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.