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    • I hate to be redundant, but the lack of threaded conversations here is really challenging. I would think that a comment parent ID would be trivial, but not having any idea what your architecture looks like, I'm sure it's probably more complicated than I think.

      It's a design decision, not a technical limitation, but I hear you. Behind the scenes we do have all the data necessary to support a threaded view, and we've talked about offering both threaded and flat views as options. Just takes time. πŸ™‚

    • I am nothing if not patient with emerging platforms, especially when the principals acknowledge feedback. Brian Rose was really good about that over at Plus, which is part of what led to Google Photos.

    • There are plenty of places where that works well, no question. But from a pure usability perspective, when I'm replying to a comment high up in the thread, and bounced to the bottom of the thread to do so, it's a ton of extra work to keep scrolling back up to find a non-highlighted non-quoted comment to pull sections out to reply to. If the comment you are replying to was fully quoted in your reply by default, or if there was a UI element which showed the comment you were replying to while composing, the experience would have much less usability friction.

    • On the arc of social networks, I have a huge motorcycle forum and motorcyclists are pretty frisky. Over the years as we've created subforums we watched the arc go from hard-to-get-traction ==> positive network effects ==> awesomeness ==> it's getting hard to keep up and it's getting noisy in here ==> it's getting impersonal, who are these n00bs? ==> oh look, here come the spammers and trolls.

      We would then slice the subforum into pieces. We'd get a few howls but 9 times out of 10 it would restore the pieces back to positive network effects. Some would stay small enough, like Old's Cool, a subforum for restoring vintage bikes, that it has stayed great for years.

      Our hope was that by enabling the topic structure we have, people could create very specific topics, like Ural Patrol sidecars, to keep the signal to noise high.

    • Sounds like exactly what I've come to expect from online communities.

      I like the idea of perpetually subdividing topics breaking it up, but I haven't seen that effect on Reddit. That being said, new sandbox, new rules. Maybe y'all will be the ones to crack it.

    • The interest based ads model has worked reasonably well for Reddit, but it wasn't enough to fully solve their revenue issues. Reddit Gold and Cake...Frosting?..seem like a reasonable premium model

      Fascinating, Chris. I have loved Reddit for years and probably spend 20 minutes there every day, but I haven't known how their revenue streams work other than I like Gold and no ads.

      My understanding in speaking to advertisers is they have been worried that Reddit isn't brand safe because of all the controversies.

      @thomashawk , we are rolling out a subscription service on my motorcycle forum, Adventure Rider, and fingers crossed. No ads is the main benefit. We're hearing positive things but we will see what percent of users sign up.

    • I haven't seen it on Reddit either and I'm not sure why. I think starting a new subreddit is hard and 95% of them never get traction. We're hoping starting a new topic is easy enough. We're seeing people do that and invite people they know to it, so we're hopeful.

    • Holy crap. I just realized after all this time that the arrow next to the "Replying to" box expands into the full quoted comment. #UIFail. :D That certainly makes it easier to keep track of what I'm responding to, to @thomashawk 's point.

      I have a ridiculously high karma on Reddit (no, I won't reveal my username), and have been an active user since the Digg 2.0 debacle (another promising community shot through the heart by not understanding the mechanics of online communities). I've watched it go from Spez and Kn0thing's playground for nerds to a global community serving a billion pageviews a month, and I think there are a lot of lessons to be learned from their evolution during that time. Perhaps even more so than Facebook, if quality conversation is part of your product's mission.

    • I had an option of threaded or flat on Adventure Rider for years and it seemed like technical people who used sites like Reddit liked threaded, but we didn't have many of them on ADV so we eventually dropped the option. It had less than 10% usage there, I guessed because motorcyclists weren't too savvy and they tended to get lost in the threading.

      My intuition makes me feel they work better when there is a post with comments, but not as well when it's a conversation and you want to follow it from start to end.

    • Holy crap. I just realized after all this time that the arrow next to the "Replying to" box expands into the full quoted comment. #UIFail. :D

      There is a tricky little shortcut you see @yaypie and I using: if you highlight some text in the post you're replying to, we will automatically highlight that snippet as you see above πŸ‘†.

      I believe you with Reddit learnings. Can I call? I just sent you a friend request on Facebook because we haven't built private messaging yet (too many things!).

    • Over the years as we've created subforums we watched the arc go from hard-to-get-traction ==> positive network effects ==> awesomeness ==> it's getting hard to keep up and it's getting noisy in here ==> it's getting impersonal, who are these n00bs? ==> oh look, here come the spammers and trolls.

      I'm not sure exactly where it belongs, but you left out "what ever happened to ...." or "why did so-and-so stop posting", etc. I think that comes before the "who are these n00bs".

    • yes trustee at RIT. Great grads in CS. I joined GM as you were leaving - headed up Portico etc. we met when you were already growing fatbrain. We need a Cake. Love you are attacking the problem.

    • Yes, not to over dramatize, but I do think the world needs what we hope Cake will become, badly. We can't screw this up because so much is at stake, at least that's what I believe.

    • I'm impressed by the amount of engagement you've enjoyed here already!

      As a student of app success, I'm both very happy to see the lucid options like outlinking so simply in text and recognize that disadvantage of concern for user over growth.

      Facebook doesn't allow this for the very self-serving purpose of keeping you on platform.

      The option feels very much more like Medium. And, I like that.

      The bottom line is, there's never one monolithic permanent solution to any need.

      Facebook is the biggest social media platform today. But, we long for something outside the monoculture. The internet is designed to be free. Options make it more so!

    • Interesting to see some familiar faces from the last 7 years right here in this conversation. A well written long form article too,which I agree with in most parts.

      Social has lost its luster across the board, through no ones fault but its own self inflicted abuse.

      Not sure cake can bring back the things that matter as far as publishing and consumption goes, but the established alternatives certainly won't.

      Anyway, hello to the familiar people.
      And for all of you, keep the publishing pace low now πŸ‘πŸ˜ŠπŸ‹οΈβ€β™‚οΈ

    • I'm just finding out about Cake right now and it couldn't come at a better time. With the sad demise and eventual shutdown of my beloved Google+, I'm looking for something different and better than current offerings. Maybe I'll write my farewell to my Android and Tech followers from Google+ over here on Cake.