What does the introduction of ChatGPT and the AI Blocks on WordPress mean for bloggers? Will they destroy the art of blogging and writing or move it to the next level? Join the discussion and have your say.
Update (28th Feb 2023) pingbacks on WordPress are now working again.
Are you experiencing problems with not getting pingback notifications on your WordPress blog? You’re not alone. Many other users are experiencing the same issue.
Over a week ago, I realised I no longer received pingback notifications from WordPress. Even when linking to my posts, I got no notifications, hence no links in the comments section.
The problem meant that if other bloggers linked to any of my blog posts, I didn’t know. Hence, I could come over as rude for not thanking those who were linking to my blog.
I contacted the WordPress Happiness Engineers, and to cut a long story short, they finally acknowledged that the problem was (and still is) across the WordPress platform.
I received the above reply on 26th February 2023.
Strangely, I’m getting pingback notifications from self-hosted blogs but not from WordPress.Com blogs.
How To Get Around The Problem
If you publish posts inviting other bloggers to create a pingback to your post, ask them to copy and paste the URL address of the post in the comments section. You can then visit their post.
However, beware of the spammers who may take the opportunity of this problem and leave a link or comment that has nothing to do with your post. Before clicking any links from bloggers, you’re not used to seeing, check the URL address in the comment first.
Mark comments or links as spam if they look suspicious.
Another way to identify spam comments is that most have no Gravatar image.
While the problem persists, I’d also recommend adding a reusable block to your posts (like the one in the green box on this post) in case anyone links to any of your posts.
When WordPress finally fixes the problem, you can delete the reusable block, which will then disappear from all your posts.
Not sure what a pingback is? Click here for details.
Not sure how to create a reusable block? Click here for details.
Please leave any questions about the current pingback problem in the comments section.
Want more posts like this? Enter your email address and click Subscribe.
Join 20,518 other followers
While WordPress deal with the current pingback problem, if you are linking to any of my blog posts, please copy and paste the URL address of your post in the comments section.
Copyright @ 2023 hughsviewsandnews.com – All rights reserved.
I’ve been contacted by several bloggers asking the question in the title of this post.
In March 2023, the WordPress app that many of us are familiar with will lose many key features. For example, you’ll no longer be able to access the WordPress Reader or view your blog’s stats.
But fear not because all the features the WordPress app bring have been transferred to the new Jetpack app.
Which app should I use?
If you want access to all the WordPress features you’re used to, switch to the new Jetpack app.
If you only want to focus on the basics of writing and publishing and have no interest in your blog stats, notifications of comments, menus and the WordPress Reader (to name a few), stick with the WordPress app.
Can I use both apps?
It’s not recommended that you use both apps. Managing your blog across both apps is unsupported and may lead to issues such as data conflicts. So I’d recommend sticking to one.
What features does the Jetpack app have?
With the Jetpack app, you’ll benefit from powerful tools to manage and build your blog.
Is the Jetpack app free?
Yes. There are no additional costs for using the Jetpack app.
What features does the WordPress app have?
From March 2023, only the features listed below will be available on the WordPress app.
How do I make the switch to the Jetpack app?
First, ensure you have the latest version of the WordPress app installed and are logged in to it.
If you’ve had (or get) an email from WordPress asking you to choose which app to use, click the link in the email to download the Jetpack app. If you’ve not had the email, click here to download the Jetpack app.
Once the app has been downloaded, open it, and you’ll be automatically logged in with all your data and settings in place. All your posts, pages, media library and anything else you have on your blog will also be transferred.
Remember to delete the WordPress app.
Any questions about switching to the Jetpack app? Leave them in the comments section.
Follow Hugh on Social Media. Click the buttons below.
Did you know that ChatGPT has now come to WordPress?
What is ChatGPT?
ChatGPT is an AI-powered language model developed by OpenAI.
It is a state-of-the-art language generation system that can generate human-like text based on the input it receives.
ChatGPT can be used for various applications, including chatbots, language translation, text summarization, blogging and more.
WordPress has added two new AI blocks to the Block editor. You can find them by searching for ‘AI’ in the block search bar.
While both blocks are currently only experimental, some bloggers have already used them. But what do these blocks do? Let’s take a look at them.
Open up a new draft post and title it with a question. Then, in the main body of the post, add the AI Paragraph block. Watch as it writes the first few paragraphs for you.
I asked the AI Paragraph block to write about the benefits of leaving comments on blog posts. This was the result.
Interstingly, it stopped midway through a sentence, so I added the block again and got more paragraphs.
Adding the block again, I got more paragraphs from it.
When I added the block for the fourth time, it repeated the text in the previous block.
The AI Paragraph block does exactly what it says it will do – write paragraphs. It won’t write a whole post.
