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.