Kind of surprised that Cake doesn't email me. No notifications when people comment? No weekly digest? Stuff like that would help keep me active and remind me to come back here and check. Otherwise I need to make a daily habit of it, and the site hasn't sucked me in at that level yet.
We are going to make sure that our email notifications are relevant and useful. We too hate emails that are obviously sent to drive engagement without providing much value to us as users.
Our approach is to only send emails when there is a direct action that our users would want to know about (such as someone replied to your post). Eventually there will be more granularity about opting in to get other types of notification emails (such as someone posted in a conversation you follow etc.)
Cool. I definitely like there to be an email for each comment/reply I get that is obviously relevant to me. I also like the option to have a daily or weekly digest. This is good when I am still getting to know a site and not sure if I want to put it on the list of sites I check every day, but also don't want to forget about it.
Of course, it's important to have clear and fine-grained control over notifications too, so I can turn off emails that aren't interesting enough to me.