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    • HI there, people of Cake. New user here (G+ refugee, as you might have suspected - https://plus.google.com/u/0/+JovicaPopovic), and so far impressed enough to actually sign up. This looks like a place I might set up camp at (and eventually make it a more permanent home).

      With that in mind, I have a few questions that popped up while kicking the tires on this thing.

      One is obvious: financials? How is this thing supposed to survive? There's no ads, no (visible) monetization in place, but @Chris has been around the block more than a few times, and surely has a plan. It was awesome how G+ had no ads anywhere, truly a respite from the rest of the web, but G+ had Google's coffers to rely on (while it lasted, anyway). How is Cake planning on keeping the lights on?

      Next, is there a feature roadmap for Cake? So far, it's pretty slick, but there are obvious areas that need work, what can we look forward to? Is there a public API? Plans for one? Apps? Integration with other services (importing pictures from Google Photos, for example)?

      Also, scaling? How would topics work if there were 100x as much people posting? I have a feeling it would become overwhelming pretty soon. Any plans or mechanisms for taming the potential torrent of posts? How will 'follow topics, not people' work if there is 10k people posting on a topic, but I just want to read posts from people I deem interesting?

      Hope someone will help me get a better picture.

    • Hi jpop, welcome to Cake! 😁 These are great questions which never leave my mind from the moment my eyelids open 7 days a week. Your questions are so good and well thought through they deserve a very thoughtful response from me, so I'll have one for you in an hour or two.

    • There is a principle of user interface design which says you think you know how people will use your product but they will probably use it in ways you didn't expect. You have to figure out how to pave the cow trails (make it easier for them to use it the way they want to).

      We're just 4 engineers and 2 designers for now so we have to focus on things that really count. One of the engineers is dedicated to an iOS app and it's pretty far along.

      There are a few things that are core to Cake's success and it feels like focusing on getting them right is crucial. One of those is topics. When you started this conversation, you used it the way we expected: you discovered the most relevant topic for your post and didn't try to add topics where it doesn't belong to get more eyeballs. You didn't create a new topic at random that no one is following.

      It feels to me that topics will be critical to scaling with good signal to noise. It's my expectation that if the torrent comes, people will select more and more fine-grained topics. And our role in helping users select the right topics feels critical.

      As for following people, we are getting requests for that and I expected us to. One problem social graph companies face is if you follow someone, you get all of their interests. On Facebook that means you have to read about your uncle's political views when you follow him to keep up with the cousins. YouTube creators say they can't post anything in their channels except the topic their subscribers expect of them.

      We're not working on following people at the moment because it's a big technical challenge and we have an opportunity to do it really well, which will take a lot of thought. My guess is what you really want is to not miss posts from interesting people within the topics you follow, but not their views in topics you don't care about. Am I right?

      Jeff Bezos has this wonderful philosophy of focusing on what will never change. In his case it's selection, low price and fast delivery. In our case I think it's signal to noise and content discovery, no?

      To that end, we introduced panel conversations and I can tell the world does not understand them until they experience them, but then they love them because more signal, less noise. And they give a voice to people who would otherwise never post because trolls. Here's one about Google+:

      It feels that, like topics, panels are very important to us and we need to keep refining to make them work really well. Both those feel more important to me than a public API.

      As for financing, eventually we will have to run ads, but with a big difference. For one thing, interest-based advertising is the most effective and we are organized around interests. We don't need surveillance capitalism like Facebook does to figure out where advertisers should place their ads. Also, our ads can be high fidelity in the stream like on Instagram. And I hope that we can do like YouTube Red and let you subscribe to see no ads. I'm a YouTube Red subscriber and I love it.

      Let us know if you have more questions.

    • Hi @jpop! I think Chris addressed most of your questions above. Since this one is more engineering-related, I'll tackle it:

      Next, is there a feature roadmap for Cake? So far, it's pretty slick, but there are obvious areas that need work, what can we look forward to? Is there a public API? Plans for one? Apps? Integration with other services (importing pictures from Google Photos, for example)?

      What features would you like to see? We've got lots of ideas, but our roadmap is flexible and we choose what to focus on largely based on what's important to users and how people are using the site, so I'd love to hear your suggestions.

      Cake has a comprehensive API (in fact, every single function of the site flows through the API) and we've designed it to be something we can eventually make public, but in these early days we're focusing on getting the user-facing product right first just as a matter of practicality since we're a small team.

