2011 A-Z Blogging Challenge (Miscellany), Blogging, PostADay2011

Z is for Zemanta

Image via Wikipedia

So there’s this really nifty service that comes with WordPress called Zemanta.  At least it’s pretty nifty when it works. But it seems to only make an appearance about once a month.  I don’t get it. It’s like a cat: it’s all over you one minute then vanishes.  When it works it’s brilliant.  It delivers pictures and other websites related to the post you’ve written.  Anytime I’ve included images that aren’t my own, except for W for Wild  when I included images from Linda Wilder Art – they have been images delivered by Zemanta.

When Zemanta works, while I’m writing the post, it starts purring like a pussy cat, and all these pictures turn up at the bottom of the post and I can choose to use the ones I like.  The variety of images Zemanta delivers is quite astounding. If I don’t like any of the images delivered first time round, I can refine the recommendations by entering keys words, and it sends a whole whack of new images.

When I wrote the Love and Baking Cakes post, it didn’t deliver an image I really liked, but the woman cracking the two eggs into the bowl seemed most appropriate so I used it.  Then the next post I wrote – M is for Money – it sent me this really cool image of a man and woman baking a cake together, but that had nothing to do with money!  So I wondered if maybe it had just found the image and remembered me, so I went back to the Love and Baking Cakes posts and got Zemanta working, but it didn’t send the really cool image of the man and woman!  I have no idea how to find that image without Zemanta, nor does it seem able to deliver it when I want it!

As I said, it also delivers related websites, which are usually pretty relevant.  I usually check them before linking, but – yup – for the Love and Baking Cakes, by the time I wrote the post, I was so burnt out from making the audio track that I just clicked on everything it sent and one of them linked to a soft porn page!!!!! Well, it was a flash fiction page. Now I have no probs with flash fiction, so I just clicked on it without checking it out first, then a little later, when I had time, I checked it out and well…it wasn’t really my thing.  Pictures of naked women and a poem that wasn’t really appropriate so I deselected it.

Anyway, Zemanta hasn’t worked on my blog since P is for Pause – and wow the images it delivered for that were brilliant!  But it’s been 9 posts since it worked!!!

Zemanta, where are you? Why are you so unreliable?  I want you here all the time.  I get way more hits when you turn up and deliver images!   You are so like a cat, and as I told your friendly tech support guy, when I get another cat, I’m going to call it Zemanta.  He wrote me back such a nice email:

Hi Alison!

Zemanta would be such a cool cat! We want pictures.
Now, about your problem. I can’t really think of a good reason why Zemanta wouldn’t load randomly. Could be network problems. Is this all on one blog?
You know that Zemanta won’t work on private blogs, right? That could happen if you were switching between blogs with different privacy settings.

Which browser is this happening in? Maybe you should try and just install our Browser Add-on. It extends the functionality a bit so it’s even more fun to use.
Get it at www.zemanta.com/download

Let me know if anything changes and send pictures of your cat.

Best regards,

So I wondered if it wasn’t working because my browser was set to private? So I clicked my browser off private and it still didn’t work.

Oh my oh my, I just clicked my browser off private and it logged me out of WordPress and I had to log back in and Zemanta – dear pussy cat -is ALL OVER ME!!!!
Oh Zemanta you sweet pussy cat, I had no idea if my browser was set to private that you thought you couldn’t come in! And now I see, if I click off private, I have to log out of WordPress and log back in again with my browser off private so you know the door is open!!!

Anyway, this is my Z post.  I’m done with the A-Z challenge and am taking a few days off while I wait for my new internet connection, then I’m starting A-Z food as per a challenge from a guy I met half way through this A-Z.  We were talking about my blog posts, and I had just written the G post and he said I was too philosophical and I said my food posts seemed to be popular (all 2 of them!) so he challenged me to writing A-Z food posts…..

A is for Apple….

B is for Banana…

C is for Cherries…

See you at the supermarket!

2011 A-Z Blogging Challenge (Miscellany), Blogging, PostADay2011

Y is for You

Who are you? Yes, you – the random surfer, the anonymous reader.

Image by LE FOTO DI MAXI via Flickr

I know who some of my readers are, if you subscribe or leave a comment, or click ‘like’, I know your email address.    Some of you have blogs that I can visit and read, and really get an idea of who you are, and what goes on in your head, at least as much as you want to share in your blog.  Some of you are friends I’ve met here or somewhere else on my life’s journey.  A few of you subscribe – not many – 5 to be exact! That’s right 5 subscribers.  Clearly I’m not going to win the most subscribed blog award!

In terms of ‘hits’,  since I’ve been doing this A-Z blogging challenge, the hits have gone from one in a day (my mother, I’m sure) to 81.  That was the day I published the Love and Baking Cakes post.  It linked to an audio track posted on Soundcloud.   How many of you clicked over from there?

The stats not only tell me how many, but they also tell me if another blog/website referred you, i.e. linked to me from another blog/site to here.  So that tells me a bit about you; I know who you visited before me!  But only about 20% of the blog visitors arrive that way.  Where do the rest of you come from?

Well, I do get stats that tell me if you arrived on the blog from a search engine.  And some of the things people enter in search engines that land them on my blog are most bizarre!  Don’t worry, your ip address isn’t attached to your search phrase – at least not in the stats I have!!

Just today:  “are amazed is what in the english language”.  I love that sentence, phrase, random collection of words.  I love the misplaced verb, it almost makes ‘is’ a preposition!  It twists the language just enough to be wrong, yet not quite enough to be misunderstood.  Are you a learner of English as a foreign language? Or are you a confused English speaker?  Or was it a typo?  I suspect it was the latter, but whatever, that search phrase worked to get you to my page!

Yesterday’s search phrases offer an interesting assortment:

 poems about baking and love and a woman baking poem – I like that one!  I like the possibility of it being a woman baking a poem.  

I’m sure both of you were after the ‘Love and Baking Cakes’ post with the ‘Make a Love’ poem.  But where did you come from the first time? The time you saw the post, and it stuck in your head, and made you want to come back and find it again?  But then maybe you were looking for something completely different and just stumbled on AlisonAmazed.  Or did you hear me perform that poem and come looking for it?

personal identity by Alison Boston and poem by alison boston identity is very complex 

Well those are pretty straight forward!  I’m sure you were looking for this.  I is for Identity gets a lot of traffic on my blog.  It’s visited every single day.  So either someone is obsessed with it, or identity is one of those words that draws readers.

“indie albany” Yes, I link to the indie albany blog from my blog, but why would a search engine deliver someone searching for indie albany to my blog?

the news is depressing   NO KIDDING!  That search would have brought you to Gawd the News is Depressing where you would have found a kindred spirit at least as far as our general feeling about the news is concerned.

Well, YOU are very interesting indeed. YOU have a curious way of phrasing things you are looking for.  YOU visit some interesting blogs before coming here.  I think I like YOU – whoever YOU are. I hope you like me.

I’m so tired from the move, this blog post is pretty sloppy.

But who are you?  Leave a comment and tell us something about yourself.  What brings you to alisonamazed?  Do you come here often?  Is there something you especially like that you’d like more of?  Mysterious YOU!