Don’t let an algorithm decide what you read »

Thought Leadership Beyond the Book

March 25, 2024
The Recognized Authority Podcast Cover

The podcast that helps experts & consultants on the journey to becoming a recognized authority in your field, so you can increase your impact, command premium fees, work less hours, and never have to suffer a bad-fit client again!.

Amazon is now limiting authors to a mere THREE (3!) new book uploads per DAY to curb the influx of AI-generated content flooding the market. This highlights the existential threat AI poses to thought leaders and authority builders in an age where artificial intelligence can seemingly replicate any form of content. Will AI devalue the work of authors, speakers, and content creators? How can thought leaders protect their hard-earned authority and credibility?

In this episode of The Recognized Authority, Alastair McDermott is joined by thought partner Al McBride to dissect the existential threat AI poses to experts and thought leaders. The conversation delves into the pros and cons of leveraging AI for automating content repurposing across multiple formats like podcasts, blogs, and videos. While AI assistance can streamline workflows, the speakers emphasize the irreplaceable value of the human writing and editing process for clarifying expertise.

They examine the potential of podcasting, video content, and live interactive sessions to humanize brands and build authentic connections that AI struggles to replicate. They discuss strategies for demonstrating true mastery through unscripted Q&As, webinars, and cultivating a vast body of work.

Key Insights

  • Leveraging AI for content repurposing across formats can save time but may devalue human-created content.
  • Traditional writing and editing help clarify thinking and develop deep expertise.
  • Video content, live interactions, and formats like live streaming and webinars build human connections that AI currently struggles to replicate, emphasizing the importance of unscripted expertise.
  • Having a large and diverse body of authentic work across multiple content platforms is harder for AI to convincingly mimic than individual assets.
  • Interactive elements, such as live Q&As, are crucial for demonstrating proven mastery in a field.
  • Use AI writing tools with extensive input, such as custom GPTs, uploading your own works, and using dictation, to retain your unique voice.
  • Prioritize video and podcasting now, while these media still carry inherent credibility.
  • Finding balance in understanding AI’s capabilities without ignoring or fearing the technology is key.

Show Notes

Guest Bio


Alastair McDermott 0:00
And today my partner in thoughtcrime is Alistair McBride. Alastair, we, we had a cool episode planned. At least I had, I had a cool episode planned for today that was not going to be about AI and you came along and swung swung a sledgehammer at us.

Alistair McBride 0:17
Sorry, kind of accidentally torpedo that no, yeah. For everyone, anyone who’s listening, Alastair said, Oh, could you interview me about this thing. And we’ve been talking the last few weeks all the time about AI. And he hadn’t informed me that this was the one app sort of wasn’t meant to focus on AI. So apologies for that. But it really did come up because what what he sent me to talk about interview him arm was choosing that the pros and cons of using different mediums in which to express your unique point of view and unique value to build that authority. Is that a better good summing up of wherever?

Alastair McDermott 0:52
Yeah, pretty much like talking about the different platforms, formats of content that we can create as experts. And as people who want to be seen as thought leaders, you know, we want to put our thoughts out there packages up in some format.

Alistair McBride 1:07
We should still talk about that. But my but this is where the conversation took an interesting twist. Because my immediate surprise where I said, without being too blunt and rude. Does anyone care about this? In the sense of I’m not very, I mean, overly rude. But that’s, that’s, that’s our Somerby. But in the sense that is this not a setup once and forget that you do one for example, podcast, and have auto take the transcript, and then you put that to what appears Zapier or to some other yoke to you know, like to create the blog posts. So yes, I want to know how to do all that process. But is it large enough? Automated once you do set that up once and that’s a powerful process, I can see the value totally. But it’s not like it was five years ago, where you or your VA or whatever had to do each single step on your own. So that was one

Alastair McDermott 2:03
question. So. So my reaction is that I’m just thinking about what what you’re talking about there. So you’re talking about the very fine tuned detail of, you know, creating something like a podcast, and then having it automatically turned into other content repurposed as other content through the power of automation. And AI usually, is what we’re talking about now.

Alistair McBride 2:25
And on that point, do you concur or do you think there’s dangers in that or?

Alastair McDermott 2:30
Well, no, I think it’s probably a good idea. I like I’m a big fan of big fan in particular, of podcasting, which was one of things I wanted to talk about today. And there’s several different reasons for that. But I also think that there’s a place for the writing component, because I think that we think when we’re writing and editing, and so I think that doing the writing is important as well. And so I think it’s not just all about, you know, let’s just get in the podcast recorded on buying. There’s your blog posts, you know, have turned it into a book.

Alistair McBride 3:06
Ironically, no, but yeah, it’s a very, it’s a very interesting point, that the writing, writing is helping the thinking and helping grow that expertise. It’s that kind of what you’re saying. Yeah.

