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    • What we need to build seems worthy of its own conversation. Source: https://cake.co/c/wFxDPTj/bdnZSFc

      Going with the convention of starting a new conversation when a tangent threatens to overtake the main discussion, I thought I’d take the initiative in starting a new thread from @Factotum ‘s conversation on Topic Drift.

      So what feature would be most important to enhancing your Cake experience? Private messaging other users? Tagging off-topic posts? Embedded links for Android? Multiple photos in one post?

      🤔

    • I think for me there are two builds that are important to me.

      One is private group messaging. Being able to organize workshops would be 100 times easier if I could communicate via DM with the panelists before we launched. It would also make it easier for troubleshooting panel interviews if a panelist was trying to figure out how to use the format editor, etc. during the interview.

      Two is being able to pin a favorite response to my profile. I want someone clicking on my profile to see a representative sample of my long-form writing. Unfortunately, Cake goes in waves of long-form conversations and then short-form paragraph or less responses. The reality is that whether someone clicks on a conversation has as much to do with who’s avatar is next to it as the headline. Having a pinned response means that someone can quickly assess if your avatar is a Good Housekeeping seal of quality.

    • I want this to be a multiple choice poll, dammit. No, you are going to make me think for myself... Grr.

      OK, then.

      First, I should say that I access Cake exclusively using my phone. That is probably why my two highest priority asks are...

      #1 for me by far is making photos more friendly. I want to be able to zoom in and look at details, and I want to be able to easily load 3-4 pics into one post. Looking at pics on a small screen without being able to zoom in is super-frustrating. Even clicking on links to photos off-site (where I can zoom in) is frustrating because I then have to find my way back into the thread via my app-I can’t just close the off-site pic and instantly return to the thread.

      #2 I want that badge thing on my Cake app that tells me how many new notifications I have before I even open the app.

      As for not having IM capability, I understand that Is a huge adjustment for newbies, and not having it may create a higher rate of transience because it is so difficult to make personal connections on Cake. But speaking only for myself, I am not aching to have that capability.

    • Yeah, photos... It’s such a big part of what we do on Cake. I’ll speak as a user in this post because I’m not certain how much engineering is behind my wishes and that influences our priorities.

      I want to zoom in on photos too. I’d love to see multiple photos per post in an upload. I’m the one who made it just one to begin to keep things simple. We had to start somewhere.

      I’d love to have the same experience when you click on a photo whether it’s a link or one you uploaded. Right now if it’s a link, it opens in a new tab. That was a user request. If it’s one you uploaded, you have to know to click the image to close it. Need to somehow smooth those out.

    • Android app. That's it. :-)

      Since I know that's a tall order, close second for me would be improved post editing on Android.

    • I would also like to be able to upload multiple photos in a single post. I know I can link multiple photos from my smugmug site in a post but I'd also like multiple upload capability.

    • I have already added my voice to a request for IM or some means of communication between posters on Cake- along with that would be that each of use can selectively block receiving an IM from anyone else - just like not answering phone calls from folks we know we don't want to talk to. Also IM should be limited to one one or just a few persons at a time, not an automated means of IMing everyone on Cake. No Robocalls, so to speak. IM is best via text, I think, but who knows, it might be possible to do via voice, I suspect. That would offer a new level of interaction that might be interesting.

      Panelists, or folks setting up a Panel, might need to IM more than a few people to help with setting up and running a Panel, but their needs and an individual poster's need for IM need not have the same limitations.

      I would also like to be able to upload or link more than one image, AND have a way to arrange them in my post other than just one below the other - maybe across the screen or diagonally, or in a collage.

      When I am on Cake I see a WHITE screen with the text in only the central 1/3 of the page on my computer monitor. Is there some way to allow the text to expand further across the screen, without making the fonts larger? Or is this formatting to accomodate phone users in portrait mode also?

      I may have to get the Cake app on my phone, which will be a first - I have specifically not allowed FB or Google or other social apps on my mobile device - that's a reflection how high my trust is of them with my data.... I am not consistent, I do use Google maps. Don't we all?

