainment titles).

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  78. Question for Mike:

    # 50: Have you considered making a community forum? I like the way the forum works on EQPlayers, the forum itself is a steep removed from the EQPlayers site (kinda like this blog) and has all the functionality you would expect, including a private messaging system, detailed profile and associated privacy settings, a forum search, and member listings. (Yes, you can look up people alphabetically or do a username search, pop right to them and see their bio, what they’ve posted, and even send them a private message) Granted, it would mean man-hours just to moderate, but I wondered if it was on the table for somewhere out there in the future. I don’t know how many members would take advantage of it but a number of them seem to want that private messaging and a way to discuss movies and interact with other Netflixers. It would even work much better than this blog does for managing topics over time. If you did put one up the people who use only the main Netflix site would probably never know the forum exists. Any indications that they are discovering and then getting confused by this blog?



    Suggestions in Reply to Mike:

    Top 10 List: “Top Lists” would work for me. I see it quite often myself, or is it just a gaming thing.

    Shuffling Queues: Yes, it would be chiefly for people with long queues. However! I DON”T want to shuffle my WHOLE queue. I would only want to shuffle, or rather reorder by genre in my case, ALL BUT the top 20. The problem is that movies kinda get lost, if I know what I’m looking for fine. I just use Explorers ‘find on this page.’ But if all I know is I want to find a romance, or a comedy, I’ve got to scroll through a hodgepodge of nearly 500 titles to pick something for a bump. When you guys up the queue limit, automated organizing of the queue will be even more important. If automated organizing is ever implemented please don’t forget to make it hard to mess up your entire queue by accident.



    Replies to Previous Comments:

    # 9) I don’t like managing more than one queue because of the (logging in and out thing), so all the titles anyone is interested in go in there. I have a wide range of tastes anyway so maintain a wide range of titles to pick and choose from. I spend as much time reordering my top picks as I do searching for new movies. My mood changes, the top list changes… and the movies I want to choose from are all right on the same page already. I like to queue up a lot at once and not worry about it for at least a few weeks. TV series take a lot of room even if you only have a couple queued up. I like to put the whole series/season in there so I don’t have to go hunting them later. Same with new discoveries, if I don’t get them into the queue I forget about them. It looks like I’ll go through roughly 250 movies or more at this rate in one year, so 500 doesn’t give me much room to work with really. I often manage to time it so I have at least 2, sometimes 4 movies rdy on weekends, and usually can mail them on Monday. We don’t watch a lot of random TV so can pretty much watch a disc the day it comes in if we want to. (sometimes a lucky two on an especially quiet night) You free up a block of 10 empty queue slots and it’s easy to find twice that many that you might want to watch the next time you go queueing. The frustration is routine.

    #12, 13,) That is what the queue is for ‘saving’ titles. (which is why it should be larger) Otherwise you have an unnecessary added steep, saving and queueing, when all you really need to be doing is queueing.

    #14) Another unnecessary steep. (or at least it should be unnecessary) Sorry you have no free time… is that supposed to justify penalizing the rest of us.

    Chawk) Thanks for the suggestion, but no thanks. Besides, in a way it’s an abuse of those lists, which I thought were designed so we could help others find interesting movies. Like top 10 summer beach movies…
    if everyone starts building lists of hundreds of unrelated movies for queue overflow, fewer people will find browsing the lists and using them as intended useful anymore.

    #17) All community features of this sort should be opt-in, not opt-out.

    baff) You guys are really helpful. I only wish it could help.

    #21) Hawaii!!? My worst was Florida, 4 days and I think I got lucky. When that happens they should ship it to my local center (without it counting against me) then ship it normally from there.

    #48) I signed up to the newsletters too… so far… nothing. Except a couple used movie notices after I’d bought some, didn’t lead to a new purchase though… I’d probably only have to unsubscribe if they ever did start sending the others anyway… usually do.

    #49) I submitted reviews in the last two weeks or so and they went in normally. However they disappeared awhile later, and came back sometime in the past couple days. I checked the actual movie pages and the one I checked had remained there the whole time… they had just gone missing from my ‘reviews & lists’ page. I seem to recall the same thing happening a couple times before… All the old reviews remained in ‘reviews & lists’ as usual while the new ones did their vanishing act.

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  79. #50 Question: Michael, I know you've said that the algorithm used to determine the similarity percentage of your Friends is different from the one to used for everyone else on the site. I belive you said that this is for page loading time reasons.

    The problem is that the accuracy gap is HUGE between the two methods. My dad comes in at 74% similar to me on my Friends page, but only as 59% similar on general movie pages, even though we have very similar taste in movies. I'm worried that this discrepancy will lead me and others to dismiss otherwise very helpful raters based on the fast, but inaccurate sim percentage we're presented with throughout the site.

    Will this ever change or be improved? As a compromise, could the reviewer's profile page have their "advanced" (more accurate algorithm currently used only for Friends) sim percentage to you on it?

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  80. Sugar (2005) instant watching link:

    This is not Sugar (2005) directed by Patrick Jolley and Reynold Reynolds; it is Sugar (2004), directed by John Palmer. A far less experimental film, it concerns a gay teen who takes up with a young hustler.

    this error is upsetting a fair number of "instant watchers" who think they're getting a grim experimental psychological horror film, it's a gay coming-of-age story!

    I AM NOT AT ALL OFFENDED, BUT *THIS IS NOT THE SORT OF MISTAKE A FAMILY-FRIENDLY ENTERPRISE SHOULD BE MAKING...* YOUR MORE HOMOPHOBIC CUSTOMERS -- AND I AM SURE YOU HAVE A FEW -- WILL BE LIVID...

