all posts tagged 'netflix'

Instability


🔗 a linked post to robinrendle.com » — originally shared here on

The whole point of the web is that we’re not supposed to be dependent on any one company or person or community to make it all work and the only reason why we trusted Google is because the analytics money flowed in our direction. Now that it doesn’t, the whole internet feels unstable. As if all these websites and publishers had set up shop perilously on the edge of an active volcano.

But that instability was always there.

The only social network I post on anymore is LinkedIn. I have close to 2,000 followers there.

Lately, I’ve noticed that the “engagement” on my posts is increasingly sparse. Earlier this year, I was routinely seeing thousands of views per post. These days, I’m only seeing hundreds, and when it comes to sharing links to my newsletter, I’m seeing only dozens.

Meanwhile, here on my rag tag blog, I know my thoughts end up reaching people who matter the most to me.

It’s certainly less than the 2,000 people who follow me on LinkedIn, and substantially less than the tens of thousands of people a week who “engage” with my “content”1 there… but I don’t care.

By posting here, I’m taking the harder route of building an audience without the flashy shortcuts promised by platforms like LinkedIn and Google.

Whenever I try to take shortcuts and play SEO games, I end up doing things to my website which make it feel less authentic.

And these days, I find myself asking, “what exactly do I need to take a shortcut for?”

Robin also quotes this piece by Jeremy Keith where he discusses our need for human curation:

I want a web that empowers people to connect with other people they trust, without any intermediary gatekeepers.


The evangelists of large language models (who may coincidentally have invested heavily in the technology) like to proclaim that a slop-filled future is inevitable, as though we have no choice, as though we must simply accept enshittification as though it were a force of nature.

But we can always walk away.

It’s tough to walk away from the big tech companies, but I can assure you it is possible.

Facebook used to dominate my daily existence, but besides perhaps Marketplace for selling my junk, I do not miss any of Meta’s properties since I left several years back.

Google was my portal to my email, search, and maps for years. In the past few years, I have switched to primarily using Fastmail, Ecosia, and Apple Maps. Here in 2024, they all work well.2

I do my best to avoid ordering stuff off of Amazon, and I hardly stream anything on Netflix anymore.3

I haven’t made the move over to the Light Phone yet, and I find it hard to believe that I’ll give up my Apple Watch, Apple TV, or iPad/Macs… but I do find myself questioning the prolific presence of Apple in my life more often than I did, say, ten years ago.

As I continue to experiment with LLMs, I’ve noticed that the locally-run, open source models getting closer to the performance you see in closed source models like GPT-4o and Claude Sonnet 3.5 Sonnet. It’s only a matter of time that they’re good enough to do the tasks that I find myself turning to ChatGPT to complete today.

Enshittification isn’t inevitable. Like depression, it’s an indicator that something in your digital life needs to change.


  1. Sorry for the obnoxious emphasis on terms like “engagement” and “content”… I’ve reached a point where I feel like those words are meaningless. A lot of the themes of this post can be summed up with trust, and in order to accurately engagement, you have to trust that the metrics provided by the platform vendor are accurate (which I do not). And calling our collective knowledge “content” as though it’s the equivalent of feed for the cattle also upsets me.  

  2. Ecosia’s results are powered by Bing, which traditionally haven’t been that great, but I just consider this to be a benefit of Google’s results becoming terrible. Now both search engines return subpar results, and by using Ecosia, I am helping to plant trees. It ain’t much, but it’s honest work

  3. The last couple weeks have seen my most Netflix action in years, because I did watch Muscles & Mayhem, the American Gladiators documentary, on Netflix last week, and I do highly recommend it. I’m also gonna give the Tour de France documentary a shot as well. 

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Goodbye to Netflix DVDs, The Last Good Tech Company


🔗 a linked post to vice.com » — originally shared here on

Netflix didn’t care what was inside the envelopes, so the only thing that mattered was that we, the customers, were getting what we wanted. Now, Netflix’s entire business is to know what’s inside, to make you think everything you want is inside, and to keep you distracted long enough so you never see the big world outside. Netflix went from being content-agnostic, a truly unbiased platform, if you will, to being content-obsessed, preferring to show you only its own content, and always its own content first.

A similar transition has happened at every major tech company, even the social media companies in which Netflix is often grouped as a major tech company emblematic of Silicon Valley. They all do extensive content moderation even as they claim to just be platforms, because they can no longer declare ignorance or ambivalence about what’s inside. And they, too, want you to look away as rarely as possible. They have all rallied around the cause of engagement. Finding ways to maximize it, to retain it, to increase it. 

This feels similar to the post I made last week about how you should have a website.

What drew me to the internet in my youth was how raw, honest, and authentic it was. It wasn’t about monetization strategies. It wasn’t about engagement metrics. It was about making cool stuff with other dorks that cared about the same things as me for fun.

I watched so many movies with my Netflix DVD subscription back in the day. Now, with vastly more selection available at the touch of my fingers, I find myself getting to the end of my day, turning on my TV, and rewatching something that I’ve already watched before because I'm just so burned out on these terrible walled garden content platforms that only want to serve me the digital equivalent of junk food.

I know that hosting websites isn’t free. But maybe all this scale and reach is just not really needed. Maybe we just need to keep building the internet we want to see instead of relying on big tech to prescribe it for us.

Oh, and the reason I used this particular pull quote is because it’s true... Name any website, app, or SaaS tool out there, and there is undoubtedly an entire team dedicated to figuring out how to exploit it to make as much money as possible.

I really despise this game. It has always made me feel uncomfortable that we’re just cool with it. There has to be a better way to connect each other and derive meaning and value from those connections.

Because the solution of stealing everyone’s attention and addicting us to these worthless platforms can’t possibly be the yard in which we park this train.

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Netflix's lost year: The inside story of the price-hike train wreck


🔗 a linked post to news.cnet.com » — originally shared here on

Some great behind-the-scenes insight behind the last year of Netflix.

It's interesting that 2 years ago, everybody absolutely had to have a Netflix subscription. Now, with rival services like Hulu Plus and Amazon Prime catching up to their instant watch selection, Netflix isn't as crucial anymore.

Jonathan Friedland, the new vice president of global corporate communications who had joined Netflix just a few months earlier, asked whether customers on tight incomes might object to the price hike, according to people at Hastings' meeting. Hastings argued that Netflix was a great bargain. He said he knew that some customers would complain but that the number would be small and the anger would quickly fade.

Hastings was wrong. The price hike and the later, aborted attempt to spin off the company's DVD operations enraged Netflix customers. The company lost 800,000 subscribers, its stock price dropped 77 percent in four months, and management's reputation was battered. Hastings went from Fortune magazine's Businessperson of the Year to the target of Saturday Night Live satire.

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Hollywood Still Hates You


🔗 a linked post to appleoutsider.com » — originally shared here on

This is the sole reason piracy is up and profits are down: because doing it right totally sucks. And that’s apparently how the studios want it.

Preach it.

I love Marco's reply to this post, too:

If I’m adding a movie to my Netflix queue, I’ve already decided not to buy the DVD. I’m adding it because it looks mildly interesting and I’d like to watch it sometime. If I can’t add it to Netflix, I’ll just forget about it and probably never see it.

I think that's probably the biggest reason I stopped buying physical copies of movies. Even though there have been some decent flicks that have come out in the past few years, I find myself going back and watching those movies again less and less. If I'm watching any media, it's streaming TV on Netflix.

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