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"You still have a blog??? What about AI??"
About half the times that I mention my love of blogging, I am met with a look of sheer disbelief.
"You have a blog??"
You'd think I was telling people that I ran a lucrative MySpace page with Tomagatchi-care advice, not a relatively sophisticated website discussing travel and family affairs.
People's shock tends to be rooted in two separate ideas: first, they seem to think blogging is a relic of a bygone era; second, if anyone still managed to continue doing this past 2007, they think all blogs were automatically "killed" by AI.
So, in true blogger fashion, let's walk through a few of the reasons blogging certainly isn't dead.
People read and engage with "blogs" all the time, without realizing it
A "blog" is a regularly updated website or web page, typically one run by an individual or small group, that is written in an informal or conversational style
Though they certainly can be, a blog is so much more than a diary posted on the internet. A website run by a person to share their thoughts, experiences, travel advice, shopping tips, and recipes (any or all of these), is a blog.
That website you perused to find "off the beaten path tips" for your trip to Tuscany? It's a blog. The website saved in your favorites with all of those great weeknight dinner recipes? It's a blog.
Blogs, especially these days, can be very slick, and often might more accurately be considered "websites." Many websites that started in our more traditional idea of a "blog" have transformed into lucrative businesses with multiple employees. The main source of....less nice...comments I receive here are on my blog appear to be from people who don't seem to understand that this is a website run for fun.
The term "blog" has also, somewhat paradoxically, come to include people who run only Instagram or Facebook pages. Back in the day, those people, the early influencers, also had websites. But, many of those actual websites have been neglected in favor of the sometimes more profitable method of selling items through links shared directly on social media, without the intermediary of an actual website.
Ok, so we accept that we are interacting with blogs fairly often.
Won't AI kill all the blogs?
To believe that blogging could be "killed" by artificial intelligence is to fundamentally misunderstand the purpose and nature of blogging.
The purpose of blogging is to share one's opinions, feelings, experiences, thoughts, and/or style with others. The motivation is personal, creative, and ultimately seeking. You put yourself out there as a blogger hoping that people will connect with you. I am spending time writing this post during my invaluable nap time hours because I hope to discuss it with others.
The nature of blogging is interpersonal. Why do we buy from influencers? Because we feel that someone with more knowledge than us is sharing an opinion we value. Why do we keep coming back to the same influencers? Because we like them and feel a connection with them.
A robot cannot tell me about its experience. A robot cannot tell me if a location is "worth" visiting to them. I cannot connect with a robot. I do not value a robot's amalgamated conglomeration of plagiarized human thoughts on a topic.
We're looking to talk to, and connect with, other humans.
If I haven't convinced you yet...
If you're somehow not swayed by the argument that blogging is about a human connection, fine. Maybe you're a robot. Maybe you haven't tried AI.
Give it a shot.
I have used AI to help me write a blog post, and I think that's as far as it's ever even remotely going to be helpful. AI can take away some of the more mundane elements of running a blog and the affiliated social media. Maybe it can help come up with the caption for an Instagram post. But the human still needs to understand the platform. Maybe it can help a writer build our her paragraph structure. But the writer needs to have visited the location she's writing about.
A raw, AI-generated article sounds like it was copy-pasted from a million different websites, without proofreading or fact checking, with only the vaguest sense of the fact that no reader wants to read the author's thesis seven times in a one-page post.
Blogging isn't dead.
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