Zemanta Revisited

Image representing Zemanta as depicted in Crun...

Image via CrunchBase

Way back in 2008, I wrote a brief post about Zemanta.  I think it’s about time I updated it.

I use Zemanta every time I write a post. The artwork normally to the top left of any post is usually picked from a selection suggested by Zemanta. The tags I pick are, again, from a selection suggested by Zemanta. And that little “reblog” icon at the bottom right of every post? Yep, that’s from Zemanta too.  Zemanta is a very useful tool in a blooger’s tool kit and I hope that this will persuade you to try it out on your own site.

Let’s take a look at what it does. From the Zemanta Learn page:

Zemanta is a tool that looks over your shoulder while you blog and gives you tips and advice, suggests related content and pictures and makes sure your posts get promoted as they deserve to be. We at Zemanta are thinking hard to help make blogging easier for you. We’re engineering better creative tools to help you get the most out of your blogging time.

And of course, to add to that here’s a shot of the Zemanta sidebar that you will see on your blog dashboard:

Zemanta DashboardThe picture (click for bigger) is taken from my own dashboard and is what I am seeing while writing this post. Zemanta analyses the text you write and suggests pictures and related online articles. An example of the articles can be seen at the bottom of this post. You then decide which one best fits the article and simply click the picture or article and Zemanta inserts it. Below the text area, Zemanta suggests links which may enhance your post (as they are usually links to Wikipedia, I tend not to use them). You can also add in your own sources: blogs, Twitter feeds, Facebook and so on. The beauty is that it updates as you type: so the more you type, the more focused your images and links will be.

I don’t think I can overstate how simple this plugin is to use and how handy it can be. If you have a WordPress.org blog, use LiveWriter, MovableType blog, Joomla or Drupal blog install the plugin. If you use a different platform, try the browser plugin instead (you can even get a plugin for Thunderbird or Outlook).

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Posted on 2 June, 2010, in Blogging/WordPress, Computer Stuff, Idiot's Journey and tagged , , , , , , , , , , . Bookmark the permalink. 16 Comments.

  1. Hi,

    Andraz from Zemanta here! Great to have you on board for so long!

    We're doing lots of stuff in the background, improving the service, but most of it is not entirely obvious. The quality of recommendations is going up all the time.

    Let us know if you have any more questions at http://getsatisfaction.com/zemanta

    bye
    Andraz Tori, Zemanta
    My recent post Zemanta Enhanced Site True/Slant Acquired by Forbes

    • Hi Andraz – apologies, I just fished your comment out of my spam queue (blame Akismet :))

      My needs for Zemanta are very low-key – I use the tags, occasional in-post links and the images. Keep doing what you're doing!!
      My recent post The Bible – Just The Tip

  2. I also use Zemanta Ray but more for the ease of adding links to the post and tags etc than for the images. I use another plugin for that because I find it easier for placements and such. Zemanta requires moving the whole code if you want the image somewhere else, like further down the post or something.
    My recent post The Importance Of Honesty In Blogging

    • I hadn't noticed that. Normally I place it as near as possible and then use the image edit function to place it. Then again, my needs are fairly simple 🙂
      My recent post Zemanta Revisited

  3. If you convert too many people, wouldn't that make it so that everyone's posts looks the same? 😀 When I figure out hosting, I may give that a try.

    • Not necessarily – it would give Zemanta more data to play with and we should get better choices. As well, we don't all write about the same thing. If any of our articles pop up on Zemanta for other bloggers, we could all see more traffic.
      My recent post 1.2 – Daisy Chain

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