      Are you a developer? If so, what kinds of things do you think you might build with the API? I'd love to hear your ideas! 😄

    • We're just 4 engineers and 2 designers for now so we have to focus on things that really count. One of the engineers is dedicated to an iOS app and it's pretty far along.

      iOS app should be the priority. Once it's out, more people will join and the place will become livelier. I'm an Android + Windows user but I'm willing to wait 😁 Take your time. As long as the interface is clean and people are polite, users who signed up would stick around IMHO.

    • How will 'follow topics, not people' work if there is 10k people posting on a topic, but I just want to read posts from people I deem interesting?

      Same concern here. However, I noticed there's already some kinda filter to show you posts that are "interesting". Perhaps @yaypie has a few things in my mind regrading showing more posts about people you interact often? And a "mute" button for those you dislike?

    • HI there, people of Cake. New user here (G+ refugee, as you might have suspected - https://plus.google.com/u/0/+JovicaPopovic), and so far impressed enough to actually sign up.

      Oh ya, welcome to Cake @jpop ! Hope to see more of your (tech) posts! 🍰

    • Perhaps @yaypie has a few things in my mind regrading showing more posts about people you interact often? And a "mute" button for those you dislike?

      Great questions! As @Chris pointed out, we already have "Mute" and "Ignore" functionality. Ignoring someone will hide their conversations and posts so you don't have to see them. Muting someone will prevent them from posting in conversations you start. You can use either or both as necessary.

      As for your first question, you're right on the money: there are lots of ways we can algorithmically improve the relevance of the conversations you see in topics and in your "For You" feed as Cake grows.

      So far we've only scratched the surface of what's possible, because Cake is still a fairly small community. For example, while the "For You" feed is algorithmically sorted by default to help promote more "interesting" conversations to the top of the feed, we don't currently do any special sorting on topic feed pages. But as Cake grows, we can introduce smarter sorting and filtering features that will help weed out low quality content that you're less likely to be interested in.

      We're introducing changes like this slowly and carefully because we don't want to pave too many cowpaths before we see how people are using Cake and what they like and don't like. But we're constantly improving. Thanks for the great questions! 🙂

    • Also from google plus and trying differs things here to see how best to play, I’ve started a couple of conversations and treating them like collections to see how that goes, may end up a bit messy with the comments coming into the feed and not necessarily the images related to the feed so maybe a panel of one maybe the way to play and add others later if you think they will keep to the theme. We’ll see how it goes. But I did like the collections feature you can group images together, but I’ll keep playing here, think Panels maybe the answer to collection equivalent but limited to yourself as a member. 🧐

    • Thanks for taking the time to elaborate.

      Panels are a really interesting idea if you can get the dynamics of getting the right group together, looking forward to seeing how that works in real use.

      As for following people, I think G+ really nailed it with 'collections'. Users can post into collections that group posts by topic, and instead of following a person, you can follow only a certain collection of theirs, thus avoiding other topics they post about that don't interest you. Worked great in practice. What you have here is close to that. If users could create their exclusive 'topics' (only they can post into it, others can comment and react) it would be basically it. But I understand that getting things right takes time and effort and you have a lot on your plate as it is.

      Regarding the financials - premium membership that eliminates the ads would be great. I really don't mind paying for services that I find valuable.

    • So glad to hear you're building solid fundamentals that will enable opening the platform up eventually.

      Personally, I live on my mobile, and so a dedicated app is really important to me. Web browsing on mobile is a chore. App doesn't have to be all native - embedded webviews can work wonders today, I just need tight integration with the OS (notifications, sharing, persistence). Check out Basecamp, for example: 90% of the app is webviews, but it works great.

      What I would really like to see is the ability to share into Cake from other apps/websites. Often I run into interesting articles and stories I like to share. Right now, having to copy the URL, go to Cake website and post from there - it's a lot of work. Second big thing - notifications. Mail doesn't really cut it (too much noise in the inbox, not the right context).

      Yes, I am an developer (primarily working on Android and some backend stuff, mostly in Go), but I don't have that much free time to properly contribute to other projects.

    • Markos Giannopoulos

      First post here. The Cake approach topics is interesting (basically a classic forum structure) and the Panel feature seems the most innovative feature. It will be great to see this in practice.

