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    • Yeah, I definitely want to use and love this siteโ€”I'm just starting to think that the moral of all my lengthy posts is "I am not looking for the things Cake does best, and that's okay." ๐Ÿค” I came here looking for a G+ replacement, and it took me some time to recognize that it does something else, but it does that thing in a new and interesting way I want to see succeed. So I came here looking to use this new and interesting thing to connect directly to hobbyist communities, and now I am finding that it's better at serendipity (at least for now). And as I admit to @apm, I'm just not looking for serendipity: I like to make a beeline to the section I want in the book store, I find the channel I'm looking for on each news/social site I use, and I want the thing that takes the fewest clicks possible.

      That said, I've certainly bought stuff off those tables in the bookstore, which makes me wonder if I'd be using Cake more if only I bookmarked the "Featured" or "All" tab instead of www.cake.coโ€”"For You" is kind of a ghost town since I unfollowed "Cake Feedback." If your analytics suggest that there are many others like meโ€”dropping by, seeing nothing new under "For You," moving onโ€”that might be helpful to know. But it definitely occurs to me that my experience may be pretty idiosyncratic.

    • All great points. I really appreciate you taking the time to discuss this!

      I agree with everything you've said, but I do want to zoom in and examine in more detail what I think is your central point:

      So, yes, absolutely, getting users to draw in other users is key. The trick, I think, is that framing it in terms of "think about how you can help" is expecting your users to perform free labor for you. It takes work to brainstorm about how I would help a for-profit company. It takes a modicum of additional effort to go drop those links around all other social networks when I could have just posted to any of those networks in the first place.

      You're absolutely right that Cake, a for-profit company (though one โ€” I hasten to add โ€” that has not yet actually generated any profit!), is to a large extent dependent on the good will and free labor of its users to become successful. Especially in these early days when we rely heavily on users to fill Cake with content and to encourage others to use the site.

      But there's also another angle from which to look at this, which is that what we're trying to do with Cake is to provide a service we think the Internet lacks, and which we think could be of great benefit. Moreover, we're trying to do it in a way that allows us to provide the service to users free of charge, because this will benefit the most people.

      Reality dictates that Cake must eventually make money, because Cake's employees must be able to feed and house themselves and because investors expect a return. So this is one of our goals, and an important one, but it's far from our only goal.

      We would certainly never ask users to perform labor solely for Cake's benefit. I believe that would be ethically wrong. But there are ways users can help Cake that will benefit everyone, and that's something I feel can be a fair trade.

      In other words, we build Cake for you, and you help us make Cake successful so we can continue building it for you. ๐Ÿป

      As you point out, there are things we can do to make this easier, and we're working on those. And of course we'd never expect anyone to invest time or effort they can't spare. But I can't even begin to tell you how much we appreciate it when users pitch in to help, even just a little bit! It warms our hearts so much and gives us the fuel to keep going even when we've got a ton of hard work ahead of us.

      Even just taking the time to have discussions like this one is a great help in giving us ideas and letting us know what we're doing right or wrong. Thanks. ๐Ÿ™‚

    • Oh, of course! I don't mean to sound crass by pointing out the for-profit thing (especially speaking as someone who has worked at for-profit companies for most of his postgraduate life). Truth be told, one of the main reasons I keep coming back here is that I believe you folks have good intentions and want to do right by your users. And I am a big fan of you all getting to eat. ๐Ÿ™‚ (But I'll edit this to add that "getting to eat" is a low bar, so I wish you all especially good fortune AND plenty of opportunity to keep building up this place.)

    • I think @JasonT raised an interesting point about starting a conversation when you have no way of knowing if anyone is interested in it. I basically took a straw poll before starting the topic problem solving:

      But is there any plans to make this simpler? Maybe I fill out a brief description of the topic and, if Cake approves the idea, a poll survey shows up on the main page and people vote up and down their interest.

    • Also can someone provide a list of what the 60 emojis mean? I can then take a screen shot or three and refer to it often so I can accurately express my reactions.

      (I donโ€™t use desktop so canโ€™t hover to find out.)

    • We're doing a lot of thinking right now about how we can make topics more useful.

      I don't have a firm answer for you, but my advice is to not overthink it. If you're interested in something, chances are there are more people out there who are also interested in that thing. They may not be on Cake yet, so it could take some time and effort to find them and bring them here, but they're out there somewhere.

      So I think your best bet is to start conversations about the stuff you're interested in and spread the word and trust that people will find them eventually. Hopefully sooner rather than later. ๐Ÿ™‚

    • The meaning of a given reaction is really in the eye of the beholder and will depend on the context, so I'd only use these as rough guidelines, but here's a list of the reactions Cake currently supports along with the labels you'll see if you hover over them in a desktop browser:

