Friday, June 20, 2008

Blogging the Write Way: Zemanta

Let me start this out by thanking friend and colleague, Sire, because it was from his Well Blog Me! blog that I first learned of this incredible new blogging tool.

Zemanta is a blogging plugin available for both the Firefox and IE browsers which scours the Web for applicable links and photos to include in your post as you write it. This is the first post I've written after installing Zemanta, so I am reserving judgment for now, though I will say the interface is clean and very nice.

On Blogger (in Firefox), it opens up on the righthand side with a photo gallery up top, followed by a list of articles relating to the subject. The content refreshes every 300 characters, giving you constantly updated suggestions and inspiration for whatever you are blogging about. This allows the software to "tweak" its suggestions the more you write.

The photos are either in the public domain or "could qualify as fair use" (in which case, it's up to you to find out more about them), but since I rarely qualify my posts with pics, it serves more as inspiration and a source of amusement as I write.

The only downside I foresee with Zemanta is its very strength: the constant updating will probably prove more of a hindrance than boon for dial-up users. But unless you live in Somalia, there is very little reason you should still have only dial-up.

The other limitation - regardless of platform, browser, or connection speed - is that basically all of the suggested links are from Wikipedia. I, like most, rarely link to Wikipedia because the information is unreliable; it's a good starting-point, but seeing as how you still have to do the actual legwork, it isn't much of a help.

Still, all-told, Zemanta is definitely worth checking-out and test-driving for a while. I'll let you know more in a few days.

© C Harris Lynn, 2008

Zemanta Pixie

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