Thursday, May 31, 2007

Your Suggestions

Let's create a list of features -- your "wish" list -- and we will keep re-editing this list as new ideas surface. Some of this info repeats the earlier listing, but this entry will be the edited and re-edited as the definitive input from your comments. (And soon -- but not yet -- we're all going to work together to put these in some kind of priority order.) Hang on:

COMMUNITY-
1) Confused by the random avatar.
2) Wish you could select from a set of prebuilt avatars instead of uploading.
3) Prevent gaming the system by multiple self-voting (i.e. Helpful) in Reviewer pages;
4) Worried these new features will slow down the site experience
5) Sort Movie Reviews by Similarity % (or by date, or by pretty much anything)
6) Be able to find people with high similarity (e.g. the top 5 people similar to me), and hang onto people you've found.
7) Need to edit/delete reviews beyond first page;
8) Email notifications of major changes at the website
9) Able to add movies to Custom Lists directly from the movie page
10) Why truncate nicknames? Why 13 characters?
11) Miss the personal description (bio) part of Profiles
12) Changing the order of movies in Custom Lists (*isn't working)
13) Custom Lists problems adding some titles (ie. need a "MORE" button if the title you want doesn't come up first)
14) Message boards on various movie topics so folks w/o Friends can still chat etc.

FRIENDS-
1) Average ratings for you and each of your Friends;
2) Loved by your Friends and Recommended for you suggestions;
3) An Overview page for each Friend, not just ratings or queue;
4) Edit/Delete Movie Notes with your Friends
5) Disable/control email notices about Movie Notes being created
6) Film level privacy control -- to hide certain movies from Friends or others
7) Persistent notes (a la the old MiniReviews) such that new Friends can see old notes.
8) Notebook organization a bit wonky, and should include more info from the Friends Activity (ie ratings, etc that are mentioned in F.A.) and ability to sort or view only received notes.
9) Options for faster loading of Friends detail pages (ie Queue, Ratings)
10) Hide real name (and location) from Friends. In other words, allow "anonymous" Friends.
11) Bring back the "Purple Dude" icon


GENERAL -
1) Confusing UI with the tabs, subtabs, side nav
2) Visual (spacing) confusion with the wider pages and the new sidebar
3) Better info/filmography (more complete) on actor/director pages

You may notice i'm not listing "non-community" oriented features, but trust that the appropriate people are seeing your ideas, even if they don't get addressed here directly.

We here at Netflix think about these things every day, all day. I can see that some of you do too. I'm somewhat reminded of the adage "many hands make light work" which does seem to apply to online communities. (I wish I could invite everyone over to help me with my yardwork.)You guys are great help. Thank you.

Wednesday, May 30, 2007

Your First Impressions...

Blogs are great. We should have done this ages ago. What a fantastic way to hear directly from y'all (and I don't often get a chance to use the word y'all). So, i'm going to repeat back some of your first impressions. This is by no means everything you've sent us, and many of you won't think these are all good, but we like to hear a range of ideas. We can look at the priorities of these later. For now, some of you are...

1) Confused by the random avatar.
2) Wish you could select from a set of prebuilt avatars instead of uploading.
3) Prevent gaming the system by multiple self-voting (i.e. Helpful) in Reviewer pages;
4) Worried these new features will slow down the site experience
5) Sort Movie Reviews by Similarity % (or by date, or by pretty much anything)
6) Be able to find people with high similarity (e.g. the top 5 people similar to me), and hang onto people you've found.
7) Some confusion about the edit/delete reviews functions, timing


Friends repairs (or, perhaps, the return of sorely missed features) including
1) Average ratings for you and each of your Friends;
2) Loved by your Friends and Recommended for you suggestions;
3) An Overview page for each Friend, not just ratings or queue;
4) Edit/Delete Movie Notes with your Friends

How's that? Are these the most important things? What are we missing?

Great feedback for one day. Thanks gang.

We're Up!

6:20pm. Sorry about that.
(Starting to see your new avatars appearing on reviews... that's so cool...)

We're Down!