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  81. @ Anonymous. Thanks for all your hard work, but this one is for 'Michael, from Netflix' :

    If Todd is nearby could you ask him why the purple stars attached to a review can't be changed? I'd assumed that when I edit a review I could also change the rating I'd set when submitting it, but after several attempts allowing a full 24hr cycle, it seems not (also confirmed by 'Sandy' at Customer Service).

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  82. This is suggestion for something I'd really like to be able to do on Netflix, and that is, to be able to correct mistakes and typos. For some reason I sometimes click the wrong button under the reviews when choosing "helpful" or "not helpful". I feel so bad marking someone's review that I really liked as not helpful, but there is no way for me to go back and fix my mistake. I realize you don't want people voting over and over again, but it would be so helpful to able to change one's first pick.

    Similarly, I still wish you'd make it possible to edit our own notes that we leave for friends. You guys made the reviews editable, and that's awesome! But we need the same functionality for notes too. My typos are perpetually coming back to haunt me :)

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  83. Hey! Thanks for making this space available!

    53) Noticed something that you might or might not care about: If I see my friend from the Friends home page, we have one similarity rating (about 71%), but when I see her thru a non-friends lens (i.e. when I looked at her review for a film on the film's page), the similarity was something else (around 61%). Could be a possible glitch?

    54) It would be REALLY cool to be able to make top-10 list titles searchable.

    55) Possibly another glitch: The "Members with Similar Tastes to You" Box routinely gives me people who are decidedly unsimilar (less than 50%, sometimes as low as 25%).

    56) Reviews don't appear in my own list of reviews before they appear on the site, right? I wrote a couple reviews in the past couple of days, and they haven't appeared anywhere (and my profile says I wrote zero reviews). Maybe there could be a list of all reviews I submitted, with an icon that says whether or not it has yet been accepted by netflix (otherwise I might just think the review was sucked into cyber-nothingness).

    57) If I opt into making my profile private (once you have the option up and working), will my reviews be visible to my friends? To the greater netflix community? How would this work?

    You are doing an AMAZING job, keep it up.

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  84. Questions for Michael:

    #58: I understand your reasoning behind wanting to limit the length of top-10 lists. However, the lists I personally like are exhaustive lists of things I'm already interested in (I have seen most of the movies on the list, but it helps me discover others). Do you think it might be possible, someday, to have the 10-item limit as the default, but as an optional preference setting that can be turned off? Just a thought.

    #59: When I look at my top-ten lists, I think they could be prettier and more useful. I'd like to be able to do the following from my list page:
    -see which movies i have in my queue
    -be able to add movies from the list
    -be able to see what i rated a movie (if i have already rated it)
    -be able to see netflix's projected rating for movies i haven't yet rated.



    @ rm... just a friendly comment

    I understand your frustration that the movie you thought you were going to get isn't what you got. However, your reasoning behind your outrage, that Netflix is a family-friendly site and that homophobic viewers might be livid, could be taken by some as offensive... especially since the non-gay movie you thought you were getting is "a terrifying portrait of tangible urban decay, told from the perspective of one woman's living hell." The implication in what you said is "Heaven forbid the kiddies see a (gay) coming-of-age comedy instead of a disturbing psychological thriller." I understand you are not personally offended by gay movies, but the fact is that you highlighted how angry the family-friendlies would be to get a gay movie as more important than the fact that Netflix's error presents a quality issue. This emphasis (even if unintended) is indiretly supporting homophobic notions.

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  85. michael, from netflixSeptember 17, 2007 at 8:49 AM

    If Todd is nearby could you ask him why the purple stars attached to a review can't be changed?

    Purple stars are the ratings someone else has given a movie. You can't change their rating. Red stars are predictions for you, and yellow are what you have rated something (so, you can change red to yellow, but you can't change purple).

    #53 - There are two methods employed to determine similiarity. We're working on bringing them more in line -- but one is designed to be able to quickly compare everyone, and one is slower and more precise and used just between you and a Friend. They are sometimes different (mine are about 10 points apart in many cases), but in other cases, right on. The Friends calc is the more accurate of the two.

    #54 Top 10 Lists are not presently searchable. Yes, true. Top 10 Lists are still going to undergo much revision in the future - this is just the early form of this feature. We'll open a discussion thread on improvement suggestions later this year. For now, they're pretty good, but yes, could be much better.

    #55 - Members Sim To You. This is also just an early version of this. It is usually finding the most similar folks, but you're right, some of these picks can be pretty strange. Still improving it.

    #56 - Reviews take about 1 day to appear on the site. There are some odd cases where they appear in two days. Anything more - and something is wrong. We're hoping to clean up some of the messaging about why something isn't accepted (it's usually a word that gets a review rejected -- "netflix" for one doesn't get through, and of course, a range of obscenities...)

    #57 - Even if you're private, your Friends (and everyone) will see your reviews. Strangers won't be able to click on you to see your profile, but your Friends will still be able to. Your Friends won't be able to see your other friends. But reviews should remain unaffected.

    #58 Top 10 Lists are not limited in length. We call it "Top 10" to give y'all some guidance, but they are neither "top" necessarily, nor "10" long. Many (most) lists are longer. We've found that shorter lists are more useful, but that's a generalization.

    And as for making them more useful, as i said before, this is an early version of where Top 10 Lists could go. We'll keep refining it if y'all use them.

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  86. Thanks so much for replying so painstakingly to all our questions, but re #52, the only purple stars I'm (obviously?) referring to the ones attached to MY OWN reviews. If I clicked 5 stars when I submitted a review there seems to be no way to subsequently demote it down to 4 stars. Forgive me if I'm just being an unutterable bonehead.

