Hacking Netflix Blog: a thriving “Unofficial” Company blog

 

Netflix founder and CEO

 

Ok, so what is an “unofficial company blog” anyway? I will welcome all of your thoughts, because after extensive search for clarity on this matter, the only conclusions I could come up with is that  you can recognize an unofficial company blog by what it isn’t: AN OFFICIAL COMPANY BLOG!  

 While an unofficial company blog can take on many guises, the only common ground would seem to be that while the blog revolves around doings at the company in question, content (at least for the most part) does not emanate from official company sources, there is no official company funding or for that matter, sanctioning of the site. 

 An example I choose to highlight is the Hacking Netflix Blog. According to Sepulveda: “Netflix, the #1 on-line DVD rental company has its official unofficial blog at www.hackingnetflix.com. With more than 30,000 readers/month, it is a super rich source of information and dialogue between the company and its very loyal customer base. Except Netflix doesn’t seem to notice the existance (sic) of the blog nor care about it…” 

 At this readership level, the site is certainly popular. What it is not is polished. The site looks very much like many of the homemade sites cobbled together in the mid ‘90’s 

 The author of the site is only known as Mike, and in his own words, the purpose of this site: “This site is an independent Web site (I don’t work for Netflix). Netflix is registered trademark of Netflix, Inc. HackingNetflix will not teach you how to lie, cheat or steal from Netflix. Hacking is the desire to fully understand something, and we want to learn as much as we can about this company and share this information.” 

 While all posts are topically about Netflix- movies (what to watch, how to care for, etc) and the industry- within those parameters, the subjects run the gamut. 

 In addition to recent and upcoming movie releases at Netflix, “Mike” also discusses issues about the company (positive, negative and inane – see Netflix CEO Bobble head), and posts items of interest to the industry in general (advances in streaming media), including links to Movie reviews and podcasts about the industry. 

 The site also lists other Netflix blogs including the “official” Netflix blog:  Netflix Community Blog, hosts affinity postings for Netflix and Blockbuster, and lists his own Netflix queue. There are links to all types of general topics on movies, and even a link to the Netflix employment page. 

 As indicated above, Netflix seemingly pays this site little heed. If true, they are missing a golden opportunity to: 

  • Gain insights from one of their biggest fans, Mike.
  • Gain insights from the people who respond on this site. Some posters seem to be loyal followers of this blog, and likely patronize other posting venues.
  • Occasionally respond (in a non defensive way) to some of the more concerned questions (for example, about delay in availability of movies on someone’s queue. Mike does a good job overall of responding on a positive note as to why some situations  occur, but giving the people the opportunity to officially hear from Netflix might be a positive (for both this site and Netflix).
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