I signed up for Chat-GPT-4 ($20/month). Maybe I can figure out something to do with it. Maybe I can use it to write blog posts. 

GPT-4 is made by OpenAI, which also sells the DALL-E image generator.   

The publicity about GPT-4 led me to believe it integrated DALL-E, but, nope. I opened GPT-4 and uploaded  NANO.9, chapter 9 of the sci-fi novel I’m working on, and asked GPT to generate storyboards.

Sorry, Dave, I can’t do that, it replied.

No, it said,
As of my last update in September 2021, GPT-4 and other models from OpenAI do not natively generate images. GPT-4 is specifically designed for text generation. However, OpenAI has been working on models like DALL·E, which is designed to generate images based on textual descriptions.

It did generate a screenplay of the chapter. I thought I read that GPT-4 can generate images, but that’s done by OpenAI’s other app, DALL-E.

I generated pix for my xmas card with Diffusion Bee, based on Stable Diffusion. Does DALL-E use Stable Diffusion?

Okay, “stable diffusion” is a type of algorithm, not a product name.

Wait, another page tells me that Stable Diffusion is an app made by Stability AI. 

Stable Diffusion vs. DALL·E 2: Which image generator is better? [2023]
By Harry Guinness · May 5, 2023      

Harry Guinness says Stable Diffusion allows a lot more control over the image. But of course this article is from the dim dark ages of AI–a full three and a half months ago. You can upload images to GPT-4 and let it generate prompts to be pasted into the image app. 

Maybe I can learn to use GPT-4 to generate better prompts for images.

I pasted a blog-post candidate into GPT-4. My original was 750 words, Grade 7, Ease 70, on the Flesch-Kincaid Readability Index–a very good score. The app’s rewrite is 483 words, Grade 10, Ease 48.  A mediocre score, and quite a bit is lost in translation.

There are a few sentences that are worth keeping. The main problem is that it makes everything generic rather than specific. Musings that could be related to any number of industries.

The text it generates from my input doesn’t sound anything like me. It’s stilted and pedantic, always seeming to reach for a snootier, more abstract word and thus losing detail.

I’ve seen other people complaining that it defaults to passive voice wherever possible.


I looked at the screenplay GPT generated from my story chapter, and its reply about generating graphics for a storyboard, and realized I could use it to extract info about what the sci-fi vehicles look like and use that as a prompt over at Stable Diffusion, where you can use controls to specify changes.

Stable Diffusion will let me create larger pictures. Instead of 256×256, I can go up to 1024×1024. This was one of the reasons I bought  an m2 Pro Mac Mini upgraded to 32gb memory, 1tb SSD. A muscular brute of a computer  better   able to wrestle AI into doing what I want.

What I want to do is learn how to use AI to improve the content of the websites for tech companies. I can see how rotten their sites are and how easily I could fix them, but I haven’t been successful in peddling myself. I don’t have a tech degree, I don’t have credentials in any tech field. All I have is a massive tech vocabulary and a brain constantly filled by reading lots and lots of science and technology sites every day.

I’m kind of an AI, myself.


 Well, my first attempt didn’t work. I uploaded NANO.2: Solar Tarp into GPT and asked it to extract info about the vehicle and generate prompts to create an image of a vehicle in Stable Diffusion. It gave me seven prompts:

Imagine a large modern mobile home with dimensions of 100 feet by 30 feet by 15 feet.

Envision earthmover tires underneath that enable the wagon to traverse any landscape without tilting or unsettling its occupants.

On the exterior, visualize an array of practical attachments: chairs, tables, tools, bicycles, and storage bags.

Across the top of this wagon, picture a long cylindrical tube—the housing for the solar tarp.

On the sides of the wagon, think of rungs for climbing and, at ten-foot intervals, imagine telescopic rafter rods that can be pulled out and extended.

Imagine the solar tarp, a roll of the darkest graphene fabric, neatly stored on the wagon’s roof, ready to be unfurled and absorb sunlight.      

