Saturday, March 29, 2008

Zemanta went public

Five days ago.

And the guys are receiving quite some positive feedback which they more than deserve. I won't go into details about what they are doing and how - they have some interesting videos on their web site that you can check out, as of wednesday you can download Zemantas plugin for Firefox and try it yourself, but the best testament of their technology (at least on the page you are looking at now) can be seen in my blogposts since I began using and testing it at the beginning of February.

Even before I began using their technology as a novice blogger I also had an opportunity to work with their technology in London (on Wordpress plugin) for a brief period of time. Even back then when their technology was still in its infancy I was often pleasantly surprised about the results it returned. But as I left London and didn't have any actual contact with their technology for 2 months I was even more shocked when I saw to what extent had their product matured and how useful it actualy became when I started to look at it as a user and not as a developer.

At several occasions it proved at least as useful tool as Google - if not even more. One such example would be when I was writting a blog post and sometime during the process I took notice of articles that it suggested to me. The good thing was that those articles weren't strictly from the topic about which I was writting about - which may, based on ones intuition sound as something one would want to avoid at all cost. But it turned out that the articles that it suggested had helped me develop my ideas a bit more thoroughly.

Google is a very useful tool for searching precise information but it fails when you would want it to cover a bit broader field of knowladge. Either your search is very precise and in the process loses any interesting bits of information that could turn out to be useful for developing ideas and gathering knowladge, or its too broad and you get a whole bunch of information (majority of which happens to be useless to you) that quickly overwhelms you and causes you to lose focus.

In part this is a result of the method used for searching - Google has to find good information based on few keywords, Zemanta has the advantage to extract data based on a lot more input information. While Googles way turns out to be more useful the majority of time, Zemantas way is more useful when you are writing something like blog post (or any other piece of writing, for that matter) that can benefit from general links and related articles (besides images and tags that Zemanta also provides).

Since Zemantas product is still in alpha phase I am more than eagerly waiting to see how its technology will mature and what kind of suggestions can give me in my future posts.