July 03, 2006

Netflix Takes Libraries To School Part IV: I, Me, Mining

Netflix Lovefest Results From Datamining Interface

This post was intended to be purely about numbers, stats and ranking of DVDs in Netflix and in Libraries using WorldCat. But the interactive, social, instant, business encouraging model at Netflix was so amazingly effective that intent was nearly trumped. Here's a number that explains it all: 2.0. That isn't enough though so here are some other juicy numbers for you via a screenshot of the offical Netflix Top 100 Movie Rentals. This is the version you see when you are logged in to an account (mine, in this case;), so if you don't have a Netflix account this might be especially good to see:

Netflix Top 100 - July 2006

Track top 100 movement every two weeks? See what is already in your queue from the top 100 and add other titles with a click of the mouse? See which of the movies your other Netflix friends have recommended? Add your own ratings to any title in the top 100 instantly? With one click? Your friends then see your ratings and the ratings are also added to the collective rating of the movie? See what movies are popular in you geographic area? All on or launched from one page?! A page that makes sense when you look at it? ILS vendors! Hello! Open WorldCat folks? Anybody in LibraryLand? Please?

Dig a Bit (intended pun) of the Library Data
The following image reveals the Top 50 most widely held DVD titles in WorldCat and the number of libraries that “hold” each title. Interestingly, couched in a Netflix and Libraries discussion, I have to say that the process involved in mining this data was not especially quick or easy. I don’t even know if most library folks would even be able to pull this info out of WorldCat. I certainly had help. It isn’t secret information by any means. In fact, WorldCat and OCLC both works to expose the quantity and quantity of information in library catalogs worldwide. Again, couched in a Netflix and Libraries discussion it is interesting and important information:

Top 50 WorldCat DVD Holdings

Anyone who might have the impression that Netflix has more DVD content variety or quantity than libraries gets a sneak preview here that might make them say “hmmm..”. I’ll work on more stats, though again, the WorldCat data can be surprisingly difficult to mine at this point.

Many folks reading this already know about the Open WorldCat Program , but I'd be remiss not to mention is somewhere in this discussion. Such sweet, juicy potential!

Dream Time
*I know Netflix will surely have more copies of current popular titles, but they sell these in their store once popularity starts to wane. Sound like a library bookstore to anybody? Dream job? Working on a library partnership with Netflix for popular DVDs while also setting up a nationwide "Friends of the Library" interface to sell weeded library materials in partnership with Amazon. Yeah, buddy!*

Posted by libraryman at July 3, 2006 05:47 PM