Estimated read time: 42 minutes

There's always something to be thankful for
Spotted at a gold mine in Nevada.

In 2014,  I will try to post one happy thought/memory/moment from every day at the end of the day. Since this blog focuses on storytelling I’ll try to circle around that topic with each day’s moment.

Here’s where this idea came from

Dec. 31

That’s it. Wow. A daily moment every day. Almost 8,000 words on this page. I’m thankful for a lot. A lot of great things have happened this year and I’m looking forward to ’15.

Dec. 30

Started turning off all digital devices from 6 p.m. to 4 a.m. (which is when I get up for the gym). It’s helping me be more present.

digital devices

Dec. 29

5,000 Twitter followers

5000 twitter followers

Dec. 28

Thankful for tools like Hootsuite.

Dec. 27

Where did the year go? Not bad overall…

Dec. 26

Suggestion from the seven-year-old: Since there’s now so many more toys we should donate some. Good idea. Unaided even.

Dec. 25

Good times:

“Daddy, I peeked downstairs and it looks like Santa has stopped by.” – the seven-year-old “Can we go downstairs?” Time: 4:30 a.m.

Dec. 24

The baby rolled over and Merry Christmas.

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Dec. 23

Gas at $1.99/gallon in Iowa. That has happened in a while.


Dec. 22

My five-month-old “talking” on Skype with grandma, who lives overseas.

skype baby

Dec. 21


Dec. 20

Delivered 21 meals today. Initiated one well-fare check, but everything turned out OK. Great!

Dec. 19

chairman trappe

Dec. 18

Fun photoshoot at the gym today.

 10496960_10205549416955350_98986819712887425_o 10675788_10152387215021571_3945969653296433114_n

Dec. 17
Dec. 16
Walked over two hours on the treadmill desk today. That felt good. Productive…

Dec. 15
My baby daughter uses the iPad


Dec. 14

Quiet time… thank you.

Dec. 13

23 meals delivered. #volunteering

Dec. 12

Participated in a fun and successful Twitter chat this week.


Dec. 11

Teary-eyed for the last interview of the day. Powerful patient story.

 Dec. 10

Fun to attend a Dallas Mavericks game at American Airlines Center.


Dec. 9

Thankful for synced up and helpful partners.

Dec. 8

Emails can be great for some communications.

Dec. 7

Foosball at the office…



Dec. 6

4,000 followers on Twitter.

4000 followers on Twitter

Dec. 5

Seven years of stories.

Dec. 4

So exciting to see content marketing stories as lead stories on healthcare sites.

Dec. 3

Good reminder: When we make something a routine it becomes easier. That can be good and bad.

Dec. 2

Found out that I’m listed as one of the Top 140 most influential content marketers on Twitter. Honored!

top 140 content marketers on twitter

Dec. 1

So glad to be able to volunteer at my daughter’s school.

Nov. 30

11 months of Daily Moments. One month to go. When I started this project on Jan. 1, I wasn’t so sure this would be possible.

Nov. 29

Thanksgiving trip to Indiana was fun, but it was so good to be home and workout at my home gym.

Nov. 28

Day 2 of my gym’s Holiday Challenge. Amazing how much exercise I can get with bodyweight exercises only.

Nov. 27
Saw a deer within feet of me while out on a run. Great family time, too.

Nov. 26
So glad I can work remote. So helpful with efficiency.

Nov. 25
Easy drive east for Thanksgiving.

Nov. 24

Two a day Monday at the gym. Worth it!

Nov. 23

Stayed under calorie goal. Yes!

No v. 22

Somebody is paying attention. Sweet!

Ellie Trappe paying attention

Nov. 21

No flight delays and home by 5 p.m. on a Friday. Thank you.

Nov. 20

Early-morning flight from Boston to Dallas. Thankful for being able to sleep on a plane.

Nov. 19

Boston in November was warmer than Iowa.


Also enjoyed the pull-up contest at the office:


Nov. 18

Totally under the weather. Thankful that I was able to rest.

Nov. 17

My snow photo on the TV news.

snow photo on the tv news

Nov. 16

Thankful for reflection and family time.

Nov. 15

Kind of cool to be followed by The Tonight Show Featuring Jimmy Fallon on Twitter.

Jimmy Fallon on Twitter

Nov. 14

Nice to see that I’m on the map for content marketing. Check out the report here.

Nov. 13

Couldn’t get my new snow thrower started yesterday. Took it in and it started for them immediately. At least it’s fixed.

feeling relieved at Midway Outdoor Equipment, Hiawatha.

Nov. 12

Monday’s #socialchat:


Nov. 11

Off for Veteran’s Day. Yes. Lunch at school with my first grader!

Nov. 10

I really like exercise… It’s now a habit.


Nov. 9

The power of photos…

before and after

Nov. 8

Getting some info from the six-year-old on the structure of stories.

Getting some info from the six-year-old on the structure of stories.

Nov. 7

1,500-plus unique visitors to in October – the best month ever. Thanks, everyone.

Nov. 6

Love the treadmill desk in the office at MedTouch. (Yup, we had fun with the sign.)

hamster wheel

Nov. 5

Some days deserve two trips to the gym.

Nov. 4

Openness rocks.

Nov. 3

What a joy to come home to a smiling baby.

Nov. 2

Over 104,000 words on this blog. How did I get there? I kept writing and publishing.

Nov. 1

Hard to believe that I’ve been doing daily moments for 10 months.

Oct. 31

My Halloween costume:

AB testing costume

Oct. 30

Fascinated by user behavior online. Today’ example: I posted an update about my Halloween costume. Lots of people liked it, retweeted it, etc. Hardly anyone clicked the link to see what my costume was going to be. While social media continues to be a great refer to websites, a lot of users do not click links.

