30 Apr 2013
User Profile: Alice Ackerman, M.D., M.B.A.
When I explored Trapit I was fascinated at how easy and intuitive it was; I was feeling like an expert in no time!
Location: Roanoke, VA
Occupation: Professor & Chair, Virginia Tech Carilion School of Medicine; Pediatrician-in-Chief, Carilion Clinic Children’s Hospital
Websites: Alice’s Carilion Clinic Blog, @CloseToHomeMD on Twitter
Favorite Wildlife: Birds
Q: You came from very humble beginnings in Brooklyn, NY, to have an incredibly successful career in medicine. How did you first discover your interest in medicine?
There were a couple of related events. The first was when my father died, when I was nine years old. At some point after he passed away, I remember coming out of my bedroom, and looking at my mom, and she was trying to figure out how to write a check and how to balance a checkbook. And she was crying.
And I sat there, and I said, somewhere inside of me, that this was not going to happen to me. I think that gave me the desire to become self-sufficient, to value my education, and to go forward with the mindset that I was going to rely on myself.
I also remember when I was in highschool, I volunteered at Coney Island hospital. I was volunteering at an ER when they were responding to a cardiac arrest. And the doctors were working on some poor man they had brought in, and they were unsuccessful. Afterwards, they just walked away, with the attitude “you win some, you lose some.” And I wondered if they treated my Dad like that when he was brought in, or if there was someone there who really cared. And that’s what I think really set the stage for the person I was going to become.
23 Apr 2013
User Profile: Krista Craven
Starting a business, I don’t have the time to create my own content (e.g. blogging), so I use Trapit as a way to connect with my followers and to quickly find interesting articles, recipes, or just general fun foodieness.
Location: St. Paul, Minnesota
Occupation: Founder of Cravin’ Pie
Favorite Traps: Pie, Locavore, Chocolate, & Blueberries
What led you to make a career change and start your own business?
My first career was as a hairdresser and included competing, teaching, and creating trends for the industry. Eleven years ago this month I retired to be a stay-at-home mom. As our youngest grew and was getting closer to school age I started to ask myself “What am I going to be when I grow up?”
Being home full-time for so many years allowed me to really dive into my love of cooking. I would take the kids to the library and along with their books I would check out stacks of cookbooks for myself. My father’s family is from Arkansas, and all of those southern comfort foods and flavors find their way into my cooking frequently. I have the fondest family memories gathered around piles and plates full of food. My paternal grandmother, Flossie always made chocolate fried pies. My oldest son Nick always wanted them for his birthday and eventually my husband and I started dreaming about one day having our pies in the Minnesota State Fair. So for several years I’ve been tweaking the recipe and force feeding my friends and family all the time, insisting on ‘honest’ feedback.
9 Apr 2013
User Profile: Jeremy Forsythe
I have found that Trapit is superior in this regard, bringing in a wider range of sources that assist in tracking down anything and everything motocross spread out all over the world.
Location: Lakeland, Florida
Occupation: Account Executive, GLT Total Office
Favorite Traps: Motocross & Astrophysics
Q: When most people enter an office space, they see desktop computers and cubicles. You see a blank canvas and an opportunity to think creatively. Tell us about what you do for a living…
I am an Account Executive for an independent office supply and furniture company. I do mostly business-to-business sales and marketing. On the surface, it doesn’t sound like it’s jam-packed with excitement, but it would actually surprise you. We get to design and install some of the nicest interiors in the region. We’ve completely transformed college campuses from old, obsolete and stuffy layouts into modern marvels. Our main brand is Steelcase, the same workspace layouts you see in the interior of Google HQ. The field of design reminds me of my childhood, growing up building structures with my huge Lego collection.
Q: Tell us more about the ‘modern office.’ Any favorite projects you’ve worked on?
These days, the modern office is nothing like it was even five years ago. Innovation through collaboration, creativity through comfort are the goals these days. You want that “campfire feel,” with the presenter as the focal point in a setting where discussion and sharing is encouraged by convenience. Making people enjoy their workspaces and look forward to being there does wonders for the productivity of a company.
One of our personal favorites is USF Sky Blue Polytechnic—working with the people actually using the space—we came up with some very creative and unique ideas. Storm Troopers (the guys in white suits from Star Wars) guard networking rooms and there’s a big curly slide to bring out the kid in anyone. Nowadays, working in this field comes with an added bonus, knowing that what you helped build will assist the levels of productivity in budding learning environments. Whether it be for college students, or even an office full of architects and engineers who are designing themselves—designing our future.
26 Mar 2013
User Profile: A.J. Ghergich
People want to discover, they want to find a new blogger, a new perspective, and be forced to take their blinders off. Trapit really breaks you out of that, and opens you up to content and new voices that you wouldn’t have heard otherwise.
