Sunday, September 9, 2007

The Blog Link

IN NEXT WEEKEND'S NEW FEATURES: One of the side-effects of us making the Community area easier for newbies is that we are removing almost all of the sub-navigation items under the Community tab. (Newbies often click on all of them-- RSS Feeds, Movie Privacy, Community Blog... and get totally confused about what is up here). Consequently, the links are about to get placed more appropriately: Friends-related items (like privacy or invite) can be found from the Friends & Faves page; The RSS and Blog links are among the links at the bottom of every page on the site. No doubt this will decrease the ability of Netflix folks to discover this blog, but it's the right thing to do.




This is one of those compromises you make that bum out some of us, but help out many. Hopefully you can still find your way here...

UPDATE 9/10:
(From the comments) I hear your concerns about moving the link, i really do. And believe me, no one wants to leave it in the subnav more than me. But (a) it's not like its gone or invisible, it's just not in the subnav. Truth is, being at the bottom links puts it on every page of the site, and not just here in community, which could be interpreted as a good thing (although i understand many people don't notice those). (b) it's not that we want to make it harder to find, its just that people who visit the community tab for the first time are getting confused about what this part of the site is about -- and the blog (as well as RSS, etc.) is confusing. Some don't know what a blog is, or they think that community MEANS contributing to a blog... anyway, our testing has shown me that where it is now is sending a confusing message, and by moving the subnavs, i'm hoping to get more people interested in community (the goal is more community interaction, not a larger audience for the blog). We'll find the right spot for the blog link in time, and it might even go back where it was. But we have learning to do first. Moving it (like so much of what you guys have tolerated over the past few months) is just a step. I'm glad to hear that many of y'all think it's a bad move. Duly noted.

26 comments:

  1. While you are moving things around, will you be making it easier for people to find the Privacy Setting? It is by far the most difficult to find setting. As far as I can tell there is no way to get to it from the Your Account page which is where most people would look for settings.

    You tout the ability to opt-out of the community, and then hide the option on the most obscure page on the site...

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  2. Well, there's a big 'set privacy' button at the bottom of the Community page, but I spose only people who check their 4 sim%'s would see that. There was talk of consolidating all the option settings onto one page, as well as having them where they'd logically be (as per the proposed re-shuffle) - is that still in the works? Also, to Baff's point, maybe 'privacy' and 'set privacy' on the 'help' page should take you there, as well as 'set your profile' on the accounts page?

    It seems odd to gear a site to 'newbies' - it often takes awhile to figure out exactly how to navigate a site, but once someone has, surely that's the person, the day-in-day-out frequent user, who needs to be accommodated?

    And finally (i promise), if it's confusing to some people that clicking 'community blog' takes them to (ta-da!) the community blog , then sticking it in tiny letters at the bottom of the page would hardly seem to be the best way to relieve their addled state of semi-consciousness.

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  3. I apologize for this being totally off topic, but wasn't there a post from Michael where we could put suggestions so they'd all be in one place? I can't seem to find it anymore. Or maybe I just dreamed it in the first place. :)

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  4. @Ang - Maybe you mean 'Ask Mike', a few posts back?

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  5. I wish you guys would increase visibility of the Friends page. Many of my friends forget that it exists. They never click on the Community Tab. Please promote it more on the front page and send out an e-mail to all users. The point of having the Friends feature is to connect with Friends and talk about what we're watching. But how can they access this if it's buried in the Community section, where few people even visit? Thanks for listening. You guys are doing a good job, but I've been frustrated about this Community/Friends feature for weeks now.

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  6. What's the purpose of having a "community blog" and then hiding it from the very community it claims to be part of? I don't know about other users, but I only look at the bottom-links when something's wrong and I need to contact Netflix. That's a bad move, literally.

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  7. Alrighty....I guess I prefer the tabs at the top of the page-where most of the tabs for the rest of the site are located. Seems pretty straightforward and easy to navigate to me. This new change you are talking about will perhaps confuse more people than help them-especially when talking about the Profile & Blog button moves.

    Perhaps instead of the Movie Privacy tab-it could be a Privacy Tab (and page) that could contain all the privacy settings in one place, including profile.

    I don't know, perhaps I am not understanding you correctly or something, but it just doesn't sound like a step in the direction you wanted to go originally.

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  8. to anon from September 9, 2007 8:29 AM

    Oh, you're right! The "Ask Mike" post was what I was thinking of. Not what I was hoping for, but a really helpful thread, none the less.

    Thanks!

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  9. I thought that one of the "problems" with this blog was that only hard-core power users knew about it. I thought the goal was to get more average Netflix users to discover this blog, participate and share their thoughts as well.

    Moving the Community Blog link to the bottom of the page will only guarantee that the majority of Netflix users will never find this blog, and therefore never have the opportunity to share their thoughts on Netflix. This will also make it easier and easier to "write off" the opinions expressed in this blog as only accounting for a small fraction of a percent of the Netflix community at large.

    I think it's a bad idea.

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  10. michael, from netflixSeptember 9, 2007 at 6:31 PM

    I hear y'all, i really do. And believe me, no one wants to leave the blog link in the subnav more than me. But (a) it's not like its gone or invisible, it's just not in the subnav. Truth is, being at the bottom links puts it on every page of the site, and not just here in community, which could be interpreted as a good thing. (b) it's not that we want to make it harder to find, its just that people who visit the community tab for the first time are getting confused about what this part of the site is about -- and the blog (as well as RSS, etc.) is confusing. Some don't know what a blog is, or they think that community MEANS contributing to a blog... anyway, our testing has shown me that where it is now is sending a confusing message, and by moving the subnavs, i'm hoping to get more people interested in community. We'll find the right spot for the blog link in time, and it might even go back where it was. But we have learning to do first. Moving it (like so much of what you guys have tolerated over the past few months) is just a step. I'm glad to hear y'all think it's a bad move. Duly noted.