      ๐Ÿ˜ก angry
      ๐Ÿ˜ฒ astonished
      ๐Ÿ… award
      ๐Ÿ˜Š blush
      ๐Ÿ’ฅ boom
      ๐Ÿ’” broken heart
      ๐ŸŽฏ bullseye
      ๐ŸŽ‚ cake
      ๐Ÿ“ท camera
      ๐Ÿ˜› cheeky
      ๐Ÿป cheers
      ๐Ÿ‘ clap
      ๐Ÿ‘Š closed fist
      ๐Ÿ˜Ž cool
      ๐Ÿ˜ข cry
      ๐Ÿ˜ณ embarrassed
      ๐Ÿ™„ eyeroll
      ๐Ÿคž fingers crossed
      ๐Ÿ”ฅ fire
      ๐Ÿ™ frown
      ๐Ÿณ๏ธโ€๐ŸŒˆ gay pride flag
      ๐Ÿ˜ฌ grimace
      ๐Ÿ˜€ grin
      ๐Ÿคข gross
      ๐Ÿ™‰ hear no evil
      ๐Ÿ˜ heart eyes
      โค๏ธ heart
      ๐ŸŽ‰ hooray
      ๐Ÿ˜‚ joy
      ๐Ÿค lips sealed
      ๐Ÿคฅ lying face
      ๐Ÿค˜ metal
      ๐Ÿคฏ mind blown
      ๐Ÿ˜ˆ mischievous smile
      ๐Ÿ’ฐ moneybag
      ๐Ÿ’ช muscle
      ๐Ÿ˜ neutral
      ๐Ÿ‘Œ ok
      โœŒ๏ธ peace
      ๐Ÿ’ฉ poop
      ๐ŸŒˆ rainbow
      ๐Ÿ™Œ raised hands
      ๐Ÿš€ rocket
      ๐Ÿคฃ rofl
      ๐Ÿ˜ฑ scream
      ๐Ÿ™ˆ see no evil
      ๐Ÿค’ sick
      ๐Ÿ˜œ silly
      ๐Ÿคจ skeptical
      ๐Ÿ˜ด sleepy
      ๐Ÿ™‚ smile
      ๐Ÿ˜ญ sob
      ๐Ÿ™Š speak no evil
      ๐Ÿ˜ฎ surprised
      ๐Ÿ™ thank you
      ๐Ÿค” thinking
      ๐Ÿ‘Ž thumbs down
      ๐Ÿ‘ thumbs up
      ๐Ÿฆ„ unicorn
      ๐Ÿ™ƒ upside-down smile
      ๐Ÿ˜‰ wink

    • I see two challenges with starting a conversation that no one is currently interested in.

      One, it increases the noise ratio for everyone else when theyโ€™re scrolling through the All feed.

      Two, I donโ€™t have access to analytics to back this up, but in paging through all of the conversations back to August, it seems as if a conversation that goes two or three days without further replies is basically permanently dead here. Thatโ€™s a million times better than the 15 minute lifespan of the average tweet, but I canโ€™t see people putting in the effort for something epic like this

      if there isnโ€™t at least some sense that it has a chance of engagement.

      Not trying to be argumentative for the sake of being argumentative. Itโ€™s just that Iโ€™m not seeing how a new user would easily have visibility to great content that never took off for lack of an audience when it was originally posted.

      And yes, @yaypie, youโ€™ve got me peggedโ€”I do tend overthink things.


    • One thing I think people sometimes overlook is that while Cake's feeds like "For You" and "All" are designed to change rapidly to help you discover newer conversations, this only affects discovery within Cake.

      Conversations themselves are designed to be long-lived and to have great SEO, with the goal of helping people continue to discover them for days, weeks, and years afterward via search engines and externally shared links.

      It's a tricky balancing act because we obviously want to help conversations succeed by giving them the best chance to be discovered by Cake users, but we also need to make way for newer conversations so that there's something interesting in your feed that you haven't seen yet next time you visit Cake.

      We'll keep working on improving this, though!

    • SEO? You mean like this

      which led me to this

      and this

      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.

      I think itโ€™s just awesome that this was part of the vision for panels. I went ahead and shared it on the Federated timeline on Mastodon as there are a number of troll-abused populations that have migrated from Twitter to Mastodon and I think it would be of interest.

    • @JasonT Thanks for bringing this up - because I'm in exactly the same situation. The Cake platform, the idea as well as the people behind it, everything is great but it's hard to just jump in and start posting if there's no real community for that specific topic yet.

      "Post and they will come" is the general suggestion here - but "They aren't here yet, so I won't post" is something like a logical equivalent to that, and probably the more likely pick of the two for most people.

      This is especially true for topics where I want to participate in, but wouldn't consider myself to be a real expert. I'd love to talk about anything ranging from Hiking, over that free-to-play online card game I currently enjoy, to Android development. I'd love to participate in discussions about woodworking, gardening or the next expansion for the Civilization VI video game - but being an "Average Joe" instead of someone who knows every nook and cranny regarding some of those topics, I'm hesitant to start a discussion when I don't know what discussion might come up (if any at all).

      You brought up Reddit as a place where discussion already happens - and in fact, I lurk on Reddit for some of these topics, but would love to get away from it because it is often a vile place with all the anonymous downvoting and general trolling going on. Bootstrapping this is hard, though, so I'd appreciate any suggestions that might still come up here. :)

    • Iโ€™ve been thinking about it and I think itโ€™s actually a healthy thing that there are conversations about Cake on Cake.

      In a way, we are following people on Cake. The way we get to know the characters in this forum is across a variety of different conversations. Iโ€™ve learned things about Steve Jobs from @Chris in a conversation that didnโ€™t start out having anything to do with him. I found out today that @lidja and I have both worked in the nonprofit sector. But like a party filled with both familiar and strangers, there are going to be lulls in the conversation. So what do you when that happens at a party? Stare at your shoes for ten minutes? No, you avoid the awkward silence by quickly turning to a safe topic, one you can chat amicably about until a more interesting one comes to mind. Or the safe topic turns out to be of significant interest to the group so you enjoy the significant time spent discussing it. Either way, talking about ๐ŸŽ‚ on ๐ŸŽ‚ is a good thing.