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About Hazel:

Hazel Quimpo is a marketing strategist who specializes in using AI and automation to make marketing simpler and more effective.

She’s known for her ability to take complex ideas and turn them into easy-to-understand strategies that help brands communicate more authentically with their audiences.

Hazel isn’t just another marketing strategist, she’s a game-changer in a world cluttered with buzzwords and empty promises. She’s all about mixing efficiency with a dash of creativity, earning her place as a go-to for businesses wanting to up their online game.

Based in Long Beach, California, Hazel does more than merge technology with storytelling—she makes every message resonate on a human level.

Wie lautet Ihre Berufsbezeichnung?Founder – AI for Marketing Strategist
Wie lautet Ihr Firmenname?The Clever
Was machen Sie mit WordPress?Help agencies onboard clients easier with fast AI workflows that save more than 60 hours per month.
Beschreiben Sie die WordPress-Community in wenigen Worten.The WordPress is community is a group of people who see a problem and immediately itch to solve it – in a thousand ingenious scrappy ways.

Episode Transkription

[00:00:00] Speaker A: Welcome to WPCoffeeTalk with your podcast Barista Michelle Frechette, where we interview people in the WordPress community from all over the world. Every guest is asked the same questions and every guest has wonderful and varied answers about their history and their hopes. Special thanks to our espresso level sponsors, Bluehost, WS form and Beaver Builder.

[00:00:23] Speaker B: And now on with the show.

Welcome to WP Coffee Talk. I’m your podcast Barista Michelle Frechette, serving up the WordPress stories from around the world. And today my guest is Hazel Quimpo. I will say, helen, I don’t know why, probably because I’m cold. I know you. Yeah, I know your name.

[00:00:44] Speaker C: I’m Hazel.

[00:00:46] Speaker B: Hazel is the founder of the Clever and also my podcast co host on audacity marketing podcast. So welcome, Hazel. It’s been years we’ve worked together and I first time to have you on this show.

[00:00:59] Speaker C: I know, I’m very excited. I think back, we got stellar to sponsor it way back in the day. I was very excited to be a sponsor right then and happy to be a guest now.

[00:01:07] Speaker B: Yeah. Thanks for joining us. I’m excited to have you here. So for those who have not had the opportunity to meet you, tell us a little bit about yourself and what you do.

[00:01:17] Speaker C: Sure. I have a background in marketing going back to the early two thousands. I have worked in tech startups for a long time, started my career in events and used to do community management for Yelp. And because of that I worked for Yelp back in the day, was able to cash out a little bit of money and go become an entrepreneur for a little while and introduced me to the wild world of WordPress. In fact, I remember going to a friend of mine, I’m like, I have an idea for a website. What do I do?

Everybody’s charging me so much money to build a website and he’s like, oh, all you do, and this is at the time you go to and download a theme and build a website. And I was like, oh. And then I never looked back. I mean, I did look back. I just stopped looking back at themeforest. But you know.

[00:02:03] Speaker B: Yeah, exactly. Yeah. I think we all grow themeforest at some point, which is not a bad thing.

So you have a mug and something in it. Tell us about your mug.

[00:02:14] Speaker C: Yes, this is my second of this one. I’m gonna start adding more each national park. Apparently they sell. These are the Zion one, so it’s a Zion this summer. I’ve got a Joshua tree one and hopefully I get one each one. But yeah, we went to Zion this summer. We took the kids on a road trip from Vegas to Zion.

And a lot of people don’t realize. So I’m in southern California.

Las Vegas to Zion National park is less than two hour drive. People don’t realize how close they are. So if you ever, like, want to do nightlife in Vegas and then go do a day trip to one of the most beautiful national parks, design is beautiful.

[00:02:44] Speaker B: That’s awesome. And I love a nice hand pottery like that. That’s beautiful.

[00:02:49] Speaker C: Yeah, except it does a weird thing, but you get the shape of mug. Does a weird thing where sometimes it captures air and makes a big bubble.

[00:02:56] Speaker B: Just gotta be careful, let people know that it was a mug.

[00:03:00] Speaker C: Not you exactly.

[00:03:03] Speaker B: I have my wonder Woman mug today. It’s sparkly. It was a birthday gift from Terry Tuditch a few years ago. Drinking water. Because it’s after, well, it’s not after five. It’s almost 04:00 in the afternoon and I don’t. I want to sleep tonight. So I’ve got water right now. I thought about the coffee, but then realized that I need some sleep.