Oct 29

Being flexible is good. No need to stress over small changes.

Oct.  28

It’s good to remember that not everyone uses the latest technology – even if we do.

Oct. 27
Fall backgrounds make good backgrounds for photos.
in the leaves cropped
Oct. 26
Good times at the Minnesota Blogger Conference yesterday. The video took like 900 minutes to upload to YouTube. It’s finally done….

Oct. 25

Crosby Farm Park in St. Paul, Minnesota
Crosby Farm Park

Nice morning speaking at the Minnesota Blogger Conference, going on a run at Crosby Farm Park and spending some time with the family at the Mall of America.

Oct. 24

Nice to spend a day and night at home after traveling for three days and heading to Minnesota for the Minnesota Blogger Conference

Oct. 23

My flight was close enough to being on time for me to make it home for my daughter’s convert.


Oct. 22

Thankful for people who put their enthusiasm behind content marketing projects.

Oct. 21

Yes, be nice!

Be Nice or Leave

Oct. 20

Social media marketing, I suppose:

social media markeitng at its best

Oct. 19

Fall in Iowa.

Colors of a tree during fall in Iowa

Oct. 18

Lifting, cardio, volunteering, family time. Good day.

Oct. 17

When we don’t think of Fridays as Fridays we have a good work-life integration.

Reading at America ReadsOct. 16

42 volunteers – including me – read my daughter’s elementary school as part of America Reads today. #community

Oct. 15

Worked in a coffee shop this morning. Totally wired. Temporary change of locations can be good and productive.

Oct. 14

Recorded a quick podcast with the Internet Marketing Association today. We discussed storytelling. Good times. Part of the 1 million-member organization’s upcoming podcast series. 

Oct. 13

So proud of my six-year-old. She is growing up so fast.

Oct. 12

Attended a Cedar Rapids RoughRiders game with my oldest daughter last night. Fun. She particularly enjoyed the slingshot people bowling during one of the breaks.

Oct. 11

Sitting at the playground, the family next to me starts talking to each other in German. Turns out they are also from Dusseldorf.

Oct. 10

Social media builds relationships.

Oct. 9


The 30-minute Linn-Mar (Marion, Iowa) homecoming parade is just fascinating. Everyone gets to participate. I loved the float made up of a pickup truck that was “pulled” by a boy with chains over his shoulders – similar to that scene with Aaron Rodgers in that State Farm commercial.

Oct. 8


Great to participate in the speed networking event with journalism students at the University of Iowa. The best ones asked the best questions. Being curious unveils stories.

Oct. 7


Days 1 and 2 of daycare went great. Great to see the girls get into their routines.

Oct. 6

Mondays don’t need to feel like Mondays. Create experiences…

family picture at the pumpkin patchOct. 5


Family trip to the pumpkin patch. So much fun.

Oct. 4

WordCamp Dallas Fort Worth 2014Great time speaking at WordCamp Dallas/Fort Worth about authentic storytelling.

Oct. 3

Interviewing experts can teach the interviewer so much. It’s not just about the resharing of the story, but also self-learning.

Oct. 2

Early morning run on a trail in Dallas. Love the weather and gets me ready for a day of story creation and strategy.

Oct. 1

A long travel and work day prompted me to not work out today. Off days are OK.

Sept. 30

New running shoes bought. So comfortable and also the inspiration for a blog post to be published later on the topic of shopping online or at a store.

Sept. 29

Volunteering at my daughter’s elementary school is fun.

Sept. 28

Sunrise runs rock.

sunrise run

Sept. 27

Good to be back in the “home” gym after traveling since Wednesday. Delivered meals, too. I now have volunteered 102 hours this year.

Sept. 26

I was inside Chicago O’Hare International Airport when a fire at a control tower prompted a lengthy ground stop. I started live tweeting and was quoted in numerous media reports. Here are two links:

Fire paralyzes Chicago O’Hare (RT Network)

Chicago O’Hare Midway Flights Stopped (CNN)

The Eastern Iowa CBS station also showed my “coverage” and the national CBS desk asked for permission to use my photos.

Sept. 25

Great time presenting at Impact 14 and lots of positive feedback. See it here.

Sept. 24

Back to Vegas for the annual Internet Marketing Association conference. So good to get to extend the summer for a few days and a day of networking and learning. (It’s near 100 degrees here.)

Sept. 23

Two great workouts today. Some days need it.

Sept. 22

Conversation can lead us to where we are trying to go.

Sept. 21

10-plus mile run. Whew.

Sept. 20

Great to see that my six-year-old continues to be interested in coding.

Sept. 19

Thankful for the apps that make exercising easier.


Thankful for being able to be connect while remote so I can spend some time with my two-months old.

Sept 17

Went on a run around a lake in Dallas, thought it was going to be maybe 7 miles, turned out it was around 10. I made it, felt accomplished but tired.

Sept. 16

Thankful for compact camera equipment. Recording video interviews is much easier than taking notes, that can’t be read later on.

Sept. 15

Thankful for wi-fi on airplanes.

Sept. 14

Thankful for DirecTV Sunday Ticket and that I can watch my favorite team  – the Washington Redskins – even though I’m in Iowa

Sept. 13

7 miles running on the trail, delivered 13 meals to elder neighbors and got a massage. Not a bad day.

Sept. 12

I continue to be thankful for how local and global we can be at the same time.

Sept. 11

Over 100 new followers on Twitter this week. Welcome everyone.

twitter following

visits to authentic storytellingSept. 10

Almost 1,000 visits to The Authentic Storytelling Project last month. Awesome. Thanks everyone.

Sept. 9

Glad I got up early and got in a 4.6-mile run while I’m Cleveland for Content Marketing World.

Sept. 8

A woman asked me to help her fix her iPhone – which I did – because “you look like you knew how to fix it.”

