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    • Between those three options, I like the interview variant the least. For me, the term "interview" has the following connotations:

      - fixed roles: one interviewer, one interviewee
      - fixed topic
      - at least partially prepared answers/statements by the interviewee
      - perhaps even an agreed upon catalogue of questions that will be asked

      If all of this is the case, the result is not a real conversation - and presenting it as such is boring to read. I like my interviews edited for brevity and clarity by a journalist. :)

      Other than that, both variants have their own merits, and it might even be hard to really decide if it's one thing or the other in many cases.

      @apm Thanks for inviting me to that workshop, by the way. I didn't have much time over the weekend (and I think nothing to add beyond what was already stated by others), but I appreciate the gesture. :)

    • I prefer the workshop version as well. As I expressed before, I would prefer these sessions to be more inclusive and not be limited to sign ups.

      Even for panels/presentations, an open forum allows other people to ask questions to an expert that the interviewer may have missed or not asked. A wider forum allows questions from all ranges of the spectrum and is thus (in my opinion) far more interesting.

    • Hey @apm, thanks for running that panel! It was great, and I loved the format.

      From Cake's perspective, a panel can be many things. A panel can be an interview, it can be a presentation, it can be a back-and-forth discussion between experts, and so on. As you know we're also working hard on a feature that will allow panels to accept moderated questions from readers. There are so many possibilities! But they're all panels.

      In fact, when we originally envisioned panels, we envisioned what you're calling a "workshop": a lively discussion between people who are passionate or knowledgeable about a topic. 🙂

      I believe it was William Shakespeare who said, "A panel, by any other name, would still be sweet". Or something along those lines. 😉

    • What I find interesting about the panel interface is how many different ways you can use it.  And until the audience Q&A portal goes live, I think we’ve barely scratched the surface of what’s possible.

      What I do know, from comments made over the past couple months as well as from the emoji reactions to various panels, is that

      Some people like the three interviews I’ve done here as well as the interviews done by @Chris and @Victoria .

      Some people are already in LOVE with the coming AMA-style interviews where audience members can submit questions.

      Some people like the workshop idea where Cake users can join to (a) learn how to do stuff better or (b) share their expertise. (An option for audience questions would be a huge plus, but it’s not a dealbreaker as far as participating.)

      Some people like the multiple panelist discussions that @Chris did with Google Influencers (here) and that @Evergreen did on self-publishing (here).

      Some people are pining for group Q&A panels with the cast of Avengers:Infinity Wars, with e-sports professional video game teams, with Dakar motorcycle teams, and other fascinating icons.

      And some people are @ChrisJenkins , who’s shared that once the Q&A functionality is in place he plans to host entrepreneur Q&A's here with some of his friends in the technology space. (Can’t wait!)

      And I haven’t even mentioned that the panel interface can be used to create safe spaces for cyber-bullied groups.  (See here for the vision @yaypie shared during the very first panel on Cake.)

      It’s okay to hate Cake interviews.  Some people hate chocolate ice cream.  But my intent with this thread wasn’t to open it up to trashing one panel over another.

      As an occasional panel moderator here on Cake, I genuinely am curious as to what version of a panel people enjoy most.  As someone who’s been a corporate trainer/instructor/coach, I’m already aching to do another workshop—but not tomorrow(!).  But if workshops are at the bottom of people’s preferences list, or if they have suggestions to make it better, then I want to know.

      I’d actually like a few more people to share their thoughts on this.


    • From Cake's perspective, a panel can be many things. A panel can be an interview, it can be a presentation, it can be a back-and-forth discussion between experts, and so on. As you know we're also working hard on a feature that will allow panels to accept moderated questions from readers. There are so many possibilities! But they're all panels.

      Hmm, I’ve always thought of a panel as a group of people; and the Merriam-Webster dictionary feels similarly.

      That may be why some people are feeling the need to name each type of “format”. I suppose Panel interview format or Panel workshop format would be more accurate to use. Is that correct?


      As an experiment, I just tried and was able to create a panel with only one person in the panel.


      Would that be called a Panel solo format?

    • I have a small suggestion to add here, not sure how feasible it is.

      When readers who are not part of the panel submit questions, maybe other people can vote on it with a thumbs up or thumbs down emoji. More 👍🏼 will push the question higher up the queue. This way even if not all the questions are answered, at least the more popular questions will have a better chance of being answered.

      Only the panel moderator should be able to see who voted with what emoji. Users not part of the panel only get too see the number of emojis on a question.

      User submitted questions can scroll on the right like in a YouTube live chat as int the gif below. Sorry on mobile, so can't embed links or upload a gif. :(

    • Thanks for the suggestion!

      Our plan right now is for submitted questions to be visible initially only to the panel creator, who can then approve or dismiss them. Once approved, a question will be visible to other panelists, and once at least one panelist has answered the question, it will become visible to the world.

      The reason for this is that when questions are public, the questions themselves can be avenues for abuse, harassment, or sometimes they can be repetitive or self-aggrandizing ("less of a question, more of a statement", etc.).

      Panels can attract a large audience. Since the point of panels is to allow panelists to post while others read in order to keep the signal to noise ratio high, we want to make sure that questions don't become an avenue for noise.

    • May I suggest another idea?

      For some online workshops (panels in Cakespeak), there is an invisible panel (usually 2-3 friends of the workshop leader) who handle the audience participation stuff so the workshop leader can focus on facilitating the online workshop. The invisible panel screens audience questions/comments, and passes along the gist of the ones they think will help round out the public discussion before the workshop winds up.

      Expecting the workshop (panel) creator to do the screening while also facilitating the workshop (panel) might be too complicated and discourage some from volunteering. Having the option to invite 2-3 invisible screeners gives the panel creator a sense of support, as well as giving Cake another avenue to help create a sense of community.

      I don’t know how difficult this would be to facilitate technically, but it’s a thought...

    • This probably won't be a part of our first iteration, but it's a great idea and I absolutely think we should add this feature in the future. Thank you!

    • Leave it to @lidja to create a new panel category:

      panel (road trip report)

      What a great way to share the equivalent of an ADV ride report without the noise. I am sharing this idea via call outs to @Chris and @Vilen .


    • I didn't read all of the responses below but I have an opinion and that's what 'interneting' is for right?

      I like the workshop format when there are a lot of people who either need ideas or want to share their ideas. Lotsa things flying around stick where they are most needed. It's brainstorming essentially.

      I like the interview format for focus. "We" are distracted folks these days. I love talking to one person about only their ideas and actions. Then I; or whoever is listening, can distill those ideas into either 1) things that are useful to explore further or 2) things to throw away or just don't apply for me.

      However; workshop and panel style convey more ideas in a short timeframe. Interviews convey focused ideas in the same timeframe. So I think it comes down to knowing your audience. Do they need and want a wide array of ideas to chew on or do they want directed opinions and advice?

    • A workshop, in my mind, is a gathering of people with a similar interest who are ready to share their perspective and actively learn from one another. It is likely they already have some experience with the topic, but they are still open to forming ideas and developing new insights. There is an interesting new synergy that emerges when everyone provides input and they learn from one another.

      The above is @lidja ‘s definition. Slightly different from yours, but the common thread is a genuine interest in learning from each other: even if there’s an expert leading the workshop, he/she should at least gain insights on what worked well instructionally.

      Since your profile mentioned that you are a photographer, would you mind giving me your feedback on this recent workshop idea?