[00:03:21] Speaker C: So. No, it’s Wonder Woman water. Alliterated.

[00:03:24] Speaker B: Oh, I like that. That’s good. It’s the triple w. So tell us, you mentioned, you know, using WordPress, but how exactly did you get started in WordPress? What was like maybe your first site? Or like, how did that happen?

[00:03:35] Speaker C: Yeah, so I really wanted to build a happy hour guide for my city and I still have it. And in fact, I wanted to build a happy hour guide and I wanted to build a restaurant week. And this was in 2011. And I bought the domain and started a website. The happy hour directory got off the ground. The restaurant week never did until literally earlier this year. I finally did something with that domain and launch restaurant week. So good thing I hungry. But no, the first one I did was a cool directory I used.

Gosh. I mean, that’s when I started using the events calendar and I had to go work for them later on because it was a very heavily events based system and I really, still an issue that WordPress is really the best one at solving is local events directories. You can’t find. There’s not a good way to find local events. And that was the problem I was solving at the time. And then later on, as I did that, I realize people hire you to build WordPress sites. So I did a couple for like galleries and things. But like, I’m not, that’s not my bag. I’m like more of a marketer and consultant building the WordPress site hands on. I do as a hobby and love hanging out in WordPress, but I do not generally build them for other people anymore.

[00:04:47] Speaker B: I understand. I built one recently for a local lions club just to kind of, every once in a while I’ll take on a client just to keep my teeth sharp or cloud, whatever that, whatever that phrase is, to keep up on how it looks to build a website today and understand how WordPress has changed and morphed over the years, because it certainly is not the same as it was when I started twelve years ago.

[00:05:07] Speaker C: Absolutely.

[00:05:08] Speaker B: It’s a different beast altogether. Well, when you look at WordPress, I’m sorry, when you look at websites across however many and however many you’ve done yourself, what’s something that you think that we don’t focus enough attention on that would make our sites better for the end user?

[00:05:25] Speaker C: I noticed that so many designers that have never worked in a corporate environment don’t focus on conversion rate optimization because it sounds like such a corporate word. But conversion rate optimization is so important, I think that website designers kind of get in the weeds sometimes of the client requests and this color and that color and a font. And honestly, there’s a checklist of best practices for conversion rate. And you can go through those checklists. But I will say at the very beginning, like, ask, you know, whoever’s sitting next to you, and hopefully it’s not someone that works in tech or with you if they can tell you whatever is happening on the page that you’re looking at. And if you can’t tell me within a moment, oh, it’s frustrating. I’ll tell you one thing of like, a thing I don’t like in copy on websites lately is I think we’ve done so far of this whole, like, Steve Jobs idea of don’t sell the product, sell what it can do for you. Like, it’s not an ipod, it’s a thousand frowns in your pocket. Love it. Except sometimes I land on these websites and I’m like, they’re like, we empower Sas enterprises to do. And I’m like, what do you do? And it’s like, oh, we’re HR software.

[00:06:41] Speaker B: Yes, absolutely. I have noticed that too. That sometimes I get to a website and I’m like, somebody else even send me the link and I’m like, but I don’t, what is it? I don’t get it. What are they doing? And even when you get to the page to purchase it, you’re like, I still don’t know what I’m buying.

[00:06:57] Speaker C: It’s usually hr software.

[00:06:59] Speaker B: Usually, yeah, for sure. Or SEO. One or the other.

[00:07:03] Speaker C: Exactly.

[00:07:05] Speaker B: Everybody thinks they get to SEO.

What’s something that you wish you had known earlier in your WordPress journey? That sure would have made life a lot easier.

[00:07:13] Speaker C: Oh my gosh. I can tell you this one hands down. I’m so happy that I ended up working on the other side of WordPress, meaning inside the product and all of this, because the thing I wish I knew, I am so much better at WordPress than I thought I was like, I thought I was just some dumbass, like kind of clicking some buttons and it turns out that what everybody is, and I was like, oh, this is great.

This is how everybody does it and I can figure this out. And honestly, I wish I knew that before because I would have felt more confident to sell sites to do all this stuff. I thought, I don’t know what I thought. I thought that using like a theme and a plugin was not what people that were professionals did. And then I realized, oh, that’s exactly what they do.

[00:07:54] Speaker B: Yeah, exactly. And why would you reinvent what somebody else has already done well and then also have to maintain it? So it doesn’t make a lot of sense. For sure.

[00:08:02] Speaker C: 100% my mentality.

