I think this is one of the most important questions we can ask about Cake because topics are so core to the design. We have to get really good at this.
Right now several us us pay attention to the topics people add. It's common for our users to quickly type in topics that don't already exist that are close to ones that do. For example, I just merged keto with keto diet and it caused the topic keto to disappear from some conversations and be replaced with keto diet.
It's clear that what we're doing casually with a few of us is going to have to be owned by someone really good at it in the future and then a really good team. It will never be perfect but it seems a big step forward from the way hashtags work now on Instagram and Twitter.
I've had a vague notion of user curated topics for a long time. For example, Best of B&W photography. Maybe curated topics get a small badge indicating who owns it, I don't know. It seems like an idea with a future but it's no more than one of my fantasies at the moment.
What do you think?