Friday, July 17, 2009

Looking Back at Netflix

After some much-needed time away from our computers, we’ve got great news: Future Weather made it to the finals of the Netflix Find Your Voice competition, in great standing.

Needless to say, the last few days of the contest were a bit of a roller-coaster ride for the Future Weather team and our fans. We had expected the contest to end at 3am EST on the morning of the 6th, and when we finally shut off our computers, we were confident that we had finished the competition in first place. A lot of us noticed, however, that the votes just kept rolling in. We thought that the website was just catching up with the tally, but around 5pm on Monday, we learned that the contest had been extended another two days.

Jenny left for Europe on Friday, and after checking the vote via text message Monday morning (Sunday 3am EST) was satisfied with the scores. Without access to email, she had no way of knowing that Film Independent (FIND) had e-mailed her Sunday at 11:45pm to notify her of the extension. The real kicker was that this was the only attempt at contacting our team that was made. Kristin was not notified. It wasn’t until about twelve hours later that she finally spoke to our contact at FIND.

Apparently, a glitch in the contest website had left many votes uncounted. Because the five films below Future Weather had been jockeying for position so intently, Netflix and FIND decided to extend the competition, afraid that votes that were uncounted over the weekend might have seriously changed the makeup of the top 5.

After losing a good twelve hours of voting time (and watching our lead of 2,000 shrink considerably), it was a quick scramble to get the word out again. We hit up our Twitter and Facebook pages with a fury, and sent out a blitz of messages asking for your immediate support. Through the intense efforts of our team and our supporters, we managed to get 4,000 votes in under 30 hours. That was a contest record for us, and we couldn’t have done it without an incredible movement of support.

In the end, it came down to a neck-and-neck race for first place between Future Weather and Touchback. After a heated final hour of the competition, Touchback managed to take the top spot—but only by six stars.

Most of our fans and our team were incredibly disappointed with the way the extended contest played out. After all of our hard work to get Future Weather into first place, those twelve hours that we were out of the loop had a real impact on our lead. There was a lot of confusion because there had been no mention of the extension anywhere on the contest website. To add to it, many of our fans noticed odd voting behavior from one of the other contestants as we finished out the extension period. And because they couldn't be certain of the impact that the lost votes had, FIND decided to move six films into the finals instead of five.

That being said, we are thrilled with the results of the competition. Our fans stood by us and helped us rally over 7,000 fans to cast votes in our favor. They brought us new friends and great PR to support Future Weather as we finish out the final round of the contest.

This next phase is in the hands of the contest's judges, who will choose a winner from the six finalists. The fact that we're at the forefront of the vote will make a strong statement on our behalf, but the rest is up to them. Stay in the loop here at The Future Weather Report.

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