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    • .. but what would you consider essential to make it a social ecosystem that's not only safe but welcoming and ever more attractive? Is it topics, categories, events, news, politics, entertainment, or regardless of any of these, people who populate it? I think it's a mix, with emphasis on people. What do you think?

    • I think it's the people first and foremost. If we have people that want to exhange their ideas and are thoughtful about it, that's the biggest thing.

    • I agree. It has been my experience that people can make, or break a place, and while topics are relevant, I'd rather engage in in a conversation where participants are lively and open minded first and foremost. Eventually the experts do also show up, or maybe just enthusiasts who have spent more time on the topics, and have knowledge to share and opinions that aren't biased or rigid.

    • It is a very astute observation of Cake, Dracula!

      Just this past weekend, @Chris and I were talking about Cake's biggest strengths. We both concluded that it was our community. Thoughtful people eager to discuss and challenge each other's ideas in a civilized manner is what makes keeps us going.

      All we have is our small and passionate community that is slowly growing. Without you, there won't be anyone to talk to and thus no reason to follow any topics.

    • When I regularly visited a BBS about my favourite TV series at the time, there were other regulars whose posts I always appreciated - and others whose posts would always rile me up.

      When I participated in editing and later moderating a wiki, there were users where I knew their edits were good - and others were I knew that whenever they joined a conversation, it spelled trouble.

      When I was active on a now-defunct social media platform, there were people I felt I knew well and liked to chat with - and others that I quickly put on an ignore list.

      When I now visit the subreddit of a computer game I currently play, some usernames stand out, both in good and bad ways.

      So, in one way you are right, having the "right" people makes or breaks a place. However, what's also true is that the great TV series BBS people I met aren't the same as the great wiki people, those aren't the same as the great social media people, and those aren't the same as the great subreddit people.

      Cake is special in that it merges all these otherwise separate places on the web into one big platform without having any apparent borders or "silos", where everyone no longer is a member of this or that "interest group", but just coexists with everyone else. I might be coming to a conversation because of its topic A, while you are coming to the same conversations because of its topic B.

      We're currently a somewhat small community, so seeing the same people in most conversations is inevitable. If Cake grows bigger, it would be great though to one day join a conversation to read someone I haven't ever read on Cake before, and vice versa.

      Bottom line: People are important, but "always the same people, across all topics" isn't. :)