Sept. 7

Great to see that the blog post mentioned on Sept. 5 received more than 100 views. This was all due because friends and their friends on Facebook were sharing it. Thank you.

Sept. 6

Great to visit Kinnick Stadium today for the Iowa – Ball State game and reconnecting with some old team mates.

football reunion

Sept. 5

Great to visit the new Iowa Football Practice Facility tonight and blog about some of the discussions.

Sept. 4

Looking forward to it…

impact 14 speakers

Sept. 3

Social media led to a new Trappe Digital client today. Keep talking about your passions and if there’s a need in the market people will pay you for help.

Sept. 2

My driver’s license was set to expire later this month, but a timely email from Hertz reminded me to get it renewed. Great service. (I rent cars from Hertz while traveling.)

Sept. 1

Eight-plus miles at a 7:13-minute pace. A new PR. Whew.

Aug. 31

Month-old daughter was baptized. I Tweeted quotable things from the church.

Aug. 30

College football! How did we ever watch this without HD?

Aug. 29

So good when a long-term project is wrapping up.

Aug. 28

Took a walk around the neighborhood where my office is located. Getting out and going on a walk is refreshing.

Aug. 27

Summer is pretty much over but I was able to sneak in one last stop at the pool with my six-year-old before it’s closing this weekend. Thankful!

Aug. 26

Participated in the Ice Bucket Challenge. Of course, with a twist:

Aug. 25

With a newborn at home, I’ve been taken more naps – even short ones – like 23 minutes. I feel so refreshed. Wondering when employers will offer nap rooms across the board.

Aug. 24

Some days we just need to rest.

Aug. 23

Saturdays are good days to blog – even when it’s for posts months out.

Aug. 22

I don’t think of Fridays as in TGIF.

Aug. 21

Headphones can really help you buckle down and get things done.

Aug. 20

Today’s work will pay off tomorrow.

Aug. 19

Was selected to speak at WordCamp Dallas-Fort Worth. Very exciting and honored to be able to speak about authentic storytelling.

Aug. 18

School is back in session. Exciting.

Aug. 17

Again volunteered doing interviews for the National Youth Council on Leadership today. So good to meet some of our future leaders.

Aug. 16

Volunteered at the downtown Cedar Rapids Farmers’ Market today and somebody mentioned my improved physique. That felt good.

Aug. 15

Social media helps us make such great and meaningful connections,

Aug. 14

I remember when I had to go to the office to use a specific tool for my job. So glad things have changed.

Aug. 13

Glad to be home after 7 of 9 nights away.

Aug. 12

Fitness Tweets are now at @ctrappe_fitness.

Aug. 11

A nice run in southern Iowa.

run in southern iowa

Aug. 10

Great family get-away in southern Iowa …

photo (4)

Aug. 9

Kicked the day off with a decent run in Omaha.

running in omaha

Aug. 8

In Omaha for WordCamp 2014. Speaker accommodations were former officer housing units on what today is a community college campus. Very cool!

wordcamp housing omaha room wordcamp housing omaha

Aug. 7

Technology when used right can make our lives so much easier.

Aug. 6

The power of compliments …

Aug. 5

Don’t undervalue face to face discussions, even in a digital world.

Aug. 4

Saturday into Sunday …

An international audience to overnight due to social sharing. Top three …

Sharing helped with international visits

Aug. 3

Tomorrow’s Corridor Business Journal has my column on Marketing through Authentic Storytelling.

Aug. 2

Some stories include little details or action but can still be meaningful. Think families hanging out and enjoying each other’s companies.

Aug. 1

Attention is currency.

July 31

Technology does make life easier. Working with an iPhone while hanging out with my newborn wasn’t possible years ago.

July 30

Good times doing an interview with Mediacom today.


July 29

Being connected technologically has many more advantages than disadvantages.

July 28

Even short naps can be helpful.

July 27

Spending some time alone to blog. Can’t wait for the family to get back, though.

July 26

I appreciate even 15-minute naps now.

July 25

Couldn’t do it alone. Thankful for the people who are helpful.

July 24

So glad that it’s so easy to work anywhere nowadays. #newborn

July 23

Klout score now at 69 …

klout score at 69

July 22

I’ve taken to publishing my Authentic Storytelling posts also on LinkedIn a few weeks after they have appeared here. They get good views on the social network. I’d recommend this distribution strategy.

blogging on linkedin

July 21

I use to track how many new followers and how many unfollows I had each day.

July 20

Yesterday, all four family members ate something different for lunch. Accepted individualization! But we were all together.

July 19

One on one time with our children builds connections.

July 18

Great to see my Klout score has increased to 68 – the highest ever.

christoph trappe klout score at 68

July 17

Baby and Mom went home today. Great to have everyone in the house!

July 16

Dropped some items off at the drycleaner today and she noticed my hospital bracelet.

“Were you in the hospital? Everything OK?”

“Yup. We had a baby daughter. Thanks for asking.”

July 15

Welcome to the family. Lots of stories ahead …



July 14

taking your phone into the operating room

July 13

Sundays are great for three-hour workouts at the gym.

July 12

Nice to see that my Klout score is up to 67, the highest so far…

klout score at 67

July 11

Flexibility builds relationships.

July 10

Keeping connections alive is important.

July 9

Learning is fun.

July 8

Looking forward to attending and speaking at Impact 14 in Las Vegas in September.

July 7

Great time talking SEO and Content Marketing during today’s #ContentChat guest on Twitter. What a whirlwind hour.

July 6

It’s important to find the right balance between technology and offline interactions. A nice Sunday!

July 5

Looking forward to participating at Impact 14 again this year.

bowman woods pool parade 2014July 4

Great neighborhood parade at the Bowman Woods pool. Lots of memories made …


July 3

No travel for a month. What will I do… oh yea, welcome Baby Trappe to a great community.