    • Even clicking on links to photos off-site (where I can zoom in) is frustrating because I then have to find my way back into the thread via my app-I can’t just close the off-site pic and instantly return to the thread.

      I would share the same frustration with not being able to view article links “in app” like the Twitter app does: by the time I finish reading The NY Times article and return to Cake, the Cake app has refreshed and brought me back to my timeline instead of remaining on the thread post I left.

      Definitely a source of friction.

    • Also IM should be limited to one one or just a few persons at a time, not an automated means of IMing everyone on Cake.

      At Adventure Rider, we limit the number of recipients you can select. In practice, I think this usually means 80% of messages are to 1 recipient and the remaining 20% are to a decreasing frequency of 2, 3, 4 or 5. That seems to cover the 99% use case. Make sense? In fact, I don't ever remember a request for more recipients.

      At ADV, we kept all the same richness you see in forum posts: photos, the text editor, etc. It was easier from an engineering perspective and everyone seemed to like being able to include photos yada.

      So on Cake the main diff is you'd pick up to 5 recipients instead of up to 5 topics when you start a private conversation.

      On ADV they are only sorted chronologically and with no search. It limited the scope so as not to bog down engineering.

      I'm not the best at thinking of edge cases, but anyone should feel free to point them out.

    • When I am on Cake I see a WHITE screen with the text in only the central 1/3 of the page on my computer monitor. Is there some way to allow the text to expand further across the screen, without making the fonts larger?

      Huh. What I thought you were going to ask for is full-bleed images that span the full width of the screen. I like to see images as big as I can so that's something I want.

      What problem are you wanting to solve with full-width text? Is it less scrolling?

    • I have no idea what the engineering is for something like this, but I’m wondering if there is any way to add notifications of new content (that has been tagged with my chosen categories) to my personal “bell” list? Something like

      Camping: 5 new threads

      Social Media: 2 new threads

      and have the categories hot-linked?

      As it is now, I check my bell list for reactions to my personal stuff. Then I have to choose one of the tabs to scroll down and look for new threads (which change positions in the list). And I still miss stuff all the time.

    • It's just that the window for writing or editing feels cramped to me at times ( or maybe I'm just cranky 😬) - on a 27" 5120x2880 pixel monitor ( I'm spoiled I know ) - Yes, maybe less scrolling too.

      I can write my posts in a text editor first and drop them in of course, but what will that do to links I have entered - like images of of mine, or links I have added, that need a return after them to be integrated into Cake?

      Wider column is not really a need, but just a modest desire I guess.

      But now that you mention it, full bleeed images or an arangement of several images full bleed would be dynamite! 😻

    • Sounds fine.

      I suspect that the vast majority of IMs will be to a singular individual at a time, similar to your experience on ADV. But occasisionally one might want to contact a handfull of people as you described.

      Founder Panelists might want to be able to IM a few more since they may want to coordinate a group activity. Hmmm, I see the concern about being used for private group purposes sneeking in here, now. But Panelists are a smaller , more highly selected group, and probably deserve more trust, right?

      One other issue, with pros and cons, are whether IMs will be private, and only seen by the IMing individuals on Cake. or whether the IMs will be readable by some of the staff on the Cake platform. I can't remember ever sending a message by IM that I felt was any different than on a public page - maybe I sent an email address, but those aren't really private either ( one would like to think the contents of their emails are private, but then I'd love to believe in Santa Claus too.) But if the support staff at Cake could read the IMS, users should know that, right? That would mitigate some concerns about users conducting illicit activities via IM - naked pictures, etc.

      While being able to search for folks among Cakes users lists, usually when I would want to IM some one, they would be someone I have already interacted with on a thread on Cake, I think.

    • I would like the ability to mute individual conversations.

      Currently when one subscribes to a topic, one sees all the conversations which are tagged with that topic. But there are often Cake conversations which show up in my feed due to one of the tags which because of the breadth of the tag are not about that segment of the subject which interests me.