Alastair McDermott 3:18
And I think that we’re you came out of left field with with this was I said, Look, I specifically don’t want to talk about AI, because I’m doing that on my new podcast, the AI powered thought leader. So for The Recognized Authority, I want to talk I want to I want to talk about some stuff that isn’t totally AI focused. And you said, but is this just not irrelevant now? And that just hit me from left field. So I want to get into why why you said that, and what’s the context of that?

Alistair McBride 3:48
Go for it? Why did it what’s the context of that? And

Alastair McDermott 3:55
what will will that that’s it so So you said you were listening to was it Perry Marshall talking about about Ara Marshall,

Alistair McBride 4:00
many people know? If not, he’s a remarkable thinker and consultant, and business advisor, and he basically said the value of writing, sorry, this is a paraphrase. So I may be inaccurate in some level here. But as I understood it, he said the value of being an author and writing a book is essentially going down in its perception month by month. And he gave the example of Amazon having a limit of only three books a day that each account can upload to Kindle, because there were instances seemingly of certain accounts uploading 3040 Even 50 books a day. So when someone can type in some prompts, give it a few thoughts, and basically just have ChatGPT churning the stuff out it completely already. starts to go down the channel of devaluing the perception of an author. Again, another friend of ours, Steve Gordon, one of his response to that was creating this idea of a stamp an organized stamp of legitimacy written by humans, either written by humans edited by AI, because I think there’s a benefits in actually having an editor. I think we’ve both in the last few years, particularly since, you know, AI self publishing kicked in, that one of the greatest problems with self publishing is that people don’t have a very good editor. Whereas you know, back in the day, often a good editor just streamlines the thing. As a quick aside, the flip of that is, is business books on a shelf, where there should be a good in depth long form 40 page article or something. And instead, it’s a 300 page book, because otherwise the perceived value is too low. So it’s just full of filler, you know?

Alastair McDermott 6:04
Anyhow, so riff, so okay, we find that, so, so the idea is that the proliferation of AI generated content has caused Amazon to limit people to a mere three books published per day, which is Nate, you

Alistair McBride 6:21
are the author of an appeal. Yeah, Three new books a day. Think about that. So let’s do a three day per day, that’s 21 a week. That’s the limit.

Alastair McDermott 6:33
Right? And I cry was pretty good writing a book in a month. So yeah.

Alistair McBride 6:38
You’re still obviously going for quality, though.

Alastair McDermott 6:42
So then the context of that is, then as as somebody who wants to publish, be seen as, like I said, As an aspiring thought leader, than an authority in my field. If I want to be seen as all of that, does, does that invalidate the the concept of having a book? Or? Or does this make publishing companies more relevant again, because I think that they were starting to lose their relevance. So is a commercial publisher now more relevant again,

Alistair McBride 7:10
I don’t know. This is this is part of it. I suspect, a an editor, or some sort of signature, some sort of stamp of credibility will probably come back into that. One thing Perry was talking about, which was very interesting was the flip side of having the book is that you’re actually doing things like this. You’re getting on live. And but this slash interactive webinar style, where you’re actually fielding the questions live, because then people are going, that will shoot way up and appreciation, rather than just the recorded word. As the recorded word, as you said earlier, should be you condensing, compressing, and just improving and streamlining your thoughts and your unique value and insight. But then, people are the very soon even now are still going well, is this how much of this was written by? Yeah, how much is this actual person says? Do they actually know this? And believe this? Or is this just hopefully with the uniqueness? It’ll it’ll seem less ChatGPT. As you know, you can read something and tell it’s kind of ChatGPT still, because it uses some of these linguistic hyperbole and silly phrases and stuff. But that will get washed away. And in the next iteration, I’d imagine if not

Alastair McDermott 8:32
one, I would say so the output is getting much better. And even

Alistair McBride 8:36
Claude now is harder to spot because it’s just better but but the point is still the same is that it’s it’s being an in the real walking the walk, and talking the talk will very much be the differentiator, people being able to field questions alive. That’s kind of for me where an awful lot of the authority will go, but I think probably just start with, it’ll still be Oh, Alastair McDermott is the author of this book, that book and the other book. Yeah, to be honest, one of the things I really like about your book series, is that they are concise. They’re not 300 pages of filler, around 40 or 80 pages of good stuff. You’ve tightened way down.

Speaker 1 9:19
I mean, when we were together years ago, he’s always been right me.

Alistair McBride 9:25
too wordy. So you were always very much an engineer when it came to communication,

Alastair McDermott 9:30
which was great. Yeah, the bed the benefits of the classical education.