Here’s what Stable Diffusion generated from these prompts. I can’t see that it included a single one of the parameters in the prompt  except “mobile home” and “wagon.” 



Now I’ve entered the same seven prompts into Stable Diffusion XL, the newer betterer version. Oops, there’s a wait: I’m 99th in a queue of 109 right now. Estimated wait time: 23 minutes.


Stable Diffusion XL is no better:


Well, it is a bigger picture.

I tried good old Diffusion Bee and got a little closer:


The wagons don’t look like shiny metal, they’re made of synthetic chitin developed by the bots long ago. Like the strong exoskeletons of insects and crustaceans.

All marketing text is worthless–unless somebody reads it.

All marketing text is worthless
unless somebody reads it.

If you make it easy to read, they will read it.

I know, it sounds corny.

All humans and search engines prefer easy-to-read, easy-to-understand text.

The readability of text has nothing to do with the complexity or seriousness of the subject.

Making it easier to read is not a matter of “dumbing down” the text.

It’s about clarity. It’s about  plain, straightforward language that’s easy to understand.

Even for technology companies.

I don’t know what motivates companies to present hard-to-read text; all I know is what I see on their sites.

I’ve helped a lot of technology companies improve their message.


Battling Elementor

Today I’m battling Elementor, the website builder overlay for WordPress. I need to fix my problem with headers. I have two different angles of attack to try. Elementor is still telling me that page so-and-so’s header is conflicting with a previously assigned header, HeaderXYZ, but that header has long since been deleted and extirpated. I mentioned this at the Elementor website and several people remarked about their similar problem.

But Elementor staff never entered the discussion until they posted “This discussion is closed.”

The other angle is that I have not defined a Page template. I’ve made a Post template.

     It’s another muddle of the basic WordPress division of the universe into Pages and Posts, which are very much alike but extremely different from each other, and with different rules that you are not told about. Just buy a plugin to fix whatever is bothering you!

I have a Page template on my Local version but I can’t seem to make it work. When I make a new page I try to assign it to the template, and sometimes it seems like I succeeded, but then when the resulting page displays, it has nothing to do with the template.

Part of it is that the page is not one unified thing, it is a patchwork of information from a database. You open a page to work on it and it looks like it has a header, but actually the header is summoned from a database. Each item on the page is actually somewhere else. This page did not exist until you went to the URL address and the computer assembled the page for you in a microsecond.

The page could be displayed on a phone or a laptop or a big monitor, so the computer will rearrange things according to what the aspect ratio of your screen is. The default these days is a single vertical column that will fit in a smartphone screen.

Kids growing up in this era have a new way of learning by interacting with artificial intelligence. This was in an article about the upcoming upheaval in the education industry. Kids will be growing up with a constant singular mentor who knows everything about the kid.

It’s going to be a much different environment than today. Today, the purpose of schools is to provide employment for administrators and teachers. The students are mere units to be processed, and drugged into compliance if they are restless or fidgety.

We are still unable to comprehend how much the digital age is changing our culture, knifing away aspect after aspect of how we do things. The education industry is a relic, a dead monument. Computers can do it better.

Maybe there’s a better option for me than WordPress/Elementor, but I don’t know how to find it. Every alternative is the best option, according to their marketing literature. Squarespace is the answer, according to Squarespace.

I googled for SquareSpace alternatives:

The Best Squarespace Alternatives of 2023:

Wix is best for affordability. Weebly is best for beginners. Shopify is best for e-commerce. WordPress is best for customization. Duda is best for agencies. WebFlow is best for no-code graphic design. GoDaddy is best for simplicity. Strikingly is best for speed to publish. BigCommerce is best for omnichannel sales. Google Workspace is more usable and easier to set up.

Oops, now I see that Weebly has been renamed Square Online. Kinsta, Webnode, Jimdo, Zyro, the more you search, the more competitors you find.