      It would also be nice if there was a boolean way to say This tag but not if it is accompanied by this other tag.

    • I can think of several features that I wish got implemented on Cake eventually. It's hard to narrow this down to a single feature the needs to be built next - so I won't even try. ;) In no specific order, here's a list of things that I think would improve my experience:

      1. Topic management / exploration
      There are currently two main ways of starting to follow a topic. I can either search for something I know I want to follow, and then click "Follow" if I actually find that topic - or I can scroll through the "All" feed until some post that I didn't see before catches my interest, and then check out some of its topics.

      If we assume that Cake will eventually grow to be a hundred times as active as it is today, the latter will become a rather random process and will stop working. However, for the former process to work, I need to actively think of something that I want to follow, and that is something that often doesn't quite work. Perhaps there are interesting conversations on Cake right now - but I'm missing them because I didn't think of searching for the right term.

      The opposite direction might be problematic as well. Perhaps I followed one or another topic that seemed interesting at the time, but there's either no activity at all - or the activity that does exist is a bunch of conversations that aren't interesting to me and just add noise to my "For You" stream.

      To solve all of these problems and more, something like a more intricate "Topics Dashboard" would be useful. This dashboard could include
      > a topics mindmap, grouping similar topics or suggesting those that are followed by other people with similar interests
      > a list of inactive topics I follow, which I could use to either unfollow them or start a conversation
      > a list of unvisited topics (those that I follow, but don't participate in), so that I can decide if I want to keep following them
      > perhaps even something like a completely random topic of the week, something that could be chosen by the Cake team to raise awareness for some topic that needs a little bit of love.

      2. A native experience on every device
      On the one hand, this is a more complicated way of saying "Android app, please!". On the other hand, it's a bit more than that. In one of the previous discussions about this, the idea of making a Cake API publicly available has been brought up. Going one step further, there could be something like a Cake SDK/library (perhaps even as some open source project to implement the public API), allowing third parties to implement full or partial Cake clients.

      One thing I'm still thinking about from time to time is a way to use Cake as a "conversation service" in special purpose apps.

      3. A watchlist for conversations
      This is something I've wanted on basically every other platform I've communicated on in the past. Often, I see a post that I want to reply to (but want to do it later from my desktop instead of using mobile) - or a lengthy conversation that seems interesting but will take more time than I currently have to read through. In either case, it would be great if I could "star" a conversation to add it to a watchlist, and later "unstar" it if I replied or read through.

      This is a bit different from actually "Following" a conversation, because that will only notify me about new replies but won't remind me about the conversation itself.

      4. More content (and list modes) for our profile pages
      Currently, my profile is set to "private", meaning that it will appear mostly empty to others. This is because I don't want anyone to be able to stalk me and see everything I've ever posted to Cake in a neatly sorted list. That said, I acknowledge that all individual posts on Cake are public, so having some of them appear on my profile is something that I wouldn't mind. I'd like a setting that makes my posts visible to others if they already follow one or more of the topics that my posts were added to. That way, someone who has been in those conversations already will see out mutual posts - but someone who didn't participate in them won't.

      This might also include some more personal information like a contact address, other profiles etc.

      5. Sorting modes other than chronological for conversations
      This is something I brought up in the conversation that led to this one. If it was possible to sort a conversation by its multiple conversation threads - and perhaps even declare one of these threads to be the "best" or "most interesting" one - then having some amount of off-topic posts in a conversation would be much less of a problem.

      This could be achieved by allowing every author of a post to declare one reply to it to be the "best" - and then sort these to the top.

    • 3. A watchlist for conversations
      This is something I've wanted on basically every other platform I've communicated on in the past. Often, I see a post that I want to reply to (but want to do it later from my desktop instead of using mobile) - or a lengthy conversation that seems interesting but will take more time than I currently have to read through. In either case, it would be great if I could "star" a conversation to add it to a watchlist, and later "unstar" it if I replied or read through.