July 2

Christoph in safety vest and hard hatGreat day of interviews yesterday. I learn so much when interviewing subject matter experts.

July 1

Traveled 35 percent in June. A busy month.

June 30

Ran across a number of healthcare chats over the weekend. Great conversations and new connections.

June 29

Over 3,000 Twitter followers. Great to seee that some want to hear what I have to say.

June 28

I’ve publicly said – including on TV – that Trappe Digital currently doesn’t take new clients. Despite that, people ask for help. Sometimes I try to fit them in. Sometimes I make a referral. Feels good to be asked.

June 27

When approval processes for social media updates are nimble that increases the chance for success.

June 26

Good times talking social media strategy with the team at Olive’s Oil today.

Olive's oil in cedar rapids

June 25

Found out today that I will be speaking at the first WordCamp Omaha in August. Looking forward to it.

Wordcamp Omaha

June 24

My sister sent these photos of me from way back when. I look happy.


June 23

Great teamwork makes the day go by faster and more efficient.

June 22

Went to an outdoor movie last night at a new venue in Cedar Rapids. Over 1,000 gathered to watch “Despicable Me 2” together. People assemble for good stories and fellowship.

June 21

Volunteered at the downtown Cedar Rapids Farmers’ Market.

June 20

Reminder: Email isn’t that bad of a communication channel if you don’t read something that wasn’t written in a rude way in a rude way.

June 19

Spent the afternoon yesterday interviewing subject matter experts. Lots of information was shared. Very useful and educational. For myself, too. Storytelling is also continuous learning.

My strengths
My strengths

June 18

Discussed strengths with the team yesterday after we did the Strengthsfinder 2.0. Always good to learn more about myself.

June 17


Five more pounds at the gym is progress

June 16

My daughter gave me a size 34 pair of shorts. Why that makes me feel good.


June 15

My grandma would have been 95 years old today. So many stories. In her times there were no blogs, digital campaigns, etc. Stories were shared verbally only – or in the mainstream media. But you know how rare that is.

Christoph Trappe on Instagram

June 14

I’m now on Instagram.

June 13

Good times recording a podcast with Jo Miller yesterday.

Jo miller podcast

June 12

Enjoyed presenting on authentic storytelling at the Workplace (R)evolution conference in Cedar Rapids.

Christoph Trappe at Workplace Revolution
Photo by Justin Torner

June 11

A captive audience.

American Airlines presentation

June 10

Presenting to AFPGood times talking authentic storytelling with nonprofit leaders today.

June 9

A TSA Tweet prompted me to pre-enroll for TSA pre-check.

TSA pre check

June 8

The CIA is now on Twitter. Great first Tweet as you can see below. Also, in totally unrelated news, I had a great workout at the gym today.

twitter june 8

June 7

We were attending my daughter’s recital (about six hours gone from home) when it started raining really hard. The neighbors called to let us know that our windows were open and were wondering if there was a way for them to close them for us. So nice.

June 6

workplace revolution speakers

June 5

So good to work with awesome people!

lori shoutout

June 4

Never underestimate the power of a compliment. Thanks!

June 3

Happy at MedTouch

June 2

And Year 1 of volunteering at daughter’s school is in the books. Time flies. Don’t miss the stories along the way.

June 1

Ran to the gym and back yesterday and then filed a quick blog post written on my mobile.

Running to the gym

May 31

Watched a movie last night, but the story didn’t make sense. What do we do with stories that do that? We ignore them.

May 30

Being allowed to admit your weaknesses and utilize your strengths is powerful.

May 29

When people can excel at their strengths and draw on others in areas of their strengths: Powerful.

May 28

A good personal reminder that effective ads are part of the overall marketing mix:

The main reason why I got a rental from Enterprise: I remembered from the commercials that they would pick me up. And I needed a ride.

Workplace revolution event in Cedar Rapids May 27

Looking forward to presenting on organizational storytelling at the Workplace Revolution event in Cedar Rapids, Iowa.

May 26



fiverrMay 25 is a reasonably priced service to get podcasts transcribed.


May 24

Stories are made when we spent time together.

Today, my six-year-old and I went to the gym, delivered meals, and then attended Code Camp together. We also stopped at Jimmy John’s for lunch and Orangeleaf for an after-camp snack.

May 23

Startup Vitamin shirts are such great reminders. Stay Focused and Keep Shipping.

Startup Vitamins shirt: Stay Focused and Keep Calm

May 22

Google Glass has potential for storytellersI have now tried Google Glass. Lots of possibilities for storytellers and content marketers as Glass continues to evolve.

May 21

A nice turnout at the Google Partners event at MedTouch in Cedar Rapids. Good to see the community stop by and visit.

Google Partners event at MedTouch in Iowa

May 20

Giving a presentation to about 80 or so women at Rockwell Collins, a Fortune 500 company in Cedar Rapids, today was fun. The group was very engaged.

Rockwell Collins social media presentation

May 19

I’ve been so busy I’ve forgotten to update these for a few days. Being busy and deep in thought and projects is a good thing!

May 18

Looking forward to being a guest on #contentchat in July. Topic: SEO and content marketing.

May 17

Enjoyed traveling to Des Moines today to lead a workshop with New Leaders Council on social media.

New Leaders Council social media session feedback Des Moines

May 16

Looking forward to presenting a social media session at Rockwell Collins over lunch next week.

Rockwell Collins Social Media Workshop Christoph Trappe

May 15

First trip to Southern California for me this week. Good meetings and also was able to get a run in.

Education First in Santa Ana sign

May 14

Appreciating the little things…

FaceTime with daughter

May 13

“You inspired me to start blogging.” <<< Awesome to hear.

