Saturday, January 12, 2008

Message Board?

I'm really not sure about this, but i found this site and thought i'd try it:

<[LINK REMOVED 1/13/07 10PM PST]>

Let's try a little 2-week experiment and see if this works. Is this the kind of thing you were asking for? Is there a better site than "boardhost" to try it out?

UPDATE: I totally agree-- the phpBB.com solution is far better than the boardhost. Okay. I'm going to explore phpBB, and in the meantime, i'll leave the link there, but i expect it's only to see how this might be used -- this in all likelihood will NOT be our long-term solution. Just a conversation starter for the next couple weeks. Thanks Able-x!

44 comments:

  1. No offense, but that's looking a little antiquated. The idea would be a PHP BB along the lines of what we have over here:

    www.rhymetorrents.com/bbs

    That style is very customizeable, it's hosted on your own server so you have full control of it, and is VERY user friendly.

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  2. I'll second able-x on this one. I think a more complex board with various forum areas is what we are asking for. Participation by both members and a few Netflix staff from different parts of the company is key.

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  3. I actually dislike both of the designs... But the rhymetorrent is probably going to be more useful than the boardhost one.

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  4. This comment has been removed by the author.

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  5. I think it'd be great to have an open forum, with polls, release news, surveys, etc.

    It could compliment the blog, and I think the act of having someone register to use the board would cut out a lot of the schmucks who've stumbled into the blog. Hopefully.

    Let me be first to offer my assistance as a moderator :) I have experience with Vbulletin forums, but I'm sure I could figure out any other forum software.

    I'd love to see a Netflix forum.

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  6. I just hope you realize that if your going to move into something like a real forum or board, you're seriously going to have to get someone to act as a moderator. Considering how trolls have been allowed to run free in the comments section on just this blog, I can only imagine the nonsense that will ensue once they get their clutches on a real forum.

    Seriously Micheal, I know you don't like to police things as you've mentioned in the past, but I can only hope that you'll take into consideration that just about any real board that is being made available today (especially any such forum being run by a real company to promote and discuss it's product or services), has moderators in place to make sure the experience for all is not ruined by a few bad eggs.

    Please think about all of those issues and address them before opening a public forum. The trolling, name calling and insults have already made Netflix look bad just from this blog, and has caused me to (for the most part) stop reading it and stop contributing. It will be so much worse on a forum unless you do something to discourage it from the start by installing fair but firm moderators from the beginning.

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  7. Sorry to be dense, but who sets the agenda in a forum? Can any one of us just pose a hypothetical, like Baff's "HD is dead, long live blu-ray", and see if anyone responds?

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  8. If I where you I would steer clear of PHPBB. If you use that, you will spend half the time keeping up with all the security patches that come out one after the other. So again I say steer clear of PHPBB, unless you don't mind applying updates all the time.

    I myself prefer Simple Machines Forum (www.simplemachines.org) as it has all the features one would need and it's very stable and user friendly.

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  9. I think if this was to be sustainable, yes, people out there (not me) need to moderate it. And if it's supposed to be a real forum for discussion and debate, I recon any non-anonymous member can post.

    But i'm still exploring this entire notion; how it would work. how it would help. who it would help. my ability to manage it. how it fits with other work i'm doing. but in the spirit of openess, i figured i'd do this thinking here, in this public space.

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  10. I don't mean to be rude, but phpBB forums are, in my opinion, some of the least user-friendly forums I've come across. I like vBulletin's set up the best, from a user stand point and also an admin's. If you find yourself in need of moderators, let me be the second to offer my assistance. I'm great at banning spammers!

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  11. "Let me be first to offer my assistance as a moderator :) I have experience with Vbulletin forums, but I'm sure I could figure out any other forum software."

    Moderators really should be users who are impartial. That certainly leaves me out ;)

    Or, at least, users who do not remove and ban other users simply because they disagree with the poster.

    The Vbulletin software is actually very nice as well with a lot of features not available in the most current phpBB version I have seen.

    I would really like to see this wrapped in the Netflix site, so that we would automatically be registered with our nicknames.

    You may want to disable images in posts as this is often widely abused in the forum setting.

    "Can any one of us just pose a hypothetical, like Baff's 'HD is dead, long live blu-ray', and see if anyone responds?"

    Depends on how the message board is setup.

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  12. "you're seriously going to have to get someone to act as a moderator."

    lst, 2nd and 3rded. The 'Happy New Year' thread turned into a complete nightmare that drove away many of your most thoughtful and helpful posters - permanently, it seems. And anyone that tried to get it back on track just got machine-gunned down by the trolls and goof-offers without any covering fire from you guys, making it look like you were tacitly endorsing their behavior.

