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Welcoming the One Millionth Reader

I know its a bit premature (the blog visit count on my blog is only about 99,8000 yet and it will take another 2-3 days to hit that milestone) but I wanted to take this opportunity to thank all the ~1 million readers who have thought it worthwhile to visit my blog at least once. You know who who you are: thanks to the Moms and the Grandmoms (those readers who were the only ones to visit it in the early days) and thanks also to the Siblings and Cousins (those blogs which encouraged, accepted and sometimes generated a healthy sibling competition of sorts in the early days?).

Maker Faire 2008, San Mateo - a life size vers...

Maker Faire 2008, San Mateo – a life size version of the Mouse Trap board game (Photo credit: Wikipedia)

My blog is ~12.5 years old, finishing the tween years and preparing to enter adolescence (if I may anthropomorphise it….I don’t really know if in the species called blogs, teenage begins at 13 years or whether a 13 year old is already an ageing blog on the verge of retirement/ death?), and I have mixed feelings about it.

To begin with, the following lines from an old popular TV commercial sensitizing people against gender discrimination comes to mind:

‘Ka maine kokh sahi na jani?’

English translation: ‘Did I not give birth to the right child?’

As some of you may know The Mouse Trap has not been able to generate much discussion (only 45 comments as per WP.com stats and 1313 comments as per WP dashboard, most of which are my own scoop.it backlink comments), is a relatively ‘Quiet’/ introverted child (only 540 posts in ~12.5 years), and may even be a specially abled/ differently abled child (it may have missed its developmental milestones like getting a one million hits in the first five years itself:-) ), but I am more than satisfied with my baby. It bears repeating that each child is unique and special, and that I am a proud parent.

The only regret I have is whether I have spent enough time with my child? Did I read enough stuff, reflect on it, and then take careful time out to craft a good post? I know that my blog can never live up to the extraverted ideals – of posting daily, of taking care of SEO etc to ensure enough stimulation (visibility/ interaction) etc, but I am also doubtful whether I really worked that hard to make content the king. Did I not start taking my blog (and its readers) for granted? Did other commitments, like curating content on scoop.it or other social media, not take away from the time I could have spent with the Mouse Trap?

Also, am I expecting too much from my child, and that too, too early? I had decided to put ads on The Mouse Trap earlier this year, and the revenue I get from that is still not able to cover expenses for hosting The Mouse Trap on fast servers (so that the readers can have a good experience), so are my expectations unrealistic? Should I wait till young adulthood before expecting The Mouse Trap to be able to sustain itself?

But then when I look at shining examples of other young adults out there (like Brain Pickings or Wait But why?) who are walking upright, I know that the Mouse Trap could also walk one day on its own feet. The hope lives on!

PS: Thanks, last but not the least, to my baby (The Mouse Trap) which is a bundle of joy. Like all parents, I take great solace in your potential and warmth, whenever feeling down or in a low mood. Reading older posts brings back memories of joy and thinking about your future fills me with excitement and vigor. Long Live The Mouse Trap.

A Decade of Blogging: the Top 10 posts on The Mouse Trap

19 may 2006 was the day I blogged for the first time; the platform was blogspot and I was unsure of what direction my blog will take and whether I will be able to make a difference and convey my thoughts and learning to a broader audience.

A decade later, with more than a million page views, I am decently satisfied with having found a niche for myself and for creating some positive impact.

But one lament I have is that I have slowed down considerably. In the first 3 and half years, while the blog was hosted on blogspot, I wrote about 360 blog posts; in Oct 2009, I had moved to self hosted blog, and since then (in the last 6 and half years) I have only written about 120 posts. Which means I have slowed down by about a factor of 6 the frequency with which I post; more importantly I’m not sure the quality of the blog posts is still that high. I would love comments from long time readers of this blog as to what they see as the evolution of the blog and what they can advise me regarding its further course.

For those who may be new to this blog, I would like to share the top 10 posts on The Mouse Trap (I have combined data from the blogspot as well as the self-hosted blog) :

  1. Maslow’s eight basic needs and the eight stage developmental model
  2. Schizophrenia: 4 a’s and ABCD
  3. Ego Development: the nine stages theory of Loevinger
  4. The Five Core Social Motives
  5. Different stages of pretend play and how they relate to language development
  6. Robert Kegan’s stages of Social Maturity/ orders of consciousness
  7. Theories of Intelligence : Entity Vs Incremental theory
  8. Allport’s eight stages of self (proprium) development
  9. Bipolar Phenotype: Excessive self-regulatory focus
  10. Five kinds of self/self-knowledge

Honorary mention: Goals of Psychology and major personality theory groupings, which just missed the boat!

That’s it for now, happy (re)reading!

The Mouse Trap is on Facebook

Facebook, Inc.
Image via Wikipedia

Continuing the tradition of other good psychology blogs getting a presence on Facebook, I have created a fan page for The Mouse Trap blog on Facebook with an easy to remember vanity URL http://facebook.com/TheMouseTrapBlog . You can click right here to go to the page and become a fan.

Also if you feel so inclined, you can spread the word about the mouse trap blog amongst your Facebook friends by suggesting the mouse trap blog FB page to them.

Also for those who might not be aware I also tweet and you can follow me at @sandygautam on twitter.

And please don’t forget to actively use the FB page/ twitter stream to create more conversations amongst the mouse trap community and to know me and each other better!

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BlogCampPune2: A thank you note!

I attended the BlogCampPune2 last Saturday and it was a fun event – bringing diverse people , all driven by the passion of blogging, in the same room and providing them an opportunity to get to know each other well.

Special thanks go to the unorganizers, Tarun, Bhavya et al. for unorganizing it and to all others who showed up at the event and participated. It was my first blogcmap/tweetup/ unconference/ any offline activity and I met many of my online friends in real life, for the first time.

I was already looking forward to meeting Navin Kabra, Amit Paranjape,Meeta Kabra, Dhananjaye Nene, Sneha Gore, Vishal Gangawane, Tarun Chandel and many others and was gratified when that happened; but the icing on the cake was to find other unexpected contacts like Mahendra Om  also present there, or making new and interesting contacts like Annkur of Only Gizmos.

Some of the sessions were really interesting- Annkur with his ‘Mistakes were made (but not by me) (but by me)’ presentation ; or Navin with his ‘What blogs can learn from newspapers’ presentation provided some good food for thought and something to take home with you and apply to your blogging later.The informal talk by Meeta and how her dependence on third-party marketing backfired provided new insights. Thakkars’ impromptu session stressed the importance of humor and fun and how presentation matters.  The only regret form the blogcamp was the fact that due to some last minute rescheduling, I and Dhananjaye had to take sessions at the same time and we ended up missing each others presentations.  I had already gone through Dhanajaye’s presentation , which he had loaded prior to the event on his site, and was really looking forward to his talk.

To those of you who missed the event, search for #blogcamppune on twiiter or go to this FriendFeed page to get a sense of real-time excitement and reprting.  I am sure , the post-blogcamp blog posts and tweets and press covergae would be aggregated at some place and I’ll link to it soon here.My own persentation can be found here

Thanks again to all who were there!

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