Note: Conversation continued from here: https://cake.co/c/hxC758s/HXmH8wP
Imagine that there's a "Replying to @StephenL " foldout here that quotes the original post, just as it would if I had replied in the original conversation. I'm going to quote all of it manually here, but it would be nice if the following was collapsed so as not to take up too much space:
Fascinating perspective from you, as always.
When you reply to this conversation for the first time, the system automatically adds this conversation to your FOLLOWING timeline. As a result, every time a new response is added to this conversation you receive a notification.
If a lot of users have participated in this conversation, it means that all of them will receive a notification if Heidi posts something to this conversation that could exist in a new thread.
Meaning that Heidi is likely to have her tangent read and responded to if she posts it to this mega thread.
By contrast, if Heidi creates a new thread she may receive zero responses because no one noticed her new conversation. You mentioned that you didn’t notice the pandemic mega thread when it first started in January—and you’re on Cake on a daily basis. Other participants, like @lidja, never check for new conversations until their existing conversations have petered out.
So if you want the same people from the mega thread to read your related content, it’s to your advantage to post to the mega thread over creating a new thread.
Is it more beneficial to Cake that we have twenty separate related evergreen conversations, a new one perhaps starting every couple days or so, instead of one giant unwieldy mega thread?
But there appears to be a conflict where
posting to the mega thread benefits everyone who is currently engaging in it and staying on top of reading the latest responses
creating separate conversations increases the likelihood of more visitors to Cake and more visitors signing up to become new users.
For example, what if it was possible to reply to a post in one conversation by starting a whole new conversation?
If I was brainstorming, I might add a button next to reply marked “Create new conversation in reply to this post.”
Pressing the button would also create a post to the existing thread: “New conversation created in reply to this comment. Click here to automatically follow the new conversation and be taken to it.”
With this option, I think it would become a community norm for participants to create new related conversations as well as for readers to follow them.
If someone abused the use of that option, such as tricking people into following a new conversation on eurorack when the main conversation was on COVID-19, the users would flag it for moderators to review.
Meaning the involvement required of moderators to ensure success should be minimal.
I will let the team know via Slack channel of this discussion. There’s always going to be competing ideas for limited resources, both of which I’m in the dark on, but I think that coming up with a workable solution to maximize engagement and evergreen content is important.
Exactly, and it occurred to me that this conversation we're just having is exactly the type of content where everyone would benefit from a feature like that - so I'm creating a live mockup of how continuing in a new conversation might look and feel, both here and by simultaneously linking to it from the old thread.
The conversation where our tangent started was named "Does The Cake Layout Make You Interact, Enough?", and the suggestion was mostly a visual change of Cake's front page. The user who created that original conversation to have their idea discussed benefits from not having random other ideas suggested and discussed instead. I benefit from having my idea more easily visible to those who might want to chime in (instead of it being hidden in a thread that people no longer want to visit because they've already dealt with the original idea). The platform, and thus potentially all of its users, benefits by having more active conversations that are scoped better than just being "endless lists of random ideas on how to change Cake".
So, this button as an alternative to "Reply" was exactly what I had in mind. It would quote the post one is reacting to just like it would when replying in the same thread, and it would put a link to the new conversation in the old one. Since the new conversation is likely related to the old one, it might also be a good idea to pre-fill the topic list with those of the old conversation, asking the user to check if all still apply. Here, I continued with "Cake" and "Cake feedback", but removed "Cake topics" and added "user experience".
Most of this functionality either already exists (quoting replies, adding a post that only consists of a link, bringing up a screen to create a conversation), or is something that is probably not too hard to add (pre-fill of topic list).
Last but not least, the term I'd like to suggest for this "create a new tangent conversation" button is simply Slice. Slice works as a verb ("to slice off [a tangential conversation]") as well as a noun ("this is a new slice [of an ongoing conversation elsewhere]") - and obviously, it also works well with the whole Cake name. :)