Launching in Alpha today is Zemanta, the European startup which has developed a facility for WordPress blogs to suggest contextually relevant links, pictures, related content and tags using an internally developed semantic analysis engine. Eventually they will also integrate tabs for third parties who provide vertical-specific suggestions (tech or SEO, for instance). The upshot? Start writing a blog post and Zemanta looks at it and then starts to add the most likely links to the text, which you can then edit (something a lot of bloggers would kill for no doubt). It also builds links to related stories. This kind of application exists a lot in academic and enterprise content management systems but hasn’t appeared on the Web very much to date as these tend to be very CPU/resource intense technologies. So Zemanta is a web service API not unlike Akismet in its ability to look intelligently at content and decide what to do with it.
You can now download a demo which works with Firefox and TypePad, WordPress and Blogger. It’s in alpha material, so don’t expect it to be full-formed.
The Zemanta team emerged out of Slovenia and took part in Seedcamp (a London-based Y-combinator-style incubator) last year and was one of the six selected for funding. They recently announced a $1.5 million seed round, led by Eden Ventures with additional investment from Saul and Robin Klein through The Accelerator Group. The co-founders are Andraž Tori and Boštjan Špetič, both hyperactive, smart young guys who I met at Seedcamp last year. They have since brought in an experienced CEO in the shape of Aleš Špetič, a former O’Reilly author and CEO of an IT integrator in Slovenia. As it happens, the Zemanta story is quite typical of the European startup scene right now – very “London meets New Europe”.