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    • 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?

    • I just find Cake and obviously want this Cake to last a long time and not bitten into for years to come.

      As you can tell for the short time I've been on here, I am already loving it. To be honest it sort of reminds me a little bit of Mewe and MySpace came together, But a whole lot better than MySpace ever was. (Yeah I can't believe I just mentioned MySpace twice)!

    • I have to agree and disagree with you there, MySpace was great when it first came around and if I remember correctly it was good for the first couple of years then it started getting too many artists and musicians cluttering up the Streams which in turn diminished it as it turned most people off. That's when Facebook entered the premise now unfortunately Facebook is turning into MySpace with the added insult of selling your privacy and content.

      I do agree with you that Cake is way better.

    • It was not inside info. I had sent him an email and he was simply responding to my email. It could have just as easily been anyone else who might have emailed him. He asked me to post that info on Cake, so I did so.

    • Hi everyone again!

      Maybe we could all do something about it by contributing in the different ways, besides being present in 🍰

      Of course there are time & financial weight... So for example taking a slice of the cake with a different responsibility. @S4-John which slice of the cake we are taking for Christmas? ☺️

    • Darn.


      I’ve always wondered when this time would come—even when we got together many months ago at Filoli, @Chris was racking his brain trying to figure out how to help Cake make the leap to viability. He has been working hard at this for quite a while! This must be a deep disappointment for him. But even if it is ultimately a disappointment, it has been an extraordinary experience. 👍🏻

      Coincidentally, I happened to watch “The Social Dilemma” yesterday, and was struck by how many Silicon Valley insiders kept saying, “we never expected this [Facebook, Twitter, Google, Pinterest, Instagram, insert your favorite platform here] to become so awful.” That sentiment seemed so genuine, it made me worry a lot about Cake.

      I have backed away from so many platforms in the past few months. Other than just an occasional (I hope helpful) comment posted on one or two other platforms, Cake has been where I dare start a conversation, and where I deeply appreciate the intelligent engagement that is lacking elsewhere. But I completely understand the need to move on when time is up.

      As to Chris’s inquiry, I would prefer that the whole thing disappear rather than leaving it up on the web as a legacy artifact that no longer operates as it has. But that’s just me.

      Thank you for everything, Chris.

      🙏🏼

    • Thanks so much for all the well-wishes and great posts. It makes me feel a lot better.

      The COVID emergency was that my daughter tore the cartilage in her knee which would require flying to LAX for surgery, which caused my wife and I to drive to Oregon to watch her 5 kids because her husband is a very busy doc. So far so good.

      This morning I drove her to the airport for tomorrow’s surgery and we learned there was a problem with her COVID test. The testing company was not going to be able to deliver test results before the surgery after all and no results no surgery. So she found herself in LA scrambling to get a quick test, which the surgicenter said they would not accept.

      The surgicenter referred her to LA hospitals, who said you must be joking, the earliest they could test is January 5th.

      Her husband finally got through to the surgeon and got him to agree to accepting the results of a quick test, but we worked on this all day.

    • Ouch! Torn knee cartilage doesn't sound fun and that all sounds like an epic hassle but at least you got the right result and it's a lot better than most people would have imagined after reading Covid related emergency.

    • Ok, so I've been on Cake for about three years. What drew me to the site was @Chris and him being a long-time family friend from church. We've done marathons together, gone to Africa together, etc. So, I consider him and his family to be close friends and I got on the site to show support.

      I also am interested in trying new things and as a writer, I love to share my thoughts with people. In addition, I also felt that the concept behind Cake was good. Following topics, not people. Having conversations about topics that really interest you, etc.

      I don't think any social media site out there has figured out the conversation part. They have bits and pieces of it, but not the fullness of what it takes to have meaningful conversations. That's what makes the creation of Cake interesting. It strives to accomplish something that other sites haven't. Even more boldly, Cake comes out and points the finger at other social media sites for failing to do so. It is for this reason that I believe Cake has the potential to pay real dividends.

      However, there are five things that I think Cake should consider doing if it is to avoid doom and gloom. I will briefly share those five things with the hope of making the site better and giving Chris the type of feedback that he was hoping to get from this thread.

      #1. More promotion of Cake via other social media platforms: While Cake strives to be different and unique from other social media platforms, that doesn't mean it should totally ignore them, either. Sites like Facebook and Twitter have tons of users, many of which I'm sure would be willing to join the Cake community if they only knew of its existence.

      I think it would help if Cake had more of an active presence on Facebook and Twitter to promote some of the better, more enriching conversations we've had on here. I know that a Cake twitter account has already been set up and when used, it has done a decent job of promoting some interesting conversations. The problem is the account hasn't tweeted much. Typically 1-2 times a month and it hasn't tweeted or retweeted anything since June.

