Zemanta: Collaborative Thought Through Borrowed Relevance

Image representing Zemanta as depicted in Crun...
Image via CrunchBase

Does that make sense to you? It’s a question we ask those we communicate with all the time. Children ask it because parents are the most illogical people above three feet tall, your co-workers ask it because they don’t want to be the only ones carrying the ball, innovators ask it (or at least they should) because if laymen can’t make sense of their innovations then implementation becomes an issue. In light of all that, making sense of something is the primary job of language itself. In the face of Mass Collaboration, language is strained to do its most delicate job of describing nuance; in fact, it does its best just to keep up with broad generalities at such a massive scale as, say, all of the blogs in the Blogosphere.

Enter the Semantic Web and the myriad of tools that have sprung up to help language do its job, in this case, Zemanta.  In their words:

“We analyze your post through our proprietary natural language processing and semantic algorithms, and statistically compare its contextual framework to our preindexed database of content.

We are using a combination of machine learning techniques and end-user input from our widget users, that enables us to train the engine and constantly improve the recommendations.”

Zemanta distills meaning from language on the Web using multiple methodologies that can be grouped in two basic categories: HI (Human Intelligence) and AI (Artificial Intelligence). Their Natural Language Search and Semantic Algorithms digitally identify common terms and assign them to their appropriate groups such as Names, Places, Companies, Date, Actions, and Emotions. Zemanta has another source of collaborative input that is constantly updated and more flexible than pre-classified language terms or mathematical algorithms.

Zemanta has, quite smartly, joined the world of user widgets and proliferated their Semantic integration technology around the web. From millions of bloggers using Zemanta’s Semantic technology to identify tags, images, and related links for their posts, Zemanta receives a truly Crowd Sourced bank of linked Web connections. There is an API for web developers to integrate into their site as well.

“Zemanta fully supports the Linking Open Data initiative. It is the first API that returns disambiguated entities linked to dbPedia, Freebase, MusicBrainz, and Semantic Crunchbase. The data can be returned in the standard format of Semantic web – RDF. It is an ideal gateway from unstructured web to semantic web. This represents a major step ahead for efforts to connect the Web into a semantic web of objects.”

Neemee takes this philosophy of defining and capturing only the relevant pieces of Web pages to the world of Social Bookmarking. Not only does Neemee rely on HI to build user thoughts, a single thought can be from multiple sources on the web so the “Linking Open Data initiative” becomes further integrated and folded back onto itself. Neemee’s Drag and Drop capture device allows Humans to piece together a complete thought from all of the many voices on the Web. Combined with Semantically Integrated web sites like Zemanta, Neemee becomes a powerful tool to combine HI with all of the sophisticated AI engines sifting and sorting the web.

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