Michelle recently launched WPSpeakers.com, a place for podcasters, event managers, and others to find WordPress experts to share their knowledge and inspire others to do more with WordPress. Michelle shares some of her experiences introducing this resource. Kathy has been playing with generative AI tools which is inspiring her to see creative opportunities in this new tech. No matter what we’re doing, there are always learning opportunities to expand our perspectives.
Speaker 0 00:00:00 Start your week smiling with your friends, Kathy Zant and Michelle Frechette. It’s time to get ready for some weekly motivation with WP Motivate.
Speaker 1 00:00:13 Happy Thursday, Kathy.
Speaker 2 00:00:15 Happy Thursday. Michelle, how are you?
Speaker 1 00:00:17 Good. I always kinda have to like mentally check what day of week is it? good. Our schedules are so insane that we don’t always have the exact same time and day that we record. So, but we always, that’s
Speaker 2 00:00:28 Make work. Squeeze it, squeeze it in where we can.
Speaker 1 00:00:31 We do. And I love that we give each other the flexibility to say, I don’t have the time this week. So we took a week off last week. You had a huge conference that you were part of and I just had the everyday part of whatever happens in life going on and yeah, definitely
Speaker 2 00:00:49 P speakers. You like got that out. Like I, from the time that you were like, Hey, look what I’m working on and then getting it out and then all the notoriety and what, over 200 speakers registered on it now?
Speaker 1 00:01:00 Yeah, there’s like 210. It’s insanity. And it was during the AAM conference as well, which I was helping staff the, the networking lounge. So it was a little crazy week. So when you were like, I don’t have time this week, I was like, hoo. Because I didn’t know how it was gonna fit it in either. So I love that we gave each other grace that way, so I love that. Thank you.
Speaker 2 00:01:18 Yeah, thank you. But
Speaker 1 00:01:20 Yeah, and I think that, you know, we were, I was, I was reading a blog post you put out last, I dunno if you put out yesterday or when you put it out this week though and
Speaker 2 00:01:28 Yeah. Yesterday.
Speaker 1 00:01:30 And you were paying attention to what was happening with WP speakers and we were, we both have so much that we’ve learned over the last week. It’s like I can share some of what I learned and I would love to hear cause I read your post and oh my gosh woman, you are an amazing writer. Like the first paragraph, okay, I’m gonna be honest, I was laying in bed reading on my phone and I’m like, I, I’m really grateful for the soundproofing in my condo because otherwise people upstairs would’ve been like, what is she gagging, giggling? Like giggling. That’s what giggling about because I was just like, you, you hooked me right in. I can’t even remember exactly what you said, but something about being a, what was the, what was the line? I texted it to you cuz I was like, oh my god.
Speaker 2 00:02:15 Yeah. What did I, I say I, I pulled it up. It’s the jokes that I crack, that I crack all the time and you know, as soon as I ran, okay, so what we’re talking about is there was this, um, so there’s this marketing mastermind group that I’m a part of and somebody started using it to do headshots and I’m like, well my headshots are ancient and I’m getting ancient so let’s like update ’em. So you update, you upload like 10 to 15, 20 of pictures of yourself and it spits out headshots of you and, but it’s not really you right? ? No. So it was like, I’m really,
Speaker 1 00:02:49 It’s, it’s an art. It’s a, it’s an AI artist interpretation of you.
Speaker 2 00:02:55 Yeah.
Speaker 1 00:02:57 In case you, it’s you.
Speaker 2 00:02:59 Yeah. I guess it’s, it was just very disconcerting cuz it wasn’t, you know, my vision of me. Right. It really made me have to like, I, I looked at him probably like when I first got ’em, I looked at ’em all for like an hour just looking at each and every one. And
Speaker 1 00:03:13 There’s a lot of ’em, right?
Speaker 2 00:03:15 There was a hundred and there’s a lot, some of, some of them made me look like I was starting a country music career cuz it’s just like in a field, you know? And then others were like real estate agent, like I look like a real estate agent. And uh, you said,
Speaker 1 00:03:31 You said some make me look like I’m starting my country music career and some made me look like I’m getting ready to sell Dave and Cheryl a split level in Naperville. I was on the floor laughing at that one. I’m like, not just a real estate agent, but selling Dave and Sherri a split level in Naperville. . My god, that was awesome.
