Enhance your blog with Zemanta

by | Nov 7, 2010 | Notes while surfing

ZemantaImage via WikipediaI’ve been kind of busy lately, but an article by TechCrunch, a news feed I follow on Google Buzz, prompted me to write.
In Find Photos For Your Blog In Three Easy Steps, TechCrunch reported a new startup to help bloggers find art for their columns. The site is called Wylio. What it does is search for photos across the web to add photos to your blog.  Lets face it, the world of blogging would be so much more drab if there weren’t some kind of graphic to break up the text. My interest was piqued so I checked it out and have to admit that it looks promising. And then I remembered I already had Zemanta installed. Zemanta does what Wylio does and more. The drawback with Wylio is you have to go to its site and enter a specific keyword, then copy the result and paste it into your blog. Zemanta, however, works right beside you as you are typing your blog. As you type it will suggest meta-data, media, related articles, etc.
Zemanta is an extension for browsers (it supports Firefox, Google Chrome, and Internet Explorer). It also has plugins for Joomla, Drupal and WordPress. In other words, its got you covered.
I must confess that I had forgotten all about Zemanta’s benefits–having turned off what I had deemed unnecessary add-ons a while back to speed up my surfing when things were getting too slow for comfort. But I went a little crazy and turned off practically everything.  After reading the article, I turned Zemanta back on to take another look. I fell in love with it all over again.
Being an artist, I like to create my own artwork, but sometimes I just don’t feel like firing up Freehand (or Illustrator, or Photoshop). Sometime’s I just want to write. So, I don’t always use the photo feature. The photo on the right was pulled up by Zemanta. The art was among 400 pictures that Zemanta found that coordinated with some keyword in this blog entry. It also found around 24 related articles, from RSS links ranging in dates from 1 day ago to 1 year ago.  (Only one was 1 year ago. Most links were within the last 3 months.) Another benefit of Zemanta is that you can take it or leave it. You don’t have to use any of their suggestions, but its always handy to have while you are writing.
If you’re a blogger, check it out. It might be just what you’re looking for.