      I understand that you don't want to tweet too much and that the goal is to siphon off users from these other platforms, but without tweeting or posting at all on these sites, you are also robbing yourself of a chance to promote your brand for free!

      As for what type of content Cake should tweet out, I think tweeting out top conversations that have generated lots of responses should be the goal. This can of course include interesting panels, something I'll get into in my next point.

      So, I think if Cake tweeted out 2-3 times a week key conversations that have generated at least a solid conversation (10+ comments), that would be a good place to start. You wouldn't be selling just the content, but the conversation around the content. Maybe someone reads a Cake post on Facebook or Twitter and thinks "Hey, I want to be in on that conversation" or "I wish I could join in on conversations like that" and sign up for Cake.

      This is something that @JazliAziz has brought up multiple times on here. For good reason, I think.

      #2. Run more panel conversations: When I've talked to Chris about his long-term vision for Cake, something he's brought up to me is the panel conversations. Bringing in notable people who are experts in their field and allowing every day people who are interested in that subject to pitch them questions and get their responses.

      As a member of the media, I can tell you a lot of fans wish they were in my shoes to pitch questions to college basketball head coaches about the game that was just played. People want to connect with notables. If you brought in some notables to have a panel conversation and got everyday people to participate and pitch them questions, that could generate some real interest in the site.

      Of course, you're not going to start with say Michelle Obama, but I'm sure there's a lot of highly qualified people in the science and tech industries that would be more than happy to participate in a panel conversation if asked. Maybe this avenue has been exhausted and/or the interest isn't there, but I do think running more panels and of course promoting them as I said in my first suggestion would really help the site's potential for growth.

      #3. Focus on building up communities in areas that are already strong: The most followed topics on Cake are Apple, science, science news, technology, technology news, and computers. Politics, US politics, and Philosophy aren't far behind. There's some other topics I'm leaving out as well, but these are the main ones that come to mind.

      When it comes to finding conversations that Cake can promote, I think these are the topics that should be getting the most attention. When I write a post on Cake, I always try to see if I can attach my post to at least one of these topics because I know these topics have tons of followers on Cake.

      If Cake is going to grow, it's going to need content that attracts readers and quality conversations. Given that these topics have a solid following, Cake would be smart to focus their energies on creating thriving communities that area interested in these topics. I'm not saying Cake hasn't been doing that or that Cake should ignore the other topics on the site, but I do think when it comes to panels and conversations that are tweeted out, really focusing on these topics should be a focus.

      Get a thriving community that is interested in science and tech on Cake first and then once that is really humming, the other topics of conversation can follow. E.g. Sports, which hasn't really taken off on here but has potential due to how much it is consumed online.

      #4. Consider a premium/paid version: I respect the decision to not run ads on Cake, so if that option is a big no-no, then I think having a premium subscription model should be strongly considered. At GoldenBearReport.com, which is part of the Rivals.com network, we have a thriving community of diehard Cal fans that are willing to pay a monthly subscription, around $7.99 a month, to get access to our premium message boards and premium content. That premium content includes scoops on the basketball and football teams, exclusive interviews, and a message board community that is popping with fun conversations about all things Cal sports.

      I'm not sure what premium a subscription to Cake would look like, but by paying $4.99 a month, premium subscribers could get access to more features like the ability to start more conversations, get first heads up on what panels are upcoming, the ability to have more reactions, multiple identities, etc. You could have "Premium Cake" be a followed topic where those with a paying subscription get the type of premium updates that I'm talking about. They can have more of a voice in the direction of the site and the type of content that will be produced.

      #5. Consider a direct messaging option: I don't know feasible this is, but nearly every social media site has some form of direct messaging. Maybe this could be a premium feature? I think one thing that could keep people on Cake is the ability to direct message users. At Rivals, people are able to direct message each other via a private forum. Obviously, you don't want people to be spammed by unsolicited/unwanted messages, but there's an easy way to go about that. You could allow people to "follow each other" or something purely for the purposes of being able to direct message each other.

      There have been times where I wish I could message @Pathfinder about a photo he posted or @Shewmaker about a cool religious post he had. Maybe I want to message @Glenn_Smith more about his photos of Saturn and Jupiter coming together, but I don't want to detract from the conversation on the main thread.

      By being able to message people, you are able to draw closer to them and build more of a sense of community. I do think an ability to message people on Cake would really help create more user engagement.

      Anyways, those are my five suggestions for how we can make Cake better/how Cake could have been better. I would feel bad if I never wrote this as I do love the community that we have created on here. We just gotta get the word out about how awesome this place is to the right people!