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  87. #62)

    On the light purple similar-to-you area next to our avatars… (movie pages/sim-to-you box) I would love to see a number representing how many reviews that person has written, and perhaps even how many rated (or 5 star rated) movies they have if it will fit.

    The reason is I could gage whether there’s a real point to checking them out.

    2 Reviews = No

    59 Reviews = Yes

    Reviews and 5 star ratings are the only reason I look.

    Plus you could make that area line up with the avatars which would just look prettier. :)

    Becky

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  88. Hi Mike, I'm not sure this is your area of expertise but I'm wondering why it is now taking 4-5 days to get a movie. I return a movie on Monday and will not get another until Friday or even Saturday. I used to be able to watch 2 movies a week, on average, now I'm lucky to get one. Blockbuster is beginning to look alot better. Any help would be appreciated. Thanks, Jo Ann PS: I live 15 miles from the distribution center :?/

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  89. #64 - Just a thought, Mike, but since this is a generalized Q&A forum intended to siphon away misc. questions from the topic-specific threads, would it perhaps be an idea to have it 'float' on the first page, always in the #3rd spot, say, since the first 2 should obviously get top billing? It's getting mighty hard to find down here unless you know where to look for the link. But maybe you prefer it that way?! I can certainly see how it could/would take your eye off the infinitely more important ball of the site itself.

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  90. Anon,

    All I can say is that I’m not having problems with slow processing and delivery myself. Occasionally I’ll rent something a bit weird and have to wait for it to come from a long way. (but at least I can get it, not a chance with Blockbuster) Have you noticed delays with your other mail? Sometimes my local post office goes through periods where they become suddenly unreliable. Bills come late, carrier skips my house, or I get someone else’s mail. (who knows where mine is) I don’t trust them to pick-up my movies anymore because most of the time the carrier doesn’t check. I drop right at the post-office now, (at the good box, lots of pick-ups) and it keeps the flow moving nicely. If your other mail shows signs of problems or delay complain to the local post office. It always works for me… for awhile anyway. If you don’t think it is the mail, then I’d call Netflix and complain about the apparent slow-down at your local center. That or a formal letter of complaint are your best bets for getting a problem addressed. Michael won’t be able to help with this though I’m sure.

    Becky

    PS: Brian, I have this bookmarked myself. Making a prominent link on the blog’s side-bar might be helpful if the floating thing can’t be easily done though.

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  91. #65 - I recently tried to change my Netflix community nickname to match my Blogger name, but the feedback I got was a bit confusing. I changed the name to "eric" and hit save, and I got a warning saying that name was already taken. However, when I navigated away from the page and came back, my change was still there. Can more than one person have the same nickname? If not, what was my nickname after I supposedly changed it? (FYI, I changed it back to what it was before just to be safe).

    #66 - If someone who has fans changes their nickname, are their fans somehow notified? I could see that getting confusing if someone changed their nickname to something completely unrelated to their old one.

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  92. On Eric’s # 65: I experienced this too while trying to find a nick that wasn’t being used. The one’s already taken would appear on my profile page even though they hadn’t actually been accepted. (Or at least it told me that they were in use, and after awhile the one on the profile page reset back to the old name.) The one it ultimately accepted acted the same way though, reverting to the old nick after a little while, to the point where I didn’t think it was going to work at all and gave up. Next day the new nickname was there however. Temporary glitch or not, the process was a bit disconcerting.

    Becky

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  93. #66 : Yup. If you change your nickname, folks connected to you will not be notified. You'll just show up with a different name. It could be confusing, sure. I'm not going to do anything about this right now. Sorry.

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  94. #67. I see that one person has 193 'friends and faves', and counting. Not quite sure how one tracks that many, but it's fast becoming an excellent centralized directory for the rest of us. Just wondering what the upper limit of 'public' members is? Although it seems that we'll soon find out if he/she keeps up this pace! Thanks Mike.

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  96. #68 - This isn't community-related, but I have a question about the shipping logic on the queues. I had a movie ship to me today, but it was #2 in my queue. The #1 movie says it's available now, and it's been that way every time I've looked at my queue. Why did I not get my top choice? I could understand if #1 said it wasn't available, but that doesn't appear to be the case. Is there some other reason I might not get the top movie from my queue?

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  97. #69. How funny, Eric, I have exactly the opposite problem, in that they rather impressively INSIST on sending me the next title in my queue, even if it has to come from Nome, AK, and despite the fact that I've asked them repeatedly to send me the next available one from my local distribution centre. As to your situation, I seem to remember a post to the effect that sometimes the website 'availability/short wait' notices and facts on the ground aren't quite synchronized, just as a store's inventory is sometimes a few items off. Perhaps understandable with more than one million DVD's in circulation at any one time! Did you call customer service about it?

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  98. #70, I have seen the same issue as Eric and I really don't understand it either. If it is available now then it should be the next one that ships. This is the second time this has happened to me. The first time I called Netflix and although they could not tell me why it was happening they sent me an "extra" dvd and the one at the top did ship. This time I waited. I have sent back two dvds this week and BOTH times is skipped the one at the top of my list. So either the availability needs to say something other than "NOW" or it should be the next to ship.

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  99. #71 . Wow, if it's happening that often then 'Now' really has become pretty meaningless. If you haven't already, it might be worth sending a strongly worded 'suggestion' via 'Contact us' (at the bottom of any site page).

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  101. Hey Mike, do people get 'influence points' if their persuasive negative review gets you to REMOVE a title from your queue? If not, they should! That's happened quite a few times.

