Cake
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    • Unfortunately, as much as I've loved posting and debating on Cake — and getting to know so many of youz — it seems most customers who tried it have shrugged and moved on. I am so very sorry to those of you who took a chance on us and poured your hearts into conversations, as I did, only to see it come to an end. I hope the time you devoted was enjoyable and that we learned something from each other and had some fun.

      The thing is you have to get to a certain growth rate to attract investors, subscribers or advertisers, and we didn't, for whatever reasons. The hardest thing for me is letting down wonderful investors who believed in us, some really great employees who have become close friends, and all of you. I gave it everything I knew how for years and invested quite a bit of money into it.

      So what will happen to the great conversations we've had on Cake that get so many views because Google decided they should rank high in search results? I've agonized about that because some of them are truly great and I hate to see them vanish. One thing would be to convert them to static HTML and let them live forever, but I don't know about the legal question of right to be forgotten laws, yada. Anyone have insight on the right thing to do?

      In terms of timing, I'm not in a hurry, but I imagine an announcement like this will slow posting even more than the slow pace we have now.

      My heart always jumped when I'd see posts from some of the stalwarts of the site. I started to make a list but I was too afraid of leaving anyone off whose posts I have loved. As I go about life I always think "oh, @Denise would love this or @Pathfinder would have something great to say about that, or @DangerDave will jump in with a joke." +100 other people I love to interact with here.

      I'd be very interested hear perspectives on what we could have done to make it go.

      All the best,

      Chris

      Pic: https://www.pinterest.com/pin/176977460336576110/

    • Unfortunately I'm not surprised and I had been thinking posts had been slowing down even more recently.

      I'm going to miss being able to have some VERY informative conversations with people on Cake and I've learnt a lot from topics on here.

      The only thing I could comment on regarding what could have been done is that I've never seen any advertising.

    • I am so sorry Chris. I've really enjoyed reading and commenting here. The quality of the posts and the conversation has been incredibly rich. It has always been a pleasure to check in to see what others, and in large part, you have to say on such a broad range of topics.

    • There is an old saying: "If wishes were horses then beggars would ride."

      When I first began posting on Cake, I made several suggestions but I was under the impression that the reason that suggestions were not implemented was due to Cake not have enough employees to implement those suggestions. The reason that I got that impression was because I was told that those suggestions were in alignment with that which Cake desired to eventually become but that there were other proposed features that were of a higher priority.

      One can only play the cards which one has in one's hand and it does no good to moan about the cards which one does not have.

      I guess what I am trying to say, Chris, is that if the reason that Cake did not implement more of the features which its own employees said were desired was due to a lack of sufficient support staff then conducting an autopsy of the last two and a half years is not a productive way to spend the last few weeks or months of this platform.

      If you guys did what you had the resources to do then focus on what you did accomplish not on what you could of accomplished if you had had unlimited resources.

    • I have no emoji...

      Actually truly saddened by this news, after trying far too many different social platforms, Cake was about the only one I had any desire to post on regularly.

      But if there isn't the adoption then there isn't the adoption. :-(

      Haven't been around here long enough to be able to make any real comment about what could have been done differently.

    • Thank you for showing that this kind of positive project can exist. Actually I was just thinking how this project can survive. And you posted this. Yes it is a challenge... But hopefully the similar projects will appear. I am not an active user here, but for sure liked it a lot! Love no hate and respect. Good luck with your future projects and hopefully we will find you on the next great one.

      Did you really make this cake by yourself??? ☺️

    • Sorry to see this one go. It’s been fun and so many interesting and diverse people here. Was a friendly place and certainly some interesting topics to follow along with.
      hope to catch up with you all somewhere else.
      I’m also on a similar platform that’s slowly gaining a little ground a local Australian platform called Tupua. They are trying to replicate Google plus thou not trying for a large audience. Again like here a small core group, self funded they have just started up a red bubble page to try and get some funding. So far it’s going well, like here very friendly.
      sorry to see Cake go. I’ve met some good people here (virtual).
      stay safe everyone out there.

      Glenn

      The mushroom guy.

    • Sorry to hear that, Chris. While, as others have said, it's not completely unexpected at this point, it's still sad to see it end.

      I'd be very interested hear perspectives on what we could have done to make it go.

      Let's start positive. I'd like to point out those things first that, at least in my opinion, are not the problem. :) In no specific order:

      The programming just works. In all the time I've spent here, I've never seen any big bugs except for the rare "guru meditation" of your cache(?) server. The design is clean, the UI mostly does what it's supposed to do - and moves out of the way while it's not necessary.