Location: Chicago, IL
Occupation: Content Marketer and SEO
Websites: Ghergich.com, @SEO on twitter
Favorite Cheese: Aged Gouda, the older the better
Q: You’re a professional in the field of content marketing and search engine optimization (SEO). What problems are we trying to solve here?
Although these are related, they’re really two separate problems. For SEO, what you’re really trying to accomplish is to make your website and your content as search-engine-friendly as possible. You also want to optimize it for keywords you know your audience is already searching for.
Content marketing is a little more on the outreach side of things. Basically, users are your customers. They don’t respond very well to interruption-style advertising. If you’re listening to a radio in your car, you just tune out a radio ad. The same thing happens when you see a banner or pop-up ad on the webpage you visit. That’s Interruption marketing, and it’s a dead-end.
The goal of content marketing is to try and produce content that helps your user, gains their trust, and finds them the content that you think will be most helpful to them based on what they’ve been searching for. Rather than try to sell the user something they may or may not have any interest in, you’re engaging them based on what their expressed interests already are.
12 Mar 2013
User Profile: Derek Kueter
It’s not just about bringing content to the people, it’s also about generating interest and imagination. And Trapit does that better than anything I’ve ever seen before.
Location: Woodside, CA
Occupation: Bringing Content to the People
Websites: SDI Current Awareness Updates Group on LinkedIn, Stay Current News
Favorite way to create a Trap:URL-based
Q: You’re passionate about “bringing content to the people,” but how do you go about figuring out what content people are seeking?
I once got the opportunity to ask a famous philosopher one question. After I asked it, he didn’t actually answer my question, but he said something much more useful, which was: “what makes you think that people even know what they themselves think?” And he had a really good point.
People are notoriously bad at expressing what they want, but they’re great at pointing at something and saying “I want that.” In some way, you have to give people what you know they want. That’s a strong organizing principle for me. Observers sometimes object, saying “…but nobody asked you to create this”. True, but nobody asked for a lot of things, and the not-asked-for products are some of the most well-received. You want to be very attentive to user needs, but you also don’t want to be simply an errand-boy sent by grocery clerks to collect a bill. These days, it’s often cheaper, faster, and more compelling to simply *make* the product — let the product be your demo and your market research tool — and let the users decide.
12 Feb 2013
User Profile: Cristina McCoach
Earth Science and minerals were more than something they were studying in class, but something vital to the technology they use, as well as global human rights issues. It’s not just science, it’s history, it’s humanity, and the article encapsulated so many different aspects that affect their lives. It’s something I wouldn’t have found or even thought about, except through Trapit.
Location: Royersford, PA
Occupation: High School Science Teacher, Spring-Ford Area School District
Websites: Bug Bites Blog (current), Bug’s Story (original)
Favorite Hockey Goon: Scotty Hartnell
Favorite Trap: Minerals
Q: You’ve been a High School Teacher since 2007. What was it in your life that told you this was the right path for you?
I knew early on I wanted to teach. I have 2 younger sisters and when we played together as little kids, we would play school. I was the teacher and would go so far as to make worksheets and an attendance book. Later on in high school in math class, we were working on an assignment with partners. My partner didn’t understand the concept well so I explained it in a different way to help her understand. My math teacher listened in and encouraged me to consider teaching as a possible career.
There’s something about being in 11th grade that’s special, too. I thought I wanted to teach English but was very discouraged by a bad experience with my junior year AP English teacher. She just didn’t like the way that I wrote. She was not into what I had to say. And there I was in a high level English class, I’m not doing well, and I was unsure what to do next. On family vacation that summer, my grandfather suggested science, as I was studying the small invertebrate animals living alongside a river we had just rafted down. I loved science just as much as I loved English, and it just made so much sense. I still don’t know why I didn’t think of it myself!
22 Jan 2013
User Profile: Charles Mattocks
I get very excited about food. I know you guys have some good recipes, and with Trapit’s beautiful interface, I’ve been scouring through these recipes and these pictures, and it’s just unbelievable. It’s like Instagram on steroids.
Location: Orlando, FL
Official Title: International Diabetes Advocate and Celebrity Chef
Websites: The Poor Chef, The Diabetic You, and Diabetic You Supplies
Favorite Featured Trap: Diabetes
Q: You first gained notoriety by starting as an actor, playing the titular role in The Summer of Ben Tyler. Can you tell us what it’s like to get to experience something like that?
It’s an amazing feeling, especially when it comes from just a dream. One day you’re just walking down the streets of Manhattan and you see a movie being shot, and when you ask someone what it takes to get in, they brush you off and tell you, “You need an agent.” You never think you’re going to be side-by-side with James Woods & Elizabeth McGovern (and I actually had a big crush on her from Once Upon a Time in America), and I’m so fortunate to have that happen for me. It’s been such a pleasure to get to achieve that dream.
