Friday, August 24, 2007

Today's Release is Live

The new features are now online for everyone. Here's what my Community Home page looks like:
If you don't have anyone connect to you with Friends, you don't get these top couple blocks: On the top left is a review just posted by a Friend, and the Friends activity is next to it on the right (now with RATINGS!). The Top 10 Lists block is cleaned up a bit, but just cosmetically, and there is the familiar Latest Member Reviews. Should be pretty self-explanatory, but Tuesday's post about this release sums up the new features. Slowly getting better?

I'll post next week about where all this is starting to lead. Tonight, i'm going to the theater to watch the new Bourne flick. Later.

23 comments:

  1. S'lookin good. Custom lists (!) much easier to read -- but no chance of eventually being able to access more of them with a scroll bar, I suppose? (I know, NEVER satisfied). Some are pretty lame and you sometimes have to snuffle around a bit to find something really meaty (our fault, not yours!). Great idea taking us directly to the writer's review page if we want to finish what they have to say - and then maybe find some other interesting stuff they've reviewed. For me the friends block almost has TOO much info (what, no mention of what they had for lunch?), but I think I'm probably very much in the minority here. But overall, so far very much so good!!

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  2. Yes! Looking great! Finally, the friends page is becoming very useful! Love the "friends activity" in the upper right-hand corner.

    Only question we have is this: Since learning more about our friends is always infinitely more important than what strangers on the site are doing, how about moving the Friends quiz up to the upper left-hand portion of the page instead of having that section reserved for reviews by complete strangers? It's more important for us to quickly see the quiz about our own friends than see information on strangers.

    Or perhaps there can be a preference to shuffle around the sections of the page ourselves.

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  3. the Friends activity is next to it on the right (now with RATINGS!)

    What do this mean? There are supposed to be movie ratings in the Friends Activity box?

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  4. "What do this mean? There are supposed to be movie ratings in the Friends Activity box?"

    Yes, it says "your friends loved" and "your friends hated."

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  5. Someone else mentioned this before, but I'm curious as to how the Members' Top 10 Lists are selected for display. Random? I ask this because the list entitled "For all the Fat Chicks..." never goes away. I refreshed 15 times in a row and it always remained in the middle of the list. A few of the others repeated a bit more often than others too. My assumption is that Netflix wants to get the more obscure movies in front of viewers eyes, rather than "new releases." And since this fat chick list contains workout videos, it would definitely qualify as more obscure. Anyone else experience this?

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  6. But it also says "so and so rated such and such 3 stars", but in words rather than purple stars. Doesn't that get the job done just fine?

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  7. michael, from netflixAugust 24, 2007 at 11:03 PM

    @Frank

    I can't recall if i posted about this or not, so i'll give you the short answer. It probably merits its own full post, so this'll be some practice.

    The Top 10 Lists are of course written by members like y'all. Usually reviewers, but not always. Anyway, we take a look at what is in the top of your queue, find a few Top 10 Lists that include each of those films, and produce this list. In most cases there are a number of Top 10 Lists that include a given movie, so we would randomly drill through those. We're still messing with the presentation algorithm; it has changed a bit and will change some more, as we tune it. But that's basically it: lists are sort of random, but based on movies you're watching. I've also found some that show up repeatedly. Not sure what I think about that. But also true: every time the page loads, this is regenerated, which keeps this fresh, so even with the occassional repetition, it should have a fair amount of movement. Does that help?

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  8. 2 of my favorite lists so far are "Low priority" (320 movies), and "See eventually" (42 movies). Can't wait to queue those 362 gems. Give us something we can use here, Folks!

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  9. Michael,
    you said "we take a look at what is in the top of your queue, find a few Top 10 Lists that include each of those films, and produce this list."
    Now I understand why the same top 10 lists seem to come up for me all the time. It's because the top of my queue has had several films with long or short waits on them so they have been in the same position a long time.
    The top 10 movies are ones I've already decided to watch. In selecting those I may have found them in others lists and have already read reviews etc. I've moved on from research mode on my top 10 que movies and seeing who's lists they are in, I don't feel, is as helpful as seeing the top 10 lists of members who have high percentage similar to me. I believe the % similar is based on members who have seen the same obscure movies that I have whether we liked it or not. IF a member seeks out odd little films the way I do I'd really like to see what they have in their lists. If we had a way to bookmark those member who we find with similar taste it would be even more helpful so we can check on what someone with 79% similarity to me is queuing, watching, rating. Since several others have mentioned using the % similar to me as criteria for the Top 10 lists on our community page and you already have the "select top 10 movies in que" method, perhaps we could be given a choice where we select which one of the 2 methods we prefer. A little button to check somewhere such as on a preferences page.