The problem of not being able to create Categories for Pages turned out to be soluble by using a plugin, “Pages with category and tag.” I created a category, “Workshop,” and assigned it to each of the submissions to the Workshop’s “Works In Progress” page.

I hope I can remember how to do it next time. At least I made a few notes this time.

June 9, 2023

A local Santa Barbara web design shop asked me for a bid on a copywriting project.

I looked at their site to see what they had to say about copywriting: not much, except that they were extremely good at it, just like they are extremely good at everything else. According to them.

I’ve examined the sites of hundreds and hundreds of web design shops from San Diego up the coast to San Francisco and they brag about the skills of their graphic designers and video editors and animators and coderz but very very few of them have a copywriter on staff.

A current buzzword in adbiz blab is: “storytelling.” People are more willing to read text if it connects the product to events in human lives.

As an example of their copywriting skills, this web shop’s portfolio showed pages from their e-commerce website for a company in Chicago that sells expensive leather wallets. It’s a very good-looking and competent ecommerce site.

The web design shop’s copywriting stance:

Tell the strongest Americana story

Ashland is well positioned to get a huge boost
from fans of old-world craftsmanship and
made-in-America businesses, and so we
amplified that narrative both in copy and
with visuals on the site.

Sounds good. But in a prime example of Advertising About Something Else, the made-in-America business narrative they decided to amplify was: Al Capone’s crime empire.

The creative copy is all about making comparisons to the days of the Chicago mob in Prohibition days–Capone Money Clip, Johnny the Fox, Bugs Moran, Frank the Enforcer, and Fat Herbie.  

The reason this wallet is better is because Frank the Enforcer says so. Got it?

 The web shop’s apparent definition of “copywriting:” take whatever the client gives you, and then add a layer of something else that’s more interesting than the client’s product. There’s your “storytelling:” a story about something else. Because it’s too much work

It’s a lot easier to write about Chicago gang members zestfully murdering each other than it is to find out what kind of craftsmanship and materials make a leather wallet better than the competition.  

A copywriter absorbs the information about your company/product, and your competition, and the demographics you’re aiming at, and presents a story that persuades the visitor that you have something worth looking at.

June 1, 2023

First thing every morning, I go to my Google Analytics account to see which pages on my site were visited yesterday.

Today I saw that a visitor to looked at my recruitment brochure for Brooks Institute of Photography, a now long-gone outfit.

It was another one of my “first person” brochures. I interviewed the president of the photography school and many members. Then I wrote it in first person as if Ernie Brooks was the writer. I also interviewed a student and wrote her explanation of why she chose Brooks, in first person.

I hadn’t thought about it for a long time so I took a look at it and discovered I hadn’t modified its page on my portfolio site since 2008, when bandwidth was low, so today I made a PDF of the whole brochure and now it’s available.

I captured the text from the Brooks brochure: 2,304 words, Grade 9, Ease 57, on the Flesch-Kincaid Reading Ease scale. Pretty darned good for a brochure from a school.

I made a flyer for an outfit called Keep Your Keys.

I answered a CraigsList ad asking for “flyer modification.”  I met John Shaver at a coffee shop in Goleta. He said he had a lot of responses to his ad but I was the only one who was truly local to Santa Barbara.

He showed me his existing flyer (right). He wanted a better one.The flyers were to be delivered door to door for his foreclosure prevention company.

I interviewed him about what he wanted. I made the parts that he said were most important larger and easier to see.

I charged him $50.


I signed up for Chat-GPT-4 ($20/month). Maybe I can figure out something to do with it. Maybe I can use it to write blog posts. 

Read More »

Battling Elementor

Today I’m battling Elementor, the website builder overlay for WordPress. I need to fix my problem with headers. I have two different angles of attack

Read More »

June 9, 2023

A local Santa Barbara web design shop asked me for a bid on a copywriting project. I looked at their site to see what they

Read More »

June 1, 2023

First thing every morning, I go to my Google Analytics account to see which pages on my site were visited yesterday. Today I saw that

Read More »