Blog posts tagged "netflix"

Netflix API: Looking good

October 1st, 2008

Netflix was pretty much the last place I was Web 2.0 style share cropping, creating value without a way to get it out. The Netflix API has been rumored for a long time, but with today’s release they really did an excellent job.

Also versioned documentation, and a quite reasonable set of branding guidelines.

The Netflix Web APIs provide the ability for you to integrate Netflix user services into your application. The APIs provide the following capabilities:
  • Performing searches of movies, TV series, cast members, and directors
  • Retrieving catalog titles, including details about the title such as name, box art, director, cast, etc.
  • Determining the subscriber’s relationship to a specific title, e.g, in queue, saved, available on DVD, etc.
  • Managing and displaying queues for users
  • Providing conveniences such as auto-completion of partial search terms typed by a user.
  • Displaying a user’s ratings and reviews.
  • Including functional Add and Play buttons in your web application.

Congratulations to Netflix, and Mashery.

FriendFeed is too much info

May 2nd, 2008

TMI

One of the key topics (I think) in my Casual Privacy talk last week was the importance of “context” in privacy and sharing. That some people have trouble understanding how fundamental context is to all social interactions was my primary take away from SG Foo, and I’ve been preaching it quietly where I can.

All by way of saying, I made one of my rare visits to FriendFeed this evening, and I was reminded that I consistently regret it. Breaking down those contextual walls means I consistently like the people I find there less then I did when I was able to interact with them in isolated manners; fire walling the aesthetic from the technical from the political from the personal.

We need routing not aggregation.

Netflix Down Time

July 24th, 2007

Nat Irons: "Netflix’s server outage is now pushing 24 hours, and they’ve posted a customer service number (usually a well-kept secret). Spooky."

Making Netflix “Smarter”

June 4th, 2007

Darts and cobwebs part II

NYTimes has an article on the ongoing Netflix recommendation open challenge thing. ($1mil to a team that can produce the best collaborative filtering mouse trap)

Unfortunately the project is flawed, because the basic question is flawed, fundamentally and in a very simple way. We have moods, we have shifting interests, and trying to compile all those multi-variates into a single vector of interest is impossible.

Rather then making the computers super smart, I’d rather see an interface like the Pandora channel creation where you choose 2-4 songs that suit your mood and the system finds the common elements.

Tonight at the video store I wanted something that was smart and fast enough to be engaging, without being so smart that it took work to follow. Maybe a political thriller? If I could have mixed a recommendation queue out of 3 Days of the Condor meets Wag the Dog meets something like Enemy of the State to find something in that vein that would have been better then all the weighted neural nets.

And I’ll wave the million dollars if they just build it already.

Not sure where this systemic biasis for computer as deep thinker comes from, probably dates all the way back to the Ultra project and other primordial computer science legends. But its the wrong metaphor here and now, smarter, smaller tools to extend the human reach, not replace humans.

(can you tell I didn’t find my movie?)

Photo by wili

A Few More Thoughts on Netflix Friends

January 15th, 2005

No RSS, No Content Creation

The “Add your $0.02″ feature is interesting. More micro-content creation. If I’m going to be blogging, even if it’s just loose change, I want an RSS feed of my, and my friends 2-cent comments. Something that I can stitch together with my the rest of the micro-content, from del.icio.us commentary, to 43 Things entries, Amazon book reviews, and my coffee shop reviews from WifiMug.

Seeing Stars

I never know how to use a 5-star rating system, but the friends system exposes Netflix’s underlying assumptions about what the stars mean, 3-stars is “I like it”. 2-stars and down is a negative rating, 3-stars and up is a positive rating.

Netflix Friends, Privacy, and the Network

January 10th, 2005

One of the things I’ve always kind of liked about Netflix is the curtain of privacy it tosses around your viewing habits. It isn’t like you can rent porn on Netflix, but still you are alone with your tastes and indiscretions. Netflix is in a position to collect incredibly accurate information about viewing habits, because both renting and rating are done in private. Netflix Friends changes that dynamic.

With Netflix Friends you can see what your friends are watching and share your favorite movies with them.

Renting and in particular rating are once again performative acts. There is a real value there, and in services like Audioscrobbler, or All Consuming, or 43 Things, and even the undirected social network sites like Orkut or Friendster, and yet …

I mean, I already maintain a blog, do I really want to share what I’m listening to, what I’m reading, what I’m watching, what I’m working on, and who I know? I don’t know. I just know that even though I’m flirting with Netflix Friends, I am very aware of the virtual clinking of coins, as I barter a little more privacy for a little more leveraged access to the network.

(I also predict that Netflix will over the next 6 months see an increasing disconnect between what people rate high, and what they watch, the Masterpiece Theater vs. Jerry Springer syndrome, and an associated degradation in the quality of their data.)

When Nielsen used log-books to gather information on the viewing habits of their sample families, the results were heavily skewed to Masterpiece Theater and Sesame Street. Replacing the journals with set-top boxes that reported what the set was actually tuned to showed what the average American family was really watching: naked midget wrestling, America’s Funniest Botched Cosmetic Surgeries and Jerry Springer presents: “My daughter dresses like a slut!”

update: tom is already experiencing the “social” side of it all.