Where DO you get your photos, Zemanta?

Probably a lot of WP bloggers use  Zemanta. Zemanta is a blogging-assist tool that suggests tags, related links, and photos to help polish up one’s blog. Most of the time Zemanta is a helpful tool. But sometimes? I’m wondering what words I typed that makes Z come up with such crazy photos. How could a picture of a clothes hanger possibly relate to my blog about readership? A picture of a chocolate factory for loyalty? The Bilovice Manor in Moravian, Slovakia for a blog about writing? Really?  

"Hello Huffygirl" (Courtesy of Google)

I think sometimes Zemanta’s inner Hal takes over. You know, Hal, the obsessed computer who takes over the mission in Arthur C. Clarke’s 2001: A Space Odyssey. “No Huffygirl, I can’t let you write about THAT. Here, let me help you. Here’s some photos for your blog. Use THESE.”

But often, I resist. I try to use my own photos whenever possible, and sometimes I don’t want to sort through Z’s photos to find one that’s in the public domain. But Z persists, coming up with more and more absurd links and photos no matter how many key words I give him, er it.  “I’m don’t think so Huffygirl.” At times like that, I just want to turn Z off.  Sorry Z, I’m turning you off now. “I can’t let you do that Huffygirl.”

"Goodbye Huffygirl" (Courtesy of Google)

“Sorry readers, Huffygirl’s not here right now. I’m Halmanta here to assist you”


15 thoughts on “Where DO you get your photos, Zemanta?

  1. I found your question interesting and I had to check it out, since this falls loosely within the scope of what I do for a living. It would be great if there were a service that provided the correct license/domain/provenance information of material, images in particular, that can so easily be retrieved but not so easily tracked to content origin.
    As I poked around it occurred to me that people could just sign up for this, type in a few words, e.g., “bowling is fun,” and Zemanta could write their posts for them. What a timesaver! Spring is coming. I’d like to get outdoors. This could be very helpful. 😉

    This line from the “About” page scares me: Zemanta is a tool that looks over your shoulder while you blog and gives you tips and advice, suggests related content and pictures and makes sure your posts get promoted as they deserve to be.
    There’s a mother-in-law joke in there. I won’t say it.

    • I know what you mean. It didn’t seem creepy at first, but lately it’s giving me so many odd suggestions, hence the Hal post. I may have to turn it off, if I can figure out how, and IF it will let me. If you don’t see any new posts from me for a while you’ll know why – Halmanta has taken over.

  2. I’m very specific about what Iwant. I usually form an idea (sometimes something will hit me while reading another post) and I’ll get an image in my mind. (that’s why I loved that show Ally McBeal so much!) I search for that image, and if a “free” image doesn’t exist…I’ll find free images that do & put bits and pieces to create a vector art piece. From that, I write my article. It takes a long time, and my husband wants me to learn a drawing software, but those cost a lot and the learning curve involved…not quite there yet, but some day (soon.)

    We also purchased a pretty nice camera last year, and still learning that, but the other day, we got a new oven, we baked cookies (rarity in our home) and my 5 year old plopped herself in front of the oven, and was smiling at her reflection. I was able to snap shot that, and gave myself a pat on the back for being so “clever.” Really it was the subject being photographed that did the work for me. 🙂 Here’s the link to that blog post (it’s within the post, so you have to scroll) http://wp.me/p1ilhc-c8


  3. I too have wondered long and hard about the associations Zemanta makes between what I write and the photos s/he/it produces. Sometimes there is linear reasoning. For example, I was writing about my website, FantasyFic.com, which I referred to as FantasyFic. A little further down I referred to it as FF. Big mistake. Zemanta leaped on it with an evil sort of aha! and instantly produced 20 pictures of or pertaining to some Irish movement and election and/or woman whose initials were FF. Linear reasoning but marginally acceptable.

    In this same piece I was talking about another writer and her sterling literary qualities. Zemanta spewed up pictures of caribou (wtf?) and Indian treaty gatherings (wtfx2?). Read the piece yourself and you will see absolutely no reference either to cloven hoofed animals OR Native American/Canadian powwows.

    Tis a puzzlement. Makes you wonder what kind of meds Zemanta is on.

    • Yes indeed. After writing this, I was thinking of going in to turn off Zemanta, but now I can’t remember where I turned it on in the first place. Searching through all my menus and support FAQs has not helped. Maybe Zemanta is more Hal than I ever realized.

  4. I love your post, but have to admit that although I feel very “techie” I do not know what Zemanta is. Brain is too full to look at it right now, but when I do I’ll check over my shoulder first. Love the astronaut greeting!

    • After all, you are workingTECHmom. Judging by your blog, I do think you’re more tech-savy than me. I enabled Zemanta awhile ago – it was one of those WP headlines on the home page announcing it, but now, for the life of me, I can’t remember where I went to set it up. I guess it really does have Hal-like qualities after all.

  5. Pingback: I’ve found you Halmanta | Huffygirl's Blog

  6. Pingback: Trying Out Zemanta | TerraMusings

  7. This reminded me of a news item I saw on ABC yesterday. The reporters were all aglee about facebook testing a new instant response ad feature that would toss up a STARBUCK’S add (for example) as you were typing, “Gee. I could really go for some coffee right about…” (BAM UP COMES THE AD!)

    Well, yes, that’s great for the folks on Madison Avenue handling the Starbuck’s account, but just how invasive does the WEB really need to be?

  8. Pingback: Just Google it | Huffygirl's Blog

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