Monday, November 5, 2007

This Weekend's Release and Other Things

Hey everyone. A few little fixes release this coming monday, mostly internal (non-visible stuff) like improving the ranking algorithm (btw: we probably should change the label- as it's not technically "reviewer rank" and more precisely "influencer rank" since some highly ranked folks are creating great Top 10 Lists, but not reviews...), and stuff like that. Noteworthy is this:

There are presently two ways to invite other Netflix members to be your Friend. One involves posting an HTML link that anyone can click on which will facilitate the connection. This is nice if you want to post it on your blog or MySpace page -- but the problem is that sometimes you want to be anonymous with people you still want to "Friend" -- so we're going to try something. If you invite people the "normal" way, they will be Friends the way they are today -- with their real name. But if you invite people using this HTML link, they will remain anonymous, and the connection will only feature their nickname. This way, you can exchange notes and see Queues with folks, maybe people who were mutual Faves, but they will remain nameless. I'd be interested to hear about your experiences using this link -- posted maybe to your profile statement, or your Facebook/MySpace/blogs, etc. Try it on Monday...

Has anyone used RSS to feed any Top 10 Lists or Reviews out to external sites? I'd also like to hear about that.

Been very busy with the next wave of community features, most of which won't be visible for awhile. I have appreciated your tips on improving the features we have (and they are duly noted), but hopefully the features presently available will hold your interests for the time being.

56 comments:

  1. I took the leap and added the link to my Blogger profile page.

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  2. When I download watch now software from netflix, I can nolonger play a movie in my DVD drive. The only fix is to "restore my computer to an earlier date. Running windows XP..Ed

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  3. I tried to make a list, however I ran into trouble when multiple movies share the same name. For example, there are many different versions of Pride and Prejudice. The list will only add the newest one. Is there a way to get around this?

    - Audrey

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  4. @audrey - Got to the page for the movie you want to add and over on the left will be a link called "+ Add To Top 10 List".

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  5. Hi, this isn't necessarily relevant, but I think there should be a method that exports movies that you've rated (of your choice) to your Favorite Movies box on Facebook. And if not the box (because it's not accessible?), something similar.

    For example, a user might want movies that they've rated as 4 stars or higher, and in either SciFi or Action to be listed on their profile.

    I got tired of updating my Facebook movies box when it's very obvious on Netflix, so currently there's just a link to my netflix community page... but that obviously doesn't do much in the way of Facebook data.

    --Kyle

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  6. @Kyle - You should post that in last week's thread titled "Facebook": http://blog.netflix.com/2007/10/facebook.html

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  7. I really have no idea what I'm doing, but - HELP seems useless. Maybe someone can help explain. Why are some movies in the SAVED part of the queue, when they are readily available on DVD - and I mean old movies. And one, that sits in SAVED and not only is available in DVD but has Netflix users comments!

    dumarest

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  8. @dumarest - DVDs get damaged and lost in the mail. The need to order more copies. You can try to Request a Title and that might speed them up a bit.

    They also sometimes get rid of older versions when they get a newer version. You can try removing the movie from your queue, do a search to make sure you find the new version and re-add it.

    Just because a movie has comments doesn't mean much. Movies that haven't even come out in theaters yet already have comments.

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  9. I feed my reviews to both my blog and to my facebook account. I dig it a lot but I have no idea if anyone is reading these reviews outside of Netflix.

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  10. What I would really like to see (if its already possible how do you do it)

    Is the ability to maintain two or more separate quenes under the same user-name.

    This would preserve all your info (ratings, reviews, etc) and be easier to manage.

    I enjoy movies, but am also a budding Anime fan. I like the ability to separate the two lists and get 1 from each based on returns.

    But don't like having to sign in/ out during the same session to add titles I've come across to the other list.

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  11. Agreed 2mcabre, I've been begging for that for a long while now...

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  12. Is it just me or has the "privacy" toggle/option (for individual movies, not profiles) disappeared? I have clicked on every tab and option within the site. Has anyone else had this problem? I'm using Firefox 2.0.0.9 on a Windows machine.

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  13. @eleni - Click the Community tab up top, then click the Friends & Faves tab on the right, then click Movie Privacy up top (right under Community). It is extremely well hidden.

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  14. Hey Guys,

    Love Netflix, you make my busy week fly by and because of my location have a 2 day turn around. What I call Excellent.

