Posted on Tuesday, Jan 19, 2010

While poking around a bit today on the Lijit site, I came across a promo for a service/site called Zemanta. Described as a tool to “help you to blog smarter by suggesting related content, in real-time, for what you’re writing,” Zemanta seemed like something I wanted to check out.

Zemanta is a free service. It is enabled on your blog platform either by installing a plugin (if you’re self-hosted; plugins are available for WordPress, MoveableType, Joomla, and Drupal), or a browser extension. Fundamentally, it modifies the “New Post” screen in your blogging software to provide some additional components, as you can see in this screenshot:

So far, in my composing of this post, it’s figured out that I would want to link to Zemanta and Lijjit. The suggested links show up on the bottom in little buttons, and then I just click them to create the link. Pretty slick.

I’m not quite sure why it suggested the images that it did, however…it pulled this from my Flickr, and I don’t know why:

Mac iifx
Image by Matt Stratton via Flickr

Another thing I realized just now – if you use WordPress, it seems best to add the images AFTER you have typed all your content, as the cursor is ending up in weird places after I drop an image in…and then I have to go into HTML mode to get it where it should go.

Oh! I just noticed that Zemanta also suggested some tags for this post, based upon the content. A simple *click* added them. That’s pretty cool.

The final feature I’m going to try is the “related articles” feature. It seems like I can just drag them from the sidebar into my post. Let’s see…

Related articles by Zemanta

Overall, I’d say that Zemanta seems pretty cool, and given that it’s free, I would highly recommend checking it out if you’re a blogger and want a new toy to play with. I’ll report back on my use of it in a few weeks after I’ve used it more in my “day to day” blogging.

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