Speaker 2 00:03:49 . Yeah, well they were just like so hyperrealistic and then there were some, like, I, I was posting ’em on like Facebook and stuff and Michelle Butcher Jones was like, Hey, that one look makes you look like you’re going to a Pagely yacht party. . So it was like all neon and stuff. So everybody was like cracking jokes about ’em cuz they were just so funny. They were just like antithetical to how I see myself. But because of that, it challenged what I see myself as mm-hmm. . And so I started thinking about like, how does AI going to change the way we think about lots of different things. Yeah. So like, if you are a business and you ask AI to help you with your brand, how does it change the way it, like, does it come back and say, Hey, you know, your key market is this market over here where you’re just like, but I’m targeting, wait a minute, that market might be kind of interesting.
Speaker 2 00:04:40 I wonder why. And then you dig a little so it, it has an opportunity to see things in such a different way and in some ways absurdly, but there’s so much creativity that comes out of absurdity, right? Mm-hmm. , like you hear these stories of like big businesses bringing in improv people to teach them creativity. And so like, there’s this exercise called Yes. And, and it just leads you into tubs and like there’s a pink elephant in the room Yes. And it’s wearing green boots and it’s got a friend that is a giraffe that’s wearing green boots too. Yes. And, and you just have to keep Yes. Ending mm-hmm. until like all of this absurdity happens. Well if you apply that to a problem in business or on a team, like how can that, you know, add to the way we see our reality in a creative way mm-hmm. because everybody’s, you know, like, oh, plagiarism and the internet’s going to be full of all of these copycat articles that people are just spitting out from chat G p T and everything. Mm-hmm. . And so everybody’s kind of got this like, negative view on ai. But I think AI can, if used in the right way, spur creativity and make things better. Mm-hmm. . But we have to use in way, I think part of it,
Speaker 1 00:05:54 We have to use it creatively though. That’s the thing, right? Like if you are putting in very basic prompts, you are going to get very basic writing. Yeah. If you put in creative prompts and you tell it what kind of voice you want it to use, and you can start to, you can really, it you create the scenario that it will accommodate. Right? Right. Um, except for the case of pictures where you’re just like, okay, just show me what you got kinda thing. But yeah. And you, and you can of course just be like, you could ask chat g p t give me 10 ideas, four and it’s gonna give you a list of ideas. So yes, you can be very creative in how you approach it. I have barely scratched the surface myself. I’ve used it for very few things. Um, but super excited about digging in a little bit more For sure.
Speaker 2 00:06:43 Yeah. Yeah. It’s, I think
Speaker 1 00:06:44 The first
Speaker 2 00:06:45 Pictures,
Speaker 1 00:06:46 The first picture I saw you post, I, I just, I look, you know, I’m always, I’m of course we’re always drawn to faces, right? The we’re humans. You, you see a picture, the, you’re not looking at a shoulder, you’re looking at the face. And I was like, that’s a beautiful picture of Kathy. Now I, I read the, the first part of what you had posted that it was an AI generated picture. So I know it wasn’t like a photograph, photograph. And then I looked down because I finished reading what she wrote and I was like, oh, she does have three hands. That’s not normal , but it’s a good picture of you if you want me to take, I could Photoshop out that third hand for you. .
Speaker 2 00:07:22 Now you just crop it. But it to me, that one, that was one of the ones where it was like, okay, now I look a little bit like Christina Aguilar or something like that, you know, or, but the alien Apple Gate. Yeah.
Speaker 1 00:07:32 Alien version. ,
Speaker 2 00:07:34 Yeah. With a third hand. That was just so, and then, and then if you look really close on that particular picture, my mouth is like half open, half clo like, is it open or closed? Cuz there’s like a lip and teeth at the same plate. It’s really weird. And so there’s like all these like little bizarre things about it. Some of them were, some of the pictures that came back were really great. And you know, it’s, it’s funny cause I show them, I show them to my husband and he’s like, I’m like, who is this person? And he’s like, Vicky your sis your sister. And he’s like, yeah. I’m like, do any of ’em look like me? No. They look like Vicky .
Speaker 1 00:08:12 That’s hysterical.
Speaker 2 00:08:14 What is going on in his brain? I wish I could ai his brain because
Speaker 1 00:08:17 For sure it’s
Speaker 2 00:08:18 Just a little augmentation to like, fill in some of those weird gaps where things just are not making the inferential leaps
Speaker 1 00:08:27 Some more, some AI synapses perhaps .
Speaker 2 00:08:31 Yeah, yeah, yeah.
