Richer Blog Posts

Right now, my blogging editor of choice is ScribeFire which is an extension / addon for Mozilla Firefox or Google Chrome whichever happens to be open when the blogging moment comes along.  Similarly, it is independent on the computer that I’m using – Macintosh, Ubuntu, or Windows.

One of the nice features that ScribeFire had was integration with Zementa.  Zementa is a really unique piece of coding – as you create your post, it looks at your content and suggests images or links based upon the content of what you’re creating.  When I’m done the post, I take a look at the related articles and pick a few and they appear at the bottom of the post.  So, if we go back to my blog post of January 3, it was one of my “This Week in Ontario Edublogs” and I would pick a few of the suggestions and they appear at the bottom of the post, like this…

Related articles

I liked the concept.  It’s like having your own personal research assistant finding articles related to your post.  Some are supportive and some are counter to the topic.  I always figure that it makes the post that much richer by bringing in the related content.

Mysteriously, the feature was remove from Scribefire with no reported reason.  It’s not something to moan about, it’s the perogative of the developer to do what she/he wants to do with their product.

But, WordPress had a similar feature.  So, I got into the habit of writing the post in ScribeFire, posting it, and then loading the post in WordPress itself where I had the choice to add stories from there.

Then, that feature went away too!  Not mysterious this time.  From the WordPress support forums,

Instead, the folks at WordPress are working on their own utility.  At this point, it seems to be searching and finding related content from within the blog itself.

That’s kind of cool.  At least my older posts don’t go unnoticed.

But, I still like the option of choosing my own related articles from a list.  It only took a couple of days until this dummy blogger thought – I’ll bet that Zementa has written an extension / addon for the browser!

Sure enough:

A couple of quick downloads later and I’m back in business.  The format has changed a bit and it actually looks a little like what WordPress is doing with the thumbnails.

I’ll take them both!  My posts are enriched by my own past content and by others on the web.  Who could ask for more?

I wish both of these developers all the best in refining these tools.  They take my own thoughts to a new level with the thinking of other posts.  I know that my proofreaders Sheila and Lisa may not believe this but I do read my own posts and I do enjoy following the related stories.  For the inclusion of a few more clicks, there’s even great content.

(My choice of example above has skewed the results available to me! <grin>  But, it does serve as a good example)

 

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4 thoughts on “Richer Blog Posts”

  1. I will never doubt you, Doug :) Unless you no longer have some green in your new blog formats… haha. I did like that WP starting doing the work of linking other posts for me.

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  2. Tanks Doug for this Zementa is wonderful, now I need to figure out Scribefire – it is Friday night and I am finally getting to checking these out – always so interesting and helpful muchas gracias!

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