I’ve been using Zemanta for a couple weeks now and I’m pretty impressed. Zemanta is a tool for bloggers that helps you add content to your posts. You just start typing and once you’ve added 120 characters (about 50 words), it starts providing you with recommendations.
There are four basic parts to the service: images, related articles, links, and tags.
Related Articles inserts a list of links at the bottom of the post. See the five at the bottom of this post? They came from Zemanta. Additionally, you can add RSS feeds to your Zemanta account and relevant posts from the blogs you subscribe to will show up in this window.
Based on what you type, images will start showing up in the Media Gallery. Hover the mouse over the thumbnail will give you a larger preview, show the source, and also the license. Clicking on one will insert that image where the cursor is. You can choose between left, center, or right aligned, change or remove the caption, and resize the image.
Plus, if you click on the “My Sources” tab, it will show images only from the sites you added in the preferences. Also in the preferences, is the option to automatically download the image to your blog so that it loads faster.
Below the post window, there is a box for in-text links. Clicking on one will insert a link at the first instance of that word in your post. It picks some odd words to use as links sometimes, and usually wants to link to Wikipedia. Now I like Wikipedia, and link to it myself, but 10 links to it in a post would be a little much.
Below your tag window will be another box with tag suggestions based on your post. I’m always bad about picking tags, so this is a really useful feature for me.
Occasionally, a link or related article will show the word “PROMOTED” next to it. This are paid links for Zemanta, how they pay the bills for the free service. The word promoted doesn’t appear in your post, just in your TinyMCE window.
A short video on Vimeo on how Zemanta works:
The service is available as an extension for all major browsers, and a plugin for blogging platforms that allow plugins. They recommend using the plugin over the extension if possible.
My wishlist for the service would be better picking of links, possibly the option to recommend no more than X links to Wikipedia. Organize images by topic and maybe limiting them to a certain number per topic (a third of the images suggested for this post related to Wikipedia, which has now been mentioned three times). And the inclusion of videos in the media gallery.
- Come Visit Me at Zemanta (mommabethyname.com)
- Federated, Zemanta Launch Program to Connect Bloggers with Brands (contentmarketinginstitute.com)
- Use Zemanta To Improve Your Blogging (blacknight.com)
- Assignment: Blogging Plugin – Zemanta (sjsujmcmcom63.wordpress.com)
- Zemanta Power User – Stephanie Bernaba at Momma Be Thy Name (zemanta.com)