We're up, we're down. You may have noticed we disabled the Friends features this late afternoon while other folks here were updating some code. (Even for non-Friends users, the Similarity % is gone for the moment.) Sorry for the inconvenience. Be back shortly.

We're Live!

Around 4pm yesterday we released the first bunch of features. It's all very exciting, I must say, but it didn't feel "real" until we showed up on Hacking Netflix this morning(snicker).

There does seem to be some confusion about the default avatars, so here's the deal: they're random. There are a dozen. They are not assigned based on anything about your movie taste, your gender, your age, nor your similar appearance to Nosferatu or any other cinematic character. The idea was only to have a nice array of images in there so the rest of the world wasn't looking at you as a blank face with a question mark. We wanted them interesting and movie-oriented, but not so great that you preferred it to your own creative iconography. The idea is to personalize your profile if you'd like, but not punish the rest of the Netflix community if you don't.

Friday, May 25, 2007

Similar 2U

Yikes. Getting a lot of feedback around here -- no one likes the expression "Similar 2U". People are telling me it sounds like an old dude trying to use hip youthful expressions, and just sounding idiotic. Okay, okay... we'll spell it out, dawg...

Wednesday, May 23, 2007

Features in the upcoming release:

While there is a moment to breathe, I wanted to point out a couple little elements on the site -- both of which are predominatly for those of you who REVIEW movies. Both are part of our first steps toward improving our "Reviews & Lists" page. For instance, here's how you can see your old reviews:



Notice that you can now delete old reviews, or edit them (on the spot). This is nice if you are like me and type fast and spell poorly.

Perhaps more fun is the improved CUSTOM LISTS feature. This is where you can compile a list of movies that may be useful to other (less movie-savvy) members: Your lists can be simple ("Greatest Date Movies") or complex ("Movies I loved in college and hate now"), but now they are much easier to create and manage.



We've had this feature on the site for years, but it was almost impossible to use. Now it's better. In short order, you'll be able to find the most current or most popular lists, as well as export lists to your own website or blog.

Time to run.

Thursday, May 17, 2007

New Features...

Sometime just after Memorial Day you will see an important step towards the community of movie fans we are building at Netflix. And this is at the core:

Every person at Netflix is going to have a profile -- automatically created. We will automatically generate an anonymous nickname, and give you a nifty-but-generic avatar image. If you want to ignore it, that's fine. But if you are a reviewer, or want to create a "Custom List" or want to participate in Friends... you might want to upload your own avatar or change the nickname to something pithy.

Anyway, the really cool thing about all this is that "Similar to You" percentage. Friends users know it because we developed it for checking movie tastes between you and any of your Friends. Now we've extended it to compare you and anyone at Netflix.

This way, when you see reviews on movies, you can see at a glance if the reviewer has similar movie taste to you. Click on the avatar and you can look at the reviewers other reviews, their favorite movies, and other custom lists they've created. We think this will make movie discovery more interesting. Anyway, this is the central component to a series of changes we are making this summer. You'll notice similar (gradual) changes in the Friends area as well. It's one of our first steps here, but we're deeply interested in how it looks and feels for you.

Saturday, May 12, 2007

Strange Things at Friends?

For a small group of our subscribers, you may have noticed some odd (and exciting?) new elements to the website tonight. Starting this afternoon, and ending tomorrow, we are doing some data server testing (i.e. website engineering technical-type stuff). Over the coming months we have some entirely new features to release, and this is the first step on that path -- we need to make sure it can handle the immense load all of you put on a website.
Anyway, check back here for some images from the new features, and some under-the-hood explanations of how they'll work and how to really maximize their use. Until then, if you happened to see the interesting new site features, consider yourself lucky: they were only visible to 4 out of 100 of you.

Thursday, May 10, 2007

Welcome to the Netflix Community Blog!

Hi. We're the team that is building the community features at Netflix. And it seemed a little odd (to pretty much everyone at Netflix) that we weren't in closer communication with Netflix users. So we're going to blog. This will be a forum for us to alert you to changes to the Netflix community features, to see what's coming up, to get your feedback on new (and forthcoming) features, and to get your suggestions.

So stay tuned...