Tuesday, October 31, 2006

In the Mood

I remember how I was back in the day, browsing the aisles at the video store, asking, "what am I in the mood for?"

But since I've had Netflix, I don't care what mood I'm in. I watch whatever shows up in the mailbox.

What about you? Do you organize your queue around your moods? Or do you watch whatever comes next? Or do you have an agenda?

Monday, October 30, 2006

Netflix and the bell curve

Average ratings
Originally uploaded by igrigorik.
igrigorik has posted several interesting graphs of Netflix users' ratings data on Flickr. This one shows that 3.8 is the average rating given to titles on Netflix.

Friday, October 27, 2006

In Other News: Local CW affiliate holding open auditions for on air talent

WCWG CW 20 will hold it’s first open auditions Saturday October 28, 2006 at Hanes Mall located at 3320 SILAS CREEK PKWY, WINSTON-SALEM, NC from 11am to 1pm on the first floor below the food court. Please bring your resume and a demo tape if you have one. You may also submit your resume and audition tape to: WCWG C/O Talent Search 622-G Guilford College Rd. Greensboro, NC 27409. Acceptable tape formats include: VHS, DVD, and DVC Pro.

50 candidates will be selected; their videos will be posted on WCWG20.com and the top five to receive the most votes will go on local radio stations to display their talents and two candidates will be eliminated. The remaining three will shoot another video demo and the one that receives the most interest will become the station's new on-air personality.

Thursday, October 26, 2006

Somebody at Netflix reads this blog!

Netflix employee Wesley Miaw has blogged a nice, thoughtful response, entitled A Netflix blog?, to my earlier post regarding Why no corporate blog for Netflix? Bottom line is that his is not a Netflix blog, but rather, the personal blog of someone who works at Netflix. I must say that all of the employees I linked to in that post are blogging as private individuals, not as representatives of Netflix. I apologize if that distinction is not clear.

I've since updated it to include Eric David, Advertising Production Specialist.

NOTE: Keep in mind that since these are all personal blogs, please do not direct Netflix customer service inquiries to them.

Tuesday, October 24, 2006

The Dipstick Guide to Movies

The Dipstick Guide to Movies
Originally uploaded to Flickr by aroid.
Aroid says:
The Dipstick will guide you. But like with the Mets, you gotta believe, and read the instructions.

First stick the dipstick into a Netflix envelope and take a reading.

"Full" means "Everything is illuminated", so don't "Curb your enthusiasm". Sit back and enjoy.

"Empty" means you had better make "The Great Escape" from this turkey. Move on, don't torture yourself, start over.

Friday, October 20, 2006

Another queue milestone

For the first time since I joined Netflix in January 2004, my queue has dipped below 100 titles!! I haven't had to add anything in a long while, since I'm working on the 1001 Movies You Must See Before You Die. I haven't put anything in my queue unless it's in that book. I have seen 881 of the 1001, which leaves 120. I have 97 in my Netflix queue. I own 12 which I haven't watched yet. I'm still looking for 11 of them. I have just 16 to watch before I'm done with every movie through 1990.

Monday, October 16, 2006

Why no corporate blog for Netflix? Updated 10-26-06

Mike at Hacking Netflix and I have often wondered why Netflix doesn't have a corporate blog. The closest they came was when their in-house movie critic James Rocchi had one. This story about Wal-Mart getting into trouble with a blog , by disguising it as a fan blog, makes me glad Netflix hasn't done that. People used to think Mike's blog or my blog were corporate blogs, but that's not the case. Mike gets alot of information from Netflix contacts he has, but he's not on the payroll, as far as I know. I'm glad that Netflix is obviously sharing information with Hacking Netflix, but not making him their mouthpiece, so he retains some credibility, and they aren't directly risking potential damage to their image by association with him.

A quick search reveals that Netflix is not forbidding employees from publicly acknowledging online where they work. I wonder if they have a policy governing employees speaking for the company. Here are some:

Robert Fagen
Michael Rubin
Neil Hunt
Wesley Miaw
Eric David

That's just five out of hundreds of employees. Surely, there must be more? Do you know of any others?

UPDATE: I've added Advertising Production Specialist Eric David to the list. 10-26-06 I must say that all of these employees are blogging as private individuals, not as representatives of Netflix. I apologize if that distinction is not clear. 10-26-06

Wednesday, October 11, 2006

Now I've seen everything

When I joined Netflix in January of 2004, I was so excited, that I quickly filled up my queue to the limit of 500 titles.* Since then, I have been tracking my Netflix history using a program called Netflix Freak, and as of today, I have watched 500 DVDs from Netflix. If I hadn't added any new titles in the last years, I would have emptied my queue today.**

*because of the Profiles feature, you are no longer limited to 500 total, just 500 per profile. If you want a longer queue, add a profile.

**My queue has 100 items in it today, not counting the saved section.

Friday, October 06, 2006

"Wings of Desire" flying East

Although Netflix has been doing this for at least two weeks, this is the first time it's happened to me. In my usual email from Netflix, telling me that my next movie has shipped, they had the courtesy to tell me that the title wasn't available at my local (Greensboro, NC) shipping center, so it is coming from San Jose, CA, and I can expect it in three business days.

Thursday, October 05, 2006

Replacement for damaged disc is shipping today

I know Netflix says they will ship replacement discs "as soon as possible," and some of you have complained that they don't ship replacements until after you return the damaged disc. That's not always the case. In my experience, Netflix ships replacement discs even before I return the damaged ones. Here's a screen-grab of my queue as proof:

You can click on the photo for a larger view.

My Netflix Friends page

If you are Looking for Netflix Friends, check the comments on this post. You can leave your email address as an open invitation to make a Netflix Friend. New addresses are being added all the time.

Sunday, October 01, 2006

A Full House of Netflix

a full house
Originally uploaded to Flickr by aroid on 30 Sep '06, 2.22pm EDT.
Flickr-user aroid calls it a "once in a lifetime event" when "8 Netflixes arrived on the same day."

Titles bumped from Queue to "Saved" means Out of Print

I've just had two titles bumped from my Netflix Queue to my Netflix Saved section, suddenly, and with no explanation. One is Pedro Almodovar's All About My Mother, and the other is Henry - Portrait of a Serial Killer (20th Anniversary). The titles have gone OOP [out of print]. All About My Mother is on Amazon.com for $20-49.95 and Henry - Portrait of a Serial Killer (20th Anniversary) is there for $16-22.

What does it mean for something to go out of print? Well, books and DVDs are manufactured, just like shoes and toilet paper. When a publisher or movie distributer decides to sell copies, they hire a printer to do a job for them, known as a print run. They order a certain number of discs or books, based on how many they think they can sell, based on pre-orders from stores and customers. A run can be hundreds or thousands of copies. If they succeed in selling all of their copies, they are done. The Book or DVD is now "out of print." You are not aware of this until all the copies are gone from the stores.

Netflix buys many copies. Each copy lasts through maybe a dozen rental cycles before it wears out. When all of Netflix's copies wear out, they order more from the distributor. If there is a second print run or third print run, we're in luck. However, if the distributor doesn't do another print run, Netflix has no control over that. Netflix isn't about to go to eBay or Amazon or Blockbuster to buy more copies, because that would not be cost-effective.

Going out of print doesn't mean that there are no more copies anywhere. It means that the manufacturer has sold all the copies that were made. You can still find copies at your local retail or rental store, or online at other stores or rental outlets, but the price might go up as collectors and speculators take advantage of the shortage.