It gives you a few draft paragraphs you can edit and work with. It’s worth noting that this block is currently experimental.
It also works on information contained within a post, which may be why it stopped working after three attempts. If I’d added more text, it would have looked at what I’d added and generated more paragraphs. The more information you give it, the more results you’ll get.
And you don’t need to ask it a question. If you’ve already written a post, add the AI Paragraph block, and it’ll come up with a few more paragraphs.
I also used Grammarly to check for errors and picked up grammar mistakes, suggestions and other errors with the paragraphs the AI block wrote, so it’s not perfect. Here’s what Grammarly picked up.
What’s also interesting about the AI Paragraph block is what WordPress say about it.
So it may be withdrawn at any time. That may happen, but I believe it’ll only be withdrawn so WordPress can improve what it does.
Insert the AI Image block into a post and tell it what images you want to see.
I asked the block to show me images of Autumn in the countryside. These are the results it gave me.
I don’t know where the AI image block got these images, so copyright issues could exist.
It may have got the images from the free WordPress Image library, but I’m not sure. I’d recommend using free image websites such as Pixabay.Com in the meantime.
I also found the images not to be the best quality. However, remember that the block is currently only experimental, and it may be possible to improve the quality of images with the software you have on your device.
Another concern is that any images you use from the AI Image block are downloaded to your WordPress media library. Again, this causes concerns regarding copyright issues, but remember too that using images from the block will also take up space in your media library.
And like it’s sister block, the AI Image block could be tweaked or removed at any time by WordPress.
WordPress has left feedback links on both blocks so users can send feedback.
Is there a way of spotting content created by ChatGPT and AI blocks?
Yes, I believe there is. For example, a sudden change in how often a blogger publishes blog posts.
A user who only publishes a blog post once a month may start publishing content more often, maybe weekly or daily. This could be because they use ChatGPT or the AI block to write content. After all, these pieces of software have been created to save users writing time.
A change in the tone of the content a user usually uses in blog posts may also be a clue. I don’t know about you, but I get used to most bloggers’ writing styles. The style can change over time, but when it suddenly changes, it could signify that they’re using ChatGPT or the AI block to generate content.
You may also see a sudden change in the types of content a blogger publishes in a short space of time. Somebody who writes and publishes blog posts about men’s fashion, suddenly publishing content about the benefits of eating porridge, may have used ChatGPT or the AI block to generate the content.
Does it matter if bloggers use ChatGPT or the AI blocks?
Providing the information is engaging, edited, checked for mistakes and accurate, I see no reason why reading bloggers’ blog posts created with the help of ChatGPT or the AI blocks to produce blog content should matter.
If the content is engaging, it’ll make some readers want to comment.
Will ChatGPT and the AI blocks destroy blogging?
While you may find some generated content uninteresting, the content generated by ChatGPT or the AI block may still be engaging.
Likewise, not all bloggers will use ChatGPT or the AI blocks to generate content. However, some may find it helpful when drafting blog posts.
And like reblogging farms (where the majority of content is reblogged posts), ChatGPT farms will also pop up.
Have I used ChatGPT in any of my blog posts?
Yes, once. The three sentences under my question ‘What is ChatGPT’ (at the beginning of this post) were created using ChatGPT.
The only change I made to the answer the ChatGPT bot gave me was to add the word ‘blogging’ to the last sentence.
Will I use ChatGPT again?
I may use it when I have a question. It acts like Google or other search engines, although only gives one answer. But I won’t use it to write whole blog posts.
Should I feel guilty for using ChatGPT or the AI blocks?
No. After all, many of us use Grammarly or other writing software to check for spelling, grammar and other mistakes. So my published articles have already been created with help from other sources. Likewise, by doing research, I’m getting help writing posts.
What is the future of the AI blocks on WordPress?
Given that ChatGPT is already making a breakthrough, I have no doubt that WordPress (as well as other companies) will use it and offer users ChatGPT blocks.
However, they may charge for using these blocks or make them free to use on specific plans. For example, the blocks may be free to use on the WordPress Premium plan but at additional costs on their free plans. Then again, these blocks may be free to use for all users.
Once the WordPress developers are happy with the performance, these blocks will get a permanent home on WordPress.
What about you? Are you afraid of ChatGPT? When drafting your blog posts, will you use ChatGPT or the WordPress AI blocks? Are you already using them? What have the results been? Why wouldn’t you use them? Do you think ChatGPT and the AI blocks will destroy the art of blogging and writing?
Join the discussion by leaving a comment that I can respond to with more than a ‘thank you.’
Layout, content, settings, and format might differ on self-hosted blogs.
Follow Hugh on Social Media. Click the buttons below.
Sharing the blog posts of other bloggers is something the majority of bloggers like to do. But is there a safe way to do it without facing the possibility of copyright infringement?
