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Zemanta Launches Rich Email Widget and My Take on a Potential Business Model
Slovenia-based Zemanta has announced a variety of important product updates today. Zemanta provides a set of content tools which help bloggers "enhance" their posts. They have updated their widget to offer support for video, audio and Web apps including Google Maps. Zemanta has also created "content verticals" in categories including: music, tech, health and travel. The idea of the verticals is to have a set of content sources on hand for each content category.
The other update is a major update for Zemanta. The widget they offer to bloggers will now be available to Yahoo Mail and Google Gmail users. The widget is installed as a toolbar for Firefox. Once the toolbar is activated, Zemanta users can enhance their emails by adding images and links, similar to the blogging product. The company also notes that you can create "postcards" which can be personalized and sent via your email provider. It’s a very interesting extension to writing emails although I wonder how often a person will want to enhance their emails.
One interesting thing I’ve noted with Zemanta is just how many juicy SEO links they push out to sites like Wikipedia and Crunchbase. When a person picks an image for a company, Zemanta drops the image into the post, links to Crunchbase below the image and links the image (with a follow tag) to the page that the image references. In fact, I’ve wondered if Crunchbase would rank so high for company searches if it wasn’t for Zemanta.
Maybe there’s a business model in the links. For example, Crunchbase could pay Zemanta a fee each time their links are displayed on a user’s post. Maybe the user who initiated the link gets a cut of the fee. Of course that would just mean that Crunchbase (and the others) are paying for in-text linking which could easily be gamed and is against Google’s TOS, but perhaps it’s an idea that could spark other revenue ideas for the company.
Perhaps the better idea is to allow the content sources to bid on placement in the widget for each keyword. The more you bid, the higher you are listed on the source list.