Speaker 1 00:08:33 I hear ya. Oh my gosh. probably. You never know. You never know. Yeah, for sure. Oh my goodness. That’s hysterical. And, and of course my learning experience last week was around, okay, so one of the , one of the things that Hazel Kimbo and I, we have a, a podcast called Ity Marketing. And she said, let’s talk about WP speakers and the audacity of how you did that. Right? So , I like to call foolishness audacity because it makes it sound like I made it a, like a bold decision as opposed to, hey, let’s just see what happens, right? Yeah. But on Monday of last week, I started working on a website, literally Monday was like, okay, and of course I use Cadence because I can build a site so freaking fast with Cadence, right? Yeah. Does it look like a cadence site a little bit, right? Because I, I modify and make things my own, I swap out pictures, all of that stuff that you do, right? So it doesn’t look like a cookie cutter site. And that’s what I love about Cadence is they don’t have to look like cookie cutter sites because Right. You can do whatever you want with it. Anyway, this is not a plug for cadence, but it is, it’s just a, an appreciation for the tools that I have. Kind of a plug for cadence. But what I mean is they’re not sponsoring us.
Speaker 1 00:09:51 But, so I, I started building the site on Monday. Um, my, one of my best friends Mark West Guard with WS form, he, I have, I have a license to use it wherever I want, whenever I want, which I love. So I have WS form on there to start to capture all the data. Yeah. And then like, how am I gonna display it? So he had messaged Katie Keith at Barn two plugins and she gave me a license for her product, which I can never remember the name of it. Pro Table Display, I think. And I didn’t know how to get like, from the form to actually displaying things and, you know, bless Mark, he got on a call with me and like, boom, boom, boom, boom, boom. I spend four hours trying to figure it out. He took 30 minutes and it’s done less than I love that.
Speaker 1 00:10:36 And on Wednesday I’m in the lounge at the Rim summit and I’m like, Hey guys, I did a thing. I would love to just kind show you and see what you think. So I, I put it in the chat wp speakers.com and it, it, I liked it. It definitely, I needed a little bit of tweaking and improvement here and there. Like, I a, after that point, I added languages that you can present in cuz that’s important. And I was like, what’s a soft launch? I’ll show 10 people, see what they think. So not only did those 10 people like put themselves in the database, then they started sharing it online and it went a little bit viral and basically less than a week, I had 210 people in the database. And so it was, it was, it’s been a wonderful week. It’s been a whirlwind week.
Speaker 1 00:11:26 It’s also been a little bit scary cuz like, oh man, now this thing’s taken off. Now I’ve gotta really make it really good. But what’s been really interesting is the number of people that really wanted to succeed. So over, like, within a week I had five sponsors. Um, and I’m not talking about the in-kind sponsors, like absolutely credit to the people who have given me software, provided hosting, things like that. Um, but five, five companies over, like within the last week have sponsored it, which allows me to continue to do a lot of the work that I do for free in the community. Yeah. Which I love. And then, um, I have a million other people. Okay? A million is an exaggeration. At least seven or eight people have reached out to me saying either kindly or unkindly it needs to do this too.
Speaker 1 00:12:13 Right. So a lot of people are very blunt, in how they approach you. And it’s hard not to gonna get the dander up on my, you know, the, the hairs in the back of my neck rise up. Like, what do you mean it has to do that? This is my project, not yours. Right. Um, very, very many more people kindly offer, Ooh, have you thought about this? Or, I’d be happy to help you make it do that. And to one person said, you should open source it on GitHub. And I’m like, yeah, I’m not gonna do that , I’m not gonna put my website on GitHub. Um, but also I appreciate though a hundred percent appreciate every single one of those responses. I will not be doing them all because it needs to ma it needs to keep some of its simplicity, right? The more complex it gets, the more difficult it will be for people to use, the more difficult it will be to maintain and it needs to be a resource that is useful, but not overwhelming to me or others. Right? So, um, so some of those ideas are phenomenal and will be used. Some of those ideas are phenomenal, but will not be implemented. Um, and special thanks to the people who say, I’m, I’m willing to help you make it do that if it’s something that you want to do as opposed to just like, you need to do this and dropping the hammer like that. Right? So it has been, that’s
Speaker 2 00:13:36 A sign,
Speaker 1 00:13:37 That’s
Speaker 2 00:13:38 A sign that you’ve hit success. That you know when, when everybody wants, you know, that they feel an investment towards making it the way they want it to be. Mm-hmm. , it’s just a side effect of being successful. I see that with cadence. The, the number of people who like to give advice or feature requests or why can’t it, uh, or mm-hmm. , you know, everybody’s got something to say and sometimes it’s great and you’re like, okay, great. This is great con constructive criticism. I always wanna hear that. Cause I’m always like wanting everything to be better. But Cadence hits a a stride of success and everybody wants to tell us how to do things. Yes. And luckily Ben has great boundaries, , and he very much has a vision for where he’s going. And you, you have to cultivate that too with mm-hmm. where you’re, because you, it hit an earth, it hit a resonance with your audience and you’ve hit success. So now it’s like really being discerning about what, where you want it to go, right? Mm-hmm. . Yeah. What’s the vision for what this looks like for you in five years?
