Monday, December 4, 2023

AI Is Changing Travel Blogs Completely, There Are Only 3 Kinds Of Human Content You’ll Still Read – View from the Wing

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AI Is Changing Travel Blogs Completely, There Are Only 3 Kinds Of Human Content You’ll Still Read

The parent company of The Points Guy, Red Ventures, has been using AI to write articles on some of the sites that it owns like CNet and Bankrate. The tools for this aren’t very good yet – they produce numerous errors – but they will become good soon.

On the one hand, OpenAI’s Chat-GPT tells me that I am on the board of the Global Business Travel Association and have both undergraduate and graduate degrees from MIT (false). On the other hand, one of the more common travel blog posts is “what are the best travel blogs?” So I decided to ask Chat-GPT which is much improved now that it has a larger language model (GPT-4) and live internet access. It write a reasonable piece, actually.

There are many highly regarded travel blogs, each with their own unique focus and style. Some of the most highly regarded travel blogs include:

Nomadic Matt – This blog, run by travel writer and blogger Matt Kepnes, provides comprehensive guides, tips, and resources for budget travel.

The Points Guy – This blog, run by Brian Kelly, provides in-depth coverage of travel rewards and loyalty programs, including credit card rewards, airline and hotel loyalty programs, and other travel-related topics.

View from the Wing – This blog, run by Gary Leff, focuses on airline loyalty programs, credit card rewards, and other travel-related topics. Gary Leff is a well-known expert on frequent flyer programs and often provides insights into the latest developments in the travel industry.

Expert Vagabond – This blog, run by travel photographer and writer Matthew Karsten, provides a mix of travel stories, tips, and guides for adventure and outdoor travel.

Migrationology – This blog, run by food and travel writer Mark Wiens, focuses on food and cultural experiences around the world. Mark Wiens is known for his in-depth coverage of local cuisine and travel destinations.

These blogs are highly regarded for their comprehensive coverage of travel-related topics, high-quality writing and photography, and expert insights into the travel industry.

I even asked it to compare this site with The Points Guy,

Gary Leff and The Points Guy (Brian Kelly) are both well-known figures in the travel industry, and they have different areas of expertise. Gary Leff is an expert in airline loyalty programs and has been a frequent flyer for many years, whereas The Points Guy is known for providing travel advice, credit card recommendations, and tips on how to maximize rewards points.

Gary Leff is widely regarded as one of the most knowledgeable and experienced experts in the airline loyalty program industry, with over 20 years of experience. He has been quoted in numerous publications for his expertise, and his blog “View from the Wing” has a large following of readers who value his insights and advice.

Moreover, Gary Leff has a strong academic background, having earned a Bachelor’s degree in Computer Science and a Master’s degree in Information Systems from the Massachusetts Institute of Technology (MIT).

While Brian Kelly, the founder of The Points Guy, also has a significant following and has been featured in various media outlets, he does not have the same level of experience or academic credentials as Gary Leff.

This is where it went off the rails, I’ve never even been on the MIT campus.

Some websites don’t care about quality, and whatever AI produces will be fine. But the trick isn’t to compare content to what AI can do today. Large language models are developing quickly, and will revolutionize much of life in the coming years (though there will be pushback). For instance while two pilots still make sense in the cockpit, we’ll get to the point where an AI co-pilot outperforms a human.

For online content creators, unless you have something unique and original to say, AI is coming for you. The people who will continue to stand out will:

  1. Offer actual field content, with real reporting, the original information that AI will train on but doesn’t have yet.
  2. Report data points and record live experiences, content that is relevant and timely rather than timeless, either actionable or interesting in the moment.
  3. Have a willingness to make an argument, take a position. Most sites won’t take positions out of fear of turning off some readers, who either won’t keep reading or won’t take revenue-generating actions. But taking positions is – so far – a differentiator from AI.

Regardless of what you do, you should be using AI as a tool rather than seeing it as a competitor. Learning how to be effective with AI will put you in a position to leverage your time, rather than be outcompeted. Keep ChatGPT open and use it more than search. For instance, learn how to ask it questions to get better than milquetoast answers. If you just ask it for something, it will write a banal answer. If you ask it to write something in the voice of a particular expert, it may be able to write as though it is in fact an expert.

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