Union Square’s blogging VC backs blogging tool Zemanta

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Updated

Zemanta says it can make the arduous job of blogging a little easier by suggesting relevant content worth linking to or adding to your posts. It looks like well-known blogger and venture capitalist Fred Wilson has been making good use of the tool — Wilson’s firm Union Square Ventures just announced it’s investing an undisclosed seed round in the startup. [Update: Zemanta now says the financing was for nearly $750,000.]

Wilson describes Zemanta as “AdWords for content creators.” Like AdWords (Google’s advertising program), Zemanta’s technology scans the words on a page and makes suggestions about what’s relevant — except in Zemanta’s case, it isn’t recommending ads. Here’s how it works: Every 300 words into a post, Zemanta analyzes the content of your post, then recommends other blog posts, articles, images and videos via a sidebar. It even automates most of the process of linking, posting and crediting outside content. It works as a plug-in for blogging platforms such as WordPress and Movable Type; plus, if you’re using a platform that isn’t supported, it works as an extension for the Firefox and Internet Explorer web browsers.

Overall, the product sounds like a great idea — linking and adding other media can feel like time-consuming distractions when I’m writing VentureBeat posts, so anything that helps is welcome. In fact, I just downloaded Zemanta and look forward to giving it a shot. Adaptive Blue offers a competing product called SmartLinks. As the name implies, however, it’s limited to links. [Update: In the comments below, Wilson argues that the products are actually complementary, not competing. In fact, he says Adaptive Blue’s chief executive introduced him to the Zemanta team.]

Zemanta is based in London and Slovenia. It previously raised $1.5 million in venture backing, but Union Square is its first US investor.


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