Sunday, January 13, 2008
MONDAY 9:30am UPDATE:
We have identified the source of the problem and will be working on the fix today.
MONDAY 4pm UPDATE:
I believe this is fixed. If you don't see this working shortly, please post. Thanks for your help, everyone.
Thursday, November 8, 2007
What I REALLY want to know (And don't think anyone at Netflix would answer me on) is what "Flagging a Review" actually does. When I flag reviews, I do it because they are either not a review, they posted a url in the review, etc. Am I wasting my time by flagging them, or does Netflix really go through and look at flagged reviews to find the junk?First of all, why don't you think anyone at Netflix would answer this? Have I made it appear this is a big company secret? I thought i had explained this in the past, but i'll take a new stab at it here:
Does anyone know, or is it a big company secret? Now that I've got that email address, I might use it, but I wonder if flagging does the same thing.
The flags are methods for you, the Netflix members, to self-police the reviews on the site. They are automated. We spot check them, but we have tuned (and continue to refine) the automated process triggered by flagging a review.
The short answer is that if a review gets a quantity of flags from different members, we move the review off the movie display page. It is not removed from the site, and will remain among the reviewers other reviews on their Profile pages. The algorithm that does this removing is the thing we keep refining. It would be too simple to say it takes X flags to get something pulled. It depends on a few factors, but particularly the helpful/unhelpful votes. If a movie has a quantity of helpful votes, for instance, it takes more flags to remove it. (We don't want the flags being used to remove reviews that are simply controversial, or irksome to a small group.) We also want to give new reviews a little bit of time to get seen, so on popular titles that period might be less than for smaller titles... but either way, it is automated, and really is working. Over the past few months we've changed the thresholds and we continue to find cases where folks are misusing the system and thus we revise the algorithm to account for this. The thresholds and algos are also different for "this is not a review" and "objectionable content" (etc) and we know some people who don't like a review just click on everything hoping this will accelerate the removal (it doesn't). I presume we will continue with internal tweaks to improve it over time.
There. Secret is out of the bag.
Wednesday, September 5, 2007
A few other notes. If the threshold is reached for the Objectionable Content flag on a certain movie review, it is only deleted from public view -- from the movie display page and the community home page and those types of presentations; it will still remain on your Reviews & Lists page. (Presumably, if you really want to read someones nasty, stupid objectionable reviews, you still can -- but they're not foisted on the rest of us).
If a reviewer is flagged as having objectionable nicknames or avatars, their name and image is automatically reset. If this happens to you, and you are CERTAIN there is nothing objectionable going on, go ahead and put the same photo and nickname back. But if it gets flagged AGAIN, you could lose your account and have to deal with customer service to deal with the situation. Let's not let it get to this, okay?
Spoiler Alerts. We're still improving this, but when a review gets tagged as a spoiler, a warning will appear at the start of the review. This is still getting fixed so it won't be working as soon as the rest of these go into effect. Reviewers will also have the opportunity to tag their own reviews as having spoilers, which amounts to the same thing. I'll let you know when this is all working. (Of course, it may be obvious too).
And as you may have assumed, getting your reviews flagged in various ways really can reduce your influence score, and thus your rank as a reviewer, if that matters to you. LOOK FOR THESE FEATURES MID-MONTH. I'll also post it here when these are live.
Wednesday, August 15, 2007
INFLUENCE is how much your movie opinions seem to influence others about the movies they watch. We calculate influence with a complicated algorithm that takes a number of factors into account: perhaps the biggest chunk is simply how many movies you have reviewed. If you write reviews you probably have more influence on others than if you don't. If you have Friends you influence others, and more Friends probably gives you more influence. But it's not this simple. Bad reviews don't give you much (or any) influence. Writing reviews on movies with tons of reviews already also doesn't help that much -- so WHAT you review and that you write good reviews has more weight than sheer volume. (Writing a great review on a movie with very few reviews is a very good thing.)
Having an avatar image helps, as does having a personalized nickname. Having lots of movie ratings helps, but not alone -- it only helps if you have Friends or Reviews such that people look at your ratings. The fact that other people click on your avatar and check out your other reviews is very important. These page views go into the calculation. The more people check you out, the more influence you'd have. And the most weighted element is when other people actually add movies to their Queues from your pages, or from your custom lists. As you can see, it is a complicated series of factors, and we will be refining the weights and factors from time to time, but starting later this month (and I'll alert ya'll once I know a date for sure), we'll put your Influence score in your sidebar (near "Member Since..."). We will update these ranks every week or so (not nightly, like most stuff on the site), so numbers will drift around relatively slowly.
RANK is simply an ordered list of who among you has the highest INFLUENCE value. Which means, if you think about it, someone out there is going to be the Number 1 Movie Influencer at Netflix. At first we won't present the ranks as a scoreboard (that is, you can't just go and find #1) because i want to do some adjusting first. But eventually we'll make these lists of high ranking Netflixers available.
What do y'all think of this?
Wednesday, August 8, 2007
Looking a little further down the road, i wonder if any of you care about the reviewer or the sim% as much as the review and its rating. I know it is hard to judge as your opinion may change once this is flowing more normally and with control, but try anyway: what if these reviews were presented more like this:
(Ignore the review text - this is a sketch of how we could design this)
Is this better or worse than the current implementation? What else might you tweak here?
Thursday, July 19, 2007
Oh, by the way -- i'm implementing some polls over in the right column. It's a start. (Is there anyone better than polldaddy? Seems pretty cool.
Wednesday, July 4, 2007
RSS REVIEWS. You'll soon be able to feed all your reviews to your own sites, which maybe easier than copy/pasting your reviews between sites.
RSS CUSTOM LISTS. You'll also be able to feed any individual custom list you've created out to your own site. At first glance this might seem lame, but i think there are some cool applications possible, particularly if you combine the feeds of Reviews and some lists.
Let's say you're an organization. Maybe USC Film School. Maybe a Pilates Club. Maybe a Neighborhood Association. Or a magazine. You've got a website and your own members and everything. Some of your members may be Netflix members too, but some may not. Regardless, you can use your Netflix profile (or create a special sub-account with its own queue) to some special advantage. From this sub-account, add your iconic avatar (a logo or something clear at this small size), and a nickname that works for you (organization name, most likely). Then review movies that are relevant to your members. Make Custom Lists that are relevant. (Think: Best Computer Generated Movies, Films We're Watching This Month, Movies Shot in Baltimore...) and feed these reviews and specific lists to your site.
This way, when Netflix members are looking at a movie, they can see the review from your org. And the members of your org can see all your reviews at your orgs website. It's a nice dynamic. I'd like to hear about anyone using the reviews and lists this way. Any particularly inspiring examples might get showcased here. Anyway, I'll let you know as the release of these features gets closer. In the meantime, just know we have a little work to do still on cleaning up the RSS feeds. Happy Fourth.
Tuesday, June 26, 2007
Don't you think it will make the site much cooler? Spread the word.
POST SCRIPT: If y'all have questions about avatars, explore the other posts here about avatars.
Thursday, June 14, 2007
Until there is a specific button for this, we offer a work-around: all you have to do is delete part of the URL.
Here's how your "Reviews and Lists" page URL looks normally:
Delete everything after (and including) the question mark, so it looks like this:
Voila. You'll see how your look from the outside. We'll make this easier at some point, but for now, this works like a charm.
Thursday, May 17, 2007
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.