Hello Qwikster. Goodbye Qwikster.

Very glad to see today’s Netflix announcement that the company will not be splitting the DVD-by-mail and streaming services into two separate companies.

First, because I can’t spell Qwikster. It took me four tries just to type the title of this post.

Second, because I don’t want to be exposed as a hypocrite for having blogged about my impending defection and then being forced to admit that I didn’t actually follow through on that defection.

So here’s the big thing I’m wondering: Why the hell do I care about this so much? There are far more important things happening right now that actually affect people’s lives in much more significant ways. Right now, people are protesting government/corporate corruption in cities all over the country. I’m not there marching with them. I’m here, blogging about Netflix and feeling relieved that a small but undeniable crises has been averted.

Have I become one of the people I worry so much about? Am I now actually the person who cares more about my personal entertainment options than civil affairs and participatory governance? Have I already amused myself to death?

The Great Netflix/Qwikster Debacle: My bottom line

A few months ago, Netflix announced that it was going to split subscription plans for DVD-by-mail and video streaming, effectively charging more for customers wanting both services. The Twitterverse, Blogosphere, Facebook Nation and other nonexistent places convulsed.

I didn’t care. I never felt like I was really paying enough for the services, and $17/month seemed pretty reasonable.

Yesterday, we learned that Netflix is splitting itself into two companies. Netflix will continue to handle the video streaming service. A new company, Qwikster, will handle DVD-by-mail. Apparently, the new Qwikster company, will operate from a separate website with a separate account.

I get why they are doing this.

I don’t like it. Here’s why:

Netflix has been a great company. They provide excellent customer service, operate a clean, easy-to-navigate website, and experience very little down time. When the site crashes, even for a moment, they send an apologetic email.

When DVDs get damaged in the mail, you can report the problem and order a replacement disc with no hassle.

They ship your next disc as soon as they receive your returned disc.

They offer good inventory with a list that is easy to plan your viewing by priortizing DVD-by-mail alongside streaming on demand.

The best thing about Netflix is the recommendation engine, the ratings and the ability to plan your viewing with a mix of streaming and non-streaming.

I’m a sucker for making lists and rating things. That’s a separate post. For now, let’s just say that Netflix is a fun website to browse and play with.

I will stay with Netflix/Qwikster if they keep my list together and allow me to manage all of my viewing from one location. If I have to maintain two lists and can only rate movies that I watched in streaming on one and by DVD on the other, and those two lists can’t blend, I’m dropping Qwikster and going streaming only.

I can shell out the $1/day for my RedBox must see new releases.