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    • I noticed a comment on blogging from a user today and I wanted to add my two cents.


      Yes, blogs still exist, However, ten years ago there were vehicles to promote your blog. such as blog carnivals. And bloggers listed the blogs of friends and favorites on the home page of their website, increasing exposure of your blog to their followers. You could subscribe to a blog aggregator, such as Google Blog Reader, to get all of your blog posts in one place to read. There were also active blog communities, where many people would comment on your latest blog post.

      Now all of those advantages are gone, there are an insane amount of alternative platforms to blogs, and you have a nonexistent chance of anyone commenting on your work.

      If you’re an educator who starts a blog to collect your thoughts and to organize reflections on teaching, then proceed away with a blog: it could be an invaluable exercise.

      But for everyone else, I think there are more beneficial outlets available for sharing your thoughts with others and for engaging in spirited conversations.

    • A personal blog is one's own, from content to style to tone to moderation. Someone else's platform is like someone else's house: even if they invite you to feel like at home, they may boot you anytime.

      Cake feels more like someone's home compared to Facebook's dorm. I am not sure this feature of Cake works for me. I think it is an impediment to Cake's growth, but maybe this is not the goal.

    • I personally enjoy writing on my NBA blog and my tennis blog, which is enough for me. Also, my NBA blog is how I got picked up to cover Cal hoops by since I had a Cal section on there. So, I do think blogging is still a good way to get your ideas out there. As a matter of fact, some sites like SB Nation and FanSided are essentially a network of blogs, building on the idea that sometimes, it's fun to read the takes of your average fan.

      What I will say is that blogging shouldn't be your only tool to get your ideas out there. Sharing articles on Facebook and Twitter is a great idea and I actually think Cake can be a great place to grow your blog as well. That's why every now and then, I'll share a blog post of mine on Cake like the recent post I did on Jerry Sloan.

      I think a combination of blogging plus other outlets can be an effective model. As a matter of fact, I recommended a friend of mine who is trying to grow his blog to come to Cake to share his content and generate some good conversations. He loves to write book reviews.

      Rather than having a mindset of Cake vs. blogging, perhaps a mindset of Cake + blogging is better. I think Cake could actually become a great place for bloggers to share their ideas and have quality conversations about what they've been writing. The blogger gets more exposure for his or her blog and Cake gets more quality conversations. Everyone wins.

      Note: The key here is the blogger has to sincerely want to have a quality conversation about what they've been blogging about. I don't think Cake works for those who are just looking to get hits without being willing to have a quality conversation. But, I think blogging at its core is about expressing your ideas and wanting others to engage with them, which is why I think Cake + blogging should work.

    • The idea that Google Reader was the only feed reader or that there are no good feed readers left is ludicrous.

      Also one can do things with newsfeeds that are not as easy to do with "platforms."

      Finally, a blogger's brand is their own. I don't see Daring Fireball, as an example, withering on the vine.

    • I can only agree with this - and I think an important detail to consider here is everyone's goal when sharing some content.

      If my main goal is conversation, then going where other people already are is sensible. Platforms are better than personal blogs (or, more generally speaking, one's own webspace) in that case.

      However, when my main goal is publishing, then actually owning and being able to control the content on my own blog is much more important.

    • I might add another thought that although relevant is not really a refutation.

      The same thought process that is expressed in this post is the reason that many users will ignore a platform like Cake.

      This is the same kind of thought process that attacked Google Plus during its first year of open access. According to Wikipedia, two weeks after G+ launched it had 10 million users. In 2013, "Some 300 million monthly active users participated in the social network by interacting with the Google+ social-networking stream."

      But there were always, people who suggested that G+ was a ghost town even during the first year of its open access because FB was larger.

      Yet G+ had more users than Cake. Should we therefore abandon Cake because it is "like the sound of a Tree Falling in A Forest with No One Around to Hear It"?

      @StephenL every podcast is a blog, an audio blog but nevertheless it is a blog unless it is on a subscription access only platform such as Sirius.

    • The idea that Google Reader was the only feed reader or that there are no good feed readers left is ludicrous.

      I reread what I had written and it doesn’t effectively convey my intended meaning.

      Feedly was an alternative to Google Reader at the time. And it is still an option for consuming blogs and feeds. But my position is that by Google creating a blog reader, it reinforced to the world that blogs were “in.”

      Although Google’s abandonment of products has become expected today, the ending of Google Reader in the blogging community, of which I was a part of, felt like a crushing blow: how many people new to blogs would ever learn of Feedly, let alone download a reader from some unknown company? The fact that Reader was from Google gave instant trust that the program wasn’t going to crash your system.

      Back then, I subscribed to over 50 blogs through Google Reader. Many of them I discovered because of the recommended blogs listed on the home pages of blogs I first read. The list feature, which was easy to view on a large PC monitor screen of a blog website’s home screen, disappeared as blogs were optimized for the smaller visual real estate of smartphones.

      At the time of Google Reader’s demise, 70% of internet surfing was via PC and only 30% was via smartphones. Today it’s the reverse.

      At the time, I did migrate my data from Google Reader to Feedly, but the 2014 version of Feedly felt like an inferior substitute and my blog reading habit dropped off to nothing within a couple years.

      Two years ago, when I was thinking of starting a new blog, I talked to several people who I knew who had huge communities on their blogs five years before that. They told me that commenting on their posts had disappeared: they used to have a dozen or more comments for each blog post and a thriving community of regular commenters.

      They admitted that they were still posting to their blogs but at a fraction of the output and frequency of before. They still had massive numbers of readers of their content, but without the commenting it had lost it’s appeal.

      I don’t doubt that thriving blog communities still exist. They even mentioned one such blog in our small little niche. But compared to the sheer number of blogs that are silent, it feels like a Quixotic quest if your goal is to start a blog today and have regular conversations over your thoughts and ideas.