      OMG, yes! With the app there is no way to bookmark conversations or posts that I want to reply to later: so I either have to dash off something now before I forget or I have to open the post/conversation in my browser and bookmark it there and hope I remember to check it later. I think adding another sub-menu option (Starred) to the For You Timeline might work as an intuitive place to find your bookmarked posts.

      It could also address the issue of leaving the app to read a linked article and then the app refreshing and putting you at the home timeline instead of back at the post you were reading. I could bookmark the post, follow the link and then upon my return to the app I could go to my bookmarks and quickly return to reading post #56 of a 75 post thread.

      The Twitter app limits you to bookmarking up to 20 items, which should suffice for most Cake users, imho.

    • The Twitter app limits you to bookmarking up to 20 items, which should suffice for most Cake users, imho.

      Yes, limiting this watchlist to something like 20 entries would definitely work for me. I would even appreciate it if entries were automatically removed after some time. If I haven't managed to "unstar" a conversation after several weeks, I probably won't get back to it anyway. :)

    • I think I would like a Help menu added. Perhaps the universal blue question mark in a circle icon to access a separate screen with

      - FAQs,

      - YouTube how to use the _____ (timelines, format editor, panels) videos,

      - a contact form to submit if there are general problems not limited to a specific post (bullying, technical issues with the app, suggestions to make Cake better), and

      - a writing guide for newbies—maybe a link to the writing workshop from last month [1].

      [1]. Weekend Workshop: How to get more Responses to your Conversations on Cake https://cake.co/c/jVvHkrb

    • I think the most important thing is to have someone test the help article for gaps in understanding. My ideal test subject would be a senior citizen who just got her first iPhone and is installing Cake as her first app. She is intelligent but completely ignorant of a lot of things that Reddit-Google+ veterans take for granted on forums and appreciates clear step-by-step instructions that are not condescending. What I’d say foremost that you want to avoid is the poorly written, sometimes incomplete and often outdated FAQs that Twitter provides on their Help center website.

    • That's great advice - although it also leads directly into the next idea: most people should not need any help page at all, because the UI already manages to properly explain itself.

      I don't know exactly what problems there might be with Cake's UI - because, as you correctly point out, I'm more the "veteran" type of guy than a complete newbie. If anything, I assume the amount of whitespace with just a tiny "plus" speech bubble in the upper right corner might prevent one or another user of starting their own post, simply because they don't find the proper way to do so.

      @Chris Regarding writing help articles on the platform itself, one problem with that is that someone who needs help navigating the platform will necessarily be lost if the only help they get means they already need to be able navigate the platform. ;)

      This means that, if really basic functionality of the platform (How do I post? What's a topic? What's a panel?) needs an explanation, this help should probably be offered outside of Cake conversations or panels, in form of a static web page. However, advanced help (@apm mentioned a "writing guide", for example) could probably be offered in form of a conversation.

    • That's great advice - although it also leads directly into the next idea: most people should not need any help page at all, because the UI already manages to properly explain itself.

      I’ve yet to meet an app that couldn’t benefit from a quick user’s guide. A month after playing with an app I invariably find out about a cool feature that wasn’t obvious.

      Twitter’s Moments feature was an incredibly cool find this past Summer—it basically allowed you to curate a selection of tweets on a common theme. You could even add a cover photo. Sadly, they’ve since discontinued the feature. @TwitterMoments used to be one of my favorite places to find collections of humorous tweets on something ridiculous or a series of reporters’ threads on a breaking news story. But the only reason I knew of it is because someone I followed retweeted one.

      How many people on Twitter know how to search for all tweets that contain a specific keyword (OnePlus) and for a specific time period (during the month of February) [1]?

      We all learn differently and bring different prior knowledge with us. For that reason I would reframe your model from basic/advanced to must-know/nice-to-know, @Factotum . I hadn’t considered that the blue + sign may not be apparent that you need to click it to create a new conversation, but for some that could be the case and a source of frustration.

      [1] In the search bar on Twitter, enter Oneplus until:2019-02-28 since:2019-02-01 and you’ll get this 👇