[00:08:04] Speaker B: Now, I know, I love these companies. They’re like, well, we want our own CRM. We don’t want to use WordPress. I’m like, are you sure, though? Because I don’t think so.

[00:08:14] Speaker C: Exactly.

[00:08:16] Speaker B: We don’t want to pay somebody to build it. Oh, so you’re just going to pay somebody to actually build it and then have to maintain it and if they leave, you’re screwed. Okay, fine. Okay, I’ll see you later.

[00:08:26] Speaker C: Exactly. Exactly. 100%. It is a way more efficient way to work than to think you need to invent everything from scratch.

[00:08:34] Speaker B: Yeah, exactly. Along with that, though, comes the fact that, like when you do get into WordPress and you’re like on the inside of things, inside of the site or inside of the community, you have access to more people that are willing to answer your questions too, so you don’t actually feel alone when you’re doing it. Right.

[00:08:50] Speaker C: It’s a big point of the community. In fact, I had never really been a part of the community very deeply until I worked in WordPress. And I do think had I been a member of the community, it would have helped me not have that feeling so much. I would have realized more.

[00:09:03] Speaker B: Yeah, for sure. I think a lot of people don’t realize that it’s on your dashboard. But we never look at the dashboard. Right. Like, all the community stuff is there, but we’re always just like, what do I need to do? I don’t need to just sit here and read. So.

[00:09:13] Speaker C: Yeah, for sure. No, I think that human element of seeing other folks, honestly, this is my why I like conference. Going to conferences for two reasons. I like the networking and being inspired by speakers. But I also like seeing the speakers that I’m like, oh, shit, they can do that here. I can do that.

[00:09:29] Speaker B: I can do that, too, for sure.

[00:09:31] Speaker C: Exactly.

[00:09:32] Speaker B: One of the things I love about having friends and people I’ve worked with on this show is I’m so excited to hear some of your interested, intrigued to hear some of the answers to the next couple of questions. I’m going to ask one question, and then we’re going to talk about your business, and then we’ll come back to the rest of questions. But here’s the one. I wonder if I know the answer, and I probably don’t.

What is your favorite wordcamp or meetup experience? Maybe it was something that was pivotal or inspiring moment for you, either as an audience member or. Or a speaker or something in the hallway track or an event.

Tell us a little bit about it. I’m listening.

No pressure.

[00:10:11] Speaker C: There’s a lot of good ones. I think you. You’re probably right on this one. Is that in San Diego in 20, 21, 22 last year?

Gosh, there were a lot of good elements of that one. I mean, I think one of the biggest elements was that that was the first one back since COVID right? Like a first big bootcamp, us since COVID But it wasn’t as big. As big as we had hoped, as I think the audience had hoped.

[00:10:36] Speaker B: Right.

[00:10:36] Speaker C: So we made the best of it and did some really good, like, just deep community stuff, like inside jokes. We made these candles, and that was, like, our favorite thing, and it was a really big hit. We did these candles that were scented, like, inside jokes for WordPress. So it was, like scented, like, you know, when you spell WordPress with a lowercase piece or all of your tickets, being dumb for the day or whatever, things like that. And it was super fun. It was really fun to see the WordPress community come alive around those sort of inside jokes.

[00:11:07] Speaker B: Absolutely. I think the Campchello thing that we did, too, was really inspired, and, like, so much of it was your baby, like, your brainchild having come from and still doing so much with the event space, that was just like, you to watch you in your element there was really cool.

[00:11:23] Speaker C: Yeah, it was fun to come back into events for that one. I mean, I’m a bit. I think that’s 2024 thing that’s going to happen across the board for tech companies in general is there’s going to be a realization of in person events. And I was lucky. I had started my career at a tech company early on at Yelp that was very big on in person community to grow their brand. And it really worked in a way that has gone out of style. And I kind of think that it might be coming back in style.

[00:11:49] Speaker B: That wouldn’t surprise me at all. I think we’ve been, even though people have been getting together for holidays and things like that, I think, and even traveling, I think actually getting together for events like that and seeing people is going to make a comeback because we’re starved for it, honestly.

[00:12:05] Speaker C: For sure. And I think the lull in mundane networking events like the Chamber of Commerce or whatever, networking events that didn’t happen during COVID-19 to me. I’ll go with my gut here, and it doesn’t really feel like they’ve come back. And I think there’s a gap there. Not that I want to go to chamber mixers. I think nobody does. And I think that’s what they realized. Like, they were serving a purpose. Nobody wants to go back to those things that were kind of shitty. But now, where do I hang out with people? I’m sorry I cursed on your podcast.

