Blogging Fast Forward

It had to happen – rather belatedly finding out something to inspire blogging ‘on the fly’.

Thanks to a tweet from OwenC about 6 applications that made 2008 special, I am busy exploring Zemanta. I’m doing this after jumping over to Owen’s blog, and having a quick chat about it just to check if I should download this new addition to my suit of FireFox plugins.

Interesting app…see the picture I’ve dropped into the post?  It’s one of many that appear in the Zemanta toolkit, which responds to the content that your are writing in your post. (Now here’s a challenge -  the next day one of the images had disappeared!  Try again!)

I like that I can drag a picture from that selection straight into the blog

The generic globe logo used when Firefox is co...

Image via Wikipedia

post – but I can’t use the normal editing to position that picture (unless I set the preferences to xHTML in zemanta).  Alternatively a quick jump into the html allows me to move the picture around easily enough.  I can also ‘filter’ or search the image pool too. It’s also rather clever the way the image captures attribution – though I have no idea what the source of the images are and if they are indeed creative commons accessible ones. (ok on closer examination, I can see that hovering over the image pool provides the source of the image and its attribution! Cool!)

Zemanta also pulls up content from other sites, drawing on your main topic. I can jump over to them if I see something directly relevant, and add it to this post.  In this way I discovered that CWillliams has answered some of my queries about Zemanta.  Diane also explains:

Zemanta provides you with an easy way of finding and adding photo’s to your blog posts, it recommends SEO tags based on the content of your blog posts – and this is a very cool feature as it’s next to impossible to think of all the relevant tags that could be used. Zemanta also provides you one click access to content related to your blog post .

I’ve picked a few related articles prompted by Zemanta:

Installation is easy..reminds me of Flock, which I used to use before it became so heavyweight.

Another feature is the automatic creation of links within the post. These are generated by Zemanta, at the bottom of the writing window. Simply choose and click and the links are hyperlinked within the post for you.  Mostly these seem pretty relevant.

Zemanta also suggest tags to add to the post! This is something I don’t pay enough attention too, so it will be quite helpful for me.

After more investigation I find that I can add my Flickr account and link to my own images!In fact, if I want to, I can connect my Facebook, MyBlogLog and Twitter accounts to Zemanta and when you post about your friends, their blogs and websites will be added.

Very Nice. Looks as if I am going to have to review my blogging processes for 2009.  Any advice would be most welcome!

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