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?