Signed up for Netflix

I’ve signed up for Netflix. I know I’m late to the party but I’m pretty sure it is the greatest thing since sliced bread. Netflix gives me the movies I’m interested in, on my own timetable. It’s like having the power to program your own pay-channel.

Cable always used to frustrate me because they’d run the same movies all month. And while some premium channels do a decent job of programming, there’s still a huge chunk that does nothing for me. That’s the reason you have to get five HBO’s and three Showtimes. Or go digital and it really gets nutty. I guess the theory is if you give me enough channels, at some point, there’s bound to be something worth watching.

Blockbuster is no help when you want something that’s been out for a while or wasn’t itself a blockbuster. There are smaller, independent rental stores that carry documentaries and indie films, but unless you live nearby, are you going to go to the trouble?

Now, I just maintain a list of movies Christy and I want to see on the Netflix site and the movies magically show up at my house. Before, I tried keeping a list of stuff we wanted to see but the list is never around when you need it, either to add to it or have it with you when you’re making a selection.

I like the simplicity of the process and the Netflix site, but I had to make three suggestions, right off the bat:

– The site needs community features. I’d like to suggest titles to my friends and family. The site could have a “suggestion queue” that would allow a user to accept or deny suggestions.made by others.

– Let me share my list. I’d like to be able to share my Netflix queue with friends and family and I’d like to see others.

– Let me get at (and even manage?) my queue programmatically. It would be cool if I could get my queue or even my recent movies as XML that I could then stick on my blog. How about a web services API like Amazon and Google have done?

Of course, none of these ideas really drive revenue for Netflix so I’m not holding my breath. I got the old “Thanks for your suggestions” form letter from customer service. At least they responded. No matter. I am still a huge fan.