[00:12:36] Speaker B: I cursed on my podcast, too. It’s fucking okay.

[00:12:39] Speaker C: Oh, I’m a bad influence.

[00:12:43] Speaker B: Do you remember? This is completely off topic, but do you remember speed networking that followed the idea of speed dating?

[00:12:52] Speaker C: I think back to some of those.

[00:12:54] Speaker B: I think it could make a comeback, quite honestly. I think it’s a possibility.

[00:12:59] Speaker C: I mean, I really think so. I think so much of the Internet has come full circle and life is too. Like, it’s back to blogs and frequency dating. Yes, exactly.

[00:13:10] Speaker B: Too much fun. Well, let’s talk a little bit about what you’ve been doing lately with the creative. Tell me, I’m sorry, the clever. You’re so creative. I always think of that word first. They’re clever. Tell me what’s going on with that. And, I mean, if you ever want to talk about any podcasts that you’re doing, too, throw that in there as well.

[00:13:27] Speaker C: Well, I am on a podcast called marketing with audacity. Audacity marketing is the name of the. But I have a lovely co host named Michelle, and we do. We talk a lot about WordPress marketing on that podcast. It’s actually a lot of our because our background together is on WordPress. You and I talk a lot about WordPress marketing on there and I’ve talked about some of the projects I’m working on. The clever but the one that I’m most excited about is I’ve been doing lots of stuff with chat, GPT and Zapier and doing really cool automations for agencies like WordPress. Agencies building their proposal pipeline in really simple ways.

I’ve done this with so many clients now that what I have built for myself is a really cool way of whenever I onboard a new marketing client, I have a simple input form of like okay, here’s the client, here’s like their about page or like some general info that goes into zap fear and runs about against about a dozen or so chat QPT prompts and outputs into my like doc for the client of like cool. All the stuff ready to go.

The other one I just built for a client recently was they do a Monday kickoff meeting each week for their team and it just needs a couple of simple inputs and they use the same format.

But they I apologize, I lost my screen with that. Michelle, where was I apologize.

[00:14:53] Speaker B: What is all that? That’s okay. Putting all that into a form that creates that prospectus or something for you.

[00:14:58] Speaker C: But what’s cool is that it can actually create a Google Doc, like a slide deck, like and I think what’s been fun about the stuff I’ve been working on, I’ve been really big on chat sheets to empower content calendars. Strategy behind marketing not necessarily write a blog post, it’s more about the strategy behind it. And when you can do that in an automated way, it’s really magic.

[00:15:21] Speaker B: So I had never leaned into chap GPT and the AI thing until you started like really becoming an evangelist for it. And I will say I’ve never really used it for writing in general. I did check out like what it would say about me when I know you, it knows me very well, which was really.

[00:15:43] Speaker C: Although it does have well, you’re all over the Internet.

[00:15:45] Speaker B: Yeah, exactly. So it had something to pick up on, which was pretty cool. It did have me working at a company I’ve never worked at before. But yeah, it’s a small edit, whatever, but I’ve used it for and I think I’m pretty creative. I come up with some clever titles sometimes, but sometimes I just can’t think of a good title for something that feels like a more mundane post. And it gives me great title options that maybe I tweak it a little bit, but at least it’s got, it helps get that, like, ideas generation going, which is pretty cool. And I’ve actually used it to write up some of our synopsis on audacity marketing as well. So when I didn’t want to have to be creative that day, and I’m like, here it is. And then I just tweak it. You know, I don’t take everything verbatim, but it’s got some good ideas.

[00:16:27] Speaker C: I love it. In fact, our next episode I want to have. I’m working on a new zap that I’m working on that takes a podcast transcript and turns it into a blog post. And why I think that will work better than just, hey, Chad, GPP, write me a blog post about, you know, marketing with data is that it’s going to have your whole conversation and, like, the type of way you talk. And some of the prompts I use for something like that would be like, hey, pull out like five or six of the quotable sound bites from this podcast that are really good.

[00:17:00] Speaker B: Yeah.

[00:17:01] Speaker C: And, you know, make those headlines for a blog post. And here we go. And in tests, this worked pretty well. We’ll see how it goes when I, when I launch it.

[00:17:09] Speaker B: I love it. That’s a great idea, for sure. Now, you’ve also been like, I’m gonna, I’m gonna give you a new title. You are like the queen of LinkedIn lately. Like, I still, for better, for worse, I still live in X a lot of the time, formerly known the artist, formerly known as Twitter.