Unknown Speaker 9:33
Do you

Alistair McBride 9:36
have your engineering background? It’s like, got straight to the point. But so I think there’s still value there in reading in reading the insights of an expert of course there are

Alastair McDermott 9:49
ya so I mean, when it comes down to me, for me is okay. I mean, it would be good for me personally, if things like livestream started to become Much more important because I’m doing a lot of those already. And that’s something I’ve already got a skill set around. So that would be good for me personally. Now I’m thinking about the listener who wants to build authority be seen as an expert in their fields. And they’re, they’re looking at this landscape of Amazon, limiting people to three books a day. And they’re saying, Oh, well, I was thinking about writing a book next year. You know, is that is that any? Is it worthwhile doing that? Now, I think it probably still is. Because I think that if you’re writing a book about like, it’s a for business audience, it’s going to be, it’s going to be business focus is going to be educational, and it’s going to be probably around your process. And what you’re doing there as you’re documenting your process, really, currently, it helps you to formulate your thinking. And it helps you create all of these other assets as well, that, you know, like, anytime you write a chapter, that’s also a blog post, that’s also potentially a podcast episode, if we repurpose it the other direction. So I think that there’s a lot of benefit in just going through that writing process. But it does, like what you said, and the kind of the paraphrase quote from Perry, like all of that does make me wonder about the value now of having my stuff up on Amazon. And I know that cautiously.

Alistair McBride 11:22
agree and disagree, I think the nuances. Well, the nuances if you’ve several things there, it’s the full picture. So think of it this way, when people still go to Google to Google someone, they go there who’s this guy they maybe they hear you get as a guest on someone they already listened to podcasts is a very common thing, right? And they go Who is this guy, I kind of like his stuff. I like the way he spoke, I liked his tone, I like just turn a phrase look, the way he was thinking about things, telling me new things about stuff I thought I already knew, yada, yada, yada, right? And then click the link in the bio or whatever. Or in the, in the in the show notes. And they’re looking at your website, maybe the Google, you remember, Google, it’s not gone yet. And all of a sudden, there’s just pages and pages of content that you’ve created over the years. And I have the feet strong feeling that that’s the sort of marker where they go, oh, this person has been doing this for X amount of years. They have like 50 or 80 or 120 podcasts. They have four books on this. They’ve guested on, you know, 28 podcasts or whatever. Do you see what I mean? They’re looking at it in the round going hold on a second, this guy is probably legit. They’re putting all the pieces together. Whereas if they look someone up, who has you know, 28 books on, you know, eight different topics. And no podcast casting, no blog posting? Have they’ve been doing this for the last year? 18 months? I think then you’re when you compare those two pictures you’re going the first one probably knows far more about how to address my concerns. My what I think is my unique issues, concerns problems, yada, yada. Am I on the right track there? Your reckoner, I suppose another issue? So

Alastair McDermott 13:29
yeah, I think of that, as when we publish anything out into the world we’re building this body of work on this body of work is this increased surface area for people to encounter us. And it could be, you know, like, in Google, I just googled myself for for fun, because I haven’t done that in a long time. And now I’m dominating, I think, you know, for me and my name, I’m dominating. Whereas before, I would have been competing a bit with some people who have a similar name to me with different spelling. So I can see, you know, I’ve got a lot of a lot of profile there. But yeah, it’s, on the other hand, stuff like Google may become less relevant. And that’s like, like, we’re already seeing where people are now doing searches in ChatGPT, or in tools like, where people are doing searches there because they’re getting better results than Google is giving. And that’s, I mean, I think that’s one of the reasons why Google actually sat on their AI implementation and didn’t roll it out until they were forced to is because they knew that they would cannibalize their own search with their AI products, which is, which is interesting. So, yeah, so like, is writing relevant is publishing relevant? I think it is because of the thinking process that brings you through, I think having lots of content out in the world. I think that I think that’s important because people will come across you and see, okay, like friend of mine said, You can’t fake 200 podcast episodes party when he was on the podcast. And he had just hit 200. And so, like, I agree with that. But at the same time, if that’s the case, and then people are churning out huge amounts of vast amounts of content. And a lot of this, Google is not going to be able to realize our detect as as not as not human generated, it’s not going to like the AI content is getting good enough that Google won’t be able to tell the difference. And at that point, if people are putting, you know, 30 books a day up on Amazon, they’re certainly grading massive websites as well. Like,

