This is my first encounter with yet another Internet service ( Zemanta.com )  that is potentially useful and essentially a tool waiting for a purpose.  I never thought about needing it… yet I feel some sort of responsibility to review it. But what is this tool really and is it worthwhile?

So I am browsing around and reading some guys blog and see an unfamiliar “Reblog” button at the bottom of his blog post… see on the bottom right of the image below?

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I click on the button and this is what I get… a console where I can simply click on a paragraph to quote in my post.  At this point I’m thinking this is nothing too exciting….

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Now it gives me a work area where the quoted text is inserted and I have the opportunity to compose what is to be posted to my blog.  So instead of going to my blogs control panel or using a product like Windows live writer to compose my post I can do it right here on this page.

There are three handy things here that you don’t normally get in your Windows live writer or blogging control panel that are worthwhile.  On the top right of the interface is the image selection area where you can insert some images that are sourced automatically based on what it thinks your blog post is about. ( Only let me put images at the very top of the post and I wasn’t able to move them around )   On the bottom right are related articles from other places on the Internet (  or possibly other users of the service  )… if you click on these they are automatically inserted at the bottom of your post for further reading.  Nice touch.  Finally on the bottom left is a single click option to remove all links in the quoted paragraph or restore all links or selectively choose.

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Here is the related articles functionality in action:

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Now I’m ready to publish my test post to my blog… of course it needs my website address, username and password.

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Then I click on “publish” to publish the post to my blog.  Then I go to my website and there it is in all of its glory.

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This makes it very easy for other bloggers to link over to your website or reference your website. (  I wonder if there is a WordPress plug-in  ).

Well it turns out there is a WordPress plug-in for this product… I just installed it and this is what this post looks like now in my WordPress interface.

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You can see the similarities.  The image control, the related articles control, the related links control, and it looks like if you click on the “my sources” tab you can add additional tricks.  I’ll save that for another visit to the coffee shop.

I think my favorite feature is the related links automation.  My next question is “Is there a Windows live writer plug-in for Zemanta?”

Found one here:

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Lets try it.. oops! It wants me to upgrade to explorer 7 now! C’mon Bill!

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If I get 7 then it’ll just ask me to upgrade my dot net…. not up for that now.

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