    Although, all you very-hard-to-impress harumphers out there, please try to throw in the occasional positive review as well, else there's little incentive to 'fave' y'all. We're looking for movies to SEE as well as to avoid!

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  102. #72 Community Blog Suggestion: Please open another thread where we can put non-community related questions and suggestions… like the following for example. ;)


    Example of a non-community suggestion… To whom it may concern:

    This has to do with helping subscribers quickly and efficiently rate a basic set of titles so Netflix can better gage their interests.

    If Netflix provided a basic list of commonly known movies for subscribers to rate, it would have at least two benefits. First, it would make the process of rating your starter set of titles more efficient for the user, especially if the list were built in such a way that the user were never presented any given title more than once. I invision this as a basic, one-time list, a starter list that once finished it’s finished. Any added ratings subscribers give from whatever process after that, is gravy. Second, perhaps if this one-time option were available, more members will quickly build a sufficient ‘rated movie list’ and then receive better movie suggestions and more value for their time and money.

    I think that would be so much better, at least to start with, than the random seeming method currently offered. The one that I find so frustrating to use so far. First, I keep getting 4-5 pages of movies already in my queue that I must clear out of the way… they are probably in my queue because I haven’t seen them yet and therefor can’t rate them anything but ‘no opinion.’ Even after getting past that, I’m lucky to find one title per page I can actually rate, and maybe just a couple that I can say I’m definitely not interested in. The rest are all ‘no opinion.’ It’s highly inefficient for rating and highly frustrating. On top of that I quite often get offered the same titles to rate again and again. Over all, the feature seems to become less efficient for rating movies, rather than more so.

    So here’s my proposal. Figure out a basic list of movies that will be of a high likelihood that the subscriber has seen and can rate. Make sure it has enough titles to generate descent recommendations once the majority of the list has been rated. Offer this list in such a way that the people can go through all together, or a little at a time, and that they will never have to rerate or see a title more than once. This can be featured as a one-time account set up type thing. Do everything you can to reasonably encourage people at least rate this manageable list of titles. They would be basic movies but just broad enough that they will give Netflix a good understanding of subscriber interests. You could actually design the list in such a way as to intentionally discern areas of special interest.

    Thanks,

    Becky

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  103. @Becky, don't think we need another thread since I'm sure the rest of the team read this too, or at the very least are directed to certain questions by 'Mike'.

    Interesting idea to establish a fixed reference of well-known movies for members, but I just think the results would be too general -- for instance I'm not much of horror movie fan, but find Dario Argento pretty entertaining in a 'can't-believe-how-bad-this-is' kinda way, so if 'Suspiria' happened to be my touchstone horror movie I'd get a million 'You'll Heart This' that I would absolutely NOT 'heart'. But I do agree that the Netflix brain is surprising dumb about knowing or remembering what one's seen or rated, and tends to get locked into an ever re-cycling group of movies that you just can't seem to break out of however hard you try. I'd love a 'later dude' button that wouldn't permanently take them (and movies 'like them', whoever or whatever decides THAT!) out of circulation, but which would introduce a whole new batch to stare at for a while.

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  104. My reviews finally posted (after more than a week!) but now my lists have disappeared!

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  105. #75. Maybe we're putting too much of a strain on the the servers with all of our frantic review writing, list making and fave-saving in an attempt to claw our way past Slammer and Talltale? Or at least break through that frustrating #1,000,000 barrier.

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  106. I don’t really expect stability in those features until they’ve finished with their plans for them. Splitting the page, poster views, and all that…

    It’ll come…

    Becky

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  107. It would be nice, if Netflix members could access the Watch Instantly option while stationed overseas. This would be a moral builder for us while being away from our families. Hopefully NETFLIX will make adjustments in their viewing policy.

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  108. IS there any way to get a full list of the watch now movies?

    There used to be a full list updated every couple of weeks at Netflixwatchnow.blogspot.com, but it looks like it went dark.

    I used to run a comparison from week to week (http://www.dyers.org/blog/archives/2007/09/11/netflix-watch-now-additions-for-september-10/) that showed the additions and deletions, but I can't without a source list.

    It would be even better if the WathNow additions and deletions were available via RSS.

    Thanks.

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  109. @ Becky. I agree. Trying to integrate a multitude of new features for 6mil+ members on a variety of platforms and browsers at the flick of a switch is a fiendishly complicated proposition. So let's just let them fix and upgrade whatever needs to be fixed and upgraded, and - once it's declared 'finished' - maybe then, and only then, are we justified in changing from 'feedback mode' to 'complaint mode'.

    @ Bob. Assuming that by 'stationed overseas' you mean in the Military , maybe the USO can help set something up with Netflix? I contribute what I can, and would be happy to target money for whatever technical assistance might be necessary. Thanks to you all for your great service. And above all, come back safe.

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  110. Hello Mike, I am new to Netflix and would love to be able to do the Instant Viewing feature but unfortunately Ive got a Macintosh. Any idea when Netflix will have a Mac compatible viewing OSX client? I am able to reboot my computer in OS9.2 and noticed early on that the reqs. used to be OS8.6 or later with Netscape Navigator but now thats changed. Umm... How come? I do rent on the 2 per month plan with 5 hrs. instant viewing that I can't use. Its just that Id really like to get my money's worth.