Alistair McBride 15:49
it’s something it’s the difference, I think, between asking a doctor and asking an actor playing a doctor about your health concerns, right? Or playing a doctor will do a damn good job of sounding pretty convincing until you go a few questions deep. Right, right. Yeah. So and this is, again, where the live interaction where they’re fielding live fresh concerns, I was on a podcast a year or two ago, where it was literally a question sent in by some of the listeners, because it was a live stream thing. And it was alive, like let’s do a case study, let’s just spend time, literally giving free advice and consultancy to this person with this issue. And I think that sort of thing will become all the more powerful, because it’s going so deep into the specific of X expertise. And this is, again, the difference between whether you’ve edited a book, essentially, or curated a book versus written the thing. You either know it, or you kind of skim read it, that’s the level of difference. And it also it’s one of these things like they say focus is the power of the 21st century were these great superpowers. And I think it probably is, because, you know, it was a friend was saying, if you can teach this kid one thing, it will be the ability to actually focus for blocks of time. And I was like, absolutely, that is because already adults are losing the ability unless they’re in flow states, and that’s a whole other you know, whole other conversation because, you know, the same kid who supposedly is ADHD and yet all these different attention disorders is locked into playing a computer game for 10 hours straight. Yeah. Right. So yeah, there’s something else going on there with focus on attention. Okay. But but it is this idea of, are you going deep? Or are you going thin, thin and broad and mass producing more stuff, more stuff, more stuff? All right. I suppose not to sound too naff, but it’s that kind of Bruce Lee, quote, what was it he said, I don’t fear the man who has 10,000 kicks, I fear the man who’s practiced one kick 10,000 times. So it’s, again, apologies for the bit Africa, Bruce Lee there. But the analogy does fit. That it’s the depth of expertise that matters, because then you’re far more dexterous or flexible in its application. Whereas when you use a very thin read thin understanding, it’s I suppose there’s a software parallel, there were several people who are interviewing you, a friend, a mutual friend of ours, in Berlin was interviewing for other engineers. And he said, you can find out pretty quickly about four or five questions deep. And you can tell if someone was merely on a project, ie in the room? Or if they led the project, and they solved the problems? Or did they just witness the problems being solved? Because their memory won’t be the same as the two and you’ll be able to understand their thinking they’ll be able to remember that because it’s quite a challenging and emotional thing. It goes into memory remember these things? But I feel that that’s kind of the equivalent of where we’re going with authority and expertise. Again, or am I off? Is there something else I’m missing here?

Alastair McDermott 19:23
Yeah, no, I think you’re on point there. It. I mean, I like the way what what worries me about this is is I don’t really know at this point.

Alistair McBride 19:33
Well, nobody really knows. That’s what they’re looking for kind of educated insights rather than

Alastair McDermott 19:40
just Yeah, random guess. So. So the question then is, where, where should we spend our time? Because we’ve got limited resources. So where do we spend our time? If we want to, like, does it come back to this thing of building a personal brand and that’s all term I really ever embraced. But I think that I’m going to have to embrace it more and more, because it seems to me that maybe that’s the most important thing is becoming known. And kind of creating this personal brand. And even embracing the word influencer, and not in the kind of the NAFTA, social media, sand split, in a sense, a thought leader,

Alistair McBride 20:21
maybe for our generation, but you and I are both, or maybe it’s the Irish cynicism, but we’re both really put off with words. Yeah, I’m sorry. But they do mean specific things. And when when we hear a brand, I mean, just literally think of anyone else who’s a bit like to eat. Just think of what do people think of when they think of you? That’s it? What where do you put where do you? What do you evoke? You know, both in the experience, as well as the physical output, you know, what are you known for, like, whether you like, or love McDonald’s, you know, you see those golden arches. And you can hear these, you know, what the feel of the furniture in there, it’s gonna you know, how bright it’s gonna be, you know, the smell in the air, you can tell, even though each one is different, they’re all the bloody same, right? So it’s this. So what are you going to be known for? And how do you establish that? I suppose that’s the next question. Which brings us back to all of these mediums. So. So talk to me then about some of the pros and cons. I know you’re a big podcast fan, some of them I, I do want to go into quickly why that is the benefits maybe of leading with the podcast.

Alastair McDermott 21:34
Okay, so, so many, there’s so many pros for me. So one is that, if we go with the traditional podcast, it’s, it’s typically being listened to by people with headphones in listening to you while they’re doing something like gardening or doing the dishes or driving or something, right. So you have this uninterrupted time in their ear while they’re at the gym or doing whatever they’re doing. And they’re just listening to you talking about whatever it is with, with whoever you’re talking about, with, they’re interested enough to give you some time, out of their schedule, and dedicated and attention. And that’s what it is. And so, and that creates this very strong connection. And so I think that’s huge. Just that, that part of it. And I also record video, and we’re recording video today. And I’m gonna put this up as a video because the YouTube has become the largest platform for people to consume podcasts. Now, I think that a lot of those people who are consuming podcasts on YouTube are not actually looking at the screen, or have it running in the background us, you know,

Alistair McBride 22:41
years ago, and I was like, Whoa, you have YouTube? Like, yeah, when I’m cleaning my office, or when I’m organizing my files and stuff like Oh, right. Okay. Yeah. Because I don’t like the way YouTube is. It’s bigger than Spotify and Apple and Google. Yeah,

Alastair McDermott 22:55
as far as I know, the latest, the latest stats show that that YouTube is and I’ll put links in the show notes for this one, because it is it’s, it’s a big steal. Podcasts are big. And well, the interesting thing is, so I have heard people say, you know, there’s too many podcasts already, the number of podcasts is the number of active podcasts is actively dropping at the moment. So we have less podcasts now active than we did three or four years ago. And so it’s fascinating, particularly given that the listenership of podcasts is growing. I think what’s happening is more and more people are listening to the biggest podcasts, and they’re getting into podcasting. Podcast apps have been embedded in car dashboards now. And so when you buy a new car, you know, you can you can play a podcast while you’re driving. So all of that is built in and that’s that’s growing the listenership as well. So yeah, so it’s a growing medium. In that sense. You have this connection with the listener. But then there’s these other things that you can do with a podcast. So for example, we’re also doing video, when you do video, you can repurpose that content in more different ways. In particular, you can repurpose it up onto social media, in the form of short video clips. Those tend to get

Alistair McBride 24:09
a lot simpler to do.