Speaker 1 00:14:50 Exactly. Five parts. And, and, and my biggest thing is I, I like, I, how do I say this? I tell other people to value their time monetarily, right? Yeah. So the, so the funniest thing to me over the last week is I reached out to you and I said, how much, how much should I charge for sponsorship for this? And you said, , whatever, it’s double it. That’s what you tell me to do. I was like, oh shit, I need to take my own advice on this one
Speaker 2 00:15:26 Because I was just like,
Speaker 1 00:15:28 Is
Speaker 2 00:15:29 Brand new? I don’t, I have absolutely no idea. So
Speaker 1 00:15:33 What’s, interestingly, I asked like four different people because you wanna get consensus, right? Like you wanna find out what do people value this at? And where I ended up at is $2,500 a year, but I offered five initial sponsorships at $500 a piece for the first year because I want, this is a way, number one, to get a little bit of money to, for, to cover all the time and energy and everything that goes into it, promoting it, talking about it, et cetera. And also help me continue to do the other things I do in the world. Like the WP um, career pages that I run and the tweets that I do every week. Those kind of things. I got everybody saying anything from 2,500, but one person said, well it’s not a proven concept yet, so $99 a year. I’m like, oh hell no, because then I would get 50 companies at $99 a year, which yes, would’ve been more money than I have now. But the but the responsibility to your sponsors is another thing that people don’t understand, right? So what you say you do for sponsorship, you have to do for sponsorship. And if I had to be tweeting out about 99 different companies for $99 a piece, that’s way more time and energy than that $99 would’ve been worth for the year. Right?
Speaker 2 00:16:50 Right.
Speaker 1 00:16:50 So, right. I I but I thank everybody for their inputs and you know, somehow land in between everybody’s and come up with what I think is the sweet spot and uh, I kind of go from there . So
Speaker 2 00:17:01 Yeah, yeah, yeah. You have to make it worth year while and you have to make it worth the companies or the sponsors while too, like it has to be something of value. Mm-hmm. It’s not like just, you know, I don’t know, like a plugin .
Speaker 1 00:17:17 Yeah, exactly.
Speaker 2 00:17:18 Not to diminish plugins. You guys guys are awesome. I love all of the plug-ins and I love paid plug-ins and we’re, I can support a developer, but it’s, this requires attention. You know, it, so if you do something that doesn’t require attention is very scaled, you can charge less. But this requires like focused attention and focused one-on-one consultation types of things. And that has to, it has to get higher dial. That’s just like how this works.
Speaker 1 00:17:45 Yeah, absolutely. So yeah, so it’s been a week of learning for us both and it’s been a whirlwind week. This week is also Word Camp Buffalo this weekend. So yeah. No rest, no rest for the Weary. I will be tr uh, all over the place in Buffalo this weekend for that. Um, but I do get to see a lot of our, uh, stellar and Nexus people, cuz I’ll see Tim Timothy Jacobs from Ithe will be there, um, speaking on security. I will be there. I’m trying to think, gosh, I don’t wanna forget anybody. Uh, Jeff, um, Betencourt from support or from Customer Success will be there from, he was give now he’s actually, um, they reorged us all, but he’s still at Stellar, WP of course. And then we’ve got a bunch of Nexus people that are gonna be there. Mary Beth Smith’s doing her first talk in WordPress. Oh, I know. I’m excited for her there. And then, uh, gosh, I am forgetting people. Um,
Speaker 2 00:18:39 Jeff Chandlers coming up. I know that Jeff
Speaker 1 00:18:41 Chandler’s coming up. Chris. Yep. Christine Cloud’s gonna be there and there’s somebody else. And I’m sorry if you listen to the podcast and I can’t remember who you are, , but I’ll see you this weekend, , I give you a great bang hug. But um, yeah, it’s gonna be a busy but good weekend and um, already looking forward to Sunday when I can get home and take a nap, .
Speaker 2 00:18:59 Yeah, I bet. No matter how long a Word Camp is, it takes a lot of attention and
Speaker 1 00:19:05 Lot of energy. Yeah.
Speaker 2 00:19:06 Yeah.
Speaker 1 00:19:08 I’m gonna be talking about how, uh, my talk is called. So you wanna launch a podcast, ? Yeah, I’m gonna be talking about that. Which, uh, the first time I ever gave that was over at, um, the Cadence Amplify event. So Yeah.