    Please forgive the newbie and thanks in advance,

    Lajila Sunshine

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  111. #81 - Lajila, we 'oldies' try to fill-in for Michael when we can. If you click on the August archive and scroll down to "Instant watching on Mac, Firefox, and more" (Aug. 9th), I think it'll answer your question about as well as it can be answered right now - namely, that no-one knows when Mac and Linux users will be able to use 'Watch Now', since the DRMs (which in theory prevent a movie from being pirated) are only available for Microsoft-based PC's for now; but Netflix is working on trying to resolve it asap. You'll also see from the many angry posts that you're very much not alone :-(

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  112. FWIW, Watch It Now works fine under Parallels in OS X.

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  113. On 9/13 I dropped two (2) Netflix movies in a curbside US Postal box in Austin TX - same town as on the NetFlix Address Label. One of the movies showed up as being returned the next day (as they usually do 99% of the time) I guess the 2nd still hasn't made it back to NetFlix. After a week I went to the NetFlix site and indicated that I had mailed the movie but that it was lost and they sent the next movie. I was using the same mailbox for my bills, now I don't trust it / the mailman that picks up mail from that box.

    Will I ever know if the 2nd movie ever made it back to NetFlix?

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  114. @Ben - I've had this happen a time or two as well. Some mailboxes have been worse for me than others, but other than the one by my old apartment (where my roommate and I both had frequent problems), I think that may be chance as much as anything.

    Regarding the one that got lost, though, Netflix will send you an e-mail when they receive it, just like they would for a movie that hadn't been reported missing. I believe there's also a page you can go to that shows any missing DVDs you've reported, but after a quick glance I wasn't able to find it (perhaps it goes away if you don't have anything missing anymore?).

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  115. #84. re : "FWIW, Watch It Now works fine under Parallels in OS X".

    Good point. As long as you have one of the latest 'Intel' Macs and have bought the 'parallels' package, since you still have to use a 'Windows' platform, not a 'Mac' one.

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  116. why was I charged for a free trial when I was told I would not be charged?

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  117. @Kenneth, best to call customer service for that kind of issue. Sorry it didn't work out.

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  118. Does the online movie viewing work with TV-Overlays? Meaning will it come out full screen on the TV from the TV-Out on the computer?

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  119. michael, from netflixSeptember 29, 2007 at 9:17 PM

    While I don't work in the distribution part of the company, i think i can safely say "yes" - netflix ships to PO Boxes, and whereever you receive your US mail.

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  120. I enjoy Netfix but I own a Mac and cannot watch movies on line. Is there any hope of Netflix becoming Mac friendly too?

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  121. I remember watching a movie I think it was around 1998 about 18 wheelers that were running over people. They were at a gas station with every cicle they made they would get closer, at one point a clown face popped up in the windshield of one of the trucks. Please help me remember the name of this movie I would to see it again

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  122. Anon,

    The question isn’t when Netflix will get Mac friendly… It’s when will Mac (Apple) get Flix friendly.

    I can’t remember which threads contain all the specifics but they are all over the place, and as soon as Apple gets their situation straightened out Netflix will be all over it I’m sure. Go let Apple know they need to get a move-on, maybe it will help speed things up.

    Kim,

    The only thing that came to mind was “Maximum overdrive,” except for the clown bit... One of the trucks had a kind of creepy hood ornament but I wouldn’t call it a clown.

    Becky

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  123. I'm not sure where to post this but your computer system just wiped out 200 movies in our queue and Customer Service says tough luck. Amazing response.

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  124. Feeling rather jangled by this sudden garage sale, with people traipsing through my yard and going through stuff that I'd understood only Netflix was going to see, I went 'private' a few days ago, but still have a few kind and loyal 'fans'. Since they can't 'unfave' someone they can't see, and there's no 'ex-fan' button, how do we clear them from the slider page? Ideally with a note of apology for bailing out on them!

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  125. #94)

    Can anything be done to reduce the lag-time between when a review is posted to the movie page and the time it’s posted to our review page? Right now, if I click the links in either “Latest Member Review” (read the full review) or “Your Friends’ and Faves’ Activity,” (reviewers username) You don’t see their review yet because of this delay in posting to our review pages. Both of those features are short-lived links to our reviews but if our reviews aren’t going to show up on our actual review pages soon enough, those links aren’t going to be useful. Maybe that’s why there have been so many requests for a review search… people are clicking those links and assume they can’t find a recently reviewed movie because it’s buried… when in actuality they can’t find it because it hasn’t been posted to the review page yet.

    Becky

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  126. I just watched Dexter season 2 premiere on the instant watching page. Thank you Netflix! Do you know if this was just a one time Showtime marketing gimmick or if future season 2 episodes will come available as they air? If not I need to subscribe to Showtime ASAP. Best show on tv.

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  127. Is there a way to sort/search/list by release date of the movie?

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  128. It's kind of crappy that when you choose your account profile that you can't select a "No Watch Instantly" account style--I'm paying for 2 movies at a time and like, 9 hours of instant watching or something, with which all of my computers are incompatible. Netflix should offer me a third DVD in exchange for those hours of viewing which I will never be able to enjoy. That's a ripoff, and a limiting feature for some users.

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  129. Hi Mike,
    I LOVE netflix. Question for you: is there a way you can make the reviews sortable by rating? Like "see all 1-star reviews"? Like on amazon. This would be helpful to screen some of the content in movies. And also helpful to narrow down what movies you want to see.

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  130. #99. Best to number questions as 'Mike' asked us to, especially the anons, otherwise he has to include the question in his reply every time. And maybe check the archives before posting - especially Watch Now/Instant Watching (Aug.9th), since lots of these issues have already been addressed exhaustively; and then some! Plus, Michael's bailiwick is primarily the Friends/Community features.

