Zemanta - we now do English

Back in September 2007, I wrote about Zemanta who were winners at Seedcamp. Under the headline of "we do your homework", I suggested it was a tool for lazy people to write articles and hence a sure fire winner.

Sadly, at that time it was only available in Slovenian and so of little use to me. I subsequently learnt from Sean Park, who was one of the Seedcamp judges, that they had all nervously laughed when choosing Zemanta as they really had little idea if it worked since it was all in a foreign language!

Well Zemanta has now launched a Firefox add-in version of their service in English which can be used for Blogger, Wordpress and Typepad.

I had some difficulty installing the add-in and had to resort to saving the installation file to my desktop and then dragging it into the Firefox add-in window. Thereafter it has only operated intermittantly, not always appearing when launching the blog post window in Blogger, albeit this is an alpha version.

When operating, it is definitely easy to use and throws up links and tags for common/popular words which can be easily added to a blog post, as evidenced by the liberal sprinkling of links in this post. Similarly it also provides suggested pictures/photos and articles that may be related. In each case you have the option to review a link destination before adding it, albeit I suspect others will be lazy like me and hope that the links are both valid and appropriate - if you hit a porn site by following a link Zemanta suggested, I shall be accountable but shall pass on responsibility!

Do the tool results add to the blog post? - I'm unconvinced but if the explosion of links is helpful to a reader then great.
Does it save me time? - not really, as these are links I wouldn't have otherwise added and those served up appear to be for mainstream brands and phrases, rather than industry specific terms
Will I continue to use it - yes, as there is no downside I'm aware of as yet
Would I pay for it - nope

It is a considerable improvement on their Seedcamp offering and has been well engineered, but to me, it's not a must have app and I wouldn't miss it.

Techcrunch and others seem to like it, each gushing with praise.

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posted by John Wilson @ 4:05 PM Permanent Link newsvine reddit


At 11:51 AM, Blogger Zemantic dreams said...

Hi from Zemanta, Andraz here!

Well, it has been some time since seedcamp and I have to say it was an amazing experience.

Anyway, we are trying hard to offer as much automatism of the research and spicing up for the blogger as possible.

Maybe you have few ideas on your own what you would find useful in a tool like this?

We definitely plan to expand on the number of different locations we link to and also improve the algorithms!



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