    I have question/sugggestion. When I click on a friend or someone similar to me, I can see reason why we are similar. Movies, directors and writers we watch.. the common factors. But what I would love is a data profile of my interest based on the movies I have watched/rented in the past. The same info that allows you to generate suggestions, I would love to have about myself. So to the individual subcriber, provide them with a list of directors watched # of movies etc. If I can already see that break down. Let me know where.
    Thanks guys,

    - Oyeyinka

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  15. They are going to add a button to your profile editing page so that you can easily view your own profile as other people see it, but it hasn't made it into any of the weekly updates yet. Soon.

    In the meantime: Got to your Friends & Faves pages. Click on one of your Faves. Then click over on the right to see their Friends & Faves. Then click on your icon. Now you will see your profile with your directors and actors.

    If you are looking for a page with more detail about yourself than that, it doesn't exist, at least not yet.

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  16. With in the friends and Favs list I would like to be able to edit the name of my friends to show on my screen the way I want it to; at least, if they have not set there own nick name. The initials and then 12345 doesn't mean anything to me and I want to be able to change it to the nickname I know the person by. It seems like a simple feature and I am very surprised Netflix wouldn't keep it.

    Thanks very much!

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  17. I love netflix...it makes me so hot, makes me wanna drop. its so rediculous, i can barely stop using it. Movies are at my doorstep everyday. I love it..U ROCK!!

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  18. Presently I added my netflix RSS feeds to my myspace page which you can see here:

    Mr. Tangent's myspace

    Scroll down a little and you'll see the Netflix RSS widget I customized for my feeds in the movie section on the left. Be sure to hit the menu button as it shows more feeds. The default feed is one that I set up with my "favorites" (heh, over 100 of them). I don't like how it scrolls but other than that it works perfectly.

    Here's the custom widget which you can in turn customize yourself using your own feeds, colors and so on. My feeds don't work on this page, but if you put in your own and put it on your page it'll work.

    If anyone needs help with making their own widget, email me.

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  19. Argh, blogger messed up my mailto link in my last message. If you want to use that widget and need help, email me: tangent@mrtangent.com

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  20. With in the friends and Favs list I would like to be able to edit the name of my friends to show on my screen the way I want it to; at least, if they have not set there own nick name. The initials and then 12345 doesn't mean anything to me and I want to be able to change it to the nickname I know the person by. It seems like a simple feature and I am very surprised Netflix wouldn't keep it.

    Yet the ability still remains. When I read they were getting rid of this feature, I bookmarked the page. I just went to that page and changed a friend's name and it worked. I assumed they had removed the link because the feature no longer worked. Strange.

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  21. Yes, Michael said that the 'architecture' is still there - just the link has been removed, since so few people ever used it. But judging by the number of laments I've read about it's loss on various threads, and given that some people, with the addition of faves and fans, now have many dozens of names to keep track of, it sounds like many people would use it now who wouldn't have done so before. And what's the downside of providing a link, given that the mechanics are still in place?

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  22. ang or sam. What is the link? I could not get there without it. I even called tech support and they told me it was a feature that no longer existed. I use it for ALL my friends. As simple as it is to leave the link there I personally would think it makes sensep; but for now if you can give me the address to the page I would be very appreciative! Thanks all! Matt

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  23. Sorry, Matt, but I wasn't as smart as Ang, and didn't think to save the link before it was decommissioned.

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  24. Thanks for the thought Sam. I will see if ang can help me out with this. Cheers friend!
    Matt

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  25. Sorry, guys. I didn't think anyone else used this feature so I forgot to check back to see if there were any responses.

    I don't really understand how web addresses work so I'm afraid to just give out the whole link that I use (is any of my account info in the address???), but I think if you just put "ListFriends?myprofile" between netflix.com/ and the first equal (=) symbol it'll work.

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  26. ang, its OK. the account info is not in the address. I have sent a copy of the address to a page to friends and if they are logged it it goes to their page where as mine goes to my page. Some information must be saved on our individual computers. The copy off the address bar wont go to you own account. Here is an example: I'll link you to my friends page see what happens: http://www.netflix.com/FriendPage?prid=128911990&myprofile=y&lnkctr=fsb2fp

    Thanks. I'll try and piece it together with what you gave me.

    Thanks again!
    Matt

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  27. Michael, you're really going to sit by (albeit not idly) while this agony drags on??? For pity's sake give the man the link!!!