But I am trying to, like, channel my inner hazel and actually lean into LinkedIn a little bit more. And I’ve never actually given it a lot of thought, attention.

But yeah, I haven’t. I’m not good at it yet, but I’m learning from you and seeing the kinds of things you’re putting out there and just like, inspirational stuff, I gotta say.

[00:17:47] Speaker C: Oh, thanks. One of the tips I have for LinkedIn that I’ve learned is I get discouraged on there often. I think a lot of people do, because LinkedIn is not very rewarding. It doesn’t seem like, in the sense of typical social media, like dopamine hits, like, you don’t get as many likes or views or really anything as you get on other ones. Unless, to be honest, I haven’t figured out yet. I read all of the reasons for unless that you’re supposed to do this and be in this and it all seems like an immense amount of work. However, I keep doing it and people know, like, you noticed that I’ve posted I got a job offer recently from LinkedIn on a DM, because people see that I posted. So it’s worth the feeling like you’re shouting into the void on LinkedIn to have a voice.

I wish it was better for regular networking. I wish, and I think that’s the problem with LinkedIn, right? Is like, it feels disingenuous to someone like you and I, who are very like authentic people, and it doesn’t feel like an authentic platform. That’s a bummer. I wish it was because there does seem to be, there’s a gap in the space for authentic business networking. However, I will say putting yourself out there on LinkedIn is super effective. Like, it really does work because people see it, even though you don’t realize it. And that’s why it’s a hard one, though, because you don’t get that immediate dopamine hit.

[00:19:03] Speaker B: But I also don’t go looking for people. So the fact that you show up in my newsfeed a lot means you’re doing something right, because it’s reassuring. You are being rewarded. You may not see it yourself, but you’re being rewarded in the fact that people are seeing what you’re putting out there, whether they react with it or, or not.

You know, you’re getting the views. Because I’m seeing it and I’m not in, and I’m not in there much. So if I’m seeing it, that means people who are spending more time in there are also seeing it. So that’s a good thing.

[00:19:26] Speaker C: And I would say one of the tips I’ve seen from people successful on LinkedIn in that way is a lot of repetition of a theme. Like, you really have to pick a niche because that way, when they do continually see you, they’re like, oh, Michelle, she’s the one who does community for WordPress, or oh, Hazel, she’s the one who does AI for marketing. Like continually talk about, it’s less fun in that way. You get less fun to talk about all your other stuff, like on X.

Yeah, but it is an effective platform. Tell you what, that’s true.

[00:19:53] Speaker B: That’s true. And I think you’re knocking it out of the park for sure. So keep up the good work. Wait, wait, are you using AI to build the post that you’re putting. Never mind. You don’t have to answer that.

[00:20:07] Speaker C: I do have some. I do have some tricks.

[00:20:09] Speaker B: I believe it. You’ll have to teach us your ways.

If you’re interested in learning more, hit up Hazel directly. We’ll put all of her information in the show notes.

So you’ve been doing this for a little while. You’ve been building up a nice little clientele. You’ve been doing some really great things. I know that we had to move a couple episodes here or there because of stuff you were doing in Long beach and bringing some events back that had not been around since before the pandemic. How is all the event stuff that you’re doing going?

[00:20:39] Speaker C: Yeah, it’s been really exciting. We did Long beach restaurant week and I’ve been really getting into, I mean, I love my city, right? That’s something that, like, when I first got into WordPress, it was a city based initiative.

This summer, I got really back into my city. My first WordPress endeavor was with my city. I love everything about Long beach and just local. And I was working with Long beach restaurant weekend. Well, working with it, we started it. Right. We launched it and did one and had a WordPress site for it. It was very exciting. And I got an issue to do a festival, which I’ve thrown a festival before but backed away from it because I don’t know, the energy of 25 year old Hazel, but I get that because events, man, they take energy.

But I will say what that what did scratch the edge that I’ve been really excited to work on is more is retreats. And I’ve been doing planning on a lot of retreats. I work with a group called Moms and Tech and we’re planning retreats there in 2024. In that same note of people getting together, I think one of the ways is going to be people doing sort of planned retreats. Meaning like, hey, a group of twelve of us are going to go get an Airbnb and hang out somewhere. I mean, Chris Lemma does with Cabo press for years and I can see that type of really taking off and been doing more of those for therapists. I’m helping a therapist do a retreat for her clients in Mexico this later in the spring. So it’s fun.

