Monday, August 27, 2007

"Favorites"

The next important component to roll out, probably in mid-September, is the concept of "Favorites." When you see a reviewer you like - maybe they are similar to you, or maybe you just like the reviews they've written, or whatever - you can add them to your list of Favorites. These "Faves" will be placed on your Friends page (which - by the way-- will henceforth be called your Friends & Faves), and there you can hang onto them for future perusal.

When one of your favorites writes a review or rates a movie, it shows up on the Community Home Page sort of like a Friend does. Their new review is featured, their latest ratings show up in an Activity block. You can remove them any time you want. But most importantly, they are not notified, invited, or otherwise bothered to be part of this. If you review movies, someone can save you to their Favorites list. They become your fan, of sorts. They cannot see your Queue; they cannot see your Rental History; they cannot send you notes. It's just like now, but you don't have to stumble across them, you can hang onto them.

If you are a reviewer, and you're pretty good, you might start noticing you have these fans. You can't see much about them (nickname and sim%) unless they are reviewers, too. But you'll know that you have some. (Dare I say: your influence will go up!)

The Favorites concept provides a way to connect that is sort of less intense than Friends. It's more 'one-directional'. You might just use it with your lazy friends who don't really contribute much to you, but to whom you end up giving lots of ideas. They could just add you to their Favorites list, and keep up with your reviews or ratings, but you don't have to interact.

There are more subtleties to this that I'll describe shortly, but i wanted to give ya'll a sneak peek at the concept. You disliked Influence so much i simply can't wait to hear how you feel about this. No, seriously, this will be a good way to personalize your Netflix experience -- where you select the people who you want to give you movie ideas and commentary... from Roger Ebert to your best friend to that guy from Ohio who really is similar to you to some magazine that is posting movie reviews on Netflix consistently and is always good to check out when they are available...

So I have one question for ya'll, and i've asked it before but i'm asking again (and adding a poll to the side to see some numbers). What is the best language for the button? In a sense you are "subscribing" to someone's reviews - but that sounds like you have to sign up, or pay, and neither are the case. It is kind of a "bookmark" but it isn't really, not in the classic web sense, and could be confusing (is it? this is a strong contender here). You are adding them to your Favorites list, so something involving that ("Save to Faves"? "+Favorites"? or -- as someone suggested on this blog a month or so ago, they are a "Reviewer You Love" -- I'd love your feedback on these (or other) options. In the end, i will actually test which has the best usability, but i wonder how y'all do against the data. Don't forget to vote in the poll (as well as comment). Thank you.

37 comments:

  1. how about a button that says "BOOO" for people that trash a movie you love?

    ReplyDelete
  2. I like "Reviewer I (heart)". Although "Reviewer like me" or "Reviewer to Watch" might be more applicable.

    I think anything related to "favorite" is far too loaded. It probably would take me a bit to realize you were talking about reviewers and not movies or the actual comments themselves.

    ReplyDelete
  3. I agree with tim, also I like "Reviewer to Watch".

    I've already found a couple reviewers whom I look for in various genres I enjoy, it would be easier to simply click a button to "watch" that particular reviewer.

    Thats a keeper feature to be sure.

    ReplyDelete
  4. Well, I'm the one person (so far) who voted "other", because I like the more all-purpose and simple "SAVE" option.

    I would prefer something like "Save to My Page" or to "MyFlix", but couldn't think of what the friend's page could be called that would be pithy and on-the-nose enough for my example.

    I agree that the addition of "fave", "heart", "like", etc. is a bit too presumptuous, even if the bulk of the saves would most likely be saved for positive association.

    In short: I have no idea.

    ReplyDelete
  5. OK, NOW we're beginning to see your develish clever Master Plan! As a virulent 'influence factor' detractor' perhaps I can make it up to you by being commensurately effusively about this one : a really terrific idea! The only very minor downside of course being that I'm fast running out of queue space with all the great new movies all these guys are helping me discover! I'm not big on Flixterish jargon like "faves" and "heart", so I'd go for the most boringly pragmatic, like "bookmark", "tag", "keep tabs/an eye on", and so on.

    ReplyDelete
  6. I like the simple +Reviewer. I'm not seeing a poll though...