      There has been talk about an app missing in the past, and there's a conversation about it now - but while having some sort of push notification for new replies in a conversation might have led to some of the conversations being a bit more active, I don't think this is a big issue.

      The general ideas that have been implemented here are good as well. Allowing users to put their conversation in multiple topics, leading to always new sub-groups of people coming together, is great - as is the idea of having public but moderated conversations.

      Last but not least, you guys. @Chris Whether it's you personally, or anyone else from the team - I've always got the impression that you really like and are proud of what you're doing, and it's not just another job that pays the bills. I've seen much, much worse on other platforms in the past!

      So, what could have been the problem?

      First of all, I don't know if anyone has noticed, but there's a raging pandemic out there, plus at least one other crisis for the next decades looming on the horizon, plus populists all over the globe! We're living in a time that is so "interesting" that there should be one or another chinese proverb about it. :)

      In theory, this sounds like the best-case scenario for a civil conversation platform - but to be honest, while I'm mostly sitting in front of a screen in my free time nowadays, at the moment I'd rather escape and watch The Mandalorian or play yet another round of Stellaris than having to deal with everything that's going on in the world for even more hours of every day.

      After that, it becomes mostly the chicken-and-egg problem that I've talked about several times in the past. A platform like this works best if there are knowledgeable users (to avoid the term "experts" this time around) for the topic I want to talk about - and if those don't exist, having only a few on-topic replies would probably be preferable to having off-topic replies by the "regulars" with all the best intentions but ultimately leading to conversations that are not about the originally intended topic.

      Having no audience means that the few knowledgeable users you have move elsewhere - while at the same time, user churn means that the next conversation will have even less of an audience than the last.

      What's next?

      I guess there really is no "next" - and if that's the case, this is sad but perfectly OK. After all, you @Chris are only responsible for your own (financially and otherwise) well-being, and not for any one of us.

      However, if the situation allows for some sort of last hurrah, I would try either (or perhaps both) of these options:

      First, try vertical instead of horizontal: stop trying to be a somewhat good platform for everything, and instead concentrate on being the best possible platform for any single topic of your choice. This means getting active experts not randomly scattered across topics, but for a narrow range of topics - preferably one that you are knowledgeable about yourself. This means having a good, hard look at your taxonomy/folksonomy, expanding it where necessary and perhaps reducing it a bit in other regards. This might also mean artificially increasing the visibility of conversations in these topics vs. others.

      This doesn't mean that everyone else would have to leave - but just that not all topics get equal levels of support and attention for the time being. I have a subjective opinion about what topics you might want to go for, but I'm not suggesting any at the moment so that this stays a neutral suggestion.

      Second, if further development is an option at all either now or later, the one thing that could use some improvement is the first post in a conversation. Just allowing multiple images (without having to go through other products to include them as links) and some more formatting would go a long way towards attracting conversation starters.

    • I think you've done well to keep it propped up this long.

      Whatever you decide is all good with me.

      Thanks heaps. See you on ADV or whatever you crank up next,

    • Oh drats, please tell me this is a joke. I just joined a few days ago and I am loving Cake.
      I hope this isn't goodbye as for my short time here I have been loving it.

      I just replied to someone earlier stating that I have Love Cake and Mewe and both will surpass Facebook sooner rather than later.

      I hope you reconsider and take a chance and keep Cake running till the end of 2021, as it could be due to the unfortunate pandemic that has slowed things down too.

      I just hope once again, I didn't just joined this app social site when it's ending.

      Please @Chris give it till the end of 2021.

    • Well this really sucks!!

      I am sorely disheartened, as there is no place on the Web I enjoy as much as I enjoy Cake. The clean, spare pages - without the blinking ads, loud obnoxious video ads, and running marquis messages, and other click bait, seen on so many other sites are truly a breath of fresh air, compared to most of the web.

      I kind of think of Cake like a 17th century coffee shop - a warm, space where one can engage in spirited conversation without dealing with intoxicated folks, but folks invogorated with sugar and caffeine, protected from the cold winds outside. Pubs had been present in the cities for centuries, but coffee houses were new, and a great place to meet new, relatively sober, working people, and catch up on what was happening in the world.

      Damn, 2020 has been bad enough as it is. I would hate to think that Cake is going to be another casualty of 2020.

      I have no idea whatsoever of the monthly expence to run Cake, but it is obvious that Cake has made no real attempt to monitize those of us who post here, unlike Google, FaceBook, Yahoo, etc. I say that with deep gratitude, not as a criticism.