[00:22:05] Speaker B: I love that. That’s awesome. I love that you don’t just put all your eggs in one basket. You are like diversified and all these different things that bring you joy, which I think is really cool.

[00:22:13] Speaker C: Yeah. Growing up with financial trauma, we’ll do that to you.

[00:22:19] Speaker B: We should do an episode of Audacity marketing on marketing out of your trauma because I’m sure we both have stories.

[00:22:26] Speaker C: Yep. You got to make sure. You stay employed.

[00:22:29] Speaker B: That’s right. That’s right. Okay, let me move into the rapid fire questions. They’re not really rapid. You take the time you need to answer them. Okay, here we go. What are two or three must have plugins that you would recommend to somebody building their own website?

[00:22:43] Speaker C: Okay. I have controversy here.

[00:22:46] Speaker B: Okay.

[00:22:46] Speaker C: I love elements. I love elementor. Like, I do. And I know, like, again, like, I used to have this, like, imposter syndrome. Again, I still do about using Elementor, but you know what? Screw it. I love it. It really works well as far as designing sites. And on top of elementor, every single site that I have, I use rank math and I really like rank math for their SEO and it’s worked really well for me. So those are elements where it’s like, it’s just, I know people hate it and people want to do block editor all day, but sometimes Elementor gets the job done.

[00:23:23] Speaker B: There’s a reason they’re so popular that there are a lot of people who think like you for sure.

Absolutely. I’m never gonna hate on anybody who’s making money doing what they love. So there you go.

[00:23:32] Speaker C: Exactly.

[00:23:34] Speaker B: Have you had a mentor at any part of your WordPress journey, whether it was official or somebody who kind of, like, took you under their wing or maybe just somebody that you saw was doing well and emulated the work that they did well?

[00:23:49] Speaker C: I’m not going to say you, even though you are, obvious answer. You are here. I think that you are actually a great, like, leader in WordPress for, like, people to look after, especially as a woman. But another person, I’ll say, is another co host of yours, which is Kathy Zand. Like, I met Kathy and I had heard so much about her reputation of, like, being such a powerhouse in the space. And I met her and I was like, oh, my gosh, she’s just such an inspirational person and so helpful for everybody.

[00:24:16] Speaker B: Yeah, I agree 100%. I love the WP motivate podcast where we literally just shoot the breeze every week and record it and put it up there. And I think we have, like, you know, three followers. That’s okay. It’s more like therapy, so it’s all good.

Who is somebody else that you admire in the WordPress community and why?

[00:24:37] Speaker C: Oh, gosh, let’s say.

[00:24:45] Speaker B: You know, I’m.

[00:24:46] Speaker C: Going to go somewhere behind the scenes that I used to work with a lot, that she revolved that I used to work with. You is Lauren Thieben, who, like, is an amazing writer. People don’t realize she writes so much WordPress content across all of it. She used to write content for automatic.

She knows WordPress so well. She goes, people who think she doesn’t and it’s funny, they seem that she can write about it better than people that do it really well.

She has a rare talent of being able to take like a very complex WordPress issue and being able to put it into layman’s terms. And it’s really impressive.

[00:25:20] Speaker B: And she has a wicked sense of humor. Like, if you follow, she doesn’t tweet a lot, that when she does, I am in stitches. Like, she’s clever.

[00:25:31] Speaker C: She is hilarious.

[00:25:33] Speaker B: She is hilarious. I will 100% endorse that. Absolutely. What’s something that you still want to learn in WordPress but that you haven’t tackled yet?

[00:25:45] Speaker C: Well, I have a common joke lately that I’m glad I never learned CSS until chat GPT came out.

So that’s a good one. I really do want to learn full site editor, though.

Every time I go play with it, it’s not satisfying. And I debating, I think a lot of people on WordPress, are they debating what they’re going to buckle down and like play with it more to learn it or wait a little bit longer until it gets better?

Yeah. And kind of writing that. But I do ultimately want to learn how to use, you know, what WordPress is trying to tout as the future of the project.

[00:26:23] Speaker B: I have not learned it yet either, but yep, we’ll see.

[00:26:28] Speaker C: It’s in fact, right. I don’t know. I don’t want, if I want to pour all the effort into learning it now for it to change very quickly. So it’s sort of, you know, dipping my toe, keeping my eye on it.

