Cake
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    • asciimeow

      Well well. Here I am, following the hops from ADVrider to Badly's story to ... hang on, WTF is Cake? So of course, this is a great idea, and course, I have invaluable advice on making it better :)
      The great destroyer of all collaborative web content is the signal : noise problem. Slashdot, Reddit, and Stack Exchange chronicle the long history of trying to solve for this. Cake could should must if it's going to be different and better. Which it already is, duh, but even better than the already better? We, does Cake want to be better? Nevermind, because I want Cake to be better. I have to be able to easily filter OP and on-topic out of the stream. It's a topic with my interest, I'm following for a reason, but I am still scanning, still braced to manually weed through the '+1 :popcorn: hurrdurr me2' and 'ur doin it wrong' and 'cool story but <insert thread hijack>' that plagues all forums and comment streams. The smarter the folks in the thread, the less of that, sure, but that's not reliable enough. So ... I has ideas. And I don't see those ideas on Cake (yet?). Sure, some are just applying those other ways of filtering (upvote, sub-threading, comment thresholds, etc). Maybe I have other/better ideas. I could even maybe share and discuss ideas with folks, if folks want.
      I'm curious first if maybe people might actually like the signal and noise mixed together? That is some of what makes a conversation real, what keeps things from being 'all transmit'. Or maybe I'm missing the feature already here that differentiates the topic part of the stream from the chatter parts?

      /shrug this is me trying to think that through. This is a cool project. I hates me some Fakenewsbook, I failed at the self promotion hoop jumping points contest on Stack Exchange, and I cringe facepalm when I try to actually use a forum to discuss something. My hopes are high for some Cake up in this problem. Thanks for taking a crack at it.

    • asciimeow

      The easiest possible thing is just make posts from the OP look different. A visual offset would help. Color has an accessibility challenge but could also work. Scanning for the OP in the post header isn't as good. Giving OP control over who also gets called out as contributor or co-editor would be good. OP could even switch off the feature, to 'flatten' a conversation.

    • asciimeow

      The voting / ranking thing from other platforms is wicked helpful, depending on the content type. If the discussion is to solve a problem (eg. best way to get my cat to stop snoring under my desk), the upvote stack exchange model is non-negotiable. In a forum or stream format without that, the high ratio of 'get rid of your cat' and other trolling, opinions, or off topic noise makes sifting for the answer completely suck. If cake is just for conversation maybe that will never come up. Or maybe having a similar model to help decouple context and noise from what actually pushes a conversation forward would be superspecialcool.

    • asciimeow

      Once filtering is in place, I bet one could figure out some easy peasy UI to help a reader twiddle whatever knobs were available. I want my name somewhere on the patent for the 'noise level slider' and related Al-Gore-Rhythm. Thanks.

    • asciimeow

      Credibility scoring is fucking cool, too. But what if you kinda like a titch of troll in your stream? Can a score have multiple dimensions. I play a lot of video games, and I have played a metric fuckton of The Division in the last two years. My character(s) in that game are identified by 13 different metrics; level, gear score, achievements, pvp rank, finished quests, badges... everything from headshots to jumping jacks. Literally. You can get an achievement for doing jumping jacks and waving at other players. All that is overkill for discussion maybe, but maybe also scoring people on multiple dimensions in a complex ranking system is not part of most platforms because it's a fucking headexplody problem ... but solving for headexplody is the next frontier.

      Solving for (or at least vastly improving) this signal:noise problem is, IMO, where the next social + media breakthrough is going to come. And I for one badly badly want that. I have a huge desire for social. I find all current media for that purpose to be broken, so much so that I don't social much in that way.

    • Chris

      This is all very fascinating and we've been talking about it this afternoon. I've felt since the beginning of Cake that content discovery will be the #1 thing and signal to noise will follow closely behind.

      That's one reason we intro'd panel conversations (example). More signal less noise. We have some other ideas too and your posts helped get some thinking going, thanks! 👍

    • marchyman

      Re: Panel discussions... there is currently no *good* way to provide feedback or ask questions. I'd like a way to ask questions of the panel without the question interfering with the flow AND without having to find a related "ask your questions here" thread which is a pain. My idea is sort of a private message thing that any of the panel members could read and, if they so choose, respond. Maybe even a way for the panelist to include the question or parts of the question. Only panel members would see the question.

      Or something like that, anyway.

    • Chris

      Thanks, marchyman. We were pretty sure we'd get asked for this but before we went to all the work of figuring out the solution, we decided to wait and see if our assumption was correct.

      I'm wondering what you think about the possibility of making it optional for the panelists? For example, NPR's Fresh Air does not take callers but Forum does. I'm worried that questions could be a way to harass the panel on controversial subjects. Maybe when we get bigger we'll need to have some moderation of the questions before the panelists see them.

    • marchyman

      Sure, make it optional. I'm only asking for a way to make it easy to ask questions when questions would be appreciated.

    • Chris

      Two things I imagine for when we get bigger:

      1. We'll have to moderate the topics tightly so no one can apply popular topics to a conversation where they don't belong.

      2. Tightly-defined topics ftw when traffic gets high.

      3. I expect people will ask to block topics like politics in the future. That could be challenging from a technical perspective.

    • asciimeow

      . We'll have to moderate the topics tightly so no one can apply popular topics to a conversation where they don't belong.

      I thought Reddit and Stack Exchange, maybe others have worked out a lot of the 'moderate yourselves' model for content. (Qualifying this: I know nearly nothing about Reddit, it scares me, like most things on the internet. I hate trolls enough to just not participate.)

      So.Would you have to tightly moderate topics, or only review things that get flagged as not on topic?

      I have seen flagging work pretty well (ebay) and not so well (craigslist). So yeah there's some pitfalls, but maybe that's a path to look at.

    • asciimeow

      | Or something like that, anyway.

      I immediately think of how much I use (and enjoy using) the commenting model found in Drive Docs and Dropbox Paper documents. Use a comment for the feedback/question to the panel, which is only viewable to panel and commenter. Comment has a discussion thread of its own. Panel can mark the thread resolved at any time. That feels like it would work. /shrug

    • kwthom

      I dunno, maybe it's me, but...

      There's a LOT of discussion about the locations (e.g. what platform...) and maybe not so much on how the platform itself influences the discussion.

      I wandered into this thread, read @asciimeow - and specifically the last two sentences.

      As a relative nOOb in this variant of the 'social media' world (not attached to any of the major social media platforms at this time, and trying hard to focus only on *one*) I think you're right.

      There probably is a lot of people that don't like the current paradigm of social. One of the reasons that Google+ worked well for a small group of dedicated users what that - mostly - signal/noise was good for the narrowed scope of interest that I found and used there.

    • steve

      Agreed 100%: definitely keep the questions "out of band" somewhere so that they don't crud up the main panel thread.

    You've been invited!