Thank you for inviting me to this panel @apm! A bit about myself first - I am a Google+ refugee who was looking for an alternative site which encouraged the same type of in depth quality conversations. To be honest though, I would characterise myself as a lurker. I hardly posted on G+, but I enjoyed reading the conversations. I enjoy Reddit for the same reason. I stumbled upon Cake when one of the posts showed up in one of my google searches.
I have had one of my posts featured and I loved the conversation that it sparked! You can read about it here:
In my personal opinion, the hardest part of engagement is making that first comment or post. Often times, I have come across an article and have thought to myself - "I should share this with other people and see what they think", but I usually never get around to doing it. For me, this is partly because I am not sure if I can construct a well thought out post like this or this. But I have realized the only person holding myself back is me.
My advise to you: Start small. Go ahead and make a comment on a post you like. Doesn't matter if it's silly. Doesn't matter if it's only one sentence. Doesn't matter if it's not fleshed out. Doesn't matter if you do not have images, fancy formatting, or multiple links to other sources.
Just add one comment and I promise you, you will get caught up in the swirl of conversation. It won't be long before you make your first post. (And start adding fancy formatting and links and images). Go ahead, I will wait. :)