[00:26:37] Speaker B: Yeah. And, and I never understood when I was younger why people wouldn’t jump at the next best thing. Like, you know, like people used to get upset that, oh, Facebook changes that. It’s layout. I hate it.

[00:26:47] Speaker C: How am I going to.

[00:26:48] Speaker B: And like, nobody remembers what it used to look like unless they go and search for pictures of what Facebook used to look like because it gets better. But now that I’m older, I’m like, oh, do they have to change it? I just learned how to use it this way. Right?

[00:26:59] Speaker C: Yep, there’s a little bit of that.

[00:27:01] Speaker B: There’s a little bit of that. The learning curve feels steeper the older you get. But yes, I agree. I think it could be a good thing. And I’m also waiting till there’s so much information about there that it’s a little bit easier to learn as well.

[00:27:13] Speaker C: 100%. Exactly.

[00:27:15] Speaker B: What’s one of the biggest mistakes you’ve ever made in WordPress? And what did you learn from it?

[00:27:21] Speaker C: Oh, not having security plugins. When I was running a Long beach community again back I think, like, 2018 lb littles, I didn’t know a lot about anything, and I didn’t have anyone hired to do anything on my site. I was doing it all myself, just sort of from the hip, and it got hacked where, like, people would go to the site and it would redirect to a porn site, which was really unfortunate because kids like, yeah, and yeah, I learned that you need security plugins.

[00:27:50] Speaker B: I have had similar experiences. Luckily, the site redirected to pharmaceuticals and not pornography.

Still not good. Still not good.

What’s your proudest WordPress moment?

[00:28:06] Speaker C: Oh, my gosh. I think I experience it every time I, like, launch a website. It’s like, amazing that it exists. Like, oh, my God, I put it in the world and I’m trying to think if I have one project specifically. You know, I put together a project during COVID early days. Like, there was a lot of, like, fast moving projects in those early days of COVID and I put together. We were doing LB littles, which was, like, events and things and needed to move them virtual. And we did a thing called little sessions and kind of launched it over a weekend, and it went really well, actually. I didn’t keep it up because I did not have the. It was COVID and nobody had the interest.

[00:28:45] Speaker B: I understand.

[00:28:46] Speaker C: It was very exciting to have it up and, like, working and like, hey, like, people can actually go there and have, you know, virtual kids yoga. The downside was, turns out virtual kids yoga, like, sucks.

[00:29:01] Speaker B: In theory, it was a wonderful idea.

[00:29:05] Speaker C: The website looked great. It was exceptional.

[00:29:11] Speaker B: On my grave. Someday it will say, in theory, it was a wonderful idea.

There’s a lot of that in the world. I love it, though. That’s awesome. If you weren’t working in web tech at all. So web, web tech, what’s another career that you might like to attempt?

[00:29:27] Speaker C: Oh, gosh. I mean, I was an event planner, and I still always dabble, so I’d probably be an event planner. But one of my favorite jobs I’ve ever had that I still think I loved being a portrait photographer. Like, in college, I worked at JCPenney portraits, and I still love taking portraits of folks and, like, doing all of that. But it was such a. Even that experience of kind of rapid fire of lots of, like, okay, a kid coming in. Cool, let’s do a bunch of poses and keep a kid happy and take pictures. Cool. Let’s do it again. I really loved that. It was like, very satisfying.

[00:29:58] Speaker B: That’s awesome. I do a little bit of portrait photography every once in a while and it is fun. And when you can get the kid to look at you and smile, but the parents are. But the parents are also looking at you like, it’s not that hard to get the kid to smile, but the parents are always looking at the kid, trying to get the kid to smile.

[00:30:12] Speaker C: They really are. Yep.

[00:30:14] Speaker B: I need to train the parents more than I need to train the kid to look at the camera. I missed the shot because you were.

[00:30:20] Speaker C: Parents don’t look away.


[00:30:25] Speaker B: They think they’re helping. They’re not, but yeah. No, that’s always fun, for sure. Especially when they come in and look at their pictures. I mean, now it’s all online, but back in the day, like, they would come in and look at their pictures together and you could see the excitement, excitement on their faces. That was, it was so great.

[00:30:37] Speaker C: And we used to tickle the kids nose with a feather duster, which I can’t imagine they do now, but that was a little.

[00:30:45] Speaker B: You mean the COVID duster.

[00:30:46] Speaker C: Yeah, exactly. We did. We would like to tickle their nose with a feather duster.

[00:30:52] Speaker B: That’s so funny. But it is true, right? All the stuff that we used to do for that kind of stuff. That’s fun.

