Zemanta Plugin and Content Suggestion Tool

Sea World
Image by daveintucson via Flickr

Every year I come back from REBlogWorld and BlogWorld with new ideas and toys tools to try out here at the Lab.   This year one of them is Zemanta.

Last year it was Apture.   I’ve had that installed here at the Lab since I got back last year.   I’ve used it a couple of times.   I’m wondering if I won’t find the same issue with Zemanta I did with Apture.   The issue: I’m not struggling for content.   I know what I want to write, what I want to say and where I want to link out to for you the readers.

Maybe it is different here at the Lab as a tech blog.   So I’ve installed it on the Tucson blog as well. (Had Apture there to till it started slowing up my load times).

Therefore, this is an introductory post which will require a follow-up.   (It might be a short one)

Zemanta Plugin

The plugin itself is pretty straight forward.   Use the New plugin search, “zemanta”   it pops up, install it.   The API is automatically inserted.   Register on Zemanta website and set up some preferences there.

If you want to include third party images on your post then you can do that as well with image suggestions.

There isn’t anything to see till you open the editor and start typing.   As you do, it refreshes suggestions along the bottom of the editor.   Highlight where you want a link and select the link you want from the dropdown lists provided.   As you select links to include the dropdowns turn Orange to indicate there is a link on the post.

Zemanta Adding Links

I’ve used it to add links to REBlogWorld and BlogWorld in this post.   I have to admit, I like this feature.   I didn’t have to open either of those sites on another tab and copy paste the links.   Zemanta Link Suggestions [x] I Like it.

It did insert some class code in the links which I   see no need for it.

Zemanta Image Insertion

This plugin selects images which might be associated with content in the post.   It makes no distinction between copyrighted images and public domain.   It does indicate if it is public domain or “need to check with owner”.   (Yeah, I don’t think that’s going to happen very often.)   It also uses the image caption field for it’s own link to the image which you can’t seem to override.   Every time I change the caption it changes it back.

I want to write my own captions, thank you very much.   This is a “feature” I DO NOT LIKE.

Zemanta Reblog

It also added a div tag and code to “reblog”   I’ve not read about this “feature” but I don’t like anything that adds code to my posts without my asking.   I’ll look into this more on another post.   I deleted the div and it has been added back in as soon as I saved.

For some reason they think you want to have others blog your content. (This is a feature I wish I could turn off).   I’m leaving it on this post for your review/perview.

First Impressions of Zemanta

Overall, I give it a D.

I like the links suggestion and ability to insert them directly by highlighting.   But most of the other “Functionality” has too much overhead and too many restrictions.   I’m not sure it is worth keeping it installed on a blog.   I’ll give it a little more time.   But I doubt it will change my mind much with use.

If you are using Zemanta drop by the Lab and let me know what you think of it.

Reblog this post [with Zemanta]

Comments

  1. Yeah, I used it for a while but found it more annoying than anything. I didn’t find their suggestions helpful, and tend to use my own photos anyway. Though I never played with the reblog bit.

  2. Hi friends

    Yeah, I used it for a while but found it more annoying than anything.Maybe it is different blog in every real estate blog
    .-= tarn smith´s last blog ..Image module =-.

  3. I’ll have to check it out but per your review and the above comment it doesn’t sound to promising. Do they charge you for use of there photos?

  4. Heya!

    Thank for checking us out, and also for the very detailed review! Its with feedback from users like yourself, that we make Zemanta more relevant and useful! Allow me to clarify a few points 🙂

    Adding Links – Hehe, this is where Zemanta likes to show you some “link love”! Linking to other bloggers posts not only is an excellent way to bring your readers more relevant content, but its also a great way to gain exposure for your blog! The more you link, the more other people will link back to you, and the stronger our recommendation engine becomes!

    Image Insertion – All images suggested to you by our plug-in are all creative commons free, and without licenses. Of course, some photos may have attribution requirements, but isn’t it nice to show some love to the photographer that provided the image? Hehe, its just the right thing to do 🙂

    REblog – Sorry to hear that you are not digging the REblog feature! Its our little way to make it easier for your readers to spread your stories, and link back to its original source. You can absolutely turn it off in your preferences, if your not cool with it. But being that we are a free service, we sure do appreciate the small bit of exposure 😉

    The awesome thing about our recommendation engine is its exactly that, only a suggestion. We offer so many different features and ways to enhance and jazz up your blog post, but you are not required to use each one. If you like the way we offer tag suggestions, feel free to use them! If you are not into our image suggestions, no worries, it wont hurt our feelings is you pass.

    I hope you had a fun time at BlogWorld! I know the gang here at attended had a blast!

    Drop me a line anytime if you need anything at all!

    xoxo
    Tilly McLain
    Community Manager, Zemanta
    .-= Tilly McLain´s last blog ..Goodbye BlogWorld, Hello Web 2.0 Summit! =-.

  5. @ Kelly Koehler

    Sorry to hear that that our plug-in was not helpful to you! We do offer the option in your preferences to enter in your Flickr ID, so that only your own personal photos are suggested to you. Check out your preferences options by clicking on the icon at the bottom right corner of our widget, and let us know if that works out better for ya!

    Thank you for your feedback! Drop me a line anytime! 😀

    xoxo
    Tilly McLain
    Community Manager, Zemanta
    .-= Tilly McLain´s last blog ..Goodbye BlogWorld, Hello Web 2.0 Summit! =-.

  6. @tmongan

    All suggested content is 100% license free, and creative commons clear. Some photos may require image attribution, which is the polite thing to do anyways 😛

    Check it out in action on our demo, and give it a spin for yourself!

    http://www.zemanta.com/demo/

    xoxo
    Tilly McLain
    Community Manager, Zemanta
    .-= Tilly McLain´s last blog ..Goodbye BlogWorld, Hello Web 2.0 Summit! =-.

  7. @tarn smith

    Sorry to hear that our suggestions were not helpful to you! In an effort to improve our service, what is it about our recommendations that annoyed you so badly?

    Your feedback is very much appreciated 😀 Drop me a line anytime!

    xoxo
    Tilly McLain
    .-= Tilly McLain´s last blog ..Goodbye BlogWorld, Hello Web 2.0 Summit! =-.