Image by chucks via Flickr
Zemanta is a plugin for Firefox (also for Flock) which suggests images and links to articles that you may wish to insert into your post. It has support for WordPress.com, Blogger.com, Typepad.com, and self-hosted WordPress installs v2.0 and up. The concept is awesome because this would make it much easier to provide more valuable content to your readers.
As soon as you begin writing, Zemanta runs off and grabs items it thinks you may want to insert. These include: context links, images, tags, and links to other articles. All you have to do is click what you want from your sidebar and it’s automagically plopped into your content. All the content suggested is checked to make sure you don’t violate any copyrights.
I can’t stand filling in Tags for my blog posts. I always feel like I’m doing it wrong. But, as Jeff points out in a recent post, you should always tag your posts. Zemanta handles this for me, so I don’t have to think about it anymore. This is a huge plus if you are thinking about SEO.
Also, you can simply highlight a word (SEO above, for instance) and click the suggested link in Zemanta, and it makes the link for you. Pie and Cake.
What Kinda Sucks?
Zemanta uses a proprietary algorithm to figure out what you want. They do index your posts in order to improve their engine, but they say they won’t share with anyone outside the team. I could care less since I’m posting to a public blog.
Whenever you insert an image from the Gallery, you will be linking back to the source of the image (I’ve no clue who this “chucks” guy is, but I appreciate his photo). This could possibly be a concern for those who are trying to avoid sending user’s elsewhere. It could also affect your PR depending on who you ask.
Also, I’m not sure how many bloggers just randomly link to other blogs, so I’m not sure how useful this Articles feature is. I guess it all depends on how free you are with your link love.
There will also be links to Zemanta on items you insert, but you are free to remove them according to the Zemanta home page.
A lot of shady spammers may try and use Zemanta for evil. Don’t let this be you. Write original content and use Zemanta to take it up a notch.
Moral Of The Story?
Zemanta will allow you to easily take your posts to the next level by providing your readers with relevant images and links at the click of a button. Unless you enjoy hunting for these things on your own, you should definitely give it a shot.