However, keeping your blog content fresh by finding links to relevant articles or pictures can sometimes be a manual process of searching Google, Flickr, and other sites. Enter Zemanta. CEO and Managing Director Ales Spetic sat down to show me the product at the Web 2.0 Expo in San Francisco last month.
Zemanta can be installed into your blog platform, including Wordpress, Movable Type, Drupal, or it can be an add-in to your Firefox or Internet Explorer browser. It can also be used as a "bookmarklet" in any other browser.
Once you install it, blog as you normally would. Zemanta will suggest related links and images for your content. Type "Inc. Magazine" and Zemanta suggests it will tag a link to the right site. It may also find a relevant logo or picture. An especially nice feature is that that the images suggested are "blogger friendly" - they are creative commons licensed, or Getty Images that have blogger-use permissions.
Zemanta also suggests tags for posts based on the context of your writing. Some bloggers don't understand why tags are important, but they're quite good for Search Engine Optimization (SEO). Using relevant tags that match the context of your post makes it easier to find when someone is searching.
When you're stuck for content, you can use the "Related Articles" feature for inspiration. (The feature suggested this post about "Free blog content" which discusses Zemanta - hey- it was definitely related.) Zemanta also puts a "Reblog" button into your posts - so if someone sees your story and wants to pass it along, you get links.
"Zemanta helps bloggers increase traffic, because by using it, your own story gets added to the network and may show as a related story on someone else's post. A great way to judge us is that 41% of our users are still actively using it 6 or more weeks after they try it" says Spetic.
The other night at the New York Tech Meetup, Zemanta announced an effort called "Blogging for a Cause" which allows non-profits a chance to win money when people blog about them. The details are on this Zemanta site.
Last updated: May 7, 2009
HOWARD GREENSTEIN is a social media strategist and evangelist, and president of the Harbrooke Group, which specializes in helping companies communicate with their customers using the latest Web technologies. @HowardGr