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20,000 Members and the "Mainstream" Mission

Yesterday on Biggerplate we reached another significant landmark on our journey to greatness - 20,000 registered members on Biggerplate.com!

When we are reminded every day of how many millions of people use Facebook, Twitter, YouTube etc it is perhaps easy to lose perspective on numbers when it comes to websites. I encourage you to stop for a second and think what 20,000 people would look like if they were stood in front of you in real life right now... Quite amazing! Now consider that each one of these individuals stood in front of you shares your interest in mind mapping, and is (like you) also keen to exchange knowledge, ideas, and inspiration through mind maps on Biggerplate.com. That is a very interesting group of 20,000 people, and one that I feel very excited to be part of. Hopefully you feel the same!

Of course we would like (one day) to be celebrating 1,000,000 members, but for now we will take enormous amounts of pride from the fact that we have worked hard to create something that is of genuine interest and value to the mind mapping community. When I browse through the maps on Biggerplate, I never fail to notice something new, and am continually amazed by the innovative ways that people are using mind maps in their lives! Long may it continue!

Reaching this milestone is not only the result of some hard work on our side, but also a great deal of good will and support from our community. While I cannot personally thank every individual who has ever uploaded a map, or tweeted about Biggerplate, or 'liked' a Facebook update etc, I can say in all sincerity that we never stop appreciating what our users do to help us grow. The little things (tweets, 'likes' etc) make a big difference, and the big things (adding a map) make an enormous difference. Thank you to everyone who has done some or all of the above!

When people talk about getting mind mapping to reach 'mainstream' status, I must confess to feeling slightly mixed emotions. On the one hand, I feel excited about the prospect of more people being able to harness the power of mapping, and more people joining Biggerplate and contributing to the wealth of knowledge and inspiration that the library now represents. On the other hand however, the selfish part of me thinks that if mapping ever did reach that mainstream point, I would actually miss the days of being part of something that is a little bit niche, a little bit different, and a little bit ours...

I encourage everyone who desires mainstream acceptance of mapping to enjoy being part of something non-mainstream while it lasts, and where better to do that than Biggerplate? Enjoy being part of something that is big, and yet small. Share your ideas, your maps, and your stories with the other members of our enlightened group, and you will not be disappointed with the response. That way, when 'mainstream' happens, you can join 20,000 others in getting misty-eyed about the glory days before everyone knew about mind mapping...

Someone recently added a map to the Biggerplate library about Apple's "Think Differently" campaign, and it was a timely reminder of what I love about Biggerplate and the community that has gathered there: "Here's to the crazy ones. The misfits, the rebels, the round pegs in square holes. The ones who see things differently... You can praise them, disagree with them, quote them, disbelieve them, glorify or vilify them. About the only thing you can't do, is ignore them"

To each and every one of the 20,000 'crazy ones' on Biggerplate who think differently, I say enjoy being a round peg in a square-pegged world while we can. Eventually, the rest will catch up... they simply can't ignore us!

Thanks for all the support!

Liam
Founder: Biggerplate

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Liam is the founder of Biggerplate.com, and tries (with varying success) to write about key projects and progress at Biggerplate, as well as the wider world of mind mapping and our place within it.
London, UK Website