With the launch of ChatGPT at the end of 2022, there have been numerous questions surrounding the future of certain things. One of them is blogging. Many people have already predicted different scenarios, but in this post, I will share my opinion on the future of technology websites like StackOverflow and technology blogs like mine. Let’s start.
I started my technology blog, TecHighness, back in 2018. Since then, I would add a post or two when I felt like it. I was never regular, but sharing something related to my field of full-stack that others would find helpful was highly rewarding and encouraging.
Till the end of 2022, all seemed good. I even bought a yearly subscription to Grammarly to help me write quality blog posts and books. And then ChatGPT happened!
Since then, I have been on a long pause and hardly written anything. All my goals and plans seemed to have dissipated, replaced with uncomfortably consistent and nagging pessimism for the future of writing.
I have gone through a good number of blogs, Youtube videos, and Reddit posts. The majority of people carry the same feeling, and not without reason. Below, I have tried to expand on it.
Why Will GhatGPT Disrupt Technology Websites and Blogs?
For two reasons, both of which also apply to other niches besides technology.
The second reason is the riddance of writing limitations. With a few prompts, anyone can create 500 plus word post that includes specific information/answers related to a technology question. With minimal effort, it could be fact-checked and made AI-detection proof (mushroom growth of such tools already on the horizon). When everyone can do that, where’s the value? In so many years, I have not crossed the hundred mark regarding my blog posts. But now, technically, I can write hundreds of good-quality posts in no time, and so can others. So far, I have no idea how Google would ensure that its indexing capabilities are not choked with the storm of content on its way. Regardless, the value of quality writing will dilute as never before, and the competition will lose its meaning.
But Won’t We Always Need New Content on Technology to Feed AI?
Not in the same way. Let’s distinguish between and explain factual and opinion-based content.
For the technology already existing, say React JS, all fact-based answers related to it (such as how to do something) would be already well-read by AI tools. The same tools will digest any new React version before you can open its release notes. Any fact-based answer related to React should be readily available.
Once a new software, framework, or library comes into existence, there will be a buffer period where the AI will have to catch up. For example, when Sunshine.js launches, only its creators and a handful of beta users might know about it and how to use it. Initially, there must be more than just reading up its docs and release notes for any AI tool to answer everything about it. Here its knowledge will be supplemented by developers' IDEs throughout the world. In very little time, the tools will be up to speed and in a great position to answer most fact-based questions.
The only valuable thing from humans would be opinion-based input. For example, consider a question with diverse and highly subjective answers, such as “Which programming language is better, C++ or Java?” or “React JS vs. Angular JS vs. Vue JS?” The AI tools will be equally capable of laying down all the different perspectives it has been fed, but some people would still prefer human-written content plus other people’s comments. Still, it spells the decline of the readership of technology blogs, even opinion based. (Add to this the copy-cats pasting the AI responses to their blog posts, further decreasing the reach of genuine authors.)
Will the Cost of AI Tools Help Technology Blogs?
For over two decades, public websites and blogs have played a tremendous role in knowledge transfer, irrespective of the financial status of the reader. The only thing one would need to bear was ads, which many still wouldn’t put up with, and install ad-blockers. All in all, things went well.
With ChatGPT and other AI tools, the question is asked about the cost of their delivery to the general public since their answers are many times more resource intensive than index-based search engine searches.
The answer lies in the type of users. For the consumer of countless other niches, the affordability of AI tools is a significant factor. However, considering these tools' benefits, most tech people can easily pay a nominal subscription fee (which will be pushed down further, given the fierce competition in the AI domain). People with affordability issues will still be offered restricted usage of the tools. The cost of AI tools, therefore, won’t benefit the technology websites and blogs, even if it does help send some traffic over to other non-tech niches.
Factual or opinion-based, whatever you write about technology will eventually end up consumed by the AI unless you hide it behind a paywall, which is a readership killer in and of itself. And if you use AI tools to generate content, that will only overwhelm the search engine indexes, reducing the organic reach to genuine authors. Either way, the technology blogs are screwed. I believe the use of StackOverflow will massively decline in the coming years, and smaller technology blogs like mine will mostly fade into obscurity. That is, at least, organically. The traffic these sites still receive would be through dedicated followers who have subscribed to your website or blog via email or social media.
I hope there might be a way to incentivize and save technology content publishers in the onslaught of ChatGPT and other lined-up AI tools. But so far, things only look incredibly bleak.
With these depressing thoughts, I end my post!