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  131. Hi Mike, I hope you can help me. I need to communicate urgent with the personnel of Netflix. Four days ago, I filled out the membership to obtain a two weeks free trial promotion. But I had a problem, they charged me during the free trial. I'm trying to contact Netflix's personnel but all the phones are always busy or unable (night and day) Ex. 1-800-715-2135, 1-888-638-3549 and 1-877-638-3549. Please help me I need to resolve that problem. I will appreciate if you answer me. Thank you so much.

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  132. Mike,

    My DVD's are consistently take two days for shipping, zip code 93619. It appears to me the distribution center in Bakersfield is too far away. Are there any plans to address this issue?

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  133. 134
    Dear Mike, How do you see who the movie is made by... I got stuck with "the wickeds" ended up being a lowbuget piece of crap movie.. If I knew who made it I might have known....
    Thanks,
    Larry

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  134. 135
    I have posted a member review and it disappears on my "Reviews & Lists". I have reposted it about three times now. The customer service rep says it might be being flagged, but I doubt this as there are no violations to NetFlix's policy. I think it may be a 'website problem'. Can you follow up on this for me.
    The customer rep was not any help.
    The review is "Black Book"

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  135. mike,
    if i am on a 30-day free trial of the 1-at-a-time format, why am i only going to get one move in that 30-day period? the free trial stops 10/15/07 and netflix says i won't get another movie until 10/16/07. i imagine that is when i will start paying. thank you.
    jfw

    ReplyDelete
  136. What happened to the AJAX Queue re-ordering? I saw it once or twice a couple months ago, but then it was gone.

    I liked it and want it back

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  137. Did we lose ya, Mike?

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  138. I didn't know how else to get in touch with anyone from netflix since you don't exactly have an e-mail for a complaint or concern. I know that there is an 800#, but for some reason I'm having trouble with my phone. I can't say I enjoyed it much since it was and is becoming a habit that i haven't been receiving the movies lately. I don't know if your company forgets to ship the movies out, or if its the post office from your city or mine thats the problem. I got a post office box because the movies weren't coming to my home address, either someone was stealing them or they just never got here. so i figured the post office box would be safer. apparently i was wrong because i didn't receive the movies there either the 2nd time around. i only received the movies there the first time i used the P.O. Box, but the 2nd time i didn't. Thank you for your service. And please let me know if you find a better / easier way to make sure the customers are getting the movies they are asking for. My account name is (was) sa_fire_angel@yahoo.com.

    ReplyDelete
  139. michael, from netflixOctober 4, 2007 at 10:22 PM

    #138 Naw, you guys didn't lose me. I'm getting ready to post about next week's release... but what you ARE sensing is the rapid increase in the workload from my "day job" -- that is, my work as a PM here at Netflix, which for better or worse, seems to interfere with my blog writing time. I still read every single posting (I swear - they are emailed to me), and i respond occassionally if they are in my field, i have a good answer, and it hasn't been answered a few times already in various locales around the blog.

    IF you can't tell, we're in the fourth quarter and all of us here are in high gear cranking on all kinds of interesting things, most of which I'm not going to go into here until the time is right. So hang with us... the intense frequency i gave the blog for the past many months cannot be sustained along with the intensity of the new development right now. But i'm here, and i'll keep doing what i can. And i continue to absorb your feedback. Does that answer your question?

    ReplyDelete
  140. #139

    One thing I have been interested in since you added the similarity percentage to the general community is the ability to search for members with high percentage similarities to you and then compare/exclude movies you have seen already so that you can see the movies they have seen (that you may be interested in) that you have not watched yet. It would be a great way to quickly find movies that you might be interested in (perhaps quicker than your recommendations page).

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  141. Mike asked "Does that answer your question?"

    Totally. I just think that since you obviously don't have time to respond to most of these questions, either a proxy should be assigned to do so, or the thread should be removed. Because without knowing that it's more of a suggestion box than an extension of customer service, people are going to continue to expect a reply. In fact maybe 'Community suggestion box' would be a better heading than 'Ask Mike', since there's then no implied promise of an answer.

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  142. # 141

    I’m still having some trouble with the reviews that is really frustrating. I say still because I reported this problem months ago in the usual ways and the trouble remains, and seems to be on an increase.

    Special characters are being improperly rendered. It doesn’t matter if I cut and past from word, or just type the text into the box directly. Some of my reviews appear on the site with these flaws, and maybe I’m just unlucky but the trouble actually seems to be on the increase. I just edited a review that was fine on the site except for a change in wording I wanted to make, it was saved, and at first appeared to be ok. But when I came back to the page, reloaded it, the garbage replacements for (‘) (“) (&) and (…) had shown up. I don’t know if it happens randomly to all reviews or just reviews that have been edited at some point. Some of them I’ve had to reedit a few times already.

    I’ve had this problem with notes too. Which is worse because we don’t yet have the ability to edit them at all.

    Here’s an example of what I’m talking about from one of my notes:

    The critics are right… a visual slog… wanders endlessly past one damn thing after another… muddled and maudlin… oppressive and finally tedious… cluttered… empty

    That should be full of quotation marks… not all that other stuff.

    I hope someone can fix this because it’s driving me nuts.

    Becky Glass

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  143. “If your questions are about things I can address, Community-related things--there's a good chance i'll be able to handle it.”

    Community-related seems pretty clear to me

    “if you've asked in other postings and i haven't replied there, there is a good chance i won't here either”

    Also clear

    “(although maybe i can tell you why).”

    Maybe. Completely understandable, at least to most of us.

