Zemanta, a very useful utility that makes blog posts easier to write, is now setting its sights on Web e-mail. Its browser plug-in, which works with both Firefox and Internet Explorer, has been updated to do the same thing in both Gmail and Yahoo's Web mail.
Once installed, you just hit a button in your Web mail client and the tool goes through what you're written for related links and content worth adding. It's very fast at doing this, even if your message is on the long side. In my case, a three paragraph e-mail took less than five seconds to be processed, and Zemanta came up with ten different suggested links that could be automatically added to my message.
The images that you can insert into your e-mails come from various places, but I found the most helpful option to be Flickr. You can plug in your user name and it goes through any shots you've taken (assuming you've named them) and lets you easily insert them. For instance, in my e-mail I had referenced going to the de Young museum in San Fransisco, and it pulled up both photos from the Web and my Flickr shots from the weekend in question.
I look at this as a fantastic way to make e-mails to friends and family a little more accessible. If you don't feel like going back after writing to plug in links for things that might need explaining, there's a good chance the tool has already prepared them for you.
Here's a demo of how it works in Gmail. There's also a video of it working in Yahoo mail after the break.
Zemanta on Gmail from zemanta on Vimeo.
Zemanta on Yahoo! Mail from zemanta on Vimeo.