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Netflix flicks off a blogger
Posted by Adriana Cronin-Lukas
Wednesday, June 23, 2004 @ 06:53 PM
TrackBack (1) | Blogs & Blogging

I used to liked Netflix. Why? Well, I read about them in the Economist's e-commerce survey, how their business model is disrupting large film rental businesses such as Blockbusters. Good. We are all for disruption by progress. In the same article, it was mentioned that they would be expanding to the UK. I was counting the days to signing up for their service. Well, ok, not really, but I was keeping an eye on it as I am waiting for a similar rental model in the UK. [A friend tells me that there is one called lovefilm.com, bye-bye Blockbusters and Prime Time Video...]

There is a popular blog, HackingNetflix, run by a former PR professional, who approached the Netflix PR team. Twice. Once to ask to be added to the press list. The second time for an interview with a human twist, asking questions about Netflix that customers do not see on their site. He was declined both times. You can see the email from the PR department here.

I think most companies donít get blogs yet. I know Netflix public relations is concerned with making USA Today and the New York Times happy, but how can you ignore a community that has tens of thousands of your customers? I had 1,000 people visit my site today, plus an untold number that read my site through RSS and Atom feeds. If you do the math itís easily 20 Ė 30,000 readers a month (and growing!).

I know I'm not alone. Itís hard to get companies to take bloggers seriously. I really like Netflix, but they are slowly withdrawing, closing themselves off from their customers (they recently removed their phone numbers from the site). Instead, companies should be embracing these online communities, comprised mostly of the highly desired "early adopters2 that evangelize products to the general population.

He is absolutely right and I hope this spreads far enough for Netflix to hear. Steve Rubel, Scoble and Dave Winer all mentioned this on their blogs. I will be watching out for any feedback.




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Comments

Your statement, "Good. We are all for disruption by progress" needs qualification. Disruption of the status quo does not necessarily mean that it is progress. Neither does progress always disrupt the status quo. It may seamlessly work with the status quo.

Netflix is not progress as much as it is an alternative for others. If you like to wait a few days for something to arrive, Netflix is there.

Posted by: Will at June 26, 2004 03:21 PM

"Disruption of the status quo does not necessarily mean that it is progress."

No, I supposed it does not... but I never said "disruption of the status quo" - I said disruption of entrenched business models by progress in technology or other aspects of an industry... which is not only a good thing but desirable.

Posted by: Adriana at June 26, 2004 05:44 PM