Monday, December 10, 2007

Members' Top 10 Lists

In the next release we're adding a page to the Community - a more general Top 10 List page - that might be interesting to you all. In this first iteration, it's not all that pretty i suppose, but it has four zones, each containing a different set of movie lists:

1) Most Popular - looking only at the quantity of movies added to member's queues (and shipped), we come up with this set of lists. Clearly, being in this set will further make the lists popular - so we only look at popularity over the past week, and also (since the list is really longer than the 20 shown) we randomize which ones we present and the order.

2) Most Recent - we get thousands of new lists each week, and we will pull randomly from that set each time this block is refreshed. Gives new lists a chance to shine.

3) Lists Selected for you based on the movies in your Queue and that you've rated - This is a slightly different version of the personalization we do in the block you see on the Community Home page; but the effect is similar: we look at highly rated movies and movies you've just moved high in your queue, and find member's lists that include those titles.

4) Featured Members - here we look at members who have created at least a few lists (but not necessarily a lot), find those generating a good quantity of additions to queues, and then sort by similarity % to you -- and then present a sampling of the top ones. It's really just another way to find interesting similar members.

NOTE: in this first release, the lists update every time this page refreshes. WE know this is a problem. It will be fixed in the subsequent release. With the exception of the Featured Members section, the lists will persist through the session you're in, but will refresh on your next login. Based on your comments once this releases, we may adjust other elements as well. So try it out and let me know what works and what doesn't.


  1. Michael this is phenomenal. I love the idea and look forward to checking it out. The ability to peruse lists is great and the ability to search for lists will be even better.

    I hate to be the guy who says "you gave me an inch but can I have a mile" But I'll ask anyway; is there a chance we see some upgrades in the list editing (user-friendliness) in the near future)

  2. Sounds like this could be good considering that lists shown on my community page always seem to be the same. I am tired of looking at them! It will be nice to have this page full of more interesting stuff to look at.

    On a somewhat related note, I really hope that Netflix will remove the queue limit, or at least expand it past 500 to at least 1000. Like many others, I am forced to create queue overflow lists so I can keep track of stuff I want to see (and also so I can organize the films by genre/type to find stuff easily). I have a feeling that my recommendations and such are skewed now because whole categories are left out of my queue now in favor of a list. For example, because space in the queue was tight, I've removed all documentaries into a queue overflow list... so now all those sorts of movies that would previously have been used to gauge my tastes are not taken into consideration (this probably also effects my similarity ranking with others I would assume).

    In short, we need more space in our queues and the result of giving us that will also make it so that lists will be used more as they are intended to be.

  3. Agree with Phatz- we really need a better way to maintain and organize the lists. Drag and drop would be ideal so that they could easily be reordered.

  4. Sweet! I've been waiting for this one patiently. I can't wait until we can SEARCH lists.

  5. This comment has been removed by the author.

  6. I said "Please, Sir, we want some more!"

    And Zowzer, did you guys come through! This look great. Thanks.

  7. Are there any plans to implement a Watch Now feature for Mac OS X? All of my Netflix friends are Mac owners as well as myself. And it is a growing market.

  8. Yes, they are working to bring Watch Now to Mac.

  9. Re "In the next release ..."

    Can hardly wait! ETA?

  10. michael, from netflixDecember 11, 2007 at 8:15 AM

    "In the next release" = this weekend, give or take a day on either side.

  11. What I am dieing to see in netflix is list sorting.
    For example, I want to sort by year, currently sorted alphabetically, the movies in:
    - director movie list
    - actor movie list
    Eventually also by stars (estimated for me), but I'm not really dieing for that.

    Also, absolutly required is to sort by year movies in the "Watch Now" list. I really am not in the mood often for a '70s movie... and when I'm not, I simply want not to be required to read the year for _every_ movie in the list (thus, a search by year function would be nice). Sort by stars would also be nice.

    Another nice function would be to make better distinction between various types of movies/dvds. For example, when I am looking for comedies, I am _not_ looking for stand-up comedy. I am not a fan of anime, so I want it gone from my list whenever I want to see an animation movie.

    Else, Netflix is really great!

  12. This isn't about the new lists, it's a suggestion.

    I don't know how many Netflix users have friends on Netflix that they hang out with in real life, but I have a friend and we both have accounts and watch a lot of movies together. We see about %50 of the movies on each others queue, and it would be really cool if there were a feature for tagging films on the others queue.

    For example if I was browsing movies and see a movie my friend has in her queue it would be nice to tag it with something that alerts her that I would like to watch it together. A note like that would be removed once the disk had been returned to Netflix. It would also be nice to see which films you had tagged to watch together when you were looking at there queue.

    Just thought I would toss the idea out there. It would be a great addition to an already wonderful service.

  13. @slothpaladin - A way to coordinate movies for group movie nights has been requested and Michael was very open to the idea. So, I'm pretty sure it is on their list of things to add, but no idea when it may happen.

