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    • I am not a huge cocktail party guy, but, the best parties I have gone to is where I can strike up random, interesting conversations with strangers about a wide variety of topics.

      There is a social dynamic I’ve noticed where the longer you know someone the narrower your conversation range becomes. It often takes a stranger into a group of regulars for the conversation to broaden.

      The back channel in forums can create a toxic environment that inhibits new conversations. It also creates another layer of moderation required to deal with harrassment.

      If I want to talk privately with someone, I can tell them to DM me on Twitter. There is a risk to Cake that I will then spend an hour reading tweets instead of immediately returning to Cake.

      It’s an interesting optimization problem over the value of private messaging.

      If I want to host a panel on “How to make Maths fun,” I can DM invites to the mathematicians I know on Twitter, but how do I ask a mechanical engineer or a geophysicist on Cake if they’d like to join the panel?

      Seriously, is there a protocol for doing this?

      I can see advantages if there was a method on Cake for privately requesting panelists as well as privately receiving their yes or no responses.