Wednesday, September 19, 2007

Moving the Blog Link

There has been grumbling among you, my friends, about the apparent demotion of the link to this blog. To this, I will only add a few things.

1) It hasn't really been demoted. It is no longer on the subnav bar of the Community page -- BUT it is now in the bottom links on EVERY PAGE OF THE SITE. Some would consider this a widening of our reach.
2) The goal of Netflix is not to drive traffic to this blog. It is largely here to help you find movies you'll love. The blog link was a small distraction. For the many people who have a tenuous grip on the site navigation, it was confusing. Savvy folks will still find it, and unsavvy folks will not be lost by it.
3) Moving this link is not equal to not wanting people to participate in the blog. I quite enjoy the participation. It is important to me (and Netflix) that you have a voice and I like giving you the opportunity to inform me as our team works to refine elements of the site. Moving the link doesn't change this.
4) After just a few days of data, it looks like the visits to the blog are relatively unchanged after the move -- the increase in blog onramps seems to balance the decrease in "obviousness" due to the link placement. It's a net change of zero.

Of course, you could argue that we should have the link EVERYWHERE. Yes, that would certainly increase traffic to the blog. To be candid, keeping up with all your comments is pretty challenging, and it does, in fact, compete with my attention on actually implementing features. I'll keep reading and you should keep writing, but don't interpret my slightly diminished responsiveness for anything other than my working on the website.

In the next few days I'll give y'all a headsup on the next batch of changes soon to release.


  1. Hmm. I don't see any problem with you moving the link. Personally, I think it makes more sense where you've put it.

    People who comment on this blog may not realize this, butt the vast majority of people who use Netflix will really have no interest in looking at this blog. I agree completely that putting it in the subnav would cause more confusion than help.

    By the way, I am loving the new features from the latest release, so far.

  2. Some would consider this a widening of our reach.

    And some would disagree with that. Most of the people who write comments on this blog, it seems.

    I just can't seem to reconcile Netflix's stated desire of creating a community of movie lovers with the subsequent "hiding" of the community blog. It's the one place where there's actually some interaction going on between users and Netflix and it's placed on the bottom of the page with Investor Relations, Media Center and About Us. How forthcoming and inviting is that to the average user?

    One thing is that the traffic here hasn't diminished (which is nice), but what is the percentage of new users? Old users, who know about the move, won't really have a problem finding it, but what about all the other users out there? Shouldn't they have the same chance of finding this blog that the rest of us did? Or is it going to be "Shhh, only if you know the secret handshake"? I'm sure that's not your intention, but it may just be the result.

    I'm sorry, Michael, but I just don't agree with this move.

  3. I'll second Chaim. I think most are primarily interested in being introduced, by the Netflix website, to films they'll enjoy that they probably wouldn't have otherwise seen.

    Inappropriate and off-topic sentence: That's why I'd like to see a reinstatement of the "these films were most enjoyed by those who enjoyed this film" page on each film or DVD once had.

  4. As stated previously I agree with Michael for pretty much the same reasons.

    People motivated enough to participate in this blog are the type of people who look around and figure out exactly what a site offers. They will find it anyway. I’d just let things stand as they are.

    If this were a social blog it might be a different matter. But it’s not, it’s a feedback blog focusing chiefly on one small aspect of Netflix development. (when it keeps focus that is) It’s basically for people who want to monitor what changes or fixes might be in the works, and people willing to offer user feedback as things are being worked on. I doubt most users would be interested.

    Maybe later there will be something truly worth putting on the sub-nav, something more generally attractive to casual users.

    I don’t think this is that something.


  5. I just can't seem to reconcile Netflix's stated desire of creating a community of movie lovers with the subsequent "hiding" of the community blog.

    Is it safe to say that if people spend more community time on this blog rather than in the Netflix site, it has defeated the purpose?

  6. We plead our case, you evaluate it, and then make your ruling. That's exactly how it's supposed to work. And even though I initially saw this as 'The Community's Microphone', and therefore precisely where it was supposed to be, that would really only be the case if this were an open forum where members could go to talk about whatever happened to be on their mind at the time - like, say, a scratched disc (ahhhhhhhhhhhh) - rather than the exquisite minutiae of sub-navs! So, on further reflection, the right decision.

  7. "exquisite minutiae of sub-navs"

    LoL :)


  8. @knaldskalle -'s placed on the bottom of the page with Investor Relations, Media Center and About Us

    It's also down there with the Contact Us link, which makes a lot of sense to me. Functionally, a link to a blog just doesn't fit in with menu items related to finding friends and reading reviews.

  9. I've got a link to this blog in every bathroom in the house! Never be out of touch, I say!

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  11. Is there really no-one over there that can gatekeep this blog without Michael's valuable time being wasted?

  12. @frank w: If your queue is full, what else do you have to spend your time on? :-)