      Things missing for me : I would say bold/italics formatting but then I only started writing now, accidentally selected a word and the buttons came up :) So what you probably need is a help page :) Haven’t found one! To that end, what do invites do? I signed without one :)

      And since I am asking can you do more that one photo in one post or it would need multiple posts instead?

      An API would be needed by other people to do all sorts of things, but an easy goal to achieve is RSS feeds of topics and user posts (especially interested in the latter as I like track my social media use and keep a copy of posts)

      A mobile app doesn’t seem necessary, the site works great on a browser and we need to escape the culture of constant notifications.

      Thank you, this looks like a great place for G+ refugees!

    • Markos Giannopoulos

      Maybe you shouldn’t work on people following people at all. Forums thrived for decades without this feature.

    • Thanks, jpop. It sounds like you really know your stuff. Android is hard for us because it's the only platform our rich text editor doesn't work on. Argh. And we have an iOS developer, but not one for Android. Double argh. @kevin : 👆 embedded webviews.

    • Godriguez (a.k.a. mark rodriguez)

      you are correct about panels, as i was reading that G+ thread when i first joined i kept searching for the reply button as i wanted to chime in and then saw that commenting was restricted to panel members and then it clicked!

      that is a great way to keep things on topic and eliminate trolls. can the moderator/creator of the panel post let in other participants to the conversation if they choose? i know on G+ if you had a private convo going by +mentioning someone in a comment that automatically brought that person into the convo and then they were able to comment as well

      that betting said, having the ability as a viewer to still react to comments via emojis is nice so that they can still feel somewhat included in the convo if even just to show approval/ disapproval of a comment

    • Welcome to Cake, @MarkG!

      So what you probably need is a help page :) Haven’t found one! To that end, what do invites do? I signed without one :)

      We definitely need a help section that goes into detail on all of Cake's features. So far we've just been too busy building Cake! But I'm glad you're figuring things out. 🙂

      And since I am asking can you do more that one photo in one post or it would need multiple posts instead?

      Currently you can only upload one photo per post, but if you paste a URL to an image in its own paragraph and hit return, it'll become an embedded image. So if you've got multiple images on Imgur, Flickr, SmugMug, etc. that you want to use in a Cake post, this is a great way to do it.

      An API would be needed by other people to do all sorts of things, but an easy goal to achieve is RSS feeds of topics and user posts (especially interested in the latter as I like track my social media use and keep a copy of posts)

      We do have an API, though we haven't opened it up or documented it for public use yet because it's still changing. RSS feeds for topics and users is an interesting idea! We haven't given it much thought since RSS is a little old school these days, but it could be a nice little feature for those of us who still use feed readers. 🙂

    • What features would you like to see? We've got lots of ideas, but our roadmap is flexible and we choose what to focus on largely based on what's important to users and how people are using the site, so I'd love to hear your suggestions.

      As a new user (really new, like one day), I do have some suggestions.

      1. Allow us to add more than one image to our posts, and not only at the end of the post. From what I've seen this is only possible with image URLs, but not with images we want to upload from local storage. Google Photos access would be awesome if you could make it happen.

      2. Some sharing functionality would be nice. Sharing our posts to other platforms especially.

      3. A mobile app. I read that an iOS app is in the works, so hopefully we'll also get an Android app too.

      I think those are the main suggestions I have. I understand that there's only a small team behind Cake, so I understand that you may have your own roadmap planned out, and with a huge influx of former Google+ users, I'm sure your "suggestion box" is overflowing. So take your time, don't feel obliged to "serve" us newcomers. I personally love this platform already, so any improvements you guys make, no matter how long it takes, will be most welcome.

    • Great suggestions, @JazliAziz!

      Some sharing functionality would be nice. Sharing our posts to other platforms especially.

      It's not the most convenient thing in the world, but when you're viewing a conversation or post, you can copy the URL from your browser's location bar, or (if you're on mobile) by tapping the "Share" icon in the browser and selecting "Copy" (at least, that's how it works on iOS; I'm sure Android is similar). Then you can share that URL on Twitter, Facebook, Google+, or anywhere else. Most services will show a nice preview of your Cake post when you do this.

      We can make this easier though. 👍

      I understand that there's only a small team behind Cake, so I understand that you may have your own roadmap planned out, and with a huge influx of former Google+ users, I'm sure your "suggestion box" is overflowing.

      Yeah, it definitely is. Thanks for understanding. But keep those suggestions coming! 😄

    You've been invited!