Last week I downloaded the Zemanta plug-in for Google Chrome and have been using it when writing posts through my two WordPress blogs.
Zemanta uses the slogan “Blog Smarter” in its title bar and the line “Write your post . . . Enrich with Zemanta. . . Get more traffic.” I can’t say anything about the claim “get more traffic,” but I have found that the tool both makes blogging easier (I’ll use that for smarter) and enriches posts.
For instance, I wrote a post on Paul Volcker last Sunday in my personal blog as a way to comment on three articles I had read on the President’s economic advisor and former Federal Reserve chairman. I took a look at the Related Articles section of Zemanta’s Content Recommendations sidebar that shows in my WordPress dashboard, and found another excellent article to round out my post with some details on a news conference in which Volcker participated.
The blue square-arrow icon on the lower right of each recommendation opens the items in another window, making it fast and easy to read and evaluate new sources, as well as suggestions from information sources that I added to my profile. I have also used the Media Gallery section to find illustrations for posts, something that my posts generally lack and a weakness I will use Zemanta to help correct.
The other Zemanta function that I appreciate is the In-Text Links section, which in WordPress appears right below the text editor. As you write, link suggestions appear. Linking is as easy as selecting the text for the link and clicking on the In-Text Links button you want.
I have not figured out how Zemanta selects in-text links or how to get other items in a post to appear. But the auto-link feature as I now understand saves a lot of time.
So all in all, the tool is proving its worth in blogging smarter. Now we’ll see about the additional traffic claim.