Speaker 2 00:19:21 Yeah. And I still need to pull that up. Oh,
Speaker 1 00:19:23 For you, . It’s OK, worries. I haven’t
Speaker 2 00:19:25 Downloaded, I just haven’t, oh my gosh. The podcast I did for Cadence last time I did it. So I was on, I was doing a seminar last Thursday, but the only way I could get all the calendars from the stars to align, I had to like, jump out of the conference to do this podcast and something happened to my mic and I sound terrible. And so then I try to adjust it and I, so I adjust it to using this like studio sound and I sound better. And then it took Shane Pearlman’s audio and made his crap and I’m just like, I just do not have time for this. I, oh man, it took so long to edit. It’s definitely a retrograde. But anyway, yeah, I’ve been like all about AI lately cuz I do the Woo, we recorded that this week and that was all about ai. So every podcast is like, every conversation is all ai this AI that cadence is gonna, you will be astounded with some of the stuff, cadence, I know you’re a big Cadence fan and you build out the cadence I the next site that you build with Cadence, if it’s using Cadence ai, you’re just gonna be floored. Like literally, yay.
Speaker 1 00:20:30 Like, I can’t remember the site,
Speaker 2 00:20:32 The five minute install from WordPress. It’s just gonna be like the five minute website.
Speaker 1 00:20:37 Wow. Crazy. Yeah. I love it. And and that’s the, and and, and I’ll say, so a lot of what happens in WordPress is people like, oh, WordPress is better than Wick because it’s just, it is better. And it, and I agree it is right, but one of the things that Gen Z or millennials or I don’t know, I’m a Gen X, whatever, but um, they want quick and easy, right? They want it to look good. Yeah. They want it quick. And I think tools like what you’re discu describing, what we’re discussing, um, is what’s gonna help move WordPress into those next generations for, for easy, easier adoption. And I’m super excited to hear about it. And look, I mean, I built a site in less than, well in three days I launched a site that’s got this kind of, um, popularity already and that was with the current tool. So I can’t even imagine Yeah. How much it’s gonna revolutionize what we do in WordPress. So super excited to see it.
Speaker 2 00:21:35 It’s
Speaker 1 00:21:35 Gonna be, you’ll have to let me, you’ll have to let uh, my next website, whatever it is. Um, you’ll have to get me on that Cadence podcast cuz I think it’s one of the few I haven’t been on just saying ,
Speaker 2 00:21:46 Look at you on,
Speaker 1 00:21:48 I’m just kidding. Get you on. We’ve been whatever works with,
Speaker 2 00:21:51 With Cadence Blocks three, like that release and then yeah, now we’re doing the Pro, which is like, it’s, and it’s not just like, oh, we’re adding new features. This was a foundational like, rewrite of everything. So it was like just a ton. And so yeah, podcast can’t imagine just like last on the list of anything that gets done . So try to do like, oh, okay, well let’s do something, let’s talk to somebody else and leave Ben alone for a week.
Speaker 1 00:22:15 . Yeah,
Speaker 2 00:22:15 I’ve been doing some of that, so,
Speaker 1 00:22:17 And of course I’m just teasing, but you know, I’m, I’m there to, if there’s anything I can do to, to help, I’m all about it. So Yeah, for sure. I love working with you. Likewise. Which is why we were like, I don’t know if y’all remember, but one day I said to Kathy, Adam, it was a Friday, Hey, I wanna do a project with you. I don’t know what it looks like. And she’s like, I know I wanna work with you too. And I’m like, wanna start a podcast? She’s like, sure, what do we do? I’m like, let’s just try to motivate people. Okay, let’s record the first episode today and yeah, build the website over the weekend to publish it on Monday. Ok. And we did love it. So yeah, those au audacious, like spur of the moment decisions can sometimes be freaking amazing. And so that’s what it’s . We should rename, we should rename this WP Michelle and Kathy hype each other up.com
Speaker 2 00:23:06 , pretty much. Yeah.
Speaker 1 00:23:09 I love it.
Speaker 2 00:23:10 Yeah.
Speaker 1 00:23:11 Too fun. All right, well I’ll see you all on the flip side of, uh, word Camp Buffalo and, uh, we don’t know what we’re gonna talk about next week. Maybe we’ll talk about, uh, WordPress being 20 years old and a little bit of our own journeys. That can be kind of fun, but who knows? Yeah, a lot can have between now and then . Yeah. We’ll see all next week. Thanks. Bye
Speaker 2 00:23:33 Bye. Hi,
Speaker 3 00:23:35 This has been WP Motivate with Kathy Zant and Michelle Frechette. To learn more or to sponsor us, go to wpMotivate.com.