East of Constantinople, West of Shanghai

A week of (mostly) random generated posts


Three of the posts you have been reading on Karavansara this week were written based on titles generated by HubSpot‘s Blog Topic Generator.
The topic generator is a tool that… well, generates topics for blog posts.
Basically, you provide three keywords (nouns are better than phrases, or so does the documentation say) and at the push of a button the machine dreams up five topics for as many posts.
And you’re set for a full week.


And I thought, why not give it a try?
Might be fun, right?
So, here’s what I did.

I  placed three keywords in the generator.
I got the five topics, and I wrote the five posts, one a day for the week.

The three keywords I used were

  • self publishing
  • adventure stories
  • the Silk Road

I wondered what topics the generator would generate.
hqdefaultI was curious to see what would happen.
I thought it would be fun, a nice change from my usual topics, and an exercise in writing to an external prompt – a great form of writing practice, and a good way to keep the writing gears oiled.

Granted, HubSpot’s generator is geared towards company blogs and products/services blogs, but that’s also part of the fun in this experiment.
In the end, four out of five prompts turned out to be lists – which led to the decision of splitting the series in two parts: I guess after three lists, my readers have had their fill for a while (or not? Let me know, please!)
But it was interesting, trying to fulfill the prompt’s requirements, compiling lists of ideas, blogs and websites and what else.

I also had to keep in mind that…

Our algorithm isn’t perfect. After you have your titles, you may want to tweak them to be more relevant to your terms and grammatically correct.


All in all, it was a fun experience – but for a blog like this, the Topic Generator is too focused on attracting clients instead of readers.
But that’s ok – I had to give it a try.
The first three posts were up on Monday, Thursday and Wednesday – and they did ok in terms of views.
Two more posts will be up next week. After that, I do not know if I will use the generator again: as I said, it is too aggressively focused on product placement and marketing for my tastes.
And I wonder about your tastes – any thoughts about this experiment?
Did you like it?


Author: Davide Mana

Paleontologist. By day, researcher, teacher and ecological statistics guru. By night, pulp fantasy author-publisher, translator and blogger. In the spare time, Orientalist Anonymous, guerilla cook.

3 thoughts on “A week of (mostly) random generated posts

  1. Yes well… I’ve tried it, choosing my keywords as “history”, “anachronism” and “fiction”, and I got suggestions to write about “How to solve the biggest problem with history” (wouldn’t we all love to know!) and “5 Tools Everyone in the anachronism Industry Should Be Using” …
    Quite fascinanting – and now I’m trying, as a game, to either tweak the suggestions into something viable, or imagine using them with no teaking at all – but I’m not terribly sure the generator works well with my sort of topics… 😀


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