Tag Archives: zemanta

On Leaving Zemanta

Bible writing machine

As you’ve probably heard, I’ve left my job as a community manager and UX expert at Zemanta. It has been an incredible ride these two years and I can say that I’m now fully sold at the idea of startup business lifestyle.

Last three months in San Francisco were a great finish of this adventure, giving me time to think and reflect on how I want to expand my professional career. I realized that lately I wasn’t doing much of the things I love most: product development in every form – from designing, user experience, coding and of course interacting with users once we can get it to them.

With this in mind, the decision was simple. It’s time to find the next startup that I can help or found a new one, using some of the prototypes and ideas that are floating around.

I don’t have any concrete plans as of yet, as I plan to first help some friends with their projects and clean my backlog of things that I volunteered for and never got a chance to get around to. There will also be a lot of running as I prepare for my half-marathon.

If you have an interesting project, lets talk. I can’t wait to see to which city and continent the future will take me.

Mini Seedcamp Ljubljana

Entrepreneurs, entrepreneurs, entrepreneurs! That’s what we keep hearing from many different directions as the best approach to fight the recission, by creating new and innovative products. We at Zemanta know that it’s a long a tricky road and that every bit of advice and mentorship helps.

Image representing Seedcamp as depicted in Cru...
Image via CrunchBase

Being fortunate enough to be part of the first Seedcamp two years ago, we’re happy to give back to our local community by helping organize mini Seedcamp Ljubljana. It’s a shorter event in mid-May that is intended to provide 20 teams with mentorship, advice and opportunity to pitch to investors and get feedback. Getting this experience can be also extra empowering for the fall Seedcamp in London.

You can apply to Mini Seedcamp Ljubljana until 27th of April. You don’t have to be from Slovenia to apply as it’s an international event.

At this point I can already hint at OpenCoffe Club one day before the actual Seedcamp Ljubljana (13th May) and another BarCamp Ljubljana on Friday, 15th. But more details about this in a separate blog post.

So what are you waiting for? Apply now!.

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See you at SxSw and MIX ’09

South by Southwest 2008
Image by Randy Stewart via Flickr

Two years ago, working in a Web 2.0 startup was just an interesting dream as I listened to business lectures in Stockholm with @kikidonk and @tlg (they since then went on to start their own startup – KnowledgePlaza) and @daveying99 who also has his own Sweden based startup. Since then a lot of things have happened. One of the more interesting discoveries was the biggest Web 2.0 party on the world – South By Southwest Interactive festival takes place each year in Austin, Texas and is the place to be if you’re in a Web industry. I’m very happy to say that this year I’m going!

I have no idea what to expect, besides the usual things from US conference – huge conference halls, lots of people everywhere and uncountable friendly peeps. So I’m sure it’s going to be a blast. Do say Hi if you’re an anonymous reader of this blog and want to meet. Probably the best way to reach me is to @ me on twitter. I’m @gandalfar.

MIX09 Announcement
Image by DBegley via Flickr

The second event I’ll be visiting is Microsoft’s MIX ’09 conference. This was totally unplanned, but Microsoft Slovenia was nice enough to invite me. It’s happening directly after the SxSW so it’s just a stop by Las Vegas. I’ve yet to go to an international conference but I’ve heard great things about them. I’ll just have to hide my MacBook Air 😉

Third event and the most important is that my wonderful employer, @zemanta, who is sponsoring all this for me, is going to have its first San Francisco developer