Coming attraction: online chats with film buffs

Jan 19, 2011 By MICHAEL LIEDTKE , AP Technology Writer

(AP) -- As Netflix and other video services offer thousands of movies streamed over the Internet, all those choices are creating a dilemma: what to watch next.

A 2-year-old movie recommendation website called Clerkdogs is addressing the problem by offering online chats with former video store clerks, film critics and other movie buffs.

The chat option is scheduled to debut at 7 p.m. ET Thursday, just as some subscribers to Inc.'s rapidly growing might be settling in for an evening of entertainment.

Clerkdogs' chat service initially will be available for a few hours a day, depending on the availability of the roughly 20 former video store clerks who will be providing most of the advice. Within a few months, "Clerks Live" is supposed be available around the clock and staffed by movie and TV critics, film professors and bloggers, as well as the former video store workers.

Netflix recommends to its estimated 19 million subscribers by drawing upon the billions of ratings that its customers have entered into its database since it began delivering DVDs through the mail in 1999. The service added Internet streaming to its service in 2007.

Computer-driven suggestions have always seemed inadequate to Clerkdogs founder, Stuart Skorman, because the technology doesn't account for mood swings. He thinks many people miss the days when they could talk to a clerk at a video stores. The stores have been closing in the past few years due to competition from Netflix and Redbox's DVD-rental kiosks.

"There is no way people can interact with other humans, but they need to more than ever because there are more movies than ever available online," he said.

Clerkdogs' website serves up recommendations about more than 18,000 movies and TV shows based on the insights of the former clerks.

Netflix recently licensed part of Clerkdogs' database to test how effective it is.

Explore further: Sony's quarterly loss balloons on mobile woes

not rated yet
add to favorites email to friend print save as pdf

Related Stories

Netflix to delay delivery of Warner's latest DVDs

Jan 06, 2010

(AP) -- Netflix Inc. will delay sending out Warner Bros.' latest movies by nearly a month in a concession that the DVD-by-mail service made so it could gain rights to show its subscribers more movies over the Internet.

Wii becomes third console to stream Netflix

Jan 13, 2010

(AP) -- It's a triple crown for Netflix. Beginning in the spring, the Wii will become the last of the three current video game consoles to get instant viewing of Netflix movies and TV shows over the Internet.

Recommended for you

Sony's quarterly loss balloons on mobile woes

12 hours ago

Sony's losses ballooned to 136 billion yen ($1.2 billion) last quarter as the Japanese electronics and entertainment company's troubled mobile phone division reported huge red ink.

Will Apple Pay be mobile pay's kick-start?

19 hours ago

If anyone can get us to use our smartphones as wallets, it's Apple. That's what experts think about the recent launch of Apple Pay, the first mobile wallet to work on an iPhone.

Google execs discuss regulation, innovation and bobble-heads

21 hours ago

Eric Schmidt and Jonathan Rosenberg help run Google, one of the world's best-known, most successful - and most controversial - companies. They've just published a new book, "How Google Works," a guide to managing what they ...

LinkedIn reports 3Q loss but sales climb

22 hours ago

LinkedIn Corp. posted a third-quarter loss on Thursday, but its results were better than expected as revenue grew sharply, sending shares of the online professional networking service higher in extended trading.

User comments : 0

Please sign in to add a comment. Registration is free, and takes less than a minute. Read more

Click here to reset your password.
Sign in to get notified via email when new comments are made.