Alastair McDermott 24:11
Yeah, again, with those AI tools that we don’t want to mention, because you don’t make this podcast all about AI. Look at

Alistair McBride 24:19
yourself as creepy, but it’s in the background of this conversation. So okay, so those are the pros. What are the cons? No,

Alastair McDermott 24:26
no finishing rows. Sorry, not even close. So, another thing that you can do with a podcast is you can platform yourself, so you can be the expert on your podcast. And that’s something that I’ve done before on my podcast with solo episodes on by asking you to come on as a co host and interview me on a topic and the that that makes up for the fact that when you have an interview show quite often you as the interviewer, you’re platforming the the other person, the guest and so What you can do is you can reverse that so that your platforms, your platform and yourself, but then you can do the other thing I talked about, which is interview other people. So you can interview and connect with other people in your field. So you can build relationships with people. So for example, I’ve interviewed Alan Weiss, Christo, David C. Baker, Ron Baker, Rochelle Moulton, Jonathan Stark, all these people I’ve interviewed on my podcast, I’ve gotten to know them, I’ve chatted them, I was on Michelle’s podcast last night, we just did a recording for her. So that’s gonna be in a couple of weeks. So there’s all of these things. So you’re building relationships with all of these people, you can so you can and then what happens is you are seen on the same level as the people who you’re talking with. And that’s a psychological thing where people, if they see you in a certain circle of people all the time, they assume that you’re at that level, whether you are or whether you’re not. Now, I would like to think that eventually you do get to that level, because you’re hanging around with those people for long enough and talking with those kinds of people. Then the other thing is, you can actually use your podcast for lead generation by interviewing or chatting with your ideal client. So you can say, Mr. prospective clients, I would love to have you come on my podcast, to talk about your your journey. What you’ve learned in this industry, tell us some more stories, things like that. And so what you can do is you can build relationships with people, I’m not saying necessarily try and do a hard sales pitch. And definitely don’t do that in the green room before after the the interview. But you can start to build a relationship with somebody. And so you can use your podcast as content based networking. And so what you’re doing is you’re, you’re getting to know people build relationships. And then apart from all of that, you can take all of that content and repurpose it all out. Now, the other thing that you can do that I have done in the past, is you can also use it as a way of doing research. So you could say, Okay, I want to write a book on a topic, or I’m doing some research about a particular area, I’m going to go find the experts who are in this area, and I’m going to interview them on that topic. And it’s basically only gonna be a research call, but we’re gonna record it and broadcast it as a podcast. And so you get to repurpose this. And you can also do that with with research in a new market with prospective clients. And so what you’re doing is you’re building relationship doing research for a book, and creating content. So you’re kind of three birds with one stone kind of thing. And you’ve got all of this content that you can now repurpose a million different ways with all of our, all of our AI tools and all of the even the non AI tools that we use for for for repurposing, so I don’t know if I’ve exhausted all of the possible brains, but I think that’s I think there’s a lot yeah.

Alistair McBride 27:38
Maybe worth mentioning. Well,

Alastair McDermott 27:42
so maybe one of the last pros, and then we get into cons, one, the last pros is, it can be as simple as getting on a zoom call, and just recording it.

Alistair McBride 27:50
I mean, that’s what I’ve done, right? Yeah, it’s not amazing. But as I said, with a lot of podcast listeners, they’re listening when they’re doing something else. So your audio just has to be clear, it doesn’t have to be BBC quality level.

Alastair McDermott 28:03
So just overnight, we’d like it to be as clear as possible, because I interviewed the guy who did the science on audio quality, Professor Norbert Schwartz, and they found that the better quality audio may just seem smarter, more likeable, and your work more important, and less quality audio makes you seem less smarter, less likeable, and your work less important. So I think the audio quality is super important. But it needs to be above a certain level. Yeah. So so there is a bar there. So but yeah, it can be as simple as getting on a zoom call and having a conversation with somebody. And that’s a great place to start. And so that’s so I would highly encourage people to do that. In terms of the cons. Well, I think that it’s so more time consuming. If you want to do the editing, if you want to edit it. And it depends on how you do that you’ll have to either learn how to do it yourself or you’ll have to pay to outsource that to somebody else.

Alistair McBride 28:53
Don’t do it folks. Get an editor because I did that for a friend’s podcast years ago and it just and it was fine and I knew how to do it but ninja did it when I started my own was like that’s the task I hand out. But anyway, yes, you it’s something you can outsource.