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  11. Sirrah, I think that maybe you should take Sundays off from now on, because, with sincerest respect, you just don't seem to do your best thinking in downtime mode! The blog desperately needs new, fresh voices, and this will -- just as the always- on-point Ms Monkey said -- just lock-in the current relatively small, constantly recycling, stunningly brilliant, but somewhat repetitive gene pool.

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  12. Sorry, redundant. Written before reading your response to the howls.

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  13. meh, I'll just put this blog in with my many blog/forum links so I can find it for sure. I learn of the changes that go on from here, so I try to pop in from time to time.

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  14. Speaking of the Community area, one thing I would like to see addressed is the Watched list on the Friends page. I wish there was a way to better control which movies show up on that list. I'm often afraid of rating movies I didn't like and hadn't seen for a long time because I know it will show up on that list and make people think I would see that movie these days. What I do now is re-rate other movies I'd prefer to be bumped up on that list (switch from 5 to 4 stars and then back), but that doesn't always work so great.


    It would be nice if there was some kind of way for me to be able to rate a movie to bump up my ratings count without having it featured so prominently for everyone else looking at my movies list. I wouldn't necessarily want to hide that rating from someone looking at all my ratings, though.

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  15. It's easy to get impatient with people who are easily confused. But don't most of us have parents or grandparents who are at the age where everything in life is a bit more difficult? Content and function aren't being eliminated. Life will go on as normal for everyone who already uses the functions mentioned. The website will be easier to use for those who need it kept simple. I don't see the loss or harm.

    If the blog should be promoted, there are other ways of doing it than having a button on a page that people learn to ignore as irrelevant. HTML e-mails come to mind.

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  16. I know that you're trying to simplify and pare down to a 'one site fits all' as satisfactorily as possible (ie without the dozens of enablings and disablings that we're all clamoring for), but once your grand opus is finally rolled out and functioning as you'd like it to, how about adding a tab simply called 'site features' (or similar). In effect a user's manual that briefly explains each feature, page and link so newbies and power-users alike can take full advantage of the site, perhaps avoiding some of the confusion and frustration that you speak of?

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  17. Basic reality: I am much more likely to invite friends that I already know are Netflix members. Others on this blog have already made this point. Otherwise, my conversion rate is going to be low and I'm just wasting time sending out invites that my friends might find annoying.

    I don't really care about the silly semantics of whether you call it a social network or an online community, it's really a question of improving the USER EXPERIENCE, and giving me the Facebook-like tools to find out which of my contacts are already Netflix Members would definitely improve YOURS TRULY's member experience.

    Keep up the good work, and I like the friends and faves concept too.

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  18. I just want to point out that if this community blog was placed in an obscure link at the bottom of the page i never would have come here. The only reason i clicked on it was because it was at the top and i was curious.

    As for how visable the links at the bottom of the page are i didn't even realize that there were links at the bottom of the page, much less ever clicked on one.

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  19. If you put a "learning" page, before people continue to the blog it will make the community more aware and will improve the blog response with people who believe since its there they have to participate. It will also help people understand what a blog is for people who do not know. The problem is that when you click on the blog link, you go straight to the blog without any information of what a blog is.

    You may also may want to have a "terms and conditions" information, letting people know that even though this is not part of netflix website, it follows the same rules or something to that effect.

    I do understand that they may be more than what is really needed, but it may work too.

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  20. I rather like Amit's idea of having a page on the Netflix site that "introduces" the community blog. Clicking on the blog tab would take you to this page -- it would be less jarring and confusing because the user remains on the Netflix site, and the confusion would go away with a few simple bullet points of explanation. Then there would be a link to the actual blog from there.

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  21. The blog tab at the bottom of the nav page hangs when I try it...is anybody else having this trouble?...or am I juz lucky?????

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  22. @Obie - No, my link seems to work fine. Wish I had better news for you.

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  23. Re the 'learning page', there's already a perfectly good description of the blog's purpose in the right hand column. Maybe that could just become a header, so that it's the first thing people see? Clicking through another page every time would be very annoying.

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  24. I'm kind of surprised by the comments here. Sure, the blog will be harder to find. But I like having it linked from a more central location that appears on all sections of the website. There's a lot discussed here beyond "Community" issues. I say get the blog out of its pigeonhole! (For what it's worth, I found this blog via HackingNetflix, not from the Community tab).

    Also, I think there's wisdom in keeping the Netflix website streamlined and to me it makes sense to keep the subnav focused on customer tools. Surely the folks who visit the blog represent a skewed slice of Netflix's customers (and competitors) -- "power users" of one sort or another. Who else would want to delve into the minutiae of %Sim? Surely most customers just want to *use* features not discuss them? To me, it makes sense to group the blog link with other pages ABOUT the company. This is just a more participatory way to learn about Netflix :)

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  25. Companies often post a re-direct notice when they change something around on their sites. How about, for now at least, having a "Community Blog" tab that opens a pop-up telling people where it's moved to. After a while (say, a month) anyone who wanted to find it will have done so, and others who are just curious won't suddenly find themselves in some strange unfamiliar place and call customer service in a panic/rage (which I assume, from what Michael said, was what was happening?).

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