    ReplyDelete
  7. In sync with Tim.
    - Reviewers to Watch
    - Favorite Reviewers
    - Saved Reviewers

    ReplyDelete
  8. Will it be possible to "ban" reviewers as well? The reason I ask is your mentioning of Roger Ebert, a man who seems to love every movie he's ever seen. Quite a few of my really disappointing movie experiences have had good Ebert reviews, so now I try to ignore his reviews whenever I can. It'd be nice if I could "ban" his reviews, since they're pretty much useless to me (if only he hated the movies I love, I could go by the opposite of his opinions...).

    ReplyDelete
  9. If you're going to call it "Friends & Faves" (or Friends & Favorites) you should have the word association there. Also agree with Tim that the word "Reviewer" should be in there so people have a good idea of what they're favoring. Therefore, just call the button "Favorite Reviewer" - or "Reviewer to Watch," which ties in with the whole movies thing very nicely!

    ReplyDelete
  10. While we're tossing this around, do we have any say in "friends and faves" (herewith my veto), which kinda sets the tone of whole feature? Maybe simply " Friends and Reviewers"?

    Also, since we're already on a favored reviewer's page, with their name and sim% right there, why do we even need the word 'reviewer'? Joel's "save" is all we need? It would be like having "add this movie" on the "add" button.

    ReplyDelete
  11. Hello Michael! I wanted to say that it really doesn't matter what this new feature of saving reviewers is called. That's just form, and content is so much more important than form. What is great ia that all these details are being implemented. I was so looking forward to this, as finding similar members has been a fantastic path to new movies! Of course, this will also encourage us to write more reviews, and to work harder on them. Move over, Ebert!!

    ReplyDelete
  12. I'm going to provide another suggestion, and I don't even know if I like it yet, but here goes: in your own post Michael you mentioned that watching a reviewer is somewhat like becoming their fan, so maybe the button could say something to the effect of "I'm a Fan". Maybe even add in an icon like a pom-pom or a foam finger beside the text or something. Just a thought...

    ReplyDelete
  13. OK... This is really cool stuff. I'm super excited to see it implemented.

    And while I'm one of the detractors for the influence idea, I do really like the fact that I will know that people like what I'm doing.

    Question: They'll be able to see all our custom lists, correct? There are plenty of members out there who have interesting tastes, but only write a couple reviews. And why can't we see their reviewing history? If I really want to follow someone and use their experience to guide my movie renting decisions, I'm surely going to want to know what movies they really liked as well as the movies they hated. It's not like this is confidential information (like the queue).

    Finally, for the button terminology, I don't like "Bookmark" or "Subscribe." If it were up to me, I'd label the button "Stalk Me!" because I think it's accurate and funny... but I totally understand that this would probably not fly ;)

    Anyway... very exciting.

    ReplyDelete
  14. "They'll be able to see all our custom lists, correct?"

    Yes, and every movie we have rated 5-stars.

    ReplyDelete
  15. I barely (heart)people I know .. not gonna (heart) a stranger. But I do (heart) this feature and can't wait to get it. It's like finding a little gold nugget when I see someone who has lists of the strange little movies I like. It will be great to be able to keep up with them and see what they find and add to those lists. Thanks for doing this.

    ReplyDelete
  16. michael, from netflixAugust 27, 2007 at 10:41 PM

    Thanks all. NOTE TO THOSE INTERESTED: I can assure you that we will not opt for the button label "Stalk Me" - sorry.

    ReplyDelete
  17. Darn-i liked the Stalk Me idea, lol. I'm so looking forward to this feature! Don't really have any ideas for button names though-Save would work for me. I've definetly added a whole load more movies to my queue since this whole community thing started, and i'm enjoying all the lists that people have created! Awesome fun stuff!

    ReplyDelete
  18. @ Amanda,
    Michael made a post a while back about the legal restraints that companies have on releasing rental history information and I think only showing 5 star ratings is Netflix' way around that. I agree that it would be cool to see all ratings from someone similar to you, but it would also be creepy and apparently illegal.

    ReplyDelete
  19. I was under the impression that that the privacy act declared that it was illegal to release anyone's rental history, not their rating history. I've rated almost 2500 movies on Netflix, and I can assure you those weren't all movies I've rented. I'm pretty sure it's a separate thing and not a legal issue.

    Michael, is the reason we can't see a member's full list of ratings a legal reason?

