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    • I'm glad that we eventually steered away from the name "trusted conversations". It made sense that you could feel safer since it's likely that there is a greater level of trust between the conversation members, but what about everyone else? Do they suddenly feel untrustworthy? That's definitely not the vibe we want these panel conversations to give off.

      With that said, exclusivity can be both a good and bad thing. We realize this and I think we have some exciting ideas to create different levels of audience participation. We've just scratched the surface with today's release!

    • The origins of Cake was an exciting time for a designer like me. Up until the trip not even a single pixel of Cake was created, so everything was up for grabs. I stared at the blank screen for hours... All the things we could do, but where should we start?

      Our roundtable discussion and coding were held at a dinner table, which probably got the most use for the entirety of 2 weeks:

    • I still so vividly remember waking up early (for me) one morning, stumbling into the dining room, and having a MacBook plopped in front of me playing an animated logo reveal video for the brand new Cake logo you had just designed. It blew me away!

      That was the moment when the spark really lit for me and I felt like we might actually be able to pull this thing off. 🎂

    • Interesting you bring that up, Ryan. I joined Cake over a year later, but had a similar experience when I first learned about panels. That’s when things came into sharper focus for me.

      It clicked instantly. It was simple, powerful, felt necessary, but most importantly, it felt like all the roadblocks suddenly dissolved and I started thinking about all of the possibilities, all of the places it could go, and all of the interesting things I might see along the way. This is a feeling I’m always pursuing as a designer, but it’s not easy to find. I knew I was in the right place.

      I look forward to so many panels: journalists talking about their experiences covering tough issues; interviews with my favorite artists, photographers, musicians, and writers; comedians talking about their process and being hilarious; my friends and I talking about a recent camping trip.

      I’m so excited about the possibilities! Panels weren’t the only reason I joined Cake, but it was one of them.

    • Ha! I'll never forget that night. We were in Kona and Vilen wanted to sleep on the porch where we could hear the surf roar. I woke up in the middle of the night to see the light on in the dining room and Vilen doing something with his MacBook. Huh? I awoke briefly every hour or two and there he was bent over his laptop still.

      The next day I asked why the middle of the night? His simple response: "That's when I had the inspiration."

    • Panels just make sense to me. From day one I imagined astronauts landing on Mars and using a panel discussion throughout the mission to keep the public informed of the latest going ons.

      How exciting would that be? I imagine the stars, literally, every time I think of panels. They present an incredible opportunity and platform for people's and group's voices to be heard in a unique way.

      But panels are like a double-edged magic-wand (good on both ends). They also help solve bullying and trolling problems on the internet.

      For me, it was how incredibly noisy the internet has become, especially over the 2016 election cycle. Cutting through all the garbage posts, lies and memes and trying to find a discussion about actual election issues was nearly impossible. It made me hate logging onto Facebook and Twitter and the like.

      The amount of trolling and bullying is astounding these days and it was just turned up to 11 during the election. It cut out all the people who wanted to have a reasonable discussion. And not only that, those platforms also forced stories in front of you that you had no way of avoiding, other than avoiding the platform altogether.

      Having a Panel now gives us a chance to find people who are willing to have a public debate or discussion without worrying about an audience of trolls and bots spamming and bullying the participants.

      The great thing is that panels aren't only limited to a group of people with similar ideas who want to have a safe discussion. They also give you the opportunity to have an interesting debate with people who have different opinions than you.

      They do this by allowing the conversation owner to control the invite list. So you only invite people who are willing to have a mature discussion, even if you want to hear and absorb different points of view.

      I'm really excited to see what future panels we get to see on Cake. I'm sure they will almost all be more interesting than this one, but hey, we have to start somewhere!

    • There are many mediums where individuals can converse free of noise while broadcasting to large audiences like on TV and podcasts. Participating on those platforms is a difficult and expensive task. On Cake it’s not. That’s what’s so special about panels to me.

      It’s exciting to think about all the possibilities of panels: journalists telling stories of war, presidential candidates debating, climbers documenting their ascent of some unscaled big wall, etc. But panels aren’t just reserved for big public influencers. 

      We give all our users the ability to create panels. Anyone with access to the internet anywhere can organize a panel, and participants can roam globally. I believe we’ll elevate peoples' voices that would otherwise never be heard. We're expanding the gamut of what can be discussed publicly. I can’t wait to see how that plays out.

      Being a part of a team that brings this powerful tool to life is a large reason why I'm at Cake.

      📷: We spent a week together in Truckee earlier this year imagining the endless possibilities for great panels. Chris's mind couldn't stop running, even during the epic Sierra sunsets.