May 12

A reminder of the importance of being on multiple networks: 10,000 views on SlideShare.

10,000 views on slideshare

May 11

Tweeting at a brand can be easier than calling it. This was a nice experience with Hertz. I had a similar one with American Airlines. These two brands do social well.

Hertz engages on social media

May 10

Attended last night’s Texas Rangers  vs. Boston Red Sox game in Arlington, Texas. This was my ninth Major League park. I’ve been to two stadiums in Minnesota, Kansas City, two in Chicago, Baltimore, Tampa Bay and Boston and now Arlington.

Panoramic of the Texas Rangers ballpark in Arlington

May 9

Loving my job …

Angie Toomsen shoutout on Christoph's training

May 8

Was asked to speak at a workshop in Des Moines on social media later this month. Looking forward to it.

May 7

So glad technology makes our lives easier: Today I was sitting in a dentist chair waiting for a crown, laptop on lap, working on a presentation.

May 6

Happy about my short commute: 11 minutes.

May 5

Spotted this on a board in the unconference room at MedTouch. Very nice. The little things …

Good morning note

May 4

I wore a WordPress shirt during a layover in Detroit. One person stopped me to ask a few questions about WordPress. Another person overheard the conversation and asked her own questions a few minutes later. A T-shirt helped me make connections. How about that?

May 3

Great time at WordCamp Ottawa today. Did a session on Mobile Blogging and received great feedback. Also live tweeted it while presenting (through scheduled Tweets). Those Tweets had 22 interactions. Wow.

WordCamp Ottawa session 2014 photo by Malijibway
Photo by @Malijibway, published with permission.

May 2

As soon as I arrived in Canada, I received a text from Verizon: “Welcome to Canada. For roaming support call..” Meaningful and timely communications are so useful!

May 1

Was in Boston earlier this week but flew home yesterday so I could hang out with my family in the Midwest for a day. Heading to Ottawa for WordCamp on Friday.

April 30

My life >>> Being busy with something you are passionate about = awesome.

April 29

Love the helpfulness of the WordPress and Twitter community …

Twitter helps with travel

Twitter Ottawa

Twitter ottawa

Twitter ottawa

April 28

Such a small world …

Meeting at Chicago O'Hare

April 27

Finished a couple of blog posts. Around 30 posts scheduled out over three blogs. Also good…

Tweeting while exercising

April 26

Storytellers (aka content marketers) and the people consuming their stories love simplicity and clarity. This WordCamp Ottawa schedule is a poster child for simplicity and clarity, in my opinion.

WordCamp Ottawa schedule

April 25

Never stop learning …

Coder dojo

April 24

Working in a coffee shop in dallasSometimes the most effective office for the moment doesn’t look much like an office. My office in Dallas for a few hours is pictured here.

April 23

East Dallas RotaryAttended a meeting of the East Dallas Rotary Club this week in Texas. It was great to be welcomed with open arms.

April 22

Six-year-old daughter: “Daddy, I like when you volunteer at my school.” So nice.

April 21

I appreciate when people endorse me on LinkedIn.

Happy about my LinkedIn endorsements

April 20

Hiding eggs for today’s Easter Egg Hunt in a creative way got us a happy, smiling and laughing six-year-old.

Easter 2014

April 19

I created a map today that shows the WordCamp where I’ve presented (Denver, Grand Rapids, Las Vegas, St. Louis) and the one I’m scheduled to present at in May (Ottawa).

wordcamps where I've presented

April 18

Happy that I learned how to be thankful for things as they are happening.

Happy - Setting up our Google HangoutApril 17

Love how connected we are…

From Joshua McNary’s blog:

At the “Creative Corridor WordPress Meetup on April 16, 2014 at 5:15PM Central, the third in our so far popular series, we have a special treat. Christoph Trappe, the Meetup’s co-founder, met one of WordPress’s default theme developers, Konstantin Obenland, at WordCamp St. Louis 2014.

“When the March Meetup discussed ideas for discussion for April’s event, Christoph said “why don’t I ask Konstantin if he’d join us via Google Hangout.” The wonderful thing about today’s connected culture and digital tools is such a suggestion is plausible! Within days Konstantin agreed to join us.”

Read more here.

April 16

This made me feel good…


April 15

Always nice to get notes like this: “So and so saw you speak and recommended you to speak to our group.”

April 14

As of today, almost 50,000 words have been published on The Authentic Storytelling Project.

April 13

All done with the slide deck for an Internet Marketing Association webinar on content marketing to be recorded in a couple of days.

April 12

Today, I delivered Meals on Wheels to 19 people. They were all nice and thankful. One said “Thanks for being a nice person.” That felt nice.

April 11

Another great example of how collaborative and helpful Twitter connections can be.

twitter help coding 1

twitter help coding 2twitter help coding 3twitter help coding 4



Standup deskApril 10

Love my new standup desk. And according to the MyFitnessPal app, standing all day gives me an additional 300 calories for the day.

April 9

The ability to simplify things is a skill.

April 8

Helping people share their authentic stories rocks.

April 7

Day 1 at MedTouch. Looking forward to Day 2.

Day 1 at MedTouch selfie

April 6

The Professional Women’s Network’s website relaunched its website with a responsive WordPress look at

In addition, I helped another Trappe Digital client go over site requirements and was able to suggest a design that might work.

Fun to help people get their websites going and being able to share their stories.

April 5

Learning to code My six-year-old and I attended the Coder Dojo code camp in Cedar Rapids. We are planning on blogging about it over on Kids and Tech. We had a lot of fun and learned a lot. Both of us.

April 4

Stories from the Amana ColoniesMade it out to the Amana Colonies today – about a 30-minute drive from Marion, Iowa. The seven villages hold a lot of stories that are worth sharing and listening to. It was great to hear some.