In January 2022, I published a guest post by author and writer Deborah Jay where she shared a story of how she faced a copyright infringement fine simply for reblogging the blog post of another blogger. You can read Deborah’s post here.
The ‘Press This’ feature on WordPress is simple to use and (when used correctly) removes all the possibilities of being fined for copyright infringement. It also comes with other benefits that reblogging a post does not have.
How To Use Press This.
Ensure you are in the Default view of your blog’s dashboard, not the Classic view mode.
Click on Settings – Writing.
On the Writing Settings page, scroll down to Publishing Tools (at the bottom) and look for the Press This button.
Drag and drop the Press This button to somewhere you can access it quickly when reading blog posts. I dragged it from the bottom of the Writing Settings page and placed it on the ‘favouites bar’ of my desktop computer, where it’s visible while I am on the internet.
When you find a blog post, you want to share, click the Press This button.
A new window will open, but you can close it down as a draft copy of the post you wish to share will be in your draft folder.
Open the draft you have just created. In the images below, you’ll see one of my blog posts which I have made via the Press This button.
Before publishing the post, you need to add tags and categories. To do this, click on the meatball/kebab menu next to the post (the three dots) and click on Edit.
Not only can you add tags and categories, but you can also edit the post, add an excerpt, and add your own images and photos.
Don’t worry about the left alignment of the link created by ‘Press This’, as in most cases, it will be centred when the post is published. However, I recommend you preview the post before publishing it, as the theme you use may not automatically centre it.
Save the draft.
As soon as you’re happy, either click the publish button or schedule it to publish on a date and time that suits you.
What are the most significant benefits of Press This over Reblogging?
No images from the post get downloaded into your media library, so there is no risk of copyright infringement.
You do not use up any valuable space in your media library.
You can edit and add tags and categories before publishing the post— no need to go back to it after publication to add details or leave it as an uncategorised post.
Sub note: Unfortunately, the ‘Press There’ sharing button at the bottom of blog posts is not working correctly. Therefore, the above method for sharing via ‘Press This’ is recommended.
Do you have any questions about Press This? Please leave them in the comments section.
Layout, content, settings, and format might differ on self-hosted blogs.
Looking for more blogging tips? Click on the ‘Blogging Tips’ and ‘Block Editor – How To’ buttons on the menubar of my blog.
Follow Hugh on social media. Click on the buttons below.
What makes you put your head in your hands or shake your head regarding blogging?
Recently, I’ve been shaking my head a lot when visiting the blogging world.
Some of my fellow bloggers worry me, and I’m concerned about their mental health.
I’m witnessing bloggers panicking, stressed, feeling guilty, or apologising because of how they blog.
Here are some of the bloggers I am referring to. Are you one of them?
Have you heard this quote?
Blogging is a marathon, not a sprint!
It’s a quote many bloggers acknowledge.
Sprinters rush around the blogging world every day as if they’re on a time challenge where they must read and leave comments on as many blog posts as possible within a certain amount of time.
The comments they leave are seldom engaging and are often empty. Instead of leaving a comment saying why they thought a post was great or why they liked a photo or reading a piece of fiction, they’ll leave a comment like, ‘Great story’ or ‘I enjoyed this.’
They don’t have time to leave engaging comments, so leave comments that’ll not make you want to engage with them other than maybe to say ‘Thanks.’
If they fail to leave comments on all the blogs they’re following, they believe they may upset someone. They need to prove they’ve visited your post, often by leaving an empty comment.
They often show signs of stress or pressure in the content they publish and the comments they leave.
They won’t read long-engaging posts because that wastes time and worsens their stress. They’re on a mission to read as many posts as possible in the time they have so they don’t upset anyone.
Why read a couple of interesting, engaging, long posts when you can read lots of short blog posts in the time it takes to read one fascinating post over 1,000 words that gets you and lots of other readers wanting to get into a discussion?
When I saw the above tweet from James, I punched the air with my fist. He makes a valid point. And it doesn’t only apply to new bloggers.
Blogging should never be about sprinting under pressure around the blogging world to see how many blog posts you can read and comment on in 20 minutes!
Those posts will still be there next week.
There is no such thing as being behind in blogging. Read, respond and leave comments when you have the time to do so.
Hugh W. Roberts
Ask yourself why you started blogging. Was it for enjoyment and fun? Or did you come to the blogging world on a mission to try and break the world record every day for the number of blog posts you can read and comment on so you don’t feel guilty or upset anyone?
Is rushing around the blogging world, feeling stressed out while leaving the same non-engaging short comments, fun?
Slow down, and engage with bloggers rather than trying to prove the point that you have visited their posts.
If you don’t have the time to read and leave comments, make time by reading less blogs.