15 Jan 2013
User Profile: Richard Abramson
Trapit’s discoveries are pure pleasures and delights. It gives you things that you weren’t really looking for, that are new and surprising, but I otherwise wouldn’t have found. And it’s doing all the work!
User: Richard Abramson, J.D.
Location: Menlo Park, CA
Occupation: Vice President, Legal and Business Affairs + General Counsel for SRI International
Most Unique Trap: Lord Byron
Q: You really enjoyed law school at UC Berkeley, and you make your home in the Bay Area now. What was it about that place that resonated so much with you?
When I went up to northern California, which is where my wife is from, I just fell in love with it. I love San Francisco. It’s divided into multiple little sub-regions, all of which have their own character, with their own set of restaurants, and I really love that about the city. It never felt like a single city; it felt like six different cities in very close proximity to one another. It’s possible to have very diverse experiences just by walking a few blocks from where you started, and I really love that about the city.
Also, I actually loved law school, which is kind of unusual. The fact is that many people don’t really enjoy law school all that much. By the third year of law school, most people are ready to complete it and move on. But the first year, it’s a little bit like joining the army and going to boot camp. They strip you down, they remove your old way of thinking, and they challenge you to rebuild everything from the ground up. There are a lot of people who get really stressed out, not only because you have to absorb so much information, but because you have to think about things in a completely different way than you’re used to.
8 Jan 2013
User Profile: Chris Bristow of CB’s Bees
I’m not in front of the computer all day, so I use my Traps to gather all the latest information and I post to Buffer for a stream of tweets throughout the day ensuring I keep my brand out there delivering interesting information. Thanks to Trapit I can efficiently manage my social media.
User: Chris Bristow
Location: Kent, UK
Occupation: Beekeeper, owner CB’s Bees
Website: CB’s Bees
So you run a small artisan beekeeping operation in the UK. How did you come into beekeeping?
Well it wasn’t a lifelong dream for me. I’m a city boy by upbringing and a convert to living sustainably. Having been brought up in London and living around the world, from Cape Town to Tokyo to New York, I suddenly found myself back in the UK after 25 years away. London, contrary to Samuel Johnson’s famous quote, wasn’t doing it for me. I was living back in my old neighbourhood, once docklands but now known as Canary Wharf, and I was lost. Fast forward about one year and I moved to the country, outside of historic Canterbury in Kent, known as the garden of England.
We started developing the garden and then creating a small raised bed for vegetables behind the house in the village orchard. Walking through the garden or orchard in Summer brings scents and sounds, and I loved to watch bees flying from bloom to bloom. I decided to find out more and joined the Bumblebee Conservation Trust, which attempts to look after the 24 species of bumblebees we have in the UK.
The raised bed soon turned into two large allotments for growing vegetables and fruits, and the bumblebees led me to honey bees. It was all about living sustainably. We grew enough that we didn’t have to buy any vegetables through summer and autumn, and it sounded like a great idea to keep bees and produce our own honey, or in truth the bees produced it and we stole it!
I discovered that bees have a similarity with rabbits – they keep expanding and I decided to let them do it.
17 Dec 2012
User Profile: Greg Richardson
Trapit has given me more things to talk about. I don’t know whether it’s the topics I’ve chosen or that Trapit is just so advanced, but the conversations I’ve gotten to listen to thanks to Trapit have just been fantastic.
User: Greg Richardson, MPA, J.D.
Location: Pasadena, CA
Occupation: Spiritual Director
Website: Strategic Monk
Favorite Featured Trap: Beer and Brewing
Q: You’ve had careers as both a criminal prosecutor and a University professor in the past. What led you down those paths?
Growing up in rural Wisconsin, I was brought up to be the person who found the right answer, and then gave it to other people. And so life for me — at home, at church or at school — was about finding the right answer. It’s hard to find a career that’s more about finding “the right answer” and telling other people what it is than a criminal prosecutor. I was very committed to being concrete and tangible, and in some ways literal.
And I can remember there came a critical point where I realized I wasn’t doing what I wanted to do. It wasn’t just that I wasn’t doing it, it was that I didn’t even think about what I wanted to do.
Q: At that point in your life, did you feel you had made a mistake?
I think people need to stop avoiding making mistakes. We say two things: we say that we need to learn from our mistakes, and we say “to err is human.” But then we go out of our way to avoid making mistakes! Which means two things: we’re not learning anything, and we’re not really being human. I don’t know why it is, but our culture is mistake-averse, and that’s a real weakness. Most of the things we have that were developed by people came about because of mistakes, and so the more mistakes you make, the better.
I think the reason people don’t make mistakes is because they’re afraid, and that’s really bad. That’s a mistake. People get locked in and decide what they need to do, and then they get there, and decide they’re not happy.