Bookmarked WordPress AI: Generative Content & Blocks (by Joe Hoyle, found via Chuck Grimmett)

As many others I am fascinated by what generative algorithms like ChatGPT for texts and Stable Diffusion for images can do. Particularly I find it fascinating to explore what it might do if embedded in my own workflows, or how it might change my workflows. So the link above showing an integration of ChatGPT in WordPress’ Gutenberg block editor drew my attention.

The accompanying video shows a mix of two features. First having ChatGPT generate some text, or actually a table with specific data, and having ChatGPT in ‘co-pilot’ style generate code for Gutenberg blocks. I think the latter might be actually useful, as I’ve seen generative AI put to good use in that area. The former, having ChatGPT write part of your posting is clearly not advisable. And the video shows it too, although the authors don’t point it out or haven’t reflected on the fact that ChatGPT is not a search engine but geared to coming up with plausible stuff without being aware of its actual information (the contrast with generating code is that code is much more highly structured in itself so probabilities collapse easier to the same outcome).

The blogpost in the video is made by generating a list of lunar missions, and then turning them into a table, adding their budgets and sorting them chronologically. This looks very cool in the vid, but some things jump out as not ok. Results jump around the table for instance: Apollo 13 moves from 1970 to 2013 and changes budget. See image below. None of the listed budgets for Apollo missions, nor their total, match up with the detailed costs overview of Apollo missions (GoogleDocs spreadsheet). The budget column being imaginary and the table rows jumping around makes the result entirely unfit for usage of course. It also isn’t a useful prompt: needing to fact check every table field is likely more effort and less motivating than researching the table yourself from actual online resources directly.

It looks incredibly cool ‘see me writing a blogpost by merely typing in my wishes, and the work being done instantly’, and there are definitely times I’d wish that to be possible. To translate a mere idea or thought into some output directly however means I’d skip confronting such an idea with reality, with counter arguments etc. Most of my ideas only look cool inside my head, and need serious change to be sensibly made manifest in the world outside my head. This video is a bit like that, an idea that looks cool in one’s head but is great rubbish in practice. ChatGPT is hallucinating factoids and can’t be trusted to create your output. Using it in the context of discovery (as opposed to the justification context of your output such as in this video) is possible and potentially useful. However this integration within the Gutenberg writing back-end of WordPress puts you in the output context directly so it leads you to believe the generated plausible rubbish is output and not just prompting fodder for your writing. ‘Human made’ is misleading you with this video, and I wouldn’t be surprised if they’re misleading themselves as well. A bit like staging the ‘saw someone in half and put them together again’ magician’s trick in an operating room and inviting surgeons to re-imagine their work.

Taking a native-first approach to integrating generative AI into WordPress, we’ve been experimenting with approaches to a “WordPress Copilot” that can “speak” Gutenberg / block-editor.

Copy-pasting paragraphs between ChatGPT and WordPress only goes so far, while having the tools directly embedded in the editor … open up a world of possibilities and productivity wins…

Joe Hoyle

An android robot is filling out a table listing Apollo missions on a whiteboard, generated image using Midjourney

Ik zag (op Twitter, jawel) dat de video van mijn presentatie op WordCamp Netherlands van afgelopen september is gepubliceerd. De video heb ik aan de presentatie toegevoegd, maar zie je ook hieronder.

Op WordCamp NL deed ik een oproep om standaard microformats en webmention in WordPress core, blocks en themes te ondersteunen zodat de 40% van het web die op WordPress draait ineens ook betekenisvol met elkaar kan verbinden: “WordPress sites tot IndieWeb alleskunners maken”.

Bookmarked What IndieBlocks Does, and Why by Jan Boddez

I really need to start testing Jan’s IndieBlocks plugin, to see if it allows me to switch to WordPress Gutenberg. If yes, I think it will allow me to also do a few things with my site to make it less blog-centric. Because from what I’ve seen from E’s work on my company’s site, Gutenberg makes that easier than writing a theme from more or less scratch which I’ve been balking at for some time, aka 2 years.

I probably will need to set-up one of my test WP sites (nicknamed proto and meso) with IndieBlocks. A key thing to test will be if interacting with the site through my Micropub client(s) needs to be changed. I now push everything into a raw html text that gets submitted to the site, and I don’t know in what ways that would need to be different in Gutenberg blocks, and how it might change how I need to talk to the micropub end-point.

Because nearly everything in IndieBlocks is configurable, it will be possible to keep using the other IndieWeb plugins beside it. Simply disable the bits you don’t need!

Jan Boddez

Favorited Yes! My IndieBlocks plugin is now up on by Jan Boddez

Oh, nice! Jan has been working on his own WordPress plugins w.r.t. IndieWeb for some time and now released some of that work as a public plugin. Current IndieWeb set-ups do not support the Gutenberg editor in WordPress as blocks are not supported. Jan’s plugin is created for blocks. Will need to try this out (also because my recent presentation at WordCamp on making WP IndieWeb compatible by default played a small role). Nice timing Jan, releasing it just so it can dominate my weekend 😀

Current version offers a single “Context” block, and, optionally, (1) some custom post types, and (2) the ability to add microformats2 to block-based (!) themes. More is on the way.

Jan Boddez

Also on IndieWeb News

In reply to Publish Obsidian Documents to WordPress by Curtis McHale

I didn’t come across this posting at the time. As you say, having to log in every single time as well as having to send it already formatted raw HTML (and not the markdown one writes in in Obsidian), are drawbacks. XMLRPC is blocked by my hoster (part of their security decisions), and I have disabled it within WP therefore. I went with Micropub to publish from Obsidian to WordPress, around the same time as this posting. As notes in Obsidian are plain text files in the local filesystem, I run a local script outside Obsidian periodically checking for files marked for publishing. Using Micropub it can post such files, while turning markdown into html, to several of my WP-run sites, both as post and as a page. The latter allows me to add them to my wiki-like section of my blog. Just posting at the moment though, not updating.

To publish click the WordPress icon in your sidebar which will reveal a panel in the sidebar with a Publish button for you to click. Once you click the Publish button a window opens up with your username prefilled and asks you to fill in your password. The plugin … publishes RAW HTML on your site. … While this does work, it feels far from optimal to me. I’d love to see the option of pushing straight markdown to the editor.

Curtis McHale

Mid-september is het Nederlandse WordCamp, een tweedaagse bijeenkomst over alles dat WordPress is. Ik ben niet zozeer de doelgroep lijkt me, maar het oogt wel als een goede manier om de IndieWeb ervaringen van mijzelf als WordPress gebruikende blogger te gaan laten zien. Wie weet kan ik een lans breken voor het vaker adopteren van IndieWeb bouwstenen in WP themes, plugins of zelfs core. Daarom heb ik nadat ik de oproep bij co-organisatoren Marcel en Remkus tegenkwam deze dagen, me aangemeld als spreker. Ze zoeken nog meer sprekers en workshops, tot 1 juni kun je nog een voorstel indienen. Eind juni hoor je dan meer.

Ongeacht dat voorstel is het misschien ook de moeite waard om te kijken of er iets meer te organiseren is, zoals een homebrew website meet-up of zelfs een IndieWebCamp. Daar moet ik nog even over nadenken.