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  28. michael, from netflixNovember 14, 2007 at 8:11 PM

    You guys crack me up. My first response as i've been following this was - "give em the link" - because, i do take pity on those who miss the feature, and yes, the page is still there, it's just hard to access; but my second thought was this: "hey, i'm the one who pulled the link." And the reason it's not there is that it's going to be decommissioned (as y'all put it), so why get folks addicted to it? You're going to need to get weaned from this feature sooner or later, and while I have no problem with you guys helping each other out, trying to recover this for the short-term, the fact is, i'd rather people try to find a better way -- maybe convince friends to use the nickname feature more and then connect as friends using the html link so the nickname shows... or... i dunno. It's just a bit of baggage in the development here to have your real name, your nickname, and then a name you give to people that they didn't give to themselves, particularly when (a) almost no one uses it, and (b) i am hard pressed to find too many examples of other sites that do it. I'm sure they're out there, but reason A is sufficient for me.

    Simplify for you, simplify for us, and apologize to the folks who miss the feature. I'm sorry. It IS the right thing to do to kill it. So, no, i'm not going to keep you hooked on it even as I am getting around to pulling out the code behind it. Sorry guys. My heart goes out to you.

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  29. EXCELLENT!!! I got it! Thanks ang for the help. For the rest of everyone looking for it:

    http://www.netflix.com/ListFriends?myprofile=128911990&myprofile=y&lnkctr=fsb2fp

    Cheers All!
    Matt

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  30. zMichael,

    For me I had too Jeffs with how I would *not* want to mix up comments. I have a very different relationship with the two.

    You suggested "maybe convince friends to use the nickname feature more and then connect as friends using the html link so the nickname shows" Well the problem is I could NOT "remove my friend" either. So I had no way to try and connect as friends again in a different manner than we did the first time. I still see no point Netflix using the jj123456 name for a friend. Their set nickname or the real name either would have suited me. Anyway, I hope you keep this in mind as you fizzle out something that more and more people are going to have use for. Now that the friends features are growing, a name that indicates how you know this person will be very helpful as people start accumulating larger lists of friends. That is my experience.
    Thanks for all the great features on the site.

    Cheers friend!
    Matt

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  31. Phatz:

    Your point about two Jeffs is a good one. Since most of the people using Friends only have a few, the opportunity for this to be a broad problem are low; but as this feature grows, i can see a potential problem. Anyway, thanks for pointing out that case.

    You said a few things that i don't understand:

    "I still see no point Netflix using the jj123456 name for a friend. Their set nickname or the real name either would have suited me."

    Netflix doesn't use jj12345 for a friend -- that is a default nickname. Everyone gets a default nickname and they look like that. Once your friend edits it, that will go away. You say "their set nickname... would have suited" - which is also what i am saying. Get friends to set their nickname, and i think this will work pretty well.

    Also, you said you could not remove a friend. I don't understand why not? The button that usually says "Save to Faves" says "Remove Friend" if you're connected. Remove them if you want, then re-invite them with the html link. Or whatever. But removing them shouldn't be an issue.

    Anyway, it looks like you guys have produced the link to the old Profile page. Enjoy it while you can.

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  32. There's also the plaintiff cry of the person for whom 'XY*****' was otherwise known as 'Mom'. Sometimes there just isn't one single moniker that works equally well for all colleagues, friends and family. For instance, do all your own family members really see you as 'Droidmaker' on their accounts? (rhetorical) But your mind is clearly made up, so I (at least) will move on.

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  33. I understand the default nickname. I did not realize that when my friend changed his nickname that it would automatically change on my view as well. I am the most active Netflix reviewer of my friends and since I am the only friend and he is not big into doing the community thing, he didn't see the point in posting an Avatar and such.

    Also, I did know how add and delete Faves; but in the past I always used the "ListFriends?myprofile=" to remove a friend. I see what you are saying *now*. I did not realize the same button that says "Remove Fave" says "Remove Friend" if that applies. That was my error. Thanks for pointing it out.

    If you *are* going to actually eliminate this option to set your own nickname (i.e. Mom or My Love or dumbass) then would it be possible to allow us to choose either a users real name or nick name? If I could make the choice to switch to real name with out needing to remove the friend and re-add it would be helpful. I did remove one friend in the past and ALL the notebook entries I had with him are gone. After that I now click on the send comment to “you” as well but back then you did not have that choice, and since most of my reviews are done with in the comments, I lost *A LOT* of stuff; So I am afraid of the removing friend idea just to change it real name from nickname, in the case of my friend who doesn't really want to chose a nick name. Sorry for the run-on sentence.

    Thanks for being on here and actually listing to our ideas. I realize not everyone uses all the features but those of us who do, appreciate all your effort and I must say I am a huge fan of the Netflix community. It adds a lot to the site.

