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    • Topic information

      I think it would be useful if topics came with some more information, perhaps a short blurb describing what the topic is about, what is or isn't within the scope of the topic, etc.

      Obviously, there are many topics that are self-explanatory, so this description could be optional. For example, I'd expect that everyone knows what the topic Star Trek is about, and that it shouldn't be used to discuss the latest Star Wars movie, or something else altogether. However, there are topics where this isn't the case.

      Example 1: When I joined, one of the first few topics I followed was "photography". I expected this topic to contain conversations about photography - what gear (or camera settings) to use, how to get the best shot in mediocre lighting situations, how to post-process, that sort of stuff. What I got instead was (mostly) random image shares without much of a discussion, so I eventually unfollowed that topic.

      It doesn't really matter if it's me or the others who misinterpreted the topic - but obviously, there was some misunderstanding going on. Some descriptive text might have helped both of us.

      Topic moderation

      Another thing I'd like to see is an option to flag a conversation if we think that it doesn't belong into one or another topic. We already can flag conversations, but are then asked why we "think this content doesn't belong on Cake". In many cases, I do not think that content needs to be removed altogether - but would still like to see it removed from a topic that I follow for completely different content.

      Example 2: Another topic I followed after joining is "Google+". Similar to my above example of a "Star Trek" topic, I'd expect this topic to be understood even without a description, and I'd expect to mostly see conversations about this specific software product and/or platform: what worked, what didn't, where did it all go wrong... Yet, what I mostly see in that topic are conversations that just happen to be started between former Google+ users (or not even that).

      Here, being able to somehow state that "I don't think this conversation belongs here" would help - both me, if it leads to less off-topic conversations in my feeds, and the moderation team (and thus the platform as a whole), who can't possibly know everything about every topic.

      Topic arbiters

      Last but not least, and I think I've brought this up before, if this platform grows there will be a time where it will no longer be possible to confirm each and every conversation "in-house". At that point, it would be great to have functionality ready that allows others (long-term members who have shown themselves to be both well-behaved in general and knowledgeable about a certain topic) to help with the moderation.

      I'm neither asking for the proverbial keys to the platform, nor am I volunteering as an unpaid moderator for all the topics. What I'm suggesting is more like being recognized for being a regular contributor to some topics, so that my flagging actions in regards to that topic (if they happen) are given more weight in some moderator's priority queue.

    • ^Interesting post.

      As an indexer, this question of categories (in an index, we call them ”main entries”) is always a challenge. Of course, it is easier to structure an index when the data is a closed set. With a growing set of data, there will be points in time when main entries will have to be broken down into subsets in order to optimize usability. I wonder what the plan is for this? Perhaps this will become a moderator’s choice/responsibility? How does Wikipedia oversee its growing/changing database?

    • Could it be that people are just trying to find their way in a platform they are unsure of using, trying various ways to find even ground.
      Why not be helpful, hold someone's hand instead of finding ways to block ban mute hide or kick in the butt when it is seen in the eyes of other profund users as being an incorrect practice.
      Personally i feel cake is not going to grow with all the negative vibes being shuffled around at the moment.
      ' Normal' man I don't like using that word, but I digress, eventually you will see a increase in anonymous users as we realise this is not suited to our way of conversation.

    • I'm not sure why you feel the need to join this conversation only to be offended. This is a post in the "Cake feedback" topic (and only that topic, no other), so obviously its content is my opinion on what I feel currently works well or doesn't on the platform, and suggestions regarding how I think the platform could become better for everyone.

      Calling constructive criticism "negative vibes" and asking me to "be helpful" instead of "kick[ing] people in the butt" when making it easier for people to not get lost is basically what I am suggesting is, in my opinion, completely absurd.

    • Hey Factotum,

      That was fascinating. Thank you for putting so much compelling thought into this. No worries, Julianne, that's not a backhanded slight on you. I agree that keeping things positive is wonderful. But I really like hearing what the issues are so we can fully understand them.

      I haven't been able to stop thinking about this all day since I read it. I have to be careful about what I say because I tend to think in general terms. Once we start talking it over, the team comes up with edge cases that I didn't think of and they identify things that will confuse the user. What we actually end up doing can look quite different than I was imagining going in.

      I notice Reddit's description of their photography sub is

      /r/photography is a place to discuss the tools, technique and culture of photography. This is not a good place to simply share cool photos or promote your work, but rather a place to discuss photography as an art and post things that would be of interest to other photographers.

      which sounds like it's in line with what your expectations were. I was actually thinking great mushroom photos, etc., should go in there, which speaks to your point about clarification.

      What I was actually hoping is that we would scale better than Reddit when the volume gets high, reason being when a subreddit's traffic gets high, it's very difficult to filter your view into just Macro shots or whatever.

      Anyway, getting topics right is really critical, that we know, and we appreciate you adding so much clarity to what would improve how we handle them.

    • This is completely on 🎯. Great conversation starter. Look forward to reading more of your content.

      What I think is still missing from the Reddit description that @Chris shared is some direction as to where I’m supposed to go if I want to share pictures about clouds, phodography, etc.

      Maybe you can connect Cake directly to my Amazon device.

      [Alexa-like voice]

      Is this what you’re looking to talk about?

      Okay, if you’re not interested in discussing the latest gear, do you want to talk about photographs in general or a particular subject matter, or something else?

      Okay, a particular subject matter. What subject matter are you interested in?

      We don’t have a sub-topic just on sunsets, but we do have 27 photo conversations going on about sky photography. Please use the topic, sky photo, to share images of sunsets.

      [END Alexa]

      I’m sure this would be easy to code, right?


    • What I think is still missing from the Reddit description that @Chris shared is some direction as to where I’m supposed to go if I want to share pictures about clouds, phodography, etc.

      @apm Good point. In my example of "photography (discussion about)" vs. "photography (sharing my art)", even though I expected the existing topic to be about one and not the other, both might still be worth to have eventually.

      In that case, having something like a list of "related topics", so that we can navigate not only up and down, but also sideways, would be great.