AI has liberated us

In Ruben’s piece on rules you don’t have to follow, one jumped out:

Rules on keeping “content” fresh, expanding your engagement, writing headings with keywords, and other SEO hacks. These used to be a great way to churn out stuff to generate money, but LLMs have you beat here. It’s not worth writing now unless it’s something you want to do, which perhaps is a silver lining to the modern web.

Writing in order to make money via display ads is not really needed any more. There may still be a place in the world for information interspersed with ads, but let’s leave that particular fight to the bottom with the robots.

There is definitely still a need and an opportunity for writers to sell their work to readers directly through subscription (substack and other platforms enable this). We might reach a point in the future where people are happy to pay robots to generate content for them but, for now at least, human writers have the monopoly in competing for reader dollars where they exist.

And that is indeed a silver lining to the modern web. Writers can publish work because they want to, not because they need to monetise it in some way.

I don’t allow my sites to be indexed by search engines. The reason is not because I’m anti-scraping, but because trying to please the google search console is not on my list of priorities.

I did have my diary on google at one point, but of 250 articles it only indexed 120, and had an endless list of complaints about the others. I couldn’t really be bothered trying to get to the bottom of why, so removed them all.

Since the launch of chatgpt in November 2022, my web experience has improved immeasurably. I have started two blogs, spend zero time on social media and consume 90% of content through RSS.

If AI is indeed a black hole, then we need to put measures in place to stay away from the event horizon. Its presence has certainly liberated me from my old web habits, and for that I’m grateful.

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