    Cheers friend!
    Matt

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  34. ...connect as friends using the html link so the nickname shows...

    Michael... does this mean that the special secret squirrel hotlink has proven safe to use? I'm just itching to go public and start inviting internet buddies to be my netflix friend. :sigh: I sound like such a dork.

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  35. michael, from netflixNovember 15, 2007 at 7:32 PM

    Yes - it has passed our tests and seems to work well. I think i'd always encourage you to be cautious of any social features (anywhere) if you are exceptionally sensitive to your privacy, but this is working now. Still I'll leave you with the caveat: please let me know ASAP if you find any holes we didn't.

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  36. Hilarious! I actually laughed out loud as I read Michael's lengthy explanation why he would not make the link available, only to have someone post it in the very next message.

    Hey everyone! I'm been a dedicated user of Netflix for some months now and am only just starting to delve into the community blog. It is nice to see some familiar names and faces... Baff... microwaved.

    Although I am not the most technically savvy person in the world, I hope to contribute to the boards in some small way.

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  37. Freakin Meow, I am new to these boards as well. I type rather slow and was actually in the process of typing my reply while Michaels post was put there. I did not actually mean too over step someone and would probably not have posted it had I actually read his reply first. I was however working on it and made it work before he posted all that. Looking back over it now it does read rather funny. =)

    Cheers friend!
    Matt

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  38. @Phatz. I'm sure Michael understood that, and was as amused as F.M. If he really didn't want anyone to access the feature he'd have got rid of it when he pulled the link. And who knows? Maybe this was all a test to see how many of us bookmarked and used it after he warned us that it was going to be phased out, so your persistence would have made a good case for the defence! Only time will tell....

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  39. @Michael - Regarding the news anonymous friends: When an anonymous friend sends you a movie note their real first name is shown in the email title.

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  40. In response to the question about the use of the RSS feeds I would like to mention my past experience with it. When I had attempted to paste the RSS links into the My Yahoo! interface I would get a display error. Has this been fixed?

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  41. michael, from netflixNovember 26, 2007 at 11:16 PM

    @Baff - Excellent catch; thank you. You have confirmed my fears, of course, that there were still a few places we had missed the anonymity filters... i hope your find is the last. we're fixing it now... anyway, good work.

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  42. @ Baff or Michael, regarding this new Anonymous Freinds- I like the idea of anonymous movie notes, but before i jump in, can i set it up so that i receive nothing in the way of actual e-mails? If so, then I'm there.

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  43. @derth - Click "Your Account" at the top of any Netflix page. Then click "Email Subscriptions" towards the bottom. Then uncheck "Netflix Friends - Movie Notes".

    After you do that the only email you will get is an email from Netflix when someone accepts your Friends invitation. That email contains their username, it does not contain their real name or email address.

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  44. Will someone explain "reviewer rank" to me?

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  45. @Anonymous

    "Will someone explain "reviewer rank" to me?"

    maybe this will help: http://blog.netflix.com/2007/08/do-you-rank.html

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  46. I have been with Netflix's for over a year now. I am very upset!!!! When I choose a Movie, it may not be released for a week.
    But I have saved it. I have a movie that has saved for over 4 months. I see long wait... then it is gone, and it comes back as long wait. Don't you think 4 months is a very long wait? I am very tired of this. Either you do not have enough Product for your viewer, or no one cares. If this keeps up I will be closing my account!!!
    Do I have to wait a year to see certain movies? They are on TV by the time this LONG WAIT is over with.
    Very Upset!!!
    Susan

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  47. PLEASE!!!!! Go back to the original way of showing new releases! The new way looks like "The Red Box". No release dates? No actual releases from the new week... it sucks!!!

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  48. Sorry, I've not read through all fo the comments to ensure that this is not a duplicate. I am new to the community page. It would be nice if I could see my Profile page the way, my friend's profile page appears to me. I like how my friend's profile shows me the actors that predominate the movies viewed. I'd like to know this about myself.

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  49. I keep getting a message that Media Player needs an update (I am presuming a codec since MP reports it is completely up to date). I click to install and it hangs my browser instantly.

    Is there a codec that is available for download that I can save to my system and install?

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  50. When I download watch now software from netflix, I can nolonger play a movie in my DVD drive. The only fix is to "restore my computer to an earlier date. Running windows XP..Ed

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  51. yaz tahtaya bir daha sarı cizmeli memmet agaaaaaaaaa

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