Hugh W. Roberts
This brings me to…
The obliging blogger
In the next paragraph, I’ll ask you a question. Leave your answer in the comments section before reading the rest of this post.
Question: If a blogger reads and leaves comments on all your blog posts, should you feel obliged to read and leave comments on all their posts?
You won’t be surprised that my answer to that question is ‘No.’
But if you answered ‘Yes’, share your reasons in the comments section.
Nobody should feel obliged to read and comment on another blogger’s posts because they read and leave comments on all their blog posts.
Your time is precious, and wasting it by forcing yourself to read and comment on content that does not interest you is a waste of your time.
“But won’t the blogger who reads and comments on all my posts stop reading and commenting on my blog posts if I don’t return the favour?’
Yes, they may, but does it matter? And if they do, ask yourself this question.
‘Why am I following that blogger?’
If it’s because you genuinely enjoy reading their content, then, by all means, continue to follow them, but don’t feel obliged to read and leave comments on all their posts.
If a blogger gets upset with you for not reading and leaving comments on all their posts, consider unfollowing them.
Allocate the time you spent reading their blogs to the blogs you enjoy reading, and leave valuable, engaging comments on those posts rather than short, empty, non-engaging comments.
Tip: Make the first comment count and show that you genuinely want to engage.
Don’t get too upset if the blogger you’re trying to engage with doesn’t want to engage with you when they respond to your comment with nothing but a ‘Thank you.’
That’s your cue to think twice before engaging with them again.
If you don’t want to engage with a blogger after reading a post, press the like button and move on. After all, that’s why it’s there.
There is nothing wrong with not leaving a comment after reading a blog post if you’ve nothing of value to add. Stop acting like it’s a crime not to leave one.
Hugh W. Roberts
Don’t be tricked into feeling guilty if you don’t always leave a comment. I read many blog posts where I do not click the ‘like’ button or leave comments. Why? Because I have nothing of value to add.
Likewise, never feel obliged to follow a blogger who has followed your blog. There’s no harm in visiting their blog to check out their content. If you like it, by all means, follow back, but don’t follow them simply because they followed you.
The desperate blogger
This blogger comes in two forms.
The first are bloggers you’ve never received comments from, and suddenly they’ll leave a comment and link on one of your posts that begs you (and your readers) to check out their blog, read their posts and leave comments.
I’ve received lots of these types of comments recently.
Their comment won’t mention anything about the contents of the posts they’ve left their comment on, just a few words of desperation and a link to their blog.
You’ll see them leaving the same comment on other blogs. I never approve these comments, so you’ll never see them in the comments section of any of my blog posts.
These types of comments are often left by new bloggers looking for new followers and readers.
If you’re new to blogging, there are much better ways to gain followers and new readers than to leave uninvited links on other blogs. These posts list some tips that will help you gain new followers and readers.
The other type of desperate blogger is someone who has previously left some engaging comments but unexpectedly starts dropping links to their posts that have nothing to do with the content of your post, asking you to read and comment.
I’ve said this many times before. Other blogs are not places for you to leave links unless the host has invited you to leave them. For example, in my Wordless Wednesday posts, I invite bloggers to leave links to their Wordless Wednesday posts.
If you have a post you’d like to share with a blogger in the comments section because it’s connected to their post, ask for permission to leave the link first.
Many bloggers class uninvited links as spam and move comments that include them to the spam folder or bin.
How do you deal with uninvited links left in the comments section of your blog?
I edit them out before approving the comment by pressing the edit button.
Remember to save the changes and then approve the comment. Most bloggers leaving uninvited links soon get the message.
Let’s wrap it up
Never feel pressured to read and comment on too many blog posts when you don’t have the time.
Read and leave engaging comments on a few blog posts a day/week rather than try and read and leave empty, non-engaging comments on all the blog posts of those you follow.
Never feel obliged to follow a blog simply because they followed you.
Don’t force yourself or waste time reading blog posts that do not interest you. Instead, invest your time reading and engaging with bloggers who publish content that interests you.
It doesn’t matter if you don’t read a blog post today. It’ll still be there to read in a week or when you have more time.
Don’t feel guilty if you do not get around to reading all the blog posts you want to read and comment on.
If you have nothing of value to add in a comment, rather than leaving short, empty, non-engaging comments, click the ‘like’ button and move on.
Other blogs are not the place to leave uninvited links promoting your blog.
Edit out uninvited links before approving comments.
Remove any thoughts of thinking you’re behind with blogging and have to catch up. Read and comment on posts when you have the time to do so.
Are there any examples of blogging that have you holding your head in your hands, shaking your head or concerned for other bloggers? Please share them in the comments section.
Follow Hugh on Social Media. Click on the buttons below.