    ReplyDelete
  20. Michael's response to a question Aug. 10th, in case this helps at all :

    "We only show 5-star movies of people you don't know (that is: reviewers). I'm not sure when i'll get around to expanding this. I also agree that having more would be interesting, but I presently feel that 5-star films give you a good snapshot of a person..."

    ReplyDelete
  21. @Amanda - I suspect if Netflix decided to make all our ratings public, it could well end up court (and rightfully so). Seems very likely that someone would fight to expand the privacy law to include ratings. When the government gets involved, we often end up with draconian laws that make a mess of things.

    Personally, I think its set up pretty good right now with reviews, lists and 5-star ratings being public, and everything else being opt-in (via Friends).

    When I rated every movie I have ever seen, it was for the purpose of getting recommendations from Netflix, not to make my movie viewing habits public record. I am perfectly fine with my reviews, lists, and 5-stars being public. I also like limiting the rest of my ratings to those I chose to show it to. There are certainly people out there who feel far more strongly about it than I do.

    ReplyDelete
  22. michael, from netflixAugust 28, 2007 at 11:45 AM

    Nope, no legal reason. Just wanting to be appropriate.

    ReplyDelete
  23. Fair enough. I certainly understand the argument. It's just frustrating because I don't rate many movies 5 stars -- I reserve that rating for the absolute best -- so I'd really like to be able to share the phenomenal movies I rated 4 stars with people too (without having to make a "custom list" that is thousands of movies long).

    It might be nice if you could opt-in to making your rating history public, just like when you "opt-in" to writing a review, which is public by default.

    ReplyDelete
  24. Why is Netflix removing trailers from many of the movie pages. For example, "The Red Violin"

    ReplyDelete
  25. Re stars, after all that back and forth with Todd about 1/2 stars (current status?) I very reluctantly abandoned my 'best of the best' niche for 5 star movies and slid everything up one star. Result? On 3000+ ratings my netflix suggestions went up from around 150 to over a 1,000! And generally pretty interesting ones too.

    ReplyDelete
  26. I really, really, really dig this idea, and I hated the influence idea. I like "Reviewer to watch" (since "Stalk me!" was thrown out). The others are either too cheesy (Reviewer I (heart)) or vague.

    ReplyDelete
  27. Quick question is this only for ppl who have written reviews or will this also work for ppl whom you would like to re-visit that you have found in your % similar list on the community page. Oh and my vote is Save to Faves as it does the best job of expressing what is happening, and it ties in nicely w/ the title of the section.

    ReplyDelete
  28. Yeah! A way to keep track of people. I've been adding usernames to a *.txt file along with the movie I found them in. This is much better. Thanks!

    I like Reviewer 2 Watch or just plain Subscribe.

    ReplyDelete
  29. Speaking of (hearts), I'm happy to see that the shipping notice we're sent still uses the word 'recommendations' rather than the cheesy and infantile 'Movies you'll (heart)', which really belongs on overpriced tourist T-shirts ("I (heart) NY" dates back to 1977!) rather than a brilliantly conceived and otherwise classy movie site like this. A small but (heartfelt) beef - but judging by the poll it seems that we are vastly and sadly outnumbered, Oz, so brace yourself for another bleedin (Britspeak) heart!

    ReplyDelete
  30. Correction. '...(heart)' is running a distant second to 'Save to faves'. Phew! But why not just 'Save'? I just don't get this obsession with cute catch phrases. There's plenty of great, entertaining stuff on the site itself without having to 'fun up' the goddam navigation mechanisms as well.

    ReplyDelete
  31. How about a buddy system? or a simple "FYI" button? I want to know if a reviewer I agree with loved or hated a film, both are important.

    ReplyDelete
  32. this friends and faves concept seems like a great way to tap into a broader community, but what if i don't want the community to see all the movies I have previously watched, how can I go in a selectively delete movies from my rental history - this functionality seems to be sorely lacking in the current system - it's like google with too much information on my browsing habits - i have also been a member of netflix for several years, and my movie preferences have changed over time, so my current recommendations don't necessarily reflect what i'm still interested in - a delete feature is key

    ReplyDelete
  33. I like "Reviewer I (heart)". Although "Reviewer like me" or "Reviewer to Watch" might be more applicable.

    I think anything related to "favorite" is far too loaded. It probably would take me a bit to realize you were talking about reviewers and not movies or the actual comments themselves

    ReplyDelete