Monday, May 22, 2006

SPOUT alternative to social aspects of Netflix

If you're looking for an alternative to the Netflix Friends (tm) feature, there is a site called SPOUT, which allows you to create a profile and share your movie-related thoughts with your people in the Spout community. It's also a shopping site, so each movie has a link to the Spout store.

You control who sees your stuff. You can create lists of movies, tag your movies, recommend them to others, and discuss them in the forums. It's still in beta, so it has bugs and shortcomings, like there's no way to rate or review movies, or browse tags.

I joined, but my only list is movies I'd like to see. Having rated over 2,000 films on Netflix, there's no way I'm going to take the time to rate those same movies on Spout, and they don't have a way to upload your data. I have my data in plain text on Listology, where it's easy to copy and paste a list. Spout doesn't have a recommendations engine, so there's no real incentive to take the time to rate movies.


  1. As you say, Becky, Spout's still in Beta. So there's a bunch of things in the site we're working on making more apparent. Our main philosophical approach, that deviates from Netflix, is we're creating a way for you to find films through people. We're not big fans of recommendation engines. Those are good for spitting your tastes back at you, but people are a better way of discovering new films and refining tastes.

    For instance, say you add the film SCANNERS to your "I've seen it" list. Then we connect you to everybody else who's seen SCANNERS. Now you've got people to dialogue with regardless of what you rated that film. Some of the best conversations start when you love the same film I hate. And, incidentally, we have blogging tools for writing reviews.

    We've been discussing whether or not to export Netflix lists to Spout. The problem is, Netflix owns the rights to your content. You reviews, lists, etc. are considered Netflix's intellectual property, which makes it difficult for that content to be shared legally anywhere. Not so on Spout.

    paul @ spout

  2. Thank you for clearing that up, Paul. However, can you make it possible to import a plain text list to Spout?