      So where might funding come from? Selected ads might actually be appreciated by readers - not the blinking, flashing neon variety, but the textual fact based kind that actually provide some education about why one might truly appreciate a certain product. For instance, I have read a significant number of books I learned about here on Cake and I can't be the only reader like that. Is there any way to monetize that function for Cake's benefit? I see ads for photo gear all the time saying please mention that you read about this gear here when you purchase from Adorama, B&H, Amazon, whoever.

      I, recently, used a UV light activated adhesive to attach a guide scope to a plastic telescope tube and was quite impressed by how effective, easy to use, and how strong is seems to be. Never heard of the brand, but other's might find it useful as well.

      Another source of funds, might be to offer Cake as a subscription service, similar to what Luminous Landscape finally did. Their fee of $12 a year shouldn't deter any but the pennyiless, but I was thinking more of a low rate for individuals versus a variable rate for businesses. I am inclined to trust Chris's judgement about what business might be worthy.

      I do think allowing private discussion rooms on Cake might encourage more use - and a few more potential concerns, too I suspect. But there are legitimate topics I might like to discuss with a certain group of folks I know, like a few family members, but prefer to not make those discussions open to the general public.

      The ability to IM or email site users - with their permission of course - wouild make the site more appealing, also. Yes, I have mentioned this in the past too. I still think that would attract more members.

      In a coffee house, one can purchase a cup of java for a friend to join the conversation. Could we do a similar service here via Grubhub or Starbucks or something? And Cake gets a small commssion in the process as well?

      Last but not least, is whether any of the readers might be a potential micro investor, via some means. There are other sources of funding too - like a Kickstarter kind of thing. But that probably is not something the present investor base would cotton too. But a subscription base shouldn't be too off putting to present investors, I would think.

      I do hope the site is kept up - I have some posts here that I look at from time to time that I did not retain in digital format on my own storage since I didn't foresee Cake closing. My bad, I guess.

      I have doubt that I have offered any new suggestions here that you haven't thought of already @Chris I wish I had more suggestions to help Cake thrive.

      I will greatly miss the ability to converse with you @Chris and many other Cake members if/when the site comes down.

      Site funding might even be an appropriate discussion in a private room........where I might have a couple other thoughts.

      I want to thank you for all your efforts here to make Cake such a welcoming and informative site.

    • The year of doom just got worse. This place is unique and always a pleasure to visit. Every day I look forward to intellignt, respectful and polite conversations from which I've learned so much.

      I'd happily support a subscription model and would even tolerate the presence of ads if they kept Cake alive. Cake has added value to my life and there must be some way for me to support the endeavor. But if this is the end of the day, thank you Chris; for everything!

    • Just wanna say I’ve had tons of fun being a part of the Cake community. It’s given me a chance to grow as a writer and interact with thoughtful, intelligent people.

      Thank you, @Chris and @Vilen for all your efforts!

    • Just food for thought: I’ve thought Cake would possibly be a good tool in education for students to engage with each other on.

      Cake has lots of good things going for it. Bummer it’s not gonna be around. Once again, thanks for the good times on here! I’m grateful for all the cool people I’ve met on here!

    • Thanks Chris, thank you to the employees who worked on this and thanks to the great people who shared in the many conversations I read and took part in on Cake. It certainly proved to me there’s a need for a platform that allows meaningful conversations with open minded people. Good luck to everyone in their future endeavors and stay safe. You’ll all be missed. Happy holidays from Canada.

    • I am happy that it's not final, as I want Cake to stay for the long haul, possibly forever.

      I am sorry to hear he has a Covid situation in his family, please send my prayers and well wishes to him, his family and his friends for me.

    • Potentially great and bad news all in one message!

      Obviously firstly best wishes to @Chris and family and the crisis they are dealing with.

      Secondly, if there is the chance that the death of cake is not certain then I'm willing to do whatever I can to take part in it's resurgence.

      I don't know how that can happen but I'm going to give it some thought. One obvious thing would be for everyone to continue posting as if they had never read this thread. A lack of content and action is the principle problem and making it worse isn't going to help at all.

      I am curious, what the long term plan to monetise Cake was from the beginning as obviously it must have been intended to become self-funding if not profitable at some point. Was there a plan for advertising or subscriptions at some point?

    • Thanks for the inside info, @Shewmaker! And of course, prayers up for @Chris and his family. I’ll happily share some thoughts of mine later this evening that could possibly help Cake given that the decision is not for sure final. Though I fully acknowledge the writing on the wall.