Alastair McDermott 29:08
It’s something you can outsource or you can avoid to complete like I do by recording live to tape and saying we’re recording live we’re not editing and that’s the way it is. And so I’ll probably do on this one because we happen to be recording this but I’m considering this live to tape I’ll do a quick top and tail on it. But I won’t do much editing on it.

Alistair McBride 29:28
So what will be the other because you know some people some other mediums might be the classic one is blogging. Literally just now. As I say snippets, you know a I get my GPT to to take the transcript and write three blog posts out of that conversation. Well, you’re doing it on its own.

Alastair McDermott 29:53
So you still just for the site. Yeah, if we’re if we’re talking so again, it goes back to I Think of writing as a form of thinking. And so my blogging, where I blog, something, and I don’t, I don’t have any associated podcast episode or anything like that, that’s typically just exploring a thought and helping me to articulate something that I believe. And so sometimes I am, I have my blog hooked up on my email system. So it automatically generates a draft email, which I can then go in and, and tidy up and send as as an email to my list as broadcast email. So, so yeah, I do still like the concept of blogging, I think it’s important. And I would tie the blog in with email. And I have dropped the ball on my email a number of times in the past, and I’ve done it again, because I was writing a daily email there for a while, and I stopped doing that. So it’s, I think that it’s very easy to get out of the habit of doing that. But it’s a great way to explore ideas and think. So I think that the writing element is important for me personally. So we still were talking about podcasting, we’ve kind of segwayed into talking about writing and blog posts.

Alistair McBride 31:11
The book that I mean, we were talking all around it, but yeah,

Alastair McDermott 31:14
I mean, this, this comes back to me of, I wanted to have a book that I can drop somebody on somebody’s desk, and it has the third factor, you know, it makes it a third when it hits the desk. You want to book that solid. And like for me that that word count is like 3035 40,000 words, something like that. It’s so it’s substantial. So it’s, there’s there’s value caption in there. But at the same time, I wouldn’t want it to be seen, or I would not, I’d hate to get a book review that said this should have been a blog post that, you know, that would be Yeah,

Alistair McBride 31:46
I have a feeling just returning and going in completing the loop a little bit. I think that’s also a factor with when people read the book that if it’s just even now maybe for the next few years, you have to remember ChatGPT is an is an aggregate of the thought that that has in its data. So it will say interesting things that might one of the things that’s great how to saying things that are is obvious to the data, but not obvious to the human due to our biases and whatnot. Right? And that can be helpful if you’re getting it to write a book, and this is one of the reasons why an awful lot of people would be disappointed and underwhelmed you know, trough of despair stuff with ChatGPT was because it’s so average. Like what it spits out is literally by definition is average. So do you want to stand over a book that’s average? Or do you want to stand over a book that you’re damn proud of, and you’re like, This is my thinking. This, this is my unique approach. This

Alastair McDermott 32:46
is where it goes back to for me how much input that you have. And when I say how much input I mean, literally like the quantity of input that you give it. And so I have created Custom GPT for myself, which I just call my books. And it’s private to me, nobody else can access it. But it’s an instance of ChatGPT that I can go in and use. And it has the text of all of my books, it has the text of every blog post I’ve ever written. And it’s got a bunch of other stuff that I’ve written, there’s just in there, this probably 200,000 words or so. And it’s all me. And when I use that to write stuff, it comes out as much closer to me than if I was to use ChatGPT without all of that input. The other thing that I personally do is I use transcripts, or I use dictation. So I’ll use dictation a lot, or I’m giving ChatGPT The input. I’m asking it then to reword that and rewrite that as the output. So if I’m asking you to write a 1000 word blog post, for example, if I was to do that. So first of all, I probably wouldn’t, because I’d probably write a 1000 word blog post myself just because of, I would find that by the time I got ChatGPT, to write something that I was happy with, I probably would have written it manually myself. But then the other thing is, if I was going to get it to write a 500 word blog post, I would probably dictate, you know, if I would probably dictate about the same amount of words in as I would expect to get out. So my input and I will put would be roughly equivalent, you know, maybe dropping as much as 50% of the input will be 50% of the output, something like that. But probably not more, not less than that. So what I’m saying is, I’m giving it all of the thoughts that are in my head about the topic, and then just getting it to reformulate my thinking, rather than getting it to write it from scratch on very little input. Like that. I think the the example that you could take would be if he got a list of keywords from search engine optimization, he said, Write me a blog post for every one of these keywords. That would be the total opposite of what I’m talking about. Talking about it Giving us a lot of input. And that’s where I think it’s different.

Alistair McBride 35:05
Yeah, as that’s a beautiful example, just that you’re pouring in and guiding it and using it as a helpful little adviser of oh, you could say it better this way you could say about it that way, if you were to try and think of it as a person, but you’re not doing here’s 15 headlines, or not even headlines, just sample headlines make hooky headlines, and you know, 1000 word posts to follow. I mean, that’s the kind of churn without mass production nonsense that I think we’re all already wary of.

