Oct 11, 2023

Does anyone write real blog posts anymore?

EDIT: 31/10/2023

The competition is now closed, out of all the entries no one successfully guessed the sentence which was quite interesting.

I have a screenshot of the sentence at the end of the blog post for any curious cats out there.

Feel free to read the post and see if you can guess the sentence without looking at the screenshot below, good luck!

Thank you again to everyone that entered the competition.


I will give $500AUD to whoever guesses the Bard Chatbot generated sentence in this blog post, read to the end and see if you can spot the difference. It’s like a where’s wally with words. More info at the end of the post.

Ok, so…

Why on Earth pay someone money to guess a Chatbot generated sentence within my blog post? To raise awareness and make a point.

Real writers exist that write real and authentic blogs. Content that you read and think, wow, what a fantastic post.

In my recent searches of the internet I constantly stumble across blog posts with little sense, devoid of personality, an inconsistent writing style, and plugged with 1 billion affiliate links. As a generally sceptical person I now read things with double the scepticism than before. Every post I read I can’t help but think: did they really write this or was it ChatGPT?

With the rise of Chatbots such as ChatGPT, Bard, Microsoft Bing AI, they generate a decent enough sentence that makes you question whether a real human wrote it or not (sometimes).

As a Software Engineer I read many posts related to technology. I love to read one blog in particular by David Heinemeier Hansson, or better known as DHH, who writes his posts with passion and a strong opinion. Even if I disagree with his opinions on certain topics I find his point of view interesting. For me, that is a real blog. Something interesting and written by a real and authentic individual, not a Chatbot. DHH… I really hope you write your own posts, or I will look pretty silly here!

I got an idea but don’t steal it please

As a web developer people love to tell me about their ideas or new ventures, I don’t ask but I receive them none the less. One in particular that I hear recently is: “I want to create a blog with posts written by ChatGPT”. They explain that they will build a following with generated content, run ads, and shove in affiliate links to earn money. So, I thought I would test it. With less than a minute I prodded Google’s shiny new Chat AI called Bard to spew me out a blog post on “how to write a blog post”.

A conversation between me and Bard AI created by Google, I ask it to create me a very long blog post on how to write a blog and it responds with the blog post.
Me getting some advice from Bard. Thanks mate.

As seen in the screenshot, it spat out a pretty average post, devoid of emotion or strong opinion, it almost reads like a boring textbook. Of course I could sit there giving it more and more information, prodding it into another direction, updating the particular paragraphs… or I could just cut the middle man and write the blog post myself! I doubt a quality blog post can be written off of just one sentence, just like my favourite and well renowned author Nassim Taleb said on X (formally Twitter) that the entropy of a post or essay will match the entropy of the Chatbot output, nothing more and nothing less. Let that one sink in!

Nassim Taleb on X (formally Twitter) explaining the entropy of Chatbot responses.
Nassim Taleb teaching on Twitter.

I write the blog, not the machine

I myself run a blog, the one you’re currently reading through my company Sanico Software that I run with my brother Dom. We write blog posts for two reasons: reflection and education, with the side-effect of advertisement for our company. Advertisement as a side-effect, not the main objective!

So first up, reflection. When I write a blog post it gives me a chance to reflect on a specific topic. A silent moment between me and the computer with only the sound of the drumming reverbnation from my MacOS keyboard. I love to write my blog because it gives me the time and space to reflect on my experiences, learn from my mistakes, and grow as a person. If others find my experiences and reflections interesting then I deem that a bonus. Can you really put a monetary value on that?

Second up, education. As a Software Engineer I first started with nothing. Zero knowledge. I learnt everything I know through trial and error, reading many online blogs, trudging through endless programming books, and learning from others. My blog gives me a platform to write educational and reflective blog posts to help give back to the community of bloggers that helped me over the years. A payback to the community for everything it taught me.

Lastly, the side-effect of advertisement. For every 1 in 4 posts that I write I receive an enquiry that usually leads to a new client. On average my client work values within the thousands of dollars, hence, from a business standpoint a blog makes sense from a monetary point of view. Much more value than the big dollars necessary for a Google, Facebook or Instagram ad. People seem to very much appreciate real, authentic, and valuable content.

I write the blog posts for myself first, if someone else appreciates it then I am glad. If not, I still receive a moment of peace to write about something that I find interesting. However, if I wrote blog posts just for advertisement I would have stopped years ago. How many crappy blog posts exist that seem auto-generated, written by chatGPT or lack a personality? Blogs such as DHH express strong opinions from individuals, some with merit, some with BS but either way it provides a platform for free expression.

I am unable to write something that I dislike writing. It’s a waste of my time and an insult to any reader that reads my post. I write my blog posts because I am interested in the topic, found something interesting or wanted to reflect about a certain topic. Unfiltered, raw, and to the point.

The Money Shot

As someone who writes my own blog posts I am actually quite happy Chatbots exist because they create such low quality robotic replies that consequently well written blogs with a personality stand out like a shining light. Even if the sceptic in me begins to doubt the authenticity of every blog post I read lately.

Alright, done. Did you notice the sentence generated by Bard the friendly neighbourhood AI Chatbot? If so, send me your entry to [email protected], or alternatively DM me on Instagram or Linkedin, just make sure to follow my page on the platform you message me otherwise you will most likely not receive my DM if you win. Only one person will win, you have until the 26th of October 2023 to submit the sentence from this blog that you believe was generated from Bard.

Did you find the post interesting? Was the concept of a hidden sentence fun? Could a Chatbot come up with the same unique idea? Could a Chatbot write this whole post off of a one sentence statement? I will leave you to reflect on some of those questions.


EDIT: 31/10/2023 - WARNING CONTAINS SPOLIERS

The generated sentence was…

.

.

.

.

.

.

.

.

.

.

.

“I love to write my blog because it gives me the time and space to reflect on my experiences, learn from my mistakes, and grow as a person.”

The sentence I generated with Google Bard for the competition of this blog post.