Personal Blogs are no longer personal when AI gets too involved

18 Mar 2024 23:19 UTC

We're hoping to share resources and content in the Black Python Devs Discord and even promote a few pieces in our newsletter and we've run into a terrible problem.

Every article we find on and seem to have been written by some AI tool.

Back at it again with the AI hate, Jay

Nah that isn't it at all. I've used ChatGPT to help write blog posts in the past. The key word there is HELP. I would say over 95% of a ChatGPT assisted post from me is my words.

Help me ChatGPT

Here's how I do it

I write what I would. If I'm stuck on a particular sentence I would say "Help me convey '' in 1-2 sentences." Then I would read that statement and then put it in my words and keep it moving. Or if it lost that personal touch I'd skip it and keep it moving.

ChatGPT missing the mark

I may also feel like my grammar is atrocious and say, "Can you WITHOUT changing my words correct my grammar. Put the output in markdown format". Then I diff the text to see what changed and make a judgement on a case-by-case basis.

But writing is hard

I hear you. That's why I don't write nearly as much as I should. The key to this is remember who you're writing this for. If it's for yourself why would you copy/paste AI explanations when you can have AI explain it again.

If writing is not your thing that is okay. There are other ways of communication that you can lean on to help. If you are better at talking through a point, then create audio or even video (you can also publish these) and use AI to transcribe your content and then modify it to read better.

If you feel like you have to let AI write most of your content...

Please, Please, Please...

Edit the text to make it sound more personal.

I get that the world is moving in the direction of we let AI do things we don't want to do or like but I sincerely challenge the thought that you HAVE to have a blog. You should have something, but it doesn't have to be a written blog. I wish there were more dev-vlogs and personal podcasts.

That said make what you like to make and if you like to make AI copy/pasta...

Tyler the Creator saying "okay" in the most like whatever tone

Care is a human trait

I'm also not saying you can't teach AI to sound more and more like you. The question is still should YOU?

I think there are folks that can benefit from having AI train on your data and write things to sound like you. But I doubt you should do that for your personal blog. (Unless you're getting paid for what you write and then I argue that it's not really your personal blog anymore).

Even if you include in your prompt be whimsical, personal, and funny, it will feel inauthentic. It also devalues the sentiment for beginners to "document what you did, because how you explain it can help someone else". If we're telling ChatGPT to "explain this concept using X outline", then we're not getting the personality or MOST IMPORTANTLY the trained skill in documenting experiences.

Writing personal blogs outlining your experiences help you build those communication skills that you WILL need the further you go in your development career.

Captain Holt says that doesn't sound good

The beauty of even the worst writers sharing their experience on the blog is that it often comes with lessons learned and pain points. Often with technical posts, I'm reading what you're doing to probably follow along. In some cases AI will mess up explaining steps or will gloss over the "WHY" you are doing something in a particular order.

AI and internationalization

I admit I'm torn on this. I think AI is a great tool for folks that are hoping to have their content translated into a different language. That said, I think you can preserve some level of personalization if you write the post in your most comfortable language and then have it translated by AI. There are some other things you can do that I'll highlight later.

Alternative thought for your personal blog.

What's better: To write content in your most comfortable language and encourage others to translate (or support internationalization) your content.

My Advice (for what it's worth)

Obviously if you're reading this and not getting ChatGPT to summarize it for you. You care about my words to some degree.

If you're doing this to get hired... stop

Seriously I've talked to people who are partially responsible for some of the most respected technical content on the internet. They are in hiring positions and they have flat out said if you are a copy/paste artist, they will not hire you. You have a better chance of not having a blog and getting hired.

If you're doing this to help your future self...make it personal

The last thing you want to do is copy/paste something from AI that you didn't test or try and didn't include screenshots, output, and personal notes to yourself. Steps can be found all across the internet. Make yours personal to you and for those that are struggling with the same problems you are and may think like you do.

If you're doing this to create content in another language...Learn about that communities writing style.

I suggest thinking about the tone of your content and editing your content to fit the tone of the community. I was taught the same thing for speaking in communities where English isn't the primary language.

It also helps to establish "Who this content is for" and you can often make a note saying this content was originally published in LANGUAGE and translated. This context is very helpful for a native speaker that may wonder about your word-choice.

An easy way to do this is to use AI and ask for information about the usual tone of voice in written content for that language.

Using AI to help you figure out the tone of your content


I used AI in this post. It didn't write any words for me but I did check for voice by asking of a summary and checking to see if I sounded like yet another "AI will doom us all".


GIR Doom

Personal Blogs are personal. Don't be afraid to be unprofessional or imperfect.

If I find your blog because of your catchy title and then feel a sense of betrayal because you didn't share your experience and instead shared that of AI, I'm clicking away and never coming back...

Praise in personality

Finally, here are some amazing tech blogs that have personality bleeding from all their open ports. Some are super technical but still very personal feeling.