Alastair McDermott 35:42
So, yeah, let’s say we were talking through the different, I guess, formats, formats, medium platform, maybe. And podcasts and then writing and using AI for writing. One that I think right now is going to be important, and may in the future, be less important is video. And the reason for that is I think the AI video generation tools are getting better and better. And it’s getting harder to figure out. If it’s not a real live video from a real human being has just recorded themselves. I have seen people using video generation tools where they put some video of themselves in, and then they can generate video of themselves saying anything. And it’s still like the worry. Yeah, yeah, it’s worrying for many, many reasons. But if we just if we just stick to the positive, and say, okay, so what can you use that for positively? Well, for example, I could take the RSS feed on my blog, and I could feed that in and say, record me speaking, every one of these blog posts, you know, um, have a generate high quality video of me looking like I’m reading or saying all of those in a natural way, I think that is still a couple of years away, probably not probably not much longer than that. But I think that for right now, now is the time to use video to build a personal brand, because AI still hasn’t really quite got that, right. And I think that if you are not on the video bandwagon, get on it really quick. Because if you don’t do that, I think that you know, you’ll miss the boat, and there’ll be a lot of AI generated video, that you won’t be able to tell if it’s real person or not. And so, now is the time to take advantage of that. That’s, that’s where I think of my video. But I also know that video is very hard to do. Like, apart from all the technical stuff, of you know, camera lighting, sound all that it, there’s a barrier to people doing it, people that you know, are worried about their appearance, they’re worried about delivery, you know, looking at the camera, I try and look at the camera as much as possible. But a lot of the time I’m looking down at my screen, or I’ll your slightly off off center on the screen. So I’m looking down at you now instead of a camera. So there’s all of that kind of stuff as well. And there’s all these little barriers to doing video. But I think it’s still, I think it’s still crucial that we do it. Because it’s the way to show to make that human connection. And that’s why the eye contact looking at the camera, you’re making eye contact with the viewer. That’s why that part is important. But I think that AI will be able to replicate that in you know, in a few years time. So yeah, I think I would encourage people to do video. And again, it can be as simple and this is a service that I offer. It can be as simple as getting on a zoom call, one things I do with some of my clients is we get in a zoom call, and I interview them about their topic. And we turn that into videos for their channel and for their website. And, and the reason why we do that is because we can then repurpose it in all these different ways. And it also saves time, it means you’re not, you know, you’re not sitting in front of a camera looking at it and trying to figure out what to say it’s much easier when you have somebody talking to you and interviewing you. So it goes back to the power of the interview for me.

Alistair McBride 39:11
Big time. And that’s something that’s coming through, again, from varying from what we’re saying and you’re saying is being able to do it live. That’s a key thing, then you’re walking the walk, you’re talking to talk and you know, even if it’s a live recording, it’s still being done live. Whereas it’s absurd that maybe the what would you say some of those other mediums are going to be suffering a little bit more in perceived value.

Alastair McDermott 39:41
Yeah, so I don’t know where do we wrap it up from here out? I think that we I think that we’ve we’ve come full circle in that. We’re about well, we’re back talking about AI and even though we intended not to talk about AI today early decided,

Alistair McBride 40:00
what’s the underlying message that what’s the key uniting message?

Alastair McDermott 40:05
I think the key thing here for me is that we still need to create content, we need to create high quality content that has human insights that the AI doesn’t yet have access to. Now, as, as more and more people publish, and the AI is then trained on what’s out there, the AI will learn. And so in order to stay ahead and have our own insights, that are unique to us, we’re going to have to stay ahead of the game. I mean, does that mean we don’t publish into AI? Like, we don’t take our thoughts and allow them to be to be trained on I mean, that was one of the issues with ChatGPT. Where they were taken to court was because all of these authors said, hey, you know, my book was clearly and obviously used to train your model without my permission, I didn’t give you my intellectual property rights. So

Alistair McBride 41:00
same with artists and designers for the visual and stylee and all the rest of it. Yeah.

Alastair McDermott 41:04
Yeah, exactly. So. So do we try and keep our stuff out of those systems? Or on the flip side, do we want our content to be in there, so that when somebody uses it like a search engine, that it actually finds us? And mentions us as the as the, if it does mention us, as

Alistair McBride 41:25
the we’re still talking about AI here, but that sounds like one of the compromises is because it’s usually only a snippet of information. So it’s probably could be considered fair use as long as it’s acknowledged, which chapters in doesn’t do, yet? Yeah. Whereas if it actually accurately acknowledges I got this bit from here and that bit from there, then it’s much harder to actually object because you’re being recognized. And that’s putting the recognition in The Recognized Authority. And but, look, I think the main point is, writing tends to clarify your thinking about these things, whether it’s in short pieces, or whether it’s more of a book. And that allows you to speak and field questions live on unprompted which is what increasingly, that human to human interaction will have higher and higher perceived value. So

Alastair McDermott 42:30
I wonder, then will there be more and more value to live in person conferences? Because that’s where the question for now, we can see that we’re really talking with a real person, I think we’re, we are getting closer to the age of, you know, human replica robots. But we’re still we’re still quite a bit away with that technology, that’s at least another decade away.

