Cake
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    • Trying to find people to follow. I know a few of my friends are on here but I have no idea how to find their accounts and follow them? Would be great to import contacts, *not* to mass-follow them or to invite anyone new necessarily, but just to see who's already here so I can choose who I want to follow.

    • Hi Jason,

      We've been expecting that request since we first started designing Cake. I can see many use cases, such as you following a topic where an authority participates and you don't want to miss any of their posts in that topic.

      One complication is what it means. Does it mean that you only get their activity in, say, the surfing topic? What if you are following them because they say awesome things about surfing, but you don't want to hear about their politics, another topic you follow?

      This is a big problem with Facebook. You follow your uncle to keep up with the cousins, but he can't help going off about his politics, which you can't unsee. Would we simply default to surfacing all their stuff in your feed for a particular topic? And if you saw them in another topic, you'd choose to follow them there?

      Unfortunately, I have to set expectations low for when we could get to this because we think it could be very tough technical challenge at scale.

    • For me, this is not about following an authority in a topic. It's based on the observation that *the best writers are so interesting that you want to read whatever they write, no matter what the topic.* (Like when I was in college, I would sign up for classes by the best professors no matter the subject.)

      Also, there is cross-pollination between people and topics. Interesting topics surface new people for me to follow, and interesting people introduce me to new topics to follow. Much easier to discover and expand my follows if there are both options, working across each other.

      Here's my product suggestion, as a fellow techie with some product and engineering background, and as a fairly avid user of social networks:

      * Let me follow both people and topics, like on Quora. I see content in my feed if it's by a person I follow, *or* on a topic I follow.

      * Make it a one-way follow, like on Twitter/Quora, not a two-way “friending” action, like on Facebook.

      * As you build the community, set expectations that you should follow people based on enjoying what they write, *not* based on pre-existing social relationships like friends, family or co-workers. (A one-way follow model helps with this.)

      * Let me also mute people and topics. Muting overrides following, so if there's content on a topic I follow, but by a person I've muted (or vice versa), then I don't see it.

      * The above should cover 99% of use cases. If that's not enough, then someday, for power users, let me follow or mute specific (person x topic) combinations. My guess is, you will simply never need this feature.

      PS: I sent @yaypie more thoughts on this in email a little while ago.

    • Thanks for the suggestions!

      * Let me also mute people and topics. Muting overrides following, so if there's content on a topic I follow, but by a person I've muted (or vice versa), then I don't see it.

      Incidentally, Cake already supports muting and ignoring users. You can mute or ignore someone via the dropdown menu on a post.

      When you ignore someone, you'll no longer see their posts or conversations by default (this is what you referred to as "muting"). If that person happens to post in someone else's conversation, you'll see a placeholder instead of their post, and you can decide to expand it if you really want to see it.

      When you mute someone, that person will no longer be able to post in conversations you start.

    • I’ve been pondering whether I would like to see Cake add following. In the early days of Twitter, the thing that totally hooked me on it was how curating your following list had the effect of creating sort of an AI that showed you the things going on in the world that fit your particular interests. I went from being generally uninformed (I can’t stand watching the news; it’s too traumatic and depressing for an empathetic personality type) to actually knowing what was going on in the world without having to expose myself to excessive extraneous depressing stuff. But then Twitter just got too big for it to be possible to maintain both a streamlined following list AND a life and career, and I lost my “safe” window on the world.

      I’d love to have that back. I just don’t know if it’s really possible.

    • I should clarify...I know Cake lets me *directly* curate stuff. And now that I’ve pondered it a little more, it could be that following interesting topics will have the same effect, since interesting topics tend to lead to other interesting topics. It’s that thing of discovering new interesting topics I wouldn’t have thought to look for myself — that’s the thing I lost when Twitter got too big, that I’m hoping Cake will bring back. And maybe since it does it in a different way, it will scale better and not get lost as Cake grows. 😊

    • This is exactly what we're hoping for too. We think following topics can be a more natural and effective way to curate the conversations you see than following people, especially since everyone's interests fluctuate over time.

      This week I might be interested in politics, but next week maybe I'll be sick of politics and only want to see cute animals for a while. Following and unfollowing topics is easy, and you won't hurt a topic's feelings by unfollowing it or confuse it by re-following it. 😄

      We may add more people-focused features in the future, but right now topics are our focus.

    You've been invited!