Our human-first approach to content creation.
Did you know that many articles you are reading online are produced by AI? It’s more than just “a few”, it’s so many now that it’s almost impossible to count, and articles that are completely machine-written are almost undetectable.
Even travel information is now being produced by AI! It makes me scream WHYYYY! on the inside! (and sometimes out loud!)
The fact is that search engines have put pressure on website owners to create content regularly and quickly. With the ease of using AI, it has created an entire culture of “bloggers” turning out “expert” articles on locations, experiences, to-do lists, and things to see/places to go…. without ever having been there!
Unfortunately AI content has found its way deep into all kinds of websites including travel blogs, health blogs, and many publications that you, the reader, trust have been written by people who have real-world experiences. Services like ChatGPT can create content that is shockingly human-like in many ways, but it will never replace the human experience and human touch, conveyed by a real person speaking about the quality of a product, service, or location
This type of mass production of content may benefit a blog, magazine, or publication in short term, but readers want authenticity.
A simple question –
Would you trust someone to guide you through a city when they’ve never been there before? Would you trust the opinion of a machine that has never tasted the local cuisine in a location you’re going to visit? How about a person who uses that machine to write about the best food in a location that they’ve never even visited? That’s exactly what’s happening with AI and travel websites.
So you, the reader, are being guided to locations that are either closed, misrepresented, or are sometimes not even real and never existed.
Accuracy & authenticity in writing travel articles are fundamental to their success and the success of the author(s). Accuracy is one of our core missions with what we produce for you to read.
So why is this important, and why are we committing to never using AI in our long-form content?
We have never and will never use any artificial intelligence to write our articles or recommend ANYTHING. It’s not what our website was created for. We started this website as a way to help other people understand the ins and outs of the exciting cruise experience. There’s a lot of information to figure out for first-time cruisers and plenty of changing information to make even the most experienced cruise travelers confused. So we created CruiseGear to help provide accurate information. Period.
So, who do you trust?
This is the single biggest dilemma now. Not only for travel content but for any search you do on Google. Whether it’s how much asperin you need for a headache or where to find the best sushi, the way things are going, both could be written by a robot and both could be completely inaccurate. Forget trying to find a legitimate review on how comfortable the dining room chairs are that you’re about to pay a lot of money for.
That said, I’ll keep this more focused on who do you trust for your travel ideas and advice.
It’s bad enough that some travel-related content creators use exclusively stock photos, but now there’s fake writing which makes who to trust even more of a dilemma.
Trust authenticity. Trust the person who’s not afraid to show their face. Trust the person who has BEEN there and has photos showing an experience.
I can promise you one thing. While we are only one small corner of the internet, we will always produce content you can TRUST because we have been there and have done it. We won’t even write about anything we haven’t experienced firsthand.
“content written by people, for people…..”
The very essence of helping people find good information on the internet was even written in guidelines published by Google. Those guidelines for publishers were clear about which websites would be rewarded and shown at the top of search results: “content written by people, for people, in search results.”
This requirement and guideline by Google has always been great. It encourages people who write, to be authentic and create text that will help others.
But – Google quietly removed the part about being “written by people”
What’s even more alarming is that this recent change in the way Google presents search results is actually rewarding websites with AI-generated content and suppressing authentic blogs. In fact, recent (informal) research by leading experts in search concluded that about 50% of travel blogs have now been demoted in favor of AI. Of course, there are many factors, but it’s an undeniable trend.
Support Human-First Content
Writing this stuff takes a lot of time and is hard work. It’s also expensive for an authentic travel writer to experience the things they talk about and recommend to readers. By returning often to human-written websites, making purchases via recommended links, subscribing to mailing lists, and engaging in comments or questions helps keep websites alive through advertising revenue.
AI is learning and presenting results from the hard work of humans who write content (aka plagiarizing) – So please don’t get too excited about the future of information being AI-Generated. Once humans become disenchanted by their hard work being repurposed without credit, they’ll stop producing quality things for you to read. It’s a downward spiral after that. Enter the real-life version of Idiocracy