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  144. (@reply to....) Gotcha. As will any regular community site reader. Wasn't intended as a gripe, since Michael has indeed made his degree of engagement very clear. I just keep seeing all these newbies stumbling onto the site who naturally assume that 'Ask Mike' is a general enquiry thread for any and all Netflix issues, and it just seems kinda f.u. to totally ignore them.

    @Becky. I had that trouble a lot when I was using 'Safari', but only very occasionally in 'Firefox'. But you've no doubt already tried using a different search engine?

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  145. #143. Sorry, Michael. It was my stupid idea to make this thread more accessible, thinking that only 'oldies' would use it, thus keeping the other threads uncluttered. Us and our bright ideas, eh??

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  146. # 144. @Becky. P.S. I of course meant web browser, not search engine. Are your nickname initials C.L, by any chance? If so, some great reviews, and an interesting list!

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  147. I use Internet Explorer 6. something or other on this system… don’t use anything else don’t want the bother. You think it’s the browser? I wouldn’t have a clue, but if it’s something at my end I can at least just learn to live with it. I wouldn’t think it would be though because reviews have been fine for weeks then suddenly go funny, and not all of them, but once they do they stay that way until I fix them… but then what do I know?

    I’m not CL btw…that is someone else.

    Becky Glass

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  148. "I use Internet Explorer 6. something or other."

    From one low-techie to another, how refreshingly "yea, yea, whatever!". But since IE is now up to #7 and websites tend to assume that we keep current with the latest version it may just be a 'compatibility issue'. Just a thought.

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  149. If it’s a compatibility problem though, why is it so intermittent? Why wouldn’t it effect all the reviews and edits from this machine?

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  150. #148. Sometimes happens that way - which is why some systems and interfaces are considered more 'stable' than others. Maybe try downloading the latest 'Firefox'? If it doesn't work any better you can just un-install it. But most people much prefer it to Internet Explorer, and so are mad that they have to crank up IE just to use 'Instant Watching'. Good luck.

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  151. FYI - Follow-up on Glitchy reviews and review edits:

    It looks to be a Netflix problem. I checked to see if making edits on an XP system with IE 7.0 made a difference and it did not. I was also getting an error message upon edit attempts by this time, the information wasn’t going through at all the last few days or so. Communicated the new behavior and error message and went through ‘reset’ attempts with a guy at one of the phone numbers to see if it was a glitch on my systems and in the end he said it looked like it was a problem at their end.

    I hope someone can puzzle it all out at some point. Meantime, he suggested I delete the bad reviews and resubmit, which is what I did and they went through ok this time. That may be the best work-around for the time being.

    Don’t know if edit is still down or glithcy or not, haven’t had occasion to test it yet.

    Becky Glass

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  152. Thanks for the follow-up. I invariably get an error message on the first edit submission and occasionally find that the edit doesn't 'take', and flips back to the original (but one should always give it 24 hrs to update). My solution was to make a copy of the changes at the time of the edit so that I could erase the review in edit mode and paste the correct one back in. The edits usually hold the second time. If you use the 'erase' button and re-submit it you lose all your helpful/unhelpful votes. But it sounds like in your case it's unfortunately the only solution.

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  153. Maybe "CURRENT FRIENDS SITE STATUS:" should be changed to "CURRENT COMMUNITY SITE STATUS:" at this point?

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  154. # 149?

    I’ve been noticing a few people show up funny on the site, their avatars don’t line up with their purple username box. It’s a bit OC maybe but I don’t want to pick them as faves because they will mess up my neat looking list. Like that guy lanzklepr… in Baff’s friends and faves…

    Just saying… ;)

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  155. hi, as much as i like to sound creepy, i face a moderately serious privacy dilemma with the instant watching feature on netflix. i would like to delete some movies from the "instant watch" list that records my activity. i share the account with a nosey sibling (agh!).
    -marianna

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  156. #158. "...a few people show up funny on the site..."

    Fyi 'Lanzklepr' (et al) show up fine for me. Fight those neat-freak demons, gurl, and fave 'em anyway! Their collective minds are a terrible thing to waste.

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  157. I would like a new review flag. “Totally Clueless!”

    It doesn’t have to actually do anything really... except just be there.

    Thank you,

    Becky Glass

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  158. I would like a new review flag. “Totally Clueless!”

    BOY do I support the motion. Although I'd maybe use a slightly kind word than 'clueless'.

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  159. @ Robert: "...will it come out full screen on the TV from the TV-Out on the computer?"

    It does on mine. I use the TV as a secondary display device and it comes up full on the TV. You may have to adjust some settings on your video card if it doesn't for you.

    Anyway...

    (159 - I think): Add me in as another person who would like to have more than 500 movies in my queue. I use my Queue to store movies that I know I eventually want to see. If the same movies always showed up in the "Movies You'll Love" section, it wouldn't be an issue to just add those as I have space. The problem is, they change over time and I also run across stuff that only shows up when I actually add a movie.

    If we can't have bigger queues (which shouldn't be a resource issue if we truely are such a small base of users), then here's my suggestion:

    When I spot something I'd like to see, but can't add it to my queue, I'd like a button I can click that says something like "Always Recommend This Movie" so it will always appear in the "Movies You'll Love" Section. That will do two things: 1) I"ll know I can always come back and see it there later and 2)It will help narrow down other recommendations based on what I am interested in.

    (160) Can a feature be added to eliminate rated movies and items in my queue from showing up as recommendations? I'd rather be show items I haven't seen since I can always go into my rental history if I want to see something I've seen before.