Alistair McBride 42:59
I mean, in a virtual sense, as you said, that you can now train to have to sound like your voice. Now, it’s far from perfect, but again, look where ChatGPT was 18 minutes, 18 minutes, 18 months ago. So these things jump up really quite rapidly. So and by the way, check this time just yet.

Alastair McDermott 43:23
ChatGPT hasn’t improved in the last 12 months. Now they’ve published, you know, closed betas and things of Saara and showing off some of the other stuff. But it they actually haven’t published their next version. And it will be really interesting, when they come out with ChatGPT, five, or 4.5, or whatever they’re going to call it, I think it’s going to be a big step forward again, and at that point, it might be writing and generating content that we can’t distinguish from human. So, you know, like, we need to just be aware that this this stuff is changing that quickly. Yeah, so Okay. So, like, what I wanted to talk today about was, like, what platforms or what format should we choose as people who want to build authority? And we ended up talking a lot about AI? And I think it’s because AI is just ubiquitous in it. Now, it’s a bit like talking about it’s a bit like talking about work, but when using a computer or something, you know, it’s just, it’s just ubiquitous, like, how do you feel like Yes.

Unknown Speaker 44:33

Alistair McBride 44:36
It’s hard. It’s extremely hard to avoid burying one’s head in the sand. As you said, Look, in that, you know, you have the early adopters and the jumps up to elation and all that sort of stuff. Huge expectations and the trough of despair, which is where we are now because an awful lot of people have tried ChatGPT and been kind of both impressed with it. I don’t know She’ll play and then you go a little bit deeper. And it’s like, oh, that’s crap. And that’s really rubbish. And that didn’t say meaning any time at all, and blah, blah, blah. And it’s just that political, the trough of despair. I mean, we had this with internet, you know, with web 1.0, and 2.0, where huge expectations dropped down into the reality. And then the expectations are still low, when the reality is actually creeping up to what the expectations were in the first place. And that’s when people are in that sort of illusion, or delusion, that oh, this thing I have years in my field before it really rocks it, it’s like, no, you don’t, this is like the Ice Age, the Ice Age didn’t happen over 1000 years, 10,000 years, it arrived, they say now at about 510 years or something, it literally went from normal to huge amounts of ice mass offer disruption to human communities who are anywhere in those zones, right. But it’s going to be similar in an awful lot of, of work of industries. And the more you can get ahead of your peers, well, the better you’re going to be positioned to, to not just survive, but actually thrive. You know, these tools should be your ally, as you keep saying that you should be you know, leaning into them into their use in a responsible, ethical way that enhances your workflow but clarifies your thinking and improves the benefits that you bring to your clients.

Alastair McDermott 46:35
Yeah, I think that the the only like, the thing that I fear for people is where they feel like, Oh, I’ve got aI fatigue, I’m just hearing about AI everywhere. And so I’m just gonna shut off to it. And I think that’s like saying, I’ve got electricity fatigue, or I’ve got, you know, automobile fatigue, if you were, if you were a farrier, or a blacksmith in the 1890s, you know, it’s like, no, we like these things are coming. And it’s much better to have some understanding of what’s happening. And knowing how these tools work, I think, even though it’s the pace of it is so fast. And there’s so many new things being announced every single day, and so many new tools being built on top of these tools, that it feels like just this tsunami of overwhelm. But that doesn’t mean it’s not important to go and learn how to use these tools and get some basic understanding of the, the, you know, the basics of how they work, because because it’s it’s like it’s essential. It’s, you know, you don’t want to be the business in 1980s He says, No, we’re not going to look at these computer things. We’re going to continue using our paper based system. And all of our competitors are just going to wipe us out you know, go

Alistair McBride 47:53
to Lotus and then to Microsoft Excel, which was in like exponential increase in productivity in the world. Yeah. increasing wealth was tied to excel and Lotus What do you do seemingly? Yeah. So anyway, the point was the same was Don’t bury your head in the sand, but also don’t you know, don’t get too too afraid of the stuff either too terrified or overly crazy optimistic either. Yeah. And on that note,

Alastair McDermott 48:25
thank you, I appreciate you not talking about what means it’s a wrap it all back up and in a bow. I think that you should create content in the platform or medium that you like working in and then need to try and repurpose it into other platforms. And I particularly like the multipurpose them kind of multi approach of podcasts because it’s so flexible. But I really do think that there’s a place for writing as well. Definitely. Awesome. McBride. Where can people find you if they want to check us out?

Alistair McBride 49:01
Just go to Alan and his stuff there and follow our past dealing with Hello, thank

Alastair McDermott 49:07
you so much for being on the show today.

Alistair McBride 49:10
No worries. Thank you