In the beginning, when Cake was just an idea, Chris, Brian, Vilen and I hopped on a plane to Hawaii and spent two weeks in an Airbnb eating a diet of fresh fruit and chocolate-covered walnuts, hashing out how Cake would work, creating the first UI designs, and writing the first code. Over the course of those two weeks we discussed virtually every aspect of what we wanted Cake to be and how we wanted it to work.
Panels, which we initially called "trusted conversations", were one of the ideas we started throwing around while thinking about whether there was a way we could let people talk about things publicly with other people they trust, but without any danger of the conversation being hijacked by trolls or harassers.
The thing that appealed most to me was the idea that we could give women, people of color, and other people who are often targets of abuse or harassment a safe way to have meaningful conversations with each other online without having to resort to fully private means of communication in order to keep out the trolls.
On Twitter, Facebook, and other public sites, many people don't feel safe discussing things because it's too easy for them to become targets or for trolls to derail those discussions. But when these discussions get pushed into private venues, the rest of the world can't learn or benefit from their valuable points of view.
With panel discussions on Cake, there's finally a way to let the rest of the world read your discussion with a group of trusted participants without also allowing randos to jump in and ruin things for everyone. I'm so excited about this.
📷 The view from the Airbnb where Cake was born.