      I think @slamdunk406’s idea of bloggers sharing their best post on Cake, for the conversation that’s missing on their blog, is an intriguing idea. I actually did that by hosting on Cake a week of math education-themed posts from bloggers.

    • I wonder how many YouTube videos get uploaded that get tens of views instead of thousands, or Reddit conversations that get zero upvotes, and Tweets that get just a handful of likes?

      It seems like once something becomes as popular as YouTube videos are, blogs, Tweets, Reddit threads — it becomes very hard to break through. You have to become an exceptional storyteller with important or very funny things to say, and a good promoter, to make them happen, no?

    • In the 1980s, many retail stores felt that they had to move into malls to survive. Downtowns began to wither. Now many malls sit vacant and some that are still open are nowhere near capacity.

      Nothing lasts forever. Many of the megacorps of my childhood are now gone. Many of the big airlines, TWA, Pan American (AKA Pan Am), Eastern vanished long ago.

      Joining the mass movement to certain platforms is like moving into the malls.

    • Cake feels more like someone's home compared to Facebook's dorm. I am not sure this feature of Cake works for me.

      Can you explain what you mean by the comparison of Cake to someone’s home?

      It’s not often that a new member posts several essay length comments on their first day on Cake. My assumption therefore is that you were quite active on Google+, so your perspective as a “forum veteran” is of interest.

    • > Can you explain what you mean by the comparison of Cake to someone’s home?

      When you get an account on Facebook or Twitter, you feel like a small nut in a big soulless machine. On Cake, the creators take part in conversations, they are clearly visible, also it seems that the creators know many of the members IRL.

      Cake feels like a British party, where everyone tries to be nice and avoid saying something divisive or abrasive for fear of angering the host or just because it is not how it is done.

      There are very few conversations on burning issues like politics or global warming. Maybe Cake is just about motorcycles and cameras and travel, basically the topics that interest its creators.

      Many forums that are dedicated to a specific topic like photo or travel explicitly prohibit talking about politics, religion and whatever else that may incite heated discussions and ad hominem attacks. Cake does not seem to be dedicated solely to motorcycles or travel, but I got a feeling that it is skewed towards lightweight stuff nonetheless.

      P.S. "Essay-length comment"? This was a funny one. BTW, seems like Cake encourages short comments. Vilen's experience with the Sony RX100 MkV has been split in seven or eight separate messages for no apparent reason. All the emojis and chrome accompanying each message make for less comfortable reading. Does Cake offer draft mode like Medium does? Looking at timestamps, Vilen posted his review in parts within half an hour. What if someone snuck their comment in the middle of the review?

    • Thank you for taking the time to share your observations and perspectives as a new community member. It’s always useful to have a fresh set of eyes looking at the platform and I’ll make sure that the Cake team is made aware of your feedback.

      I’m often accused of being flippant when I tell someone, Cake isn’t for everyone.

      But it’s true. The focus and community norms of forums vary whether it’s The Well, Reddit, Mastodon, Facebook Groups, Pluspora, Twitter, 4chan, MeWe, or even Instagram.

      Cake is a sister site of a much older platform called ADVRider. As a result, a lot of the early adopters were motorcycle enthusiasts. In addition, @Chris has ties to the photo sharing sites SmugMug and Flickr, so quite a few professional and amateur photographers have joined the site.

      As more and more people join the site, the range of topics actively discussed continues to expand. However, the conversations that draw the most interest right now is fairly narrow. COVID-19 completely shutdown all other conversations for at least the first month of the pandemic, and it’s only been a few weeks now that I’ve started to see a much wider range of topics discussed.

      If you’re actively looking to debate someone with diametrically opposed views, Cake is probably going to be a disappointment. There are a ton of political discussions that occur on Cake, however most of them are about gaining a better understanding of an issue rather than convincing someone of your position on it.

      Here’s a link to the Politics conversations that have occurred, both recent and archive, to give you a better “read of the room.”

      We also had two mega thread discussions on the Australian Wildfires that got into global warming, conspiracy theories and the Murdoch News Empire. The responses ranged from short replies to what I refer to, with no ill-will implied, as “essay length.”

      Here’s an example from one of those threads where I and another user had a civil but spirited debate on whether arson was the cause of the fires.

      Our responses were anything but short, but again the focus was on gaining an understanding of the truth rather than on proving the other person wrong.

      Whether that’s “British” is open for interpretation.

      What I do know is that if someone attacks a user’s writing, or makes them feel like it’s an attack, a Cake user is more likely to set you to “Ignore,” which removes your comments from their view, or to set you to “Mute,” which prevents you from replying to any of their conversations.

      Again, there are different community norms of every platform and I know of some sub-reddits where you publish a post with the knowledge that multiple people will end up tearing apart your arguments.

      You may find helpful, @IcyOtter, this guide I put together of conversations that tend to generate high engagement on Cake, as well as topics that haven’t yet gained sufficient interest.

    • Thank you for a splendid essay-length recompense. One cannot get personal guidance like this at town squares of Facebookdom or Mediumland. My mouth is bigger than my ears and quicker than my brains, which is why I am not invited to smug family homes.

      Going through your list of popular topics made me realize that I just got a delivery of a new gadget that I can brag about; expect me to confer in a manner more delightful than advising against a maladroit book. 

    • Hey @IcyOtter! Welcome to Cake and thanks for weighing in! Just wanted to say I’ve started a fair number of conversations on politics, science, and global warming. So hopefully you’ll follow those feeds/topics if you so choose. Discussions on those topics have actually generated some of the best conversations on Cake, imo. Not that I don’t like motorcycles and photography as well. 😊