Throughout 2011, we got a chance to highlight some of the awesome users of Zemanta. The list ranged from professional tech bloggers to activists that were using their blogs and social media to help their causes. Below, you’ll find some great highlights from the interviews.
Tac is VP of digital consulting at Waggener Edstrom‘s Studio D Group. In our interview, we talked about the role of social media and blogging in marketing, mind-mapping tools and advice for bloggers. Here’s one of the questions from the interview:
What’s your opinion on the value and place of bloggers in the current media environment?
I think there are two ways to look at the value of bloggers. I may be rephrasing the question here, but it’s more about the value ob blogging. On one hand, I feel like I get a lot of value through blogging, possibly more than my readers do. That’s because it’s almost part of my thought process now. I really enjoy the ability to express myself and taking some of these raw ideas, theories or concepts that I’ve been working on and writing them out in a blog post kinda forces me to think them through a little bit deeper.
On the other hand, there’s the value blogging adds to space – I’m not a news blogger, I don’t blog about necessarily current topics per se, that’s probably a whole different discussion point. But I think that bloggers like myself, who are perhaps more thoughtful, maybe add a different level of value in that they’re really talking about how things work. I don’t know if what I write is agreed with, but it’s a discussion. It sparks debate, it sparks thoughts. The value isn’t just in “hey, here’s what’s happening”. Where bloggers like myself try to add value is more in “what does it really mean” - to you individually or you as an organization or to the industry. It’s “what is” versus “what could be”.
Read Tac’s full interview from this summer.
Kris is a developer and digital strategist, author of Passive Syndication Markup Language (PasSML) for syndication at display level for web and mobile devicesand co-host of Croncast. Kris has been a friend of Zemanta for a long time and we finally were able to corner him this year for an interview.
You’ve been familiar with Zemanta for a while? Why are you a fan?
I’ve been a fan of Zemanta from close to the launch. At the time I was a professional blogger and I was working to build tools that would help me organize information better for articles. Zemanta came up in my research.
I became a fan instantly after installing the plug-in and writing my first article with it. The interface had the right amount of human touch and enough nerd power on the backend to deliver relevant results for images and links.
At that time I was writing 5 articles with 300 words or better per day. They were relatively short pieces that often had topics that I wasn’t knowledgable in and had a difficult time finding sources for information. Zemanta fixed that.
What made me an even bigger fan was the additional power it had to create keywords for the posts I was writing.
As a blogger sometimes you think you’re writing a post about one thing and when you see the keywords, you’ve found out that you’re really writing about another. It gave me a chance to edit in a way that I had never seen.
Find Kris’ full interview here.
After meeting Allison at BlogWorld LA in November we learned that not only is she a big fan of Zemanta but that she is using on her own blogs and champion the use of Zemanta on other blogs such as the official blog for BlogWorld. Here is an excerpt of her interview:
What do you blog about?
On the BlogWorld blog, we write cover all aspects of new media and online content creation. The site is a mix of news and opinion, with resource guides for beginners, weekly link round-ups, small business profiles, speaker interviews, videos, and more.
I also run a few of my own sites, including Blog Zombies. On Blog Zombies, I write about how to be a better, more profitable blogger by combining passion with monetization. In addition, I work with a number of clients to help them with their blogs. Some of the topics I cover for them include job hunting, education, insurance, and dating.
Read Alison’s interview here.
At WordCamp in San Francisco over the summer, we found out about Ted Curran, a long-time Zemanta user and an instructional designer who blogs at TedCurran.net. Ted has been using Zemanta since 2008 and is a big fan.Here’s a snippet of his interview:
How does Zemanta help you blog better?
Zemanta does a great job of recommending relevant tags, links, and images that make my blog posts richer and more informative for my readers. My favorite feature nowadays is the Related Articles– I love how Zemanta finds other articles online on the same subject matter I write about. This helps enmesh my blog posts in larger online conversations and helps me network with like-minded bloggers who care about these topics too. I’ve found them valuable as a reader, too, helping me broaden my understanding of the topics I write about. Now when I build WordPress websites for clients, I install the Zemanta WordPress plugin so they can easily add pictures and links to their posts.
Enjoy the full story here.
Todd is a web entrepreneur, thought leader hurder, blog and content curation expert. He is a superstar Zemanta evangelist and our guest blogger, his interview was so in-depth that we had to publish in two parts.
What kind of feedback do you get from customers about Zemanta? How are they responding to using it?
Well, you know I have to laugh about this sometimes, because Zemanta makes things so easy, I don’t think that my customers really appreciate it. What I have to explain to them sometimes, is “Now, you want to find an image”, you have to go to Google Image Search, and find an image, and look and see what is the best one, and then you have no indication of whether or not, you know, what is the status of these? Are they free? Are they Creative Commons? Can I license this? So even if I can find a good logo, it doesn’t mean I have the right to use it. And, you know, even if I do, so I go and I copy this and then I go back and then I have to add to the media library, and then I add the URL, and then I do this, and oh, that doesn’t work, I can’t do it. So you know, sometimes if I really want them to appreciate the elegance of Zemanta, I have to say, ‘“Listen, this would add five to ten minutes to every post, to do what Zemanta does in five or ten seconds.” Then some of them finally get that, some of them understand it, but you make it so easy that sometimes that they just don’t get that.
Hope you enjoyed these tidbits from this year. We’re looking forward to connecting with more of our users in 2012. If you’re interested in being featured, do please let us know!
- Zemanta Power User: Ted Curran, Instructional Designer (zemanta.com)
- Zemanta Power User: Allison Boyer of BlogWorld and Blog Zombies (zemanta.com)
- Zemanta Power User: Todd Lohenry, e1evation – Part 2 of 2 (zemanta.com)
- Zemanta Power User: Ron Feldman, Mobile Entrepreneur (zemanta.com)
- Zemanta Power User: Juan from DreamActivist.org (zemanta.com)