What’s something on your bucket list?

[00:31:01] Speaker C: On my bucket list? I’d like to go live in Turkey for a little while with my family. My family’s from Turkey. So we’ve talked about, like, if there’s a way to go live there for a year at some point and, you know, see more of Turkey and live with family, I’d really like to spend some time there.

[00:31:17] Speaker B: That’s awesome. Now you’re fluent, right? In Turkish?

[00:31:20] Speaker C: I’m not, no. I was there when I was small, but my mom, I didn’t really keep it up with my mom. My mom is turkish, my dad’s american, and I have been using Duolingo. I’m not as good at you with your streaks on Duolingo, but you are very inspiring with them. So good. Keep up posting because it makes me inspired to be like, oh, I should go do better my Turkish.

[00:31:41] Speaker B: Ah, that’s awesome, though. And I’m sure that you, it would come to you more naturally having heard a lot of it in your lifetime and been using duolingo, like whenever I go to Puerto Rico or something like, I feel like I can glean more than if I hadn’t been doing those things.

[00:31:55] Speaker C: So exactly.

[00:31:57] Speaker B: For sure.

Show us or tell us about a hidden talent that you have that the WordPress community might not be aware of.

[00:32:05] Speaker C: I would say working in events, I have a very special trick of being able to walk into any room and I can tell you the fire occupancy hazard. So basically I could walk into a room and tell you, oh, yeah, this group could fit 70 in banquet style or 200 in a cocktail. And I will be right within like ten people. That’s pretty cool. But I’ve also got some great stupid human tricks if I can do two talent. Just because I’m excited to share, to showcase the weird thing I can do with my thumb. Since we’re on video, do we call.

[00:32:34] Speaker B: That like double jointedness or something for your thumbs? I don’t know.

[00:32:37] Speaker C: So. I think so. My thumbs are real weird.

[00:32:40] Speaker B: Hyper reflexive. I don’t know. I’m mixing stuff up.

[00:32:42] Speaker C: Exactly.

[00:32:43] Speaker B: I can’t do that. I can’t do that. No matter which direction I push my hand, it does not work. So. Yeah, and I had to test it. I had to see like, oh, can I do that?

[00:32:50] Speaker C: No.

[00:32:53] Speaker B: I love it. Cool party tricks, for sure.

[00:32:55] Speaker C: Exactly.

[00:32:57] Speaker B: Is there anything else that you want to talk about that we didn’t talk about yet?

[00:33:02] Speaker C: You know?

No, I don’t think so. But I am interested to see where WordPress is going to go in 2024. I think it’s going to be an interesting year for WordPress, for the web in general, as it’s going to be a big shift away from social media as it was. And I think, not that I don’t, I don’t think people are going to use social media less. I think that it’s less consolidated. So people are going to have to do what WordPress people have been preaching for the past 15 years, which is like, hey, own your content, own your website, that sort of thing. And it could be an interesting watershed year for the project because of that.

[00:33:36] Speaker B: Absolutely. Especially with in person events really coming back. They came back this year a bit, but they’re. Next year is really kind of already we’re looking at so many more events next year that are in the planning stages. So I think that there’s a whole lot that’s going to happen along those lines. For sure.

[00:33:52] Speaker C: Absolutely. Well, thanks for having me today, Michelle.

[00:33:55] Speaker B: Yeah, sure. How can people find you? What’s your website? How do they find you on socials?

[00:33:59] Speaker C: Yeah, I’m on theclever IO and I am easy to find on LinkedIn. Hazel Kempo with a Q I’ve also posted a lot on threads these days, so if you want to follow me on threads, I think there’s a few more WordPress people on threads and Hazel Q on threads.

[00:34:15] Speaker B: Very good. Well, if you’re listening to this, just go to comma find Hazel’s episode. We’ll have all of those links in the show notes along with a transcript of today’s episode. Thank you so much for taking the time, Hazel. We’ve been talking about it for quite a while. It’s nice that we actually found the time to fit together and do an episode with you on here. So thanks for being my guest today.

[00:34:36] Speaker C: Thank you.

[00:34:38] Speaker B: My pleasure. We’ll see everybody on the next episode of WPCoffeeTalk.

[00:34:42] Speaker A: We hope you enjoyed this episode of WPCoffeeTalk. Please share it with others who you know would enjoy hearing from the people who make the WordPress community the wonderful place that it is. If you are interested in joining us as a guest or a sponsor, please visit our site at