    @marian - Michael has said they are working on the ability to sort movie reviews on various things. Once they have that code done, hopefully it will allow them to easily add sorting to other areas in Netflix. No idea if/when this will happen though.

  14. Thanks, it's nice to hear other people have requested it, I only read this blog on a off so it can be easy to miss comments.

  15. Looking forward to the new features… :)

    And off-topic:

    Second Marian! I too would love a solution to the problem of distinguishing animation from anime, and comedy movies from stand-up, concert films & music video collections from Hollywood Musicals… etc… :)

    Becky Glass

  16. What's interesting is that the member profiles further sub-divide the sub-genres - almost, if not quite, down to "Hungarian stand-up comedy" - so the info is clearly all there if only we could search the site with that degree of precision. But that may already be in the works, eh Meghan? Still loving the vastly improved search features.

  17. It would be great if we could get some feedback on the popularity/helpfulness of our own lists. With that kind of information, list-makers could focus energy on developing and updating their most popular lists and at the same time avoid wasting time on lists that have proven to be not helpful.

  18. I would like to be able to search for similar/interesting members using a search function tied directly to our member profiles listing of "most watched actors/directors". I would acheive great excitement in finding other members who mostly watched Louise Brooks and Arch Hall Jr.
    I await with greatest anticipation.

  19. WOW! This looks really cool! I agree with anonymous... I'm tired of seeing the same lists. (I mean how many samurai lists ARE there anyways??) Can't wait to see it!!

  20. While on the subject of lists I have a few comments.

    1) I finally figured out that I can add more than 115 movies if every additional movie is added from the Movie at a glance page and not directly on the list page.

    see example:

    2) I figured out that once the list is over 115 movie it will just give an error WHENEVER you try to re-number it. There is absolutely no chance to rearrange the order.

    3) Deleting the movie and re-adding it from the at a glance page *DOES NOT* work to put it at the end. It seems to arbitrarily place the movie somewhere around 100-115 and there form even try to manipulated it organizing a large list *IS* impossible.

    Conclusion: I was hoping to report that I figured out a way around it. I figured out more ways that don't work. It would be nice, now that you are going to be featuring lists better. To have some resources that help us make those lists look better.


  21. @phatz - I don't think the lists break at 115 for everyone, as I've had the same problem, but only on certain machines. I don't know what the exact threshold is that breaks it for me, but I've got one list that's about 300 movies long that I can edit on my home computer but not my work computer.

    The weird thing is that I've taken a lot of variables out of the equation and still can't figure out what makes one work and the other break. Both machines are running WinXP SP2, and I've tried both Firefox and IE6. I've even tried them side-by-side at home, using the same wireless network, and my personal machine always works while my work machine always breaks. My only thought is that there's some other piece of software that's causing the difference (McAfee, maybe?), or that the limitation is hardware-related. Is anyone else having this problem?

  22. The list page is AWESOME! It's good to see some of the Netflix faithful getting their dues... (Creeper and Horror Chick both have some fabulous lists) I think I may have seen one of mine up there too. Still, playing with it, but I have noticed that the most popular lists are pretty long "1000 best movies" stuff like that. These lists are usually several hundred titles in length and therefore will get more hits. Anyways, I love it!

  23. @eric

    Thanks for that head up. Maybe I will try more computers. It is odd that all 5 computers at the office and my computer at home have the exact same point at which not one more movie can be added. But you are right. There was one day that the number was 99 but then I determined it was just an off day. So I guess 115 is just my point at which the whole thing falls apart. The biggest challenge I am having is with a list I made Called RE-Makes. Most lists if they are an unorganized mess... so be it. The RE-Makes List I want to show the Original version side-by-side to the re-make. I managed to keep it together for the first 88 movies then it went to pot. see:

    It is a list that I have gotten much feedback on but I have no way to put Humpty Dumpty back together. I sure wish I had the 300 threshold you described. I really thought it must be 115 until I found a list the yesterday with over 600. Wowzerz! anyway. Thanks eric. BTW: what is you 300 movie list? Do you mind sharing (since I don't have a way to search for you yet).

    Cheers friend!

  24. @Freakin Meow

    Yeah Man!! Now that it is up and running, I love it! I really really need more queue space. I am finding tons more movies to watch.

    Creeper, Horror Chick, Freakin Meow, - fabulous lists.

    Now that I am hooked on perusing these list I highly anticipate a feature to just scroll down through the most popular, say top 500. Just by hitting next page, or scrolling down. For the list makers it'd be cool to see at what point you actually find your list. I haven't seen any of mine yet :( LOL.

    Any way, keep up the great work Michael and the Netflix team! =) Very happy with this one!!!

    Cheers all!

  25. how do i get my top ten lists where they can be shared?

  26. what happened to the new relese section? I liked to see what movies were released this week etc as opposed to whatever list your using now for new releases which does not fit the bill.