Zemanta Adds Blog Ephemera

A photo of Joi Ito's moblog.Image via Wikipedia

I’m all for anything that makes blogging easier and richer – great blog publishing tools, super widgets, anything to add value to my blog that doesn’t suck up too much of my time. That is why I was interested to hear about Zemanta which claims to help your browser “understand what you are blogging about and suggest pictures, links, articles and tags to make your posts more vibrant.”

Well that sounds great, I thought. Over the years, my blog posts seem to have less links, rarely any pictures and tags are often a drudgery to develop. So I added Zemanta to Firefox. And then…all hell broke loose.

Okay, I’m exaggerating. What happened at first was incredibly unexpected and cool. Suddenly my Typepad and WordPress and Blogger blogs had additional features that appeared on the posting pages. Right now as I write this, for example, I see to the right of this text box a selection of images under “Gallery,” a list of articles, and below the text box, there are a list of 7 links and 8 tags, all supplied by Zemanta .

Here’s where the hell begins to break loose. First, take a look at the image embedded above. It is Joi Ito‘s moblog. So how did my browser and Zemanta decide this was relevant based on what I said in the paragraphs above this one? There was an option for a lovely Firefox logo which I could have used but also:

  1. a screenshot of WordPress
  2. a screenshot of Blogger
  3. a screenshot of WordPress’ administration page

After typing 300 more characters, Zemanta then fed me a closeup shot of Joi Ito (hi Joi!), the Typepad homepage, and various Firefox screenshots.

The links Zemanta gave me were slightly more relevant but since I mentioned Joi Ito and his moblog, some links are totally off track now. The links listed at this point:

  1. home page
  2. blogs
  3. Typepad
  4. Zemanta
  5. screenshot
  6. Firefox
  7. Joi Ito

Zemanta also gave me the following tags:

  1. Firefox
  2. Zemanta
  3. Blog
  4. WordPress
  5. Typepad
  6. Mozilla Firefox
  7. Joi Ito (Hi again to Joi!)
  8. On the Web

In terms of articles, they are almost all about Zemanta. Rather than listing them, I’ll add some to this post. In fact, let me add everything I can right now from Zemanta to this blog post and see what happens. (Sound of hell breaking loose).

See what I mean? On the one hand, the idea behind Zemanta is interesting, but on the otherhand, the results are, frankly, chaos. And am I the only one who thinks the company’s name – Zemanta – sounds like a new pharmaceutical? “Is your blog getting you down? Are you not feeling the social in social media? Have you hit a virtual brick wall? Zemanta can help…”


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