The Mouse Trap turns 3 today. It was exactly three years and 334 posts earlier that the Mouse Trap was born. The Mouse Trap has indeed learnt to walk on its own and has also developed adequate linguistic skills in the meantime. The toddler years are all but over, as it now becomes more playful and enters play age of early childhood. Already people are demanding that it not be developmentally delayed, but start indulging in rich imaginative pretend play with topics being requested like symbolic interactionsim and social epistemology.
Some stock taking and reality check is in store. The wiki page on toddler lists the following last milestones for 25-36 months and I hope the Mouse trap is doing fine. To recap:
- Speaking in sentences: Hopefully the strands of mouse trap blog posts now form more cohesive sentences (like the theme of autism-psychosis, stage theories etc) and are not disjointed phrases and one-off utterances.
- Ability to be independent to primary care giver: I hope that the reader partcipation has increased and with more reader participatory initiatives like Skribit suggestions, Google FriendConnect etc., the Mouse Trap is able to become more and more independent of its primary caregiver, that is me, and instead make deep attachments with other secondary caregivers like its prized readers and subscriber base.
- Easily learns new words, places and people’s names: Hopefully as the Mouse trap matures, it is learning to expand its horizons and foraying into topics left hitherto untouched; with better reader connect features , like twitter/Frinedfeed etc it is surely remembering peoples names and where they come form!
- Anticipates routines: The mouse trap hopefully has learnt to anticipate the routine articles and topics that its readership likes to read and is doing a decent job on that score. do suggest your topics if the mouse trap doesn’t anticipate them!
- Toilet learning continues : Once th emouse trap might have been suffering from blogorrehea, but now it knows that passing motion (posting articles) once a week is adequate enough an dthat one should write a article only when one is full of it! There does exist scope for more routinized daily motion passing though!!
- Plays with toys in imaginative ways: I am experimenting a lot with social media (my favorite web 2.0 toy) so as to engage more readers in a conversation. If you have any imaginative ideas of how to play with this toy, do let me know!!
- Attempts to sing in-time with songs: Hopefully, the mouse trap has learnt to sing in tune with the zeitgeist of the day; though here I believe Mouse trap more has an original, unsynchronised with others voice and singing profile. Hope to change that and be more in sync with what others in the science blogosphere are singing (but definitely not the atheism/evolution debate which just bores me)
So, the Mouse trap is just about doing fine. It has been consistently featured in wikio top 100 science blogs, is amongst the top 5 blogs in India as ranked by Indiblogger.in, has a google page rank of 6 and has a subscriber base of close to 450 dedicated RSS feed subscribers, besides those that visit it daily on web via search. Also , the twitter followers of @sandygautam are increasing steadily and have reached 450 and the rate at which they are growing it seems they’ll grow way beyond the Mouse trap feed subscribers. With micro-blogging and twitter/ FriendFeed, I have found a new way to share links and ideas and deepen conversations and connect with my readers, that was not possible with just the Mouse Trap.
I would also like to take this opportunity to encourage all feed subscribers to join me at twitter (@sandygautam) to keep up to date on links that I don’t find exciting enough to write a blog post about or do not have much to add to, but which still are related to theme of what I write about and would make for a good read and need to be shared. I would also encourage new as well as veteran readers and subscribers, just for today, to visit the mouse trap blog on the web and not in their feed readers (to celebrate its B’day, you are invited to the party at the web) so that they can become familiar with new social media tools I have put together on the Mouse Trap blog, like the ‘recommended by readers’ widget, the ‘top posts by PostRank’ widget or the ‘suggest topics to write’ widget.
Lastly as a primary caregiver, though my investment in the mouse trap has been more and my pride consequently in its progress has been immense; I must also thank all the other caregivers like you , the reader, or the peers like the other science blogs that have provided a safe and playful environment in which the Mouse Trap could flower or learn by peer play/ imitation learning. You all are a part and parcel of the Mouse Trap blog, so thanks everyone and take pride in your child’s development and maturation and now that it becomes more independent come forward and supplant the primary caregiver and let it achieve its full potential! Amen!
Amazon today broadened their kindle blog offerings and I have used that facility to make the Mouse Trap blog feed available on the Kindle. I am not sure how many of the Mouse trap blog readers do indeed possess a kindle and whether they would find it useful to read the blog with a monthly subscription fee of 1.99 dollars; but there was no option to have a say and make the Mouse Trap blog feed available for free, so that’s what we have ended up with. You can always continue to read the blog freely using other means, but experimenting with a 14 day free kindle trial may be a good idea! More details here.
If you do subscribe using kindle , do let me know your experience via the comments.
I have installed a widget in my sidebar from skribit.com that lets you have a say in what article reviews/topics you would like to see me blog about. I am sure that I have a mature audience and the topic/article reviews requested would be related to my field of expertise, so do go ahead and have your say; I don’t promise that I would be able to write on every suggested topic, but as an experimentation I will try my best. You can suggest a topic like “OCEAN theory of personality” or a peer-reviewed/pre-print article(open access article..or be prepared to send the article to me, if it is behind a subscription firewall). I hope this takes off and we have a true two-way communication. By the way, for this you would have to visit my web page and look at the sidebar or you may try this link if it works.
The 64th edition of Encephalon is up at the Neurocritic and has been exceptionally well presented. Neurocritic embeds all the articles in context, sometimes linking to other external sources, and also providing a seamless flow between the varied topics that are covered. The articles themselves are very good, and include submissions from some new blogs other than the usual suspects.A couple of my favorites include a construal level-procrastination linkage study and a DAT-KO mice couldn’t get high on cocaine study. There is more at the source, so head over to there.