June 10th, 2009 | Published in Google Blogger Buzz
Image by chucks via FlickrWe're always looking for tools to make blogging easier, and a number of us on the Blogger team have become big fans of Zemanta. Zemanta is a browser plug-in for Firefox and IE, and is available as a bookmarklet for Chrome and Safari. (More details here, you can download your version of Zemanta here.)
Here's how it works: while you write your blog post in Blogger, Zemanta opens up a sidebar next to the Blogger post editor. After you've written a few sentences, Zemanta analyzes the words in your post and suggests images and video that are relevant to your post; with one click, it inserts them into your post. (The Zemanta screenshot from Flickr in this post was inserted with just that one click.)
In addition, Zemanta looks for words/phrases it's familiar with, and makes it easy to link those words to URLs it knows about. The phrases appear immediately below the post editor in Blogger, and by clicking on them you automatically create the links Zemanta recommends. No more highlighting text, clicking "Link", pasting the URL - just click the words you want linked, and Zemanta handles the creation of the link - to webpages, maps, videos or pictures.
Blogger Labels are easier to use with Zemanta, too: Zemanta automatically suggests labels for your based on the text of your post, and creates the labels for you if you like. Finally, "Latest Update" gives you a list of blog posts from other blogs writing about similar topics. It's a great way to discover sites talking about similar topics, and if you'd like to point your readers to those articles for further reading, clicking on them in the sidebar inserts them as "Related reading" links at the bottom of your post (see below).
If you have a few minutes, the following video review by Blogger user Plug in SEO does a good job covering how Zemanta helps save you time while enhancing your blog posts. The blog post accompanying the reivew is also worth a read.
We'll keep our eyes open for other tools that make your blog better. Stay tuned!