An Interview with Sabrina Liao | WordCamp Taipei 2019 Speaker

An Interview with Sabrina Liao

WordCamp Taipei 2019 concluded with huge success last month on 28th December at GIS NTU Convention Center in Taipei. This was the second of its kind and it received a lot of love and support from WordPressers around the world. There were many amazing speakers at WCTPE who inspired attendees to learn and grow. Sabrina Liao was one of the speakers and she presented some easy web tools and how we could use them for WP Automation.

Sabrina Liao has worked at a top agency on global brands in Asia as a Creative Director. Her work consists of UX research and educating future designers/developers at universities and providing digital solutions to Fortune 500 companies as well as government agencies. She has an extensive background in music, published seven books in Technology, life in New York City and Chinese Astrology, and also an avid tennis player / Federer fan. She looks forward to meeting, sharing and learning from other WordPress enthusiasts at WordCamps Worldwide. Sabrina is scheduled to speak at WordCamp Riverside in November.

It was an absolute delight to interview Sabrina Liao and we are very thankful. Thank you, Sabrina, for taking out time for this interview.

Here’s the full interview:

Please provide us your short introduction and how you started your WordPress journey.

I built my first site in static HTML, which led to the publishing of my first book “A Taiwanese in New York”, and my second site also led to the publishing of my first English book “Chinese Astrology by Sabrina Liao”. Then, I became the Creative Director at a global agency and built the award-winning Coca Cola Asia site completely in Flash. Later, I moved to Maryland to work/teach/do research in Usability at the HCIL, University of Maryland (UMD) and joined the National Institute of Health (NIH) after that to work on health-related projects. Now, I have a small firm – iCloud9 and provide digital solutions to clients in the public and private sectors. Additionally, I enjoy attending and speaking at WordCamp Worldwide.

My first experience with WordPress was at least 10 years back when it was known mainly for blogging. However, Drupal was heavily in use in the D.C area, so, I didn’t start using WordPress for official projects until 2013 when I got an urgent call for help to build an event registration site in few days. And without a doubt, WordPress came to the rescue and the rest is history.

How do you keep yourself updated with the latest news and trends in WordPress and the web overall?

Some may think having a career in digital solutions is exhausting as everything is constantly changing and evolving. However, I see this as exhilarating and I can’t wait to see the next big things and keep learning to update myself with all the technology trends and visions.

So, to keep ourselves updated, I believe we simply need to 1) SEE MORE – by reading more articles, blogs, and news; 2) LISTEN MORE – by checking out more videos, podcasts, webinars, live talks on WordPress and various technology trends and then finally, 3) SPEAK MORE – by attending and speaking at more WordCamps so we can share and learn from each other.

By the way, I will begin to blog technology trends and tips on digisasa.com in few weeks, so be sure to check it out and share your insights and comments with me.

How excited were you to be speaking at WordCamp Taipei 2019? And what was your talk about?

WordCamp Taipei 2019 is my second time speaking at a WordCamp. However, as someone who was born and raised in Taiwan, I could not be prouder or more excited to be back in Taipei and met all the talents here.

My topic was “Beyond WordPress – automation & integration with no coding”. And I believe we can all benefit, in one way or another, from these automation tools to help make our lives easier.

Can you tell us a little about WordPress Automation and Integration?

When it comes to WordPress automation, the first thing most people want is to trigger a series of automated tasks when a new post is created. This can be as simple as posting to Facebook, Twitter, and Instagram. However, if you want, you can even expand your automation to Dropbox, Google Sheet, Mailchimp, Gmail and many more web tools like a series of actions.

Once you have an automation in place, you can just turn it on, sit back and forget about it.

What kinds of web tools are best for automating our posting in WordPress?

If you want to automate posting in WordPress. Then my first pick would be IFTTT, as it has tons of ready-to-use applets for you to connect already. However, if you want to be creative and go wild to trigger like 15 web apps when a new post is created, then I recommend using Integromat or Zapier so you have the flexibility to customize your automation to perfection.

How can we make the best out of such tools?

Well, JUST DO IT. I do not work for Nike, but they really have the best slogan EVER. 😉

As an educator teaching at NYU and the University of Maryland over the years, I always tell my students to remember these 3 words.

So, find something you want to automate and then just do it. You will learn from each experience and get better each time, period.

Where do you see WordPress in the coming 5 years with WP automation?

Although WordPress is an amazing platform, it has its limitations. Therefore, it is inevitable to see the growth in WordPress integration with other web tools. I believe these will become the norm for every project and I can’t wait to see some creative and powerful integrations in the near future.

Which platforms do you think are in competition with WordPress and what could be the possible threats from competitors?

Well, I don’t see threats nor competitions. Instead, I see integrations and collaborations. ^_^

Do you have any suggestions for web developers who are looking for easier ways to get things done in WordPress?

I may be biased, but my suggestion is simply these 2 words – automation and integration. 😉

And lastly, we heard you have an extensive music background; could you tell us a little about that and what kind of music you’re into?

Although I’ve been studying Classical music almost my entire life, I also had experiences competing in a Chinese orchestra; singing and dancing Broadway & Pop tunes for school plays and local events; and composing music for animation, dancers and even TV shows.

However, my music days are behind me now.  And I only record and post cover versions of favorite Christmas music on SoundCloud & YouTube during the holiday seasons now and then.

Nevertheless, I must have music playing whenever I work – I play Classical music when I want to relax, play New Age when I need to write, play Pop or Hip-Hop when I don’t need to think; play R&B when it is cloudy; and play random music when my mind is a blank.

So do you have any music to recommend?

Feel free to connect with me on Twitter or digisasa.com.

It was such an honor for us to be interviewing this versatile personality who inspires learners and help them grow. DevotePress, once again, would like to thank Sabrina Liao for this informative interview. We wish her all the very best for her future endeavors.

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An Interview with Yuli Yang – Lead Organizer of WordCamp Taipei 2019
An Interview with Travis Chang – WordCamp Taipei 2019 Speaker
WCTPE2019 Stars: An Interview with Siew Kam Onn

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