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    • Chris,

      It wasn't until I read this post that I discovered that each of the four top menu items can be set INDEPENDENTLY to one of three settings. In my last post in this thread, I had only discovered the existence of the pop up menu for the first time.

      So basically, for me, there were TWO options of which I was oblivious.

      I don't think that getting rid of these options is a good idea. I think making users aware that these options EXIST is the route to go.

    • @Chris

      During WWII the UK took down all the sign posts pertaining to locations so that if any German spies were parachuted in, they would have no signs telling them where they were.

      Cake needs Sign Posts.

    • I don't think that getting rid of these options is a good idea.

      I can see how “setting the defaults” can seem like a permanent setting, which thankfully is not the case.

      When @Chris mentions setting the defaults, he means that a new user’s filter would default to Interesting in the For You timeline, it would default to active in the All timeline, etc.

      Users would continue to be able to manually change the filter setting for each timeline.

    • What about using the previous week's conversation to announce a new conversation each week?

      This was the thought I had as well, if you must start new conversations. You run into a couple problems with this, though.

      What if someone joins in a year from now and would like to go back and see old posts related to the topic? If it's a singly linked list, they don't have an easy way to go backward. They could search the site, but it's an extra step that's unnecessary if it's immediately accessible already. It also clutters up search results. You could make it doubly linked by referencing the last thread in the new one, but again, it's just unnecessary.

      The other problem (at least in regard to serials like the original thread being referenced) is related to when conversations get locked (if that's going to continue happening.) If you lock the old conversations, none of the responses can get reactions, so they are effectively dead - no interaction is possible, so what's the point of keeping them around if the whole site is based on engagement and interaction? Information? History? Sure, but people aren't posting just to make a record. They want to be engaged.

      I for one, would rather have one consolidated conversation - or maybe one for each year something, if it becomes unwieldy. The default mode of locking old conversations or "etiquette" of letting old conversations die on most sites has never made sense to me, especially with the way Cake works.

    • One thing to consider is eliminating the Interesting/Active/New menu and just going with the defaults so our users don’t have to think about it.

      I think it's a useful feature and you already have the code in place. You know how on some sites the first time you login or after they've made changes they do a short demo to say "Hey, you might not know about these new things?" Why not just do that and pave those cowtrails you mentioned?

    • A unique tag which applies only to these conversations which when selected gives access to only those conversations.

      Cake already hosts conversations that are not featured in the all category but which have unique tags. For example, students within a class follow a tag which is unique to that class.

      Same thing could be done to allow newbies to backtrack.

      As far as locking is concerned that is the moderator's decision.

    • One thing to consider is eliminating the Interesting/Active/New menu and just going with the defaults so our users don’t have to think about it.

      Eliminating doesn't mean setting.

    • A unique tag would certainly work. I had kind of forgotten about that option, honestly. @Glenn_Smith has one for Shroomshot Saturday. But the topic in it's entirety is also comprised of one single conversation, despite the fact that it was started over a year ago. At this point the unique tag is redundant. Would there be a benefit to splitting it up into smaller conversations? That's up to him, but it seems like he hasn't found one so far. W&Bshot Wednesday follows the same basic format.

      I can see where locking has its place. I'm not advocating for the removal of the feature or saying the conversation starter shouldn't have ultimate control over it. This one is only open one day a week. If it got split up into multiple conversations with old ones being locked, only posts in the most recent edition are eligible for interaction, and only for 1 day of the week. It would severely limit even the possibility for engagement in my mind. If that's what @StephenL wants, then cool. But I don't think that's what he's aiming for.

      I think the option to let people leave reactions even on a conversation that's locked has some merit. Or maybe the ability to change a conversation to a panel and back so no one can respond in the off-time, but reactions can still be applied.

    • I think that setting the most sensible defaults for new users is a very important thing to do - and I'd choose the same three combinations that you suggested.

      Beyond that, though, I don't think that simply taking away options will help, unless you do it in the context of a more complete overhaul of the feeds&filters idea. The problem here is that different things are important and useful to different groups of users, and all of that might change depending on how much activity there is on the platform as a whole.

      To give just one example, I'm currently using "All/New" as a secondary feed to learn about new conversations in topics I'm not yet following. Assuming that Cake grows, and that the frequency of new conversations being started will grow ten or a hundred times, "All/New" will eventually become too noisy for me, at which point I might want to switch to "All/Interesting" - or hope for you to come up with something else altogether. ;)

      Repeating the suggestion I already made above, perhaps merging the feeds UI and the filters UI into a single object that can be edited by users would solve all these issues and more. It would allow you to offer sensible defaults (the currently four links, each going to a different feed with a matching filter), while at the same time allowing advanced users to change this to quickly access whatever combinations they consider to be most important.

      For example, just like @StephenL I don't really see a need for a "Following" feed if I already have notifications. If I could edit the menu to get rid of that entry and replace it with a different combination of feed&filter (so that I perhaps have quick access to two differently sorted "For You" feeds, or whatever other feed types we might come up with in the future), this would be great.

    • In an ideal world, I could lock W&Bshot Wednesday from further posts until the next Wednesday and continue to allow reactions to the previous weeks’ images. But the system wasn’t programmed with that option. So that’s our current reality. It is a great idea though so hopefully it makes sense in the future when the inventory of locked evergreen content grows larger. Honestly, I think there’s maybe a handful of conversations on Cake that have been locked: I think I locked the maths panel last year because the panel idea was so new that I didn’t want anything to mess it up after the panel ended. However, I just checked and it’s unlocked. I lock W&B every Wednesday night because it loses something when someone posts on the weekend a “I know it’s not Wednesday but I thought I’d share this image anyway.” The specialness aspect could all be in my mind, but it’s a quirk of mine that I plan to continue. Hopefully this discussion makes more aware of our weekly photo share and causes users to view the new images on Wednesdays and to like the photos from prior weeks that they didn’t view previously.