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  10. I like the block on the top left that shows my friends new reviews and notes. This, combined with showing all the latest Friends activity on the right basically means that I no longer need to use the main Friends page, everything I want to see is here. What makes this better than the Friends page is that I don't need to look through each friends block to see what they are up to, it's just all right there in any easy to view, quick format. Good works!

    I also like that there is a little "X" there so that I can close the box. It would be great if you could make that stick though, so that the next time I come back to the page, that same note won't still be there again after I've already closed it once. After reading it one time I don't need to see it again (if I've chosen to close it) every time I come back to this page.

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  11. Great to have the helpful/unhelpful on our review page now. Although I've never quite understood why they can't update pretty much instantly, like the stars magically do all over the site. Any technical or policy reasons for that?

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  12. michael, from netflixAugust 26, 2007 at 8:45 AM

    Not policy, it's technical. Similar to why reviews don't post on the site instantly (like blogs do), but rather once a day (around midnight or so). We'd like to fix all that stuff up -- it really should be instant... but for me there are other priorities right now. sorry.

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  13. Many thanks. Very minor issue. Of more concern is this round the clock schedule of yours - even Gregory Peck had his limits, as we were poignantly reminded last night!

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  14. I like having friends' ratings included in the activity block. Thanks.

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  15. Whoa, I had no idea my wife wrote reviews... :-)

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  16. As much as I love being able to see Friends' Reviews, and vice versa, this leads to an inevitably low quality standard for reviews. That's what the comments are supposed to do.

    We're already seeing the upshot of this experiment...here's an example of a review for Firefly:

    I thought this flick was great. I never saw the series but watched the flick cause Mike told me too.

    As much as I'm sure this information is useful to "Mike", it sure didn't give me ANY information about this movie.

    Does anyone else feel this way? Shouldn't there be a clear distinction between how one writes a review for the masses, and how one addresses friends? Why are we making the two devices more and more similar?

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  17. @Steve : I totally agree with you, although I haven't as yet seen any personalized reviews like that creeping in. Just the usual "U sent me disc 2 & 1 instead of disc 1 & 2, wots rong with u peeple?" I suppose we'll just have rely on the flag mechanism if they get too person-to-person to mean anything to anyone else.

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  18. I just noticed something about the "your friends loved" and "your friends hated" boxes. They're way wrong! I clicked on one of the movies my friends supposedly loved and three friends were listed: one gave it four stars, one gave it two and the last gave it only one star. The same thing happened (well, the opposite of the same thing) on a movie my friends hated; one gave five stars to that movie. Anyone else noticing this?

    PS: I know other people have mentioned this, but it would be cool if these movies had that pop up feature so I can see the name of the movie without having to click on it.

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  19. The only downside to Michael's dazzling weekly unveilings, the fascinating panning for gold that they allow and feeling a need to keep abreast of developments by staying current with this great blog is that my actual movie viewing is way down, and therefore cost per movie way up. A plan within a plan, I'm guessing? Develish clever, Team!

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  20. i am really starting to despise netlflix. i've been writing reviews for over 2 months without a single one being posted. for now reason either, as i stayed within the netflix guidlines. not to mention, having to wait a week to get a common movie such as 'payback' from across the states in maryland. i'm just about to switch to blockfuster.

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  21. I would like to see a feature that allows a user to search for members' lists by topic. For example: Top 10 films by Asian-American directors...

    Also, why not include a way to search for most similar members.

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  22. I just noticed that in the "your friends loved/ your friends hated" space, the covers are so small that I can't tell what all the movies are, and there is no popup info when I hover the mouse pointer over them. I can recognize I Robot and Sister Act (both in the hated section) but I can't tell what the loved ones are. They really don't do me any good that way. Can we have them popup the bigger cover and info like in other areas when we mouse over the cover?

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  23. Would like to see movie options for watch now in year order. I spend my alloted viewing time searching stars or titles of really old stuff, and since I'm really old it takes forever to find something I haven't already seen. I believe with all the categories already created this date order one would be a simple do.

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