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Using ChatGPT To Write My Blog Articles

For those unaware, my first blog post here was written almost entirely by ChatGPT. Yes, the AI craze is taking the world by storm, and I decided to hop on the bandwagon. I had already been experimenting with ChatGPT - mostly using it as a sort of pair programmer to help me write code snippets to build this website. The results were pretty impressive! More often than not ChatGPT would output completely functional code that solved my problems much quicker than any Google search could. So how does ChatGPT fare when it comes to writing for a blog? Let's take a look and see...

The first thing I did was ask ChatGPT "What is a good length for a basic tech blog post?" The answer came back 800-1200 words. At that point I think I was just considering using ChatGPT to guide me in the whole blog post writing process. But then I realized maybe it can just write the whole thing for me and I provided it with a summary prompt:

"i built a portfolio website using nextjs. i plan to document the various projects i am working on using the website. the website has a few main components. the index page has the following sections 1) showcase 2) about 3) recent projects 4) recent blog posts. the showcase section has a background image with 100vh and shows my name and "Electrical Engineer, Software Developer & Aspiring Game Designer". the about section provides amplifying detail about me and my skills as engineer, software developer and game designer. the recent projects section has cards that link to my individual projects i've built. the recent blog posts section has cards that link to blog posts i've written. the website is built with nextjs for the front end and strapi v4 for the back end. I want to write an introductory blog post to kick off the website. can you help me draft it up? let me know what additional information you will need."

Here's ChatGPT's response:

"Sure, I'd be happy to help you draft an introductory blog post for your portfolio website! Here's a possible outline that you can use as a starting point: Title: Introducing My Portfolio Website: A Showcase of My Skills and Projects Opening Paragraph: Welcome to my portfolio website! As an electrical engineer, software developer, and aspiring game designer, I am excited to share with you my latest projects and experiences. In this blog post, I will give you a tour of the website and provide some background on my interests and skills. Showcase Section: The first thing you'll notice when you land on the homepage is the showcase section. Here, you'll see a background image that represents my passion for technology and creativity. You'll also see my name and my three main areas of focus: electrical engineering, software development, and game design. About Section: If you're curious to learn more about my background and skills, be sure to check out the About section. There, you'll find more information about my educational and professional experience, as well as my personal interests and hobbies. Recent Projects Section: One of the main purposes of this website is to showcase the various projects I've been working on. In the Recent Projects section, you'll find cards that link to some of my recent software development and game design projects. From web applications to video games, I have a wide range of interests and skills that I hope to demonstrate through these projects. Recent Blog Posts Section: In addition to my projects, I also enjoy writing about my experiences and insights. In the Recent Blog Posts section, you'll find cards that link to some of my recent blog posts on topics such as software development, game design, and technology trends. Conclusion: Thank you for taking the time to visit my portfolio website! I hope you find it informative and engaging. If you have any feedback or questions, please feel free to reach out to me through the Contact page. I look forward to sharing more projects and insights with you in the future. Of course, feel free to customize the content and tone to fit your personal style and goals for the website. Good luck with your portfolio and happy blogging!" If you check out the final blog post you'll probably find this first ChatGPT response got me about 75% of the way to the finished product. I decided to give it the information from the "about" section of my website to see if it could flesh out some more detail. It was moderately successful with that task. The problem was that it just copied the about section information word for word and injected it into the blog post. I told ChatGPT that I would prefer if it could reword the about section information to sound unique and interesting. Unfortunately it pretty much failed at that task, and remained determined to parrot back the about section information almost verbatim. It did alter some of the sentence structure but didn't really add anything "creatively".

I then asked ChatGPT to work with me to try to spruce up each section individually. Once we iterated through each section I asked ChatGPT to merge all the revised sections together. This is where things started to fall apart as ChatGPT seemed to forget what it originally output and also what it output when we worked on each of the sections one at a time. But it wasn't all for naught. By that time I had collected enough scraps and pieces to cobble everything together on my own.

The last thing I asked ChatGPT was to generate a bunch of variations for possible blog post titles. I felt like most of them sounded a little too fanciful and over the top...although some of them were pretty interesting:

  1. "Discover My Creative Journey: A Look into My Passion Projects on My Portfolio Website"
  2. "My Portfolio Website: A Visual Story of My Skills and Projects"
  3. "Unleashing My Creativity: A Showcase of My Skills and Projects on My Portfolio Website"
  4. "From Electrical Engineering to Game Design: A Tour of My Portfolio Website"
  5. "My Portfolio Website: A Testimonial to My Curiosity and Love for Learning"
  6. "A Journey through My Portfolio Website: My Passion Projects and Technical Skills"
  7. "Introducing My Personal Laboratory: A Tour of My Portfolio Website"

What do you think? Which blog post title would you have chosen?

In the end I did do some final editing and extra massaging of the text to fit my style a little better, but overall I would say ChatGPT wrote about 90% of the blog post. I think ChatGPT is definitely a valuable tool to have in your back pocket. At some point maybe I'll even get off my dime and splurge on access to the paid version...