    (161) It would be really great to see the "watch now" feature expanded to more titles - especially the TV shows. It would be nice to be able to sample an episode or two in order to judge how I might like a show before I have a disc sent to me that I might not enjoy. In addition, there are some shows where the discs show up as "long wait" or "unknown" (Farscape S1, Robotech, etc) that would be nice to view online instead. Finally, some shows (like Dead Like Me) only have certain episodes on "watch now", so you still have to have all the discs shipped in order to see those that aren't there.

    Sorry for the long post.

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  160. @ Becky: "I would like a new review flag. 'Totally Clueless!'"

    Boy, do I ever agree. There are some people who would be confused by the plot of "Thomas the Tank Engine" (Why are the trains talking? Where are the engineers? Why is he called a "tank" engine - there's no gun! What makes this Thomas guy so important?).

    Of course, these are the same folks that are shocked that "R" rated movies have sex, cursing and violence in them, foreign flicks often have subtitles (and seldom have tidy endings) and that a lot of indy movies actually make you think.

    However, one thing that would help remove some of the annoying "disc is damaged" and "didn't receive" or "didn't order" complaints in the reviews would be to have the system automatically flag "reviews that contain words like "scratched" and "disc" in them.

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  161. 164.

    "...have the system automatically flag "reviews that contain words like "scratched" and "disc" in them."

    Good idea, but instead of these post-facto solutions why not try to find a way to stop non-reviews from getting onto the site in the first place? So, instead of a flag, maybe the words 'scratched', 'unplayable', etc. could trigger a dialog bubble (BOB?) telling the would-be non-reviewer how to report and resolve their disc problem?

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  162. @ Simon (164)

    That's actually a good idea. Those keywords could trigger dialog that asks "are you trying to report a problem with a disc? If so, click here..."

    I honesty thing there are many who don't realize how to report an issue.

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  163. #166.

    So, just the 3 of us, Mike, Gadget!?

    There was a little discussion about 'helpful/unhelpful' on another thread, in that people tend to use it more as 'agree/disagree'. Maybe there could be a brief instruction right at the start of the reviews, along the lines of : "Please let members know whether their reviews helped you decide to rent, or not rent, this movie." I know that it's in the FAQ, but I doubt that many people get to see that.

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  164. michael, from netflixDecember 11, 2007 at 8:14 AM

    I'm here, of course...

    I must say that folks generally don't read the info/advice/instructions provided on websites. We could make it more prominent, but it would probably only fare slightly better than the FAQ. I'm not disregarding your suggestion, but i am pondering if there are even more dramatic, more impactful ways to get the votes to do what we all want...

    it's the kind of thing that keeps me up at night.

    thanks

    ReplyDelete
  165. #168.

    "...it's the kind of thing that keeps me up at night".

    Really sorry to hear that, but totally believe you, having witnessed you blogging while playing with your kids of a Saturday morning!

    Also sorry to hear - depressingly but not completely surprisingly - that people don't pay much attention to written guideline : you mean things like numbering these questions and not posting off topic, perhaps??

    Thanks.

    ReplyDelete
  166. Hi - June and July archives don't seem to be opening. Are they 'retired', or is this maybe a software/hardware issue? (mac OSX/firefox)

    ReplyDelete
  167. michael, from netflixDecember 14, 2007 at 10:28 PM

    hey #169
    I just tried those archives too, and they don't work for me either. May, June and July. I tried it in Firefox (I'm on a Mac too) and then went in Parallels and into IE... where it also doesn't work.

    Alas, this is Blogger and not much i can do about it. hopefully they will clear it up.

    ReplyDelete
  168. #'s 169 & 171December 16, 2007 at 8:04 PM

    OK, so it's them, not us! Thanks for both checking and checking back.

    ReplyDelete
  169. #172?

    Some pretty interesting ideas coming up on the main threads these days. Without knowing what technical or temporal challenge they pose there's no way for us to evaluate their worth, but a 'Best Idea of the Week' prize, even if only titular, might be fun, no?

    ReplyDelete
  170. michael, from netflixDecember 17, 2007 at 8:54 PM

    The good news is that you don't have to evaluate their worth: i do. You're right -- there are many good ideas floating around these days, and i'm really enjoying (and appreciating) the input. I wouldn't want to pick one "best" -- some weeks there are many fruitful suggestions, and other weeks none. It's not a contest. I just love reading the feedback. I hope that doesn't stop anyone from providing it. Can you possibly imagine how great it is to have hundreds of people helping you with your job??? Lot's of good stuff here. Thanks all.

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  171. 173.

    Your list feedback was great. Much better than my crass (but only half serious, I promise!) 'prize' idea. I know it's a real drain on your 'real job' commitments, but - even if not a contest - I think people need the occasional yea or nay so as not to feel like they're just whistling in the wind, and lose interest.

    Love what you guys are doing. Continued thanks.

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  172. May, June and July back online, folks.

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  173. @ Steve - Not to stir up the usual hornet's nest, but Hacking Netflix claims that BB is offering a free download of Jackass 2.5 (sic!) to Mac users (OS 10.4.8 minimum) via Silverlight. Does this perchance auger well for us Macflixers in the not too distant future?

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  174. michael, from netflixDecember 20, 2007 at 2:51 PM

    This isn't Steve - It's Michael - but i'm pretty sure that the secret ingredient that BB uses with Silverlight is to offer a movie with no DRM. If movies had no DRM, we could do it too. If that's not the case, i'll get someone smarter than me to comment.

    So, alas, this little event doesn't change things vis a vis Mac users. Know that this is still a high priority around here (he says as he works on his MacBook Pro...)

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  175. Thanx 'Mike'. Was trying to keep you out of it. Will continue to hold breath. Unless that happens to be a nice new shiny dual-platform Mac under the tree....

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