April 3

Looking forward to facilitating a discussion w/ project managers + technical writers on content strategy in projects.

April 2

A Trappe Digital LLC client asked to pay through Dwolla so I got that set up now.

Dave Barry's new book released in 2014

April 1

I forgot how funny Dave Barry is. Now reading his latest book – on parenting – after it was suggested by a Facebook friend. Mr. Barry tells stories with humor.

March 31

Enjoyed the time with family this weekend. We all interacted with each other, while everyone also used their own electronic devices. My six-year-old used a turkey baster to “record her podcast.”

wordpress-logo-hoz-rgbMarch 30

Exciting news for our upcoming Creative Corridor WordPress Meetup on April 16, 2014.

Konstantin Obenland, the developer behind the 2014 WordPress theme, will join us via Google Hangout, to talk about his theme and answer our questions


March 29

Received the latest Corridor Business Journal in the mail today and it included my review of August Turak’s “The Business Secrets of the Trappist Monks.” I’ll share the review on The Authentic Storytelling Project in the coming weeks.

March 28

Spending Day 1 of my in-between full-time jobs vacation with two Trappe Digital clients. Woohoo!

March 27

After 81 million seconds on the job the office is now dark. Thanks United Way of East Central Iowa for the memories.

Christoph's dark United Way office


March 26

I still hope that at one point we have one central place where we can share all of a community’s good stories. Here’s one I spotted today: It was garbage day in the neighborhood and it was windy out. Garbage cans were all over the place. I saw a UPS driver walk down the street to get one out of the street. He could have just driven around it, but instead took the time to move it. Thank you!

March 25

First trip to Canada. I will be talking about blogging from mobile devices.

Speaking at WordCamp Ottawa 2014

March 24

“I listened to your podcast. The entire thing.” <<< Love hearing comments like this!

March 23

Products that respond to customer needs rock. Child care at the gym is one of those. So useful. (Might have to include this in an upcoming post on

March 22

Got a new touchscreen laptop. Very nice so far. It’s the best of the tablet and laptop worlds.

new touchscreen laptop

March 21

Very much appreciated all these comments tonight at United Way night at “To Kill a Mockingbird” at Theatre Cedar Rapids after explaining what I will be doing at MedTouch:

“But you’ll be staying in the community?”



March 20

Found while cleaning out the United Way of East Central Iowa office. Somebody used these words to describe me. So nice.

Words that describe Christoph Trappe

March 19

People might say they enjoyed the conversation with you – the storyteller – and they did most of the talking. There’s value in asking questions and listening.

March 18

When people are approachable that just makes me feel good about my community.

March 17

I was supposed to take a day off from exercising today, but I went to the gym anyway. My blogs are scheduled with posts for weeks out but I am sitting here and crafting another blog post – for sometime in May.

Exercising and blogging about my favorite topics have become a part of my life. They are even relaxing. I’m thankful I can find the time for them.

March 16

I went to the gym today and ran 6.7 miles in 60 minutes on the treadmill, followed by lifting weights for 40 minutes. Whew. That was quite a bit. Yes. How did I get that all done – especially the running part? I went a bit on auto pilot. The music was blaring on my headphones, I was watching TV and just kept going. I think I didn’t think of a single thing along the way. I’ve heard at a 2013 leadership seminar that 94 percent of what we do we do on autopilot. We can probably use that fact for our exercise routine and maybe even blogging. Make it a habit to sit down and start – and then finish – blog posts.

March 15

I’m looking forward to joining the MedTouch team next month as senior client relationship manager. I will be working with hospitals on digital strategies. Thanks to the United Way of East Central Iowa team and CEO Lois Buntz for an innovative stint in the nonprofit world.

March 14

Attending the Doughnuts with Dad event with my daughter at her elementary school was meaningful. We had breakfast together in the school cafeteria, socialized with others and went to the library for a few minutes of activities. Moments worth sharing.

Interestingly, I forgot to take a single picture to document these memorable moments. But this note will remind us down the road how meaningful the event was. There are many ways to document our life events…

March 13

Ran across August Turak’s book on the quest for meaning and authenticity on Twitter. Now reading …

March 12

Somebody said to me yesterday: “You look so thin today.”

After losing over 100 pounds since 2007 that felt really good.

March 11

Love getting feedback like this after videotaping and conduction an interview:

“You made this really easy.”

March 10

Listening to the audience and adjusting content or a product based on intentional and unintentional feedback is great and rewarding.

March 9

Married for 12 years today. So many stories. Some are documented on social media, on printed photos, some just in our memories. It’s important to document our stories somewhere. For some we have succeeded. For others, not so much.

March 8

Thanks to the Cedar Rapids Metro Economic Alliance for giving tickets for the Cedar Rapids Titans football game to its volunteers. Appreciated. Already looking forward to volunteering at farmers’ markets this summer.

March 7

Helped a California-based organization with its WordPress site tonight. I very much enjoy helping businesses, organizations and people get their content strategy and web presence going. Very rewarding.

March 6

I ran across the book Big Data Marketing: Engage Your Customers More Effectively and Drive Value on Twitter, got a copy and am now reading about data in marketing, the barriers and solutions. Very enlightening so far.

March 5

It is powerful and feels great when a number of people share and publicly endorse the stories you have created.

March 4

Today’s video story: Youth Achievement AmeriCorps at Cedar Rapids elementary. Sharing stories is great.

March 3

Looking forward to presenting at The Vault Startup School next week. Topic: Being yourself online all the time (Sharing Authentic Stories) More can be found here.

March 2

Helped a U.S.-based organization today with their custom WordPress site. Custom WordPress sites are great when they do what we want them to do. When they don’t it can be much easier to install a simpler design that offers wanted functionality.