    We're certainly not saying that it should be you - how would you possibly have the time? - but someone who knows where the line is, and when to pull the plug on someone. Yes, including you, Netflixjunkie, who usually posts sensibly and responsibly, but didn't just disagree back there -- which is fine, and usually much more interesting -- but behaved like a complete a**hole.

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  13. I have no interest in begining the thread again but I must have missed the resolution message on the RTW page. Last I saw Michael said someone would post on it "this week". So, I must have missed it.

    I don't see the page back. The sliders are still there and still showing me movies that NF thinks I won't like. (?) But all those wanting the page back are now silent.

    So, what did I miss? Did someone from Netflix finally say - "tough, we aren't replacing it? Move on."

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  14. "Did someone from Netflix finally say - "tough, we aren't replacing it? Move on."

    No, the announcement is postponed until mid-ish next (ie this coming) week, and there seems to be no point, and is discourteous, to fill up Michael's in-box with more of the same when he's trying to figure out ways to make what's still here work better, is all.

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  15. "Yes, including you, Netflixjunkie, who usually posts sensibly and responsibly, but didn't just disagree back there -- which is fine, and usually much more interesting -- but behaved like a complete a**hole."

    Agreed.

    I could have watched so many more titles if I hadn't been so distracted by that... other issue.

    With even the threat of being banned, most users (including myself) would think much longer before they write.

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  16. So, what did I miss? Did someone from Netflix finally say - "tough, we aren't replacing it? Move on."

    Could be. After reading the USA Today article from the other day, that's the impression I get. But I think everyone is waiting for official word from the PTB at Netflix.

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  17. Thanks Anonymous.

    Regarding exposing movie watchers to different films. I think Netflix already does a great job. I've always gravitatied to foreign and independent movies and unusual films but I've discovered so many great ones just since I've been a NF customer. I think I found most of them because of the lists. I'd find a director or actor I liked and then look to see what lists members had them on. Here's a couple of ideas:

    1. I'd like to have the ability to promote some of the movies I've seen that are unique. One way could be to let us designate one of our lists (or build a special one) as a marquee list . The titles and/or posters of movies in that list would show on our profile page. The profile others see when they click on the profile. Maybe directly under the "MOST WATCHED ACTORS AND DIRECTORS" lists.

    2. I'd also like to be able to highlight actors and directors I like when they don't appear on the MWA&D list generated by NF. I've seen a lot of movies over the years so the directors and actors that make those lists on my profile have been in the business for a long time and have done a lot of movies.
    Unless I went back and unrated a lot of movies some of the directors I really like, who have only made a few films, will never make that list. Young actors or those I've just discovered or those who didn't make many movies won't make that list. But if we had a section we could control I think it would give members another way to find those little unique gems we might miss. My Favorite Actors & Directors

    Neither of these suggestions is new. Others have asked for this also so you may have this in the works now.

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  18. Thanks jampony (ang).

    I just did a search for that article and can't fing believe what NF said -

    "Most people, in fact, had never used the page that we removed."

    If most of the members never used it how could it have impacted the distribution so much that they felt they had to remove it.

    Double talk - that just makes me angry. It looks like they do just want us to forget it or go away.



    Michael, just ignore my suggestions above. I'd much rather NF spend money on buying more DVDs so we can get them faster. There are enough ways to find movies now.

    Here's 2 suggestions:

    1. Bring back the RTW page and purchase more DVDs.

    2. Ship on Saturday.

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  19. 1. Bring back the RTW page and purchase more DVDs.

    2. Ship on Saturday.

    3. Have poll asking people if they'd be prepared to pay $1 more for items 1 and 2 (totally agree, but let's stay real here).

    First vote : Aye.

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  20. From Michael

    "But i'm still exploring this entire notion; how it would work. how it would help. who it would help. my ability to manage it. how it fits with other work i'm doing. but in the spirit of openess, i figured i'd do this thinking here, in this public space."

    IMHO...Not yours to figure out. Put it out there, moderate it and let the community extract value out of it.

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  21. Or, at least, users who do not remove and ban other users simply because they disagree with the poster.
    What a lot of people are calling trolls from the Happy New Year posting were just people who had a differing opinion. If you think they were trolls then you shouldn't be a moderator.

    And anyone that tried to get it back on track just got machine-gunned down by the trolls and goof-offers
    machine-gunned down?, or do you mean that their side of the argument was just challenged?

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  22. Just throwing in my few cents here.

    First, I completely agree with the suggestion of rhymetorrents or vbulletin for that matter. It is very customizable and has a lot to offer to the members and moderators alike.

    I believe that it should be accessible to anonymous posters but only as a read only forum. If one wishes to post, it should be mandatory to sign up and log in to do so.

