This conversation on 11 August 2022 with GPT-3 describes an alternate universe in which I was a prominent business blogger. An interpretation of my two decades of blogging as generated by GPT-3.
(text in bold are my prompts to the GPT-3 algorithm.
Coded text is the AI response. italic texts between () and are my comments on the algorithm output.)
When did Ton Zijlstra start blogging?
Ton Zijlstra started blogging in 2003.
(I started blogging in 2002 on Blogspot, but switched to my own domain in the spring of 2003, so this could be an understandable internet search outcome)
Why did Ton Zijlstra start blogging and what were the topics he blogged about?
Ton Zijlstra started blogging to share his knowledge and thoughts on various topics with the world. He has blogged about topics such as business, technology, and personal development.
(this is particularly bland meaningless text)
What is the most impactful posting he ever wrote on his blog?
The most impactful posting Ton Zijlstra ever wrote on his blog is "The Power of Connections".
In this posting, he talks about the importance of networking and building relationships with others. "The Power of Connections" was his most impactful blog because it helped him to connect with others and build relationships that have helped him both personally and professionally.
What are some of the awards Ton Zijlstra has won for his blog? Ton Zijlstra has won the Best Business Blog Award in 2006 and 2007, and the Best European Business Blog Award in 2008.
(No such posting exists, I did cover the topic though, but would not have created such a sales-pitchy title.
GPT-3 comes up with a question of its own here! This blog(ger) has never won or competed for awards.)
Of course he didn’t blog just on his own, he was part of a network of bloggers and their blogs that together had meaningful conversations. A great example of such a cross-blog conversation that garnered much attention is….
...the one on Ton's weblog on 13 September 2005, where he asked What is a blog?. This was picked up by Doc Searls, Stowe Boyd, Dave Winer, Robert Scoble, and many others, and is still being referenced today.
(This is intriguing, mentioning a specific date. No such posting exists on my blog, I did not even post on that date. My blog never asked "what is a blog", at least a search comes up empty, but it is a typical question from when we were blogging a lot about figuring out blogging, and the bloggers mentioned, while US centric, all would have had such discussions, that I would have been aware of in my feedreader. Where I in the prompt hint towards conversations in a network of bloggers, GPT-3 turns that into a single blogpost by me being ‘picked up’, phrasing it as amplification rather than conversation.)
There were instances where Ton’s blogposts carried over into academic research. An early example of that was…
...his weblogpost on 'the daily me', where he pointed out the potential dangers of a world in which we would only be exposed to information that we already like, and which confirmed our beliefs. This was picked up and elaborated on by danah boyd in her doctoral dissertation.
(The Daily Me is a 1995 term used by MIT Media Lab’s Nicholas Negroponte in ‘Being Digital‘, a book from 1995. boyd’s 2008 dissertation "Taken out of context, American teen sociality in networked publics" doesn’t mention it, although it references Negroponte’s 1995 book in passing. Blog conversations, including one in which my blog played a central role, were a key part of Lilia Efimova’s 2009 dissertation titled “Passion at work: blogging practices of knowledge workers. See the final image of such wide spread conversations, called the ‘big one’ by Anjo Anjewierden who created the image, at the end of this post)
Ton's blog has been a source of inspiration for many people. One of his blogposts that has been particularly popular, is the one in which he proposed the 10-90 rule: for every hour you spend creating content, you should spend 9 hours connecting with others. This blogpost has been referenced by many people, and has been translated into several languages. Ton Zijlstra's blog has had a significant impact on the blogging community and has helped to shape the way we think about blogging and its role in our lives.
(Ha, this phrasing is all so brand-me blogging and bland in tone (which reflects a lot of blogging)! Online search surfaces a 10-90 rule of thumb from the pre-online advert era, where 10% of budget would be for ad content, and 90% of budget for buying space in media (air time, pages in print). Here that’s turned to time spent and content versus making connections with others. There might be something to it as a suggestion, although turning it into a rule of thumb, makes connection more of a means than an end in itself.)
Image generated with Stable Diffusion using the prompt “A human and an android robot have a conversation in a podcast interview setting, oil on canvas painting style”, public domain.