March 1

Audience comments like this feel great …

WordPress is easy to setup

Feb. 28

Yup, we found out…

twitter kid

Feb. 27

Trappe Digital is now officially alive and helps brands (people, organizations and businesses) tell their authentic stories and extend their brands online and off. Check it out.

WordPress. Wet up 2014
Photo by Joshua McNary

Feb. 26 Another great WordPress meetup in Iowa’s Creative Corridor. I gave a quick presentation on using the Yoast SEO plugin, too.

Feb. 25

Today, I’m thankful for Casey’s selling protein snack/meal replacement bars. I bought two for a much needed snack and then later scanned their code in the Amazon app to order more. Delicious.

Feb. 24

13,000 wordsOver 13,000 words filed to this blog in February. Almost 36,000 file since I launched this late last year.

Feb. 23

Editorial Calendar WordPress pluginI write or finish blog posts and record podcasts on the weekends. Instead of publishing articles the second they are done, I use the Editorial Calendar plugin to spread them out. Such a useful tool. Blogging feels so much less stressful when 13 posts are scheduled over my three sites.

Feb. 22

Love you dad noteLittle notes like this one, left by my six-year-old, mean something.

Feb. 21

I went to Disney on Ice with my six-year-old tonight and it was a great reminder how powerful stories are and how some stories are just being told for pure entertainment. The audience appeared engaged. How did I know? You can see it in people’s eyes, their facial expressions and when they turn to others and say “Did you see that?” Those are the reactions we want people to have about our brand and to our stories.

Feb. 20

Coffee shops, gyms and restaurants are some of the best places to bump into people and have unscheduled, meaningful discussions.

Digital branding on TwitterFeb. 19

What’s the one word that comes to people’s mind when they see you?

Feb. 18

I was reminded today of the importance of the role of the storyteller, journalist or brand journalist. Our stories will only be remembered when our stories are shared. Sharing stories publicly takes some getting used to for many people. Professional storytellers can help with that through telling the stories and training people on how to participate themselves.

Feb. 17

Picking the words we choose to describe our current situations can make a big difference. For example: Today is Presidents’ Day and I get to spend time with my six-year-old, who has the day off from school. I don’t have to. I get to. Huge difference!

Feb. 16

There’s something to be said to having a routine. I volunteer delivering meals in the Cedar Rapids metro area. I take whatever route they need me to take. But, I’ve noticed that once I get to do a familiar route a few times, I can complete it faster and faster. Having a routine helps.

Feb. 15

Today I used my snow thrower to remove snow from my neighbor’s driveway, who was using a shovel. I just did it to be helpful. Doing something nice for others made me feel good.

Feb. 14

We sent flowers to Mrs. Trappe for Valentine’s Day and blogged about it here. Things are continuously changing.

Feb. 13

Being able to piece together authentic stories one question at a time is rewarding, fun and also educational.

Feb. 12

Thankful for the storytellers, content marketers, (brand) journalists, etc., who can explain a complex subject simply.

Feb. 11

Ctrappe on TwitterSomebody you don’t know telling you offline that they enjoy your Twitter stream feels good.

Feb. 10

I very much like DirecTV’s function that helps you record related shows. The Winter Olympics are currently happening in Sochi, Russia. I did the natural thing and started recording them on one channel. DirecTV immediately offered/set to record other showings from Sochi. So useful and helpful. We now watch some of the live broadcasts time delayed as a family.

Feb. 9

Seventeen people have already RSVPed to our second monthly WordPress meetup later this month. Great to see the interest.

Feb. 8

Real-time feedback is so helpful. Perhaps, that’s why I love digital metrics so much …

Tweet on basketball practice communication

Feb. 7

Driving my daughter to her activities is a great time to connect, bond and exchange stories. Being in the car together with little distractions allows a different kind of connection.

Feb. 6

Social media can make you feel good and connected. This shout-out is an example. Stacy attended one of my sessions at BarCamp Cedar Valley a few days ago.

Social media can make you feel connected

Feb. 5

Found out today that I will be speaking at WordCamp St. Louis on March 1. Looking forward to presenting “WordPress for Beginners.”

WordCamp St. Louis 2014

Feb. 4

booksReading books with our children is fun and educational.

Feb. 3

It was my pleasure to be the 180th guest on #MMCHAT (Monday Marketer Chat) to talk about Content Marketing on a Shoestring.

You can read the entire chat’s script here.

MMCHAT with Christoph Trappe

MMCHAT with Christoph Trappe

Feb. 2

Our six-year-old has a lot of thoughts and comments when it comes to technology. I did what came natural and launched a new site at Kids and Tech where we will share some of those thoughts. So easy to setup with Bluehost and WordPress.

Feb. 1

Cedar Valley BarCamp 2014A fun morning at BarCamp Cedar Valley at the University of Northern Iowa. I learned a lot from others, made new connections and gave two presentations:

I’m always amazed how quick these BarCamps go. Before you know it, it’s done.

Jan. 31

Before and after losing 130 poundsI published my first post on my new Fitness Tips site today. It had views numbering in the triple digits. That’s great to see that there is interest in what I learned from losing 130 pounds.

Jan. 30

expecting a baby

Jan. 29

Storytellers are also interviewers and we try to ask questions to gather facts and details. But questions can also send a message. I was reminded of this today when my six-year-old asked: “How come you haven’t walked me to school since early January?”

“It’s been too cold and school was canceled on a number of days. How come you are asking?”

“I miss walking together.”

Jan. 28

I very much appreciated Josh Krakauer’s shout-out on Twitter today:

How many blogs tweet

Obviously, I post at least weekly posts on here and also have launched a new fitness blog that shares stories from my journey to lose 130 pounds. I also work on the website and blog at my day job.