    "Can any one of us just pose a hypothetical, like Baff's 'HD is dead, long live blu-ray', and see if anyone responds?"

    Depends on how the message board is setup.


    There should be different forums within the forum. Perhaps something like Community, Netflix related problems, Movie Reccomendations, and All Others.

    As for moderation, I think everyone should really think hard about the posts that were written in the RTW threads. Do you really believe any of those comments deserved to be deleted/censored? Any of the posters should've been banned? I don't think so. Moderating a forum is a very slippery slope. Where do you draw the line? Is flaming grounds for censure? If yes, do you realize the backlash that may arise from someone being censored by a company like Netflix? YES it will be censored by Netflix and not just the moderator or at least that's what the guy who got censored is going to claim.

    If as you guys claim that some were slighted and put off by the trolling from the other threads, and if you felt it was NEtflix's fault that it went on like that, then what do you think would happen if somebody got censored. Do you think they will take it lying down? What about the second person it happens to? The third?

    Yes, including you, Netflixjunkie, who usually posts sensibly and responsibly, but didn't just disagree back there -- which is fine, and usually much more interesting -- but behaved like a complete a**hole.

    Perfect example here. What if I were the type who were offended by being called an A-hole? Should your comments be deleted? Should you get a warning then perhaps banned if you continue to use the word? I guess what I'm trying to say is that people need to grow a thicker skin if they are to participate in an online forum. Take deep breaths, think, re-think, read then re-read before firing off that comment.

    What a lot of people are calling trolls from the Happy New Year posting were just people who had a differing opinion. If you think they were trolls then you shouldn't be a moderator.

    You've eloquently stated in one statement what I was trying to accomplish in my diatribe up on my soapbox. :-)

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  23. @alaninsb -

    Really don't want to re-visit the past, but this also affects the future, re the whole moderator issue.

    Your points are good, and the slope is indeed slippery. But for me it comes down to civility and constructiveness. Calling someone an 'a**hole' is undoubtedly on the far side of borderline, and I'd certainly accept a 'lst warning' for that. But there's also a great difference between saying that someone is one as against saying that someone briefly behaved like one, no doubt under the influence of eggnog, and in stark contrast to previous behavior; and if NFJ wasn't offended, because I think he understood the spirit of respect in which I said it, no-one else should be. And it wasn't so much what was said back there, which was often perfectly rational, but more the tone in which it was said that got so many people's goat, and turned an exchange of ideas into an exchange of insults. So, as long as it's grown-up, relatively civil and to the point, I have no problem with a little intellectual rough and tumble. But when it gets ugly and overly personal, then I, and many others, want someone to throw a little cold water on those spoiling it for everyone else. I'm not talking immediate ejection - a sharp knuckle rapping from the Blogger gods can be surprisingly sobering.

    I really don't think we're so far apart on this, so onwards and upwards, eh?

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  24. I really don't think we're so far apart on this, so onwards and upwards, eh?

    I agree with what you've said and we're definitely on the same boat. I just like playing the Devil's Advocate and in this case, presenting the possible extreme opposite view. It can and does happen that someone finds something objectionable and that one person ends up ruining the whole experience for everyone else. I was just basically throwing things up in the air. Things to ponder so to speak. :-)

    I really hope that we go forward with getting a bbs. It would open up a better line of communication. This blog is good but highly restrictive as far as functionality and ease of use.

    If/when a forum is opened up, I still stick to my original advice for everyone which is - to grow a thicker skin. There will always be someone out there who will rub you the wrong way. It is your reaction to it that can affect the effectiveness of the forum for yourself.

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  25. phpBB is better, but it is also a spam-magnet. Lots of boards become overrun by spam-bots. But I like the idea of a message board, just take care of who you make moderators...

    --Heather
    Bring the "Releasing this Week" section back:
    http://www.petitiononline.com/netflix/

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  26. I guess what I'm trying to say is that people need to grow a thicker skin if they are to participate in an online forum. Take deep breaths, think, re-think, read then re-read before firing off that comment.

    Even more important than the "thick skin" is learning to not carry your old baggage into every new thread. It's best to have a very short term memory.

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  27. The comment is on the board!
    http://members.boardhost.com/netflix/msg/1200213419.html

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  28. Even more important than the "thick skin" is learning to not carry your old baggage into every new thread.

    Great suggestion. If one had an argument with somebody over something in one thread, it needs not be carried over to the next thread.

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  29. php is the way to go, there are a number of php templates with most bells and whistles already installed. I've set boards up, and I am just barely a geek...it's really easy, VERY customizable, and handles threads way better.

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  30. I think we should discuss all these board issues (moderation, platform, etcetera)on the existing version of the board, so there can be an exchange among those who will actually use it...

