Content Aware media news: July 20, 2023

Published: 21 July 2023

Glide guesting on the AWS series Let's build a Startup

Glide's “Gen AI for publishers”, Google's Genesis newsbot, and "influencers are boring" shock - all in this week's Content Aware.

Glide stars on AWS show
Interesting series 'Let's build a Startup' gives insight into some of AWS's coolest partner successes. Our CEO Denis and CTO Ned joined the regular hosts to talk about what working with AWS gives us and our customers, and hand out priceless advice to viewers on such morsels as "fake SaaS", when to build your own products, owning the relationship with your audiences, and the perennial question we surely all ask, "Is WordPress a CMS...?". Here's the direct link to the show - scroll to 43:00 for our C-suite pair.

Have your own Gen AI. But until then...
Glide is building a new platform feature that will in essence allow publishers to train your own Large Language Models using your own data. None of the worry about sending all your content to whatever AI is hot this week and wondering if they are using it to make a fortune and pawn your crown jewels. But, until it's ready - it's worth at least knowing whatever you can to navigate an ever-increasing number of random paid and free options. This man tested some so you don't have to.

Going all in
One publisher is putting a great number of eggs in the generative AI basket: are they visionaries or reckless? Early efforts were risible - but we can surely expect the tech to improve as the shortcomings become known. Whither brand value though, if readers know it's all generated by a bot? Lots of lessons for us all to learn.

"AI can be just as bad as non-AI"
Google meanwhile - almost in response - is at pains to point at that AI content is not some magic search ranking bullet that guarantees good results. In fact, it can be quite the opposite.

And now we know why...
And just as timely - research into just why a lot of current AI content can be spotted so quickly and dismissed as low quality. Turns out humans have a good eye for generated stuff and we don't really like it.

Corbidge comments on... was I a news bot?
Where does being a hard-working reporter keeping up with the facts of a breaking story end, and being a Google-deployed journalistic autobot begin? Only in 2023 can we ask that question! As Google Genesis sees the light of day, our resident editor Robert remembers when originality was hard to pin down and the massed efforts of teams of reporters were needed to get the full picture of an event. So will Google Genesis get a byline in your paper?

Hyperlocal man appears on both sides
Kenny Katzgrau is the publisher of hyperlocal news site RedBankGreen in New Jersey. A man of some opinions on the whole Google and publishers and advertising and revenue game, he's been summoned to appear to give evidence in the Federal Antitrust Case against Google. And also for Google. Confusing? Definitely. And interesting.

Check your sources!
The whole Google Universal Analytics and GA4 shambles is leaving some big holes in the data people rely on to measure traffic data, but don't think it's going to go away. GA4 is here to stay and it's worth getting to grips with it even though it has some interesting blindspots. As Charles Farina points out here, it's wise to be alert to them. (None of this precludes you from checking out new alternatives to GA4 of course!)

MFA go away, proper content is here to stay!
Some Adtech vendors are starting to move strongly against MFA - "made-for-advertising" - sites. But are some sectors of the ad industry too invested to rid themselves of such operations?

Trying to sell a lemon
No human or business is infallible. When looking down the barrel of TikTok's content blizzard, it's important to remember that ByteDance can get it very wrong too: its Lemon8 TikTok-alike 'sister app' is being panned by users for being dull and boring. The sin? Too many influencers.