Showing posts with label Friends Features. Show all posts
Showing posts with label Friends Features. Show all posts

Friday, July 13, 2007

Today's New Features in Community

It's that time again... the time where a few more problems get solved, where the features get just a little bit better... step by step we will make this into a very fun place to find and share movies.

Anyway, tonight we've freshly released the Privacy feature and the RSS Feeds (both discussed earlier). Fixed a few other things along the way. Try this stuff out. Whatcha think?

Please let me know if anyone does something particularly creative with the RSS Feeds of your reviews and a custom list. I'm interested in hearing about this.
(and again, if you see anything really wrong, let us know what you see and what OS and Browser you're using.) Bon Appetit.

Monday, July 9, 2007

Ratings Data

Our crack engineering team reports that while ratings data are updated constantly at Netflix, the Friends part of the site is a little unique and only gets refreshed around midnight each day. Thus, if you rate a bunch of movies, that information could be seen immediately, but also might not show up in a slider until the next day. ("Refreshed" probably isn't the right word. Maybe an example will help.) Scenario: You rate a bunch of movies at 9pm, your Friend looks at the sliders at 11pm for the first time that day, and WILL see your ratings -- BUT, if they log in at 6pm (before you updated ratings) and returned at 11pm, they WON'T see your new ratings. They would have to return to the site after midnight to see those new ratings.

Does this explain things?

Saturday, July 7, 2007

Movie Privacy (the sequel to "Hiding Movies")

After your overwhelming response a few weeks ago about keeping your Friends from seeing those pesky embarrassing titles (something with Teletubbies comes to mind, or it could be that lowbrow drive in classic...) we wondered whether there was anything we could do in the short-term to ease the suffering. Every time we had started working on the right implementation in the past, it seemed like the project got tabled for something more pressing. But today your trusty web engineer Mikey showed me that he had built a quick-n-dirty version of Movie Privacy. It's not pretty, but i have to admit, it does the trick.

So, in a rather unNetflix-like way, we're just going to release it to Friends users in the next week or so. Let's see if this finally allows you to connect to folks you know slightly less well (or maybe too well), and for whom you absolutely needed the ability to hide some titles. We've all read your comments and suggestions for how best to implement this. Trust me: this isn't that. It's not that we're not hearing your suggestions, it's just i was interested in getting this in front of you quickly. So here's how it will work:

In the Friends area, look at the second navigation bar; along with the usual "Invite Friends" and links to this blog, we've added RSS FEEDS (per our earlier conversation) and MOVIE PRIVACY. The Movie Privacy page couldn't be much simpler. It provides a list of all the movies you've rented or have in your Queue (or At Home), all in alphabetical order, and for each movie, you have the option to make it private. That's it. Click "private" and its invisible to any Friend. Does it help? I think it's a start.

PS: It will not, at first, list your RATED movies. Just RENTED and in QUEUE. Let's see how this goes. ALSO: The more movies you've seen or have in your queue, the longer this page will take to load up -- so please be patient. It could take 10-15 seconds perhaps for you power-users. PPS: RSS Feeds are not currently filtered for Private Movies.

Tuesday, July 3, 2007

The Friends Sliders, Part Deux

Right. Forgot a few things. Thank you for the reminders.
1) For a number of technical reasons you can only have 5 Friends sliders "open" at a time, plus your own. This is not the top 5. It could be any five. If you open more than 5, you can see them, but the site won't save this configuration, and will automatically close the lowest few to get back to 5. If you select five you want to keep open, no matter which they are, it will remember this. To be candid, i don't like this limitation: i have 17 Friends. But i tend to be keeping an eye on only a few and I guess i've gotten used to it. Also, I cannot escape the fact that only a small percentage of Friends users have more than 5 Friends. Anyway, we see this as a bug, but it only affects a few of us.

2) "New Notes" are absolutely not very new. In the first version we released we made some unfortunate compromises, and what it calls "new" are going back four months or so. It doesn't track what gets read, which is the problem. It's just a moving time window. This has been bothering us since we first released the new pages, and it is definitely on our bug list. My sincere apologies for this.

3) Alerts about "Replies" is an interesting idea, and we'll think about what it would mean. I can tell you that when someone replies to a note, even an old old note, it moves the entire "conversation" to the top of the pile, so you will still see the most current conversations at the top of Your Notebook. Thanks for the feedback.

The sliders were an experiment and i'd say the vote is still out whether or not they are a positive way to interact with Friends recent activity. (I'm not asking for your votes here -- we know many of you have never liked this presentation.) I like how visual they are, and they are really more dynamic than most elements on the Netflix site. But they don't replace other forms of presentation and, as I've said, we'll be revising this part of the site very much in the coming seasons.

Monday, July 2, 2007

The Friends Sliders

Maybe I should have done this back in the beginning: a quick review of some of these Friends features. I apologize if this was too long in arriving.
Here is a somewhat typical Friends Slider:

Each one of your Friends gets one. It's a small window into their world. There are two main tabs on the top of this slider: Watched/Rated and Queue. Both of these tabs present movies in order of activity, that is, the order movies were watched or rated, the order they were added to a Queue (or reordered in that Queue). As you all have noticed, the Queue slider is not in Queue-order. The logic is that I like seeing what has recently interested my Friend, what they just added, just discovered, just moved, just rated. I'm not quite as interested in what they have at the number 5 spot. What's at that spot also might sit around for some time. I like to see new stuff and this is the best way to reveal it.

But, of course, it's fun to know what's in their Queue too. What they have at home. (Well, if they have it at home, that will show up as a little notice on top of the box art in the slider [see photo in this para], but even so...) On the far left part of the slider is a little info about your Friend. Notice here are two bits of information that are also links (I've circled them in the top image in the first para). This shows the number of rated movies and the number of movies in the Queue -- but if you click on either, you go to your Friends' page. Here you can see their full Queue (in a presentation that will be much more familiar), or all their movie ratings. There is a drop down menu of variations on their movie ratings, and the one I like the most is "Movies in Common." (It is also the page you see if you click on their "% Similarity To You" back on the slider). This page shows their ratings of movies side by side with your ratings of movies that you have also seen. It's a quick way to gauge your taste similiarity for yourself, or to rate a bunch of movies if you haven't.

The sidebar you get with your Friends is pretty similiar to the one you get for any reviewer you want to check out - except you can't see reviewer's Queues. With Friends, you can.

I hope this clears up a few questions about these features. Let me know if this makes more sense or if you have further need of explanation.