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    • more thoughts on a panel curator (this idea has captured my attention)...

      1. Good idea to have current panel threads go from an active category to an archived category after a few months? This would subtly convey the idea that Cake recognizes people change over time, and what someone shares in a panel conversation today may not be true for them in a few months...

      2. The panels category would be my personally-selected home page (so to speak) after the “for you” list of updates—frankly, that’s how/where I would discover new categories (attached to panels) rather than trying to weed through the categories listings again and again to see what’s new. (I kind of work that way now with the “for you” list—I look at categories on those messages and then follow rather than look at the big list. Looking at the big list just got me started in Cake.) One of the most curious things about Cake is its commitment to content over personalities, and yet it is the most isolated/isolating platforms I’ve experienced. For now, the “for all” stream is not much different than my “for you” stream, but that’s probably because Cake is still in beta? (Ha. Beta.) I imagine when things really start to scale, categories are going to get way out of hand, and my preferred shortcut is going to be seeing what experts are discussing...

    • This would work in my thread request for a multi search, since anyone can make a panel, you would want a way to filter through to find what you are looking for. Even response count/activity would help.

      As more folks join and the magnitude of single post drop and walk posts grow the search and category searching is going to be critical, otherwise it is a scrolling nightmare.

    • I would also make a strong argument against opening a “Cake Panels” category up to the membership to use as a tag for panels that are not curated by the Cake Curator/Team. If that category is cluttered up with panels that are haphazardly organized or self-serving, it would dilute the core value of the platform.

    • Yet for devil's advocate the panel option is open to all.

      I can make a panel thread with just me to restrict comments if more of a story mode post.

      I have suggested a feature to close a open thread to comments until the original poster is finished, that way multi post story content can be complete without interruption between posts.

      Having a multi filter search enables users to find Panels of interest.

      Maybe I am missing something, very possible  🤪

    • I agree—using the panel capability to post a thread that blocks outside comments is a good thing. My observation was about differentiating these closed-comment threads from Cake-curated panel discussions. Seems like two different animals to me...

    • I would have liked to continue and contribute to @Evergreens post Adventure Blues topic but it's been raised as panel and appears to have stalled.
      It would seem an example that a panel needs to consist of panelists that have made a commitment to actively contribute to a conversation, or some sort of check whether the discussion really should be a panel?

      Is there any way of converting Post Adventure Blues back to a public discussion?

    • That's a very good point. Currently there is no way to convert a panel to a public conversation, but it might be a very good idea. I'll have to talk this over with the team because they usually think of things I don't, like this may open the panelists up to trolling, a reason they only agreed to a panel and not public conversation in the first place.

    • After taking some time to try and see how the panels work here, I find myself usually skipping :/ I tried to analyse what turns me off and it's a combination of factors.

      First and the largest is the feeling of complete and utter non-interactivity of the format. It's not even that I actively want to stick my head into every conversation, far from it, but the a priori knowledge that it's a closed door somehow repels. If I wanted to consume a read-only interview, I could read a newspaper, and even there I could usually talk back, in [moderated] comments section if online or via email/snailmail if that was a paper thing.

      Secondarily, with a really large gap, I usually feel there's a lack of some kind of introduction to the panelists - both the interviewed and the interviewee, some kind of a side insert, you know - to help me understand some whys - why this topic, why these people, why the questions are formulated in this vein.

      Finally, a bit of cognitive dissonance - unless I'm wrong, a panel is, by definition, a group of people brought together to discuss, and the panels here, at least that I've been seeing, are more like interviews, with a single person answering questions by another single person.

    • Thank you, mbravo. These concerns have been racing in our heads too, but you describe them very clearly.

      Let me ask a hypothetical: if someone hosted Neil deGrasse Tyson and Elon Musk in an interview in a Cake panel and they invited audience questions, some of which they would answer, would that be interesting to you?

      My perception of the problem we need to solve is online it is hard to have that conversation between Tyson and Musk. They can have it in a podcast, on a panel at a convention, in an interview with Terry Gross on Fresh Air, or on TV with Anderson Cooper, but they can't have it on Twitter, Reddit, Facebook, etc. Am I wrong?

      One question is how does Cake work up to guests like that. Medium would not have been an interesting format for Jeff Bezos to publish his expose of The Enquirer when Medium began, but they became Jeff's choice in time.

      The second question is how do you enable audience questions? In the real world when they invite them on, say, Forum with Michael Krasny, who invites callers for the last 20 minutes of the show, those questions are vetted.

      The solution we're currently working on is to provide an option for the panel to take questions. Some panels in the real world do and some don't. Terry Gross and Colbert never do, for example.

      If they choose to, then the idea is to have the questions go to the panel starter so they can choose the questions to answer. When they do answer one, it's like being chosen to be on the air for a call-in, it's your moment.

      One reason for doing that is most prominent guests will not appear without being able to limit the scope of some of the questions asked of them. Arnold Schwarzenegger, for example, would not appear if he thought he would be publicly asked about his affair with his housekeeper.

      Make sense or are we on the wrong track?

    • Makes a lot of sense. Of course there are no universal answers here, and the whole, should I say, genre is evolving as we speak.

      For the hypothetical, Tyson and Musk panel I would definitely read with interest. But all other things being equal, the primary driver of my interest would the I already know who these guys are and consider them quite worthy of attention and that they have something interesting to say, in response to reader questions or not.

      Tangentially, reader questions do not have to be taken in real time - could be an intro/prep advance post inviting to submit questions or topics for consideration, for example. Same goes to selecting the panelists - perhaps give the readers a chance and/or place to suggest who they are interested to hear?

      As to the possibility of intelligent conversation, I would very much say it depends on the participants. Take the recently mentioned The WELL SotY - it was an excellent conversation all right, from a diverse if not entirely unacquainted with each other roster of authors. Naturally, imagining, organizing and directing such conversations is an art in itself, as much (if not more!) in text form as it is in a talk show. This is something any one of us can get better at.

      Finally, and debatably, perhaps there should be a post-panel discussion space? There's a danger it could devolve into nitpicking and sighs about someone's question or favourite topic not having been covered, but if we hope for the better, it could be a place where inspiration gives way to interesting discussion.

    • I also have mixed feelings about panels. I don't like the feeling of being on the outside looking in with no way to contribute, but I have found a few of the panels interesting enough to keep reading.

      I liked @apm's habit of posting a conversation to announce his panels ahead of the panel discussion. It gave me an idea of what to expect and it provided a way to provide input / ask questions.

      Most of the conversations labeled as panels seem to be one-on-one interviews. Some seem like they are pushing a product, pretty much an ad.

      The panels I have found most interesting surprise me because they were not about topics in which I have any connection at all. Thinking back, the panels that were interesting to me were @apm interview with @amacbean16 about homeschooling ( and your discussion on building Cake (