Jan. 27

This below happened at 4:30 p.m. The crew at Downtown Tire got me back on the road within 30 minutes. Wow! (CONTINUED BELOW)

downtown tire helps at the end of the day

Also, while I was sitting in the waiting room, people there exchanged friendly chit chatter about their days, studies and other personal things. When people left they shook hands, told each other how great it was to meet and wished each other luck with future endeavors. How nice and community oriented!

Jan. 26

I’m glad I learned some HTML over the years and it’s also great how easy it is to find help via search for new problems. It’s helped formatting WordPress posts quicker.


Jan. 25

Sometimes it’s so good, relaxing and even useful to turn everything off and just sit there with your thoughts.

Jan. 24

Clarity.Fm now has me listed as somebody to go to for advice in brand storytelling.

Jan. 23

Sharing information helps with relationships and authenticity. I was reminded of this tonight when we visited my daughter’s elementary school. Teachers shared some of the things that have been taught. It was a fun and conversational evening and connected us even more to the school community.

WordPress Meetup January 2014
Photo by Joshua McNary

Jan. 22

The first Creative Corridor WordPress Meetup went great from my perspective. The discussion was great and people shared their knowledge. Looking forward to the next one. What a great community!

Jan. 21

I very much appreciate that Facebook posts can now be edited. So good to fix typos, etc.

Jan. 20

I’m thankful for strong and good relationships today. They can make or break a story or project.

Jan. 19

One good thing about setting deadlines and making a schedule is that when you are caught up with things that moment feels great. “Hey, I’m all caught up and can take a breath. Relax.” Of course, that moment won’t last forever, but it’s a way to relax for a moment and re-energize for new upcoming deadlines.

Snow covered cars in Iowa on January 18, 2014Jan. 18

It snowed again in Iowa today and I was out for a couple of hours delivering Meals on Wheels. My SUV with four-wheel drive had no trouble in the snow and this was a good reminder how important the right tools are for the circumstances. The same is true for storytelling. The right tools can help the content gatherer share the story in a meaningful and professional way. Granted sometimes the tool can be an iPhone, with its video, audio and other capabilities. We can run across stories anywhere.

Jan. 17

Today I’m thankful for weak connections that can turn into helpful and stronger connections in a heartbeat.

Jan. 16

Enjoying the content creation process makes the production of stories more fun and you often end up with better content for the end user.

Jan. 15

Today I inspired somebody to take the stairs over the elevator. I shared this story at length in this podcast and also used it as an example to talk about how stories are everywhere.

Jan. 14

My German Shorthair FrecklesMany potentially negative situations can be turned into something positive with the right mindset. For example, when my dog – Freckles – gets me up at 3 a.m. and I can’t go back to sleep I turn that into a positive by doing some educational reading or working on a blog post.

Jan. 13

One person can influence the mood of an entire group! The six-year-old getting up in a happy mood can assure that the entire family is in a happy mood.

Jan. 12

Looking at our community from a different viewpoint from time to time can help us spot things that we weren’t aware of. One way of doing this is by taking a different route to work from time to time. It might be surprising what we see that we didn’t know existed. Here are two other ways that I was reminded of today:

  • Run or walk. It’s always amazing to me the things I spot that I usually drive by without even recognizing their existence. Additionally, going on a run or walk can clear your mind. I’ve come up with entire story concepts while on an 8-mile run.
  • Volunteer. Volunteering in the community can expose us to many different areas and networks that we don’t run across during our typical routines. For example, when I take my six-year-old with me to deliver meals we always learn something together and find something to discuss that we wouldn’t have discussed had we stayed home.

Jan. 11

Stories can be told of many different events or occasions. Here’s a fun video created by Sam Fathallah for his 18th birthday.

Eighteen | Short Film from Sam Fathallah on Vimeo.

Jan. 10

Today I appreciate the freedom that allows us to change our minds and adjust projects based on new facts and tests. I’ve started using a number of tools in recent months that I didn’t use previously because I questioned their effectiveness. New facts and needs helped me change my mind and these tools are now a great help at least weekly.

"Startup Boards" by Brad Feld and Mahendra Ramsinghani
Reading a hard copy of “Startup Boards.”

Jan. 9

Reading an actual printed book can sometimes be better than reading the same book on an electronic device. There are advantages to the digital read, too, though.

Jan. 8

You can learn a lot by collaborating and even just conversing with marketing professionals in other industries. Related reading.

Jan. 7

I was reminded today of some of the cool projects that are trying to track, analyze and streamline content for the end-user. As these projects advance they should help content producers make their stories even more relevant to their audiences.

Jan. 6

As temperatures are hitting record lows in Iowa I’m thankful for all the tools and technology that keep us warm.

Facebook status on parking app

American Airlines at Dallas AirportJan. 5

Today was a good reminder how important it is to make (schedule) quiet time to write. I flew from Las Vegas to Dallas and then home to Cedar Rapids. I wrote several blog posts for a total of 1,700 words. All on my iPad.

Jan. 4

Connectivity can really make things easier for us. Due to the weather out east and its impact on air travel across the nation my January 6 flight from Las Vegas to Denver was canceled. Thanks to an email and my nearby iPhone I saw the alert right away and was able to call United to look for options. As you can see through the exchange of Tweets below everything worked out as of tonight. I’m glad I was able to address this immediately due to the alert. In this case, connectivity made a huge difference in my mind.

Rescheduling flights tweets

Jan. 3

Was researching things to do in Las Vegas on a day with not much scheduled and ran across a number of websites that had accurate information on them. That’s great to see, made me happy and helped the planning. Thank you to everyone for keeping website content updated.

Jan. 2

Last night my six-year-old and I sat around, watched TV and shared stories (blabbed). A great reminder to sometimes put technology down.

Jan. 1

TSA search formUsed this today for an upcoming trip: Love the TSA’s interactive and useful search. Yup, protein powder is allowed.