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  31. I definitely love the idea of an actual forum. There are many good ones out there, though I disagree with those who say steer clear of PhPBB.

    The fact that they release security updates means they are staying on top of all the new tricks that hacks and spammers come up with to promote their crud.

    With that said, a proper forum will help keep threads "ON TOPIC" and with proper moderation will allow "Off topic" posts to be move to the appropriate area.

    There should be NO anonymous posting allowed whatsoever, this by itself is a strong deterrent to spammers.

    There should also be an email verification requirement. Again a strong deterrent to spammers, AND will deter those prone to trolling and flaming, the emails do not need to be public, so the privacy folks need not worry.

    Bad language and personal attacks should be prohibited, but other then that post deletions should be kept at an absolute minimum.

    With a requirement that the "Admin" or "Mod" first warn in that thread that a topic/post may be locked or removed, second lock and as a last result remove.

    Plus it would be a good idea to place a "reasonable" limit to the size and number of images a user can post. I've seen folks who have 1/2 dozen images in their signature. One banner or image is surely enough to identify oneself and doesn't slow page loads with image overloads.

    Also forum styled BB are much easier to navigate, as compared to a blog style. Folks tend to have areas of interest they are most passionate about and finding their threads are simply easier.

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  32. "phpBB is better, but it is also a spam-magnet."

    This really has to do with people not updating the service.

    Here is a great article on fighting these types of issues directly from the phpBB community:

    http://tinyurl.com/34bpdk

    I may prefer VBulletin (for administrative purposes) but phpBB is also a very nice piece of freeware. It also works very well with the most current version of mySQL.

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  33. @ Michael

    Do you know what's going on with the community homepage? Member reviews do no seem to be showing up and neither are recent friend's reviews.

    I have also noticed that all my reviews for the week (starting from Monday) have not yet been posted.

    I would like to write some more but not sure if they are actually getting saved. Guess I'll wait a bit longer, and just keep watching movies :)

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  34. I'm having the same (missing stuff) issue; and i've got people looking into this. Weird. I'm sure no data is lost, but i don't know why it isn't being presented properly. more soon.

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  35. @Michael -

    Yikes! The new message board seems to be displaying people's IP addresses. Or are those internal NF codes in red?

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  36. "Plus it would be a good idea to place a "reasonable" limit to the size and number of images a user can post."

    Limiting it to an icon/avatar like we have here is plenty I think. I hate forums where they allow banners and huge signatures. Threads turn into 90% signatures, 10% content. I would opt for 200 (or less) characters, no carriage returns. Thats more than enough to have a link to a Netflix profile or a random quote of the day. If people want to say more, they can put it in their forum profile.

    A clear forum code of conduct is a must for both the readers and moderators.

    Here is the World of Warcraft Code of Conduct. They deal with about 1 million posts a day from their own customers (only people with paid accounts can post), so they have refined their code to make it clear what is punishable and what the punishment is.

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  37. "The new message board seems to be displaying people's IP addresses."

    Yep. Not sure how good that board is even for temporary use, unless that feature can be turned off.

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  38. @Baff.

    You are a man of delightfully measured and almost unparalleled understatement.

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  39. Limiting it to an icon/avatar like we have here is plenty I think. I hate forums where they allow banners and huge signatures.

    Exactly my point, I've always felt if you want to promote "yourself", start your own blog.

    Logging an IP address tied to a user is sufficient (in case you might need to block them from access) however I would not display the IP addresses. Its not productive, and can cause other problems. Such as "bad guys" getting a hold of your IP addresses and then spoofing their identity to gain access.

    Plus even a dynamic IP (ones that change) can be used by the "bad guys" to watch for your machines activity. If you have a Broadband connection you may have the same dynamic IP until your cable modem refreshes it, which can be up to 30 days depending on the service provider, especially true if you are always on.

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  40. how can i watch my movies instantly? I can not load my movies. can someone please help me do this. There are several movies i want to wacth now while i wait for my next movies to arrive.

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  41. Okay. I have a question and no where else to post it. I want the *Japanese* version of Naruto, but I can't find it. What's up?

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  42. I'm looking for a German comedy movie whose anme I cannot remember. It was made in the last 10 years> It is about 2 brothers who go to Japan in search of a monestary for personal enlightnemnt. One brother is a feng shui specialist who organizes peoples' houses. The other brother gets dumped by his wife and kids for not being there. Together, the brothers go to Japan where everything that can possibly go wrong happens. Its truly a masterpeice! Please help if you know the name of this movie. Thanx...

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  43. Anonymous, it sounds like 'Enlightenment Guaranteed'. I dont know if it's on the DVD yet.

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