Experimenting with Zemanta - Getting Help with Resources as You Write

Well, thanks to Britt Watwood, I'm hopefully looking a little smarter today. Britt introduced me to Zemanta, a tool which may be added to the browser to assist in the development of a blog post with links to other resources. This slick little tool makes suggestions and provides resources based on the words in your composition. Britt uses this on his own blog called Learning in a Flat World (manually linked).

Although my experiments, have been partly successful, such as when I entered the term digital storytelling, I have found that it is not as powerful as I hoped it would be. It has not found links to Chickering and Gamson, The Seven Principles, Learning in a Flat World, Britt Watwood, VCU Center for Teaching Excellence. When I wrote, Sarah Palin the list of related articles was weak. Perhaps I need to be more specific, such as looking for articles on Sarah Palin's contributions to Alaska or her position on drilling for oil. In addition, Cogdog has created a very well traffiiced site called 50 Ways to Tell a Story and I am surprised that nothing related to that specific site or subject is appearing in the list of resources.

In another attemt to find information on a topic of interest, I wrote, The Personal Brain is a concept mapping tool which dynamically restructures and presents a concept map as one clicks on any one component of the map. It is a way to provide what appears to be a simple map, but dynamically presents sub-maps. Zemanta found a Wikipedia link to concept mapping, but nothing on the Personal Brain.

Again, expeciting to see links, I wrote, Arthur Chickering and Zelda Gamson authored a paper on the Seven Principles... but only a link to Chickering was presented.

Volkswagen Passenger CarsLet's see what happens when I look for an image of a Volkswagen.

On the technical side, I received messages in Blogger: "Could not contact Blogger.com. Saving andpublishing may fail. Retrying..., however I could open another session in a new tab and saving generally seemed to occur.

I am intrigued by Zemanta. I do not intend to put it down, but just report on my initial experiments. Quite possibly the concerns I have are related (at least in part) to my own lack of experience with the tool. At any rate, this experiment leads me to believe that Zemanta and many other tools will continue to remove some of the tedium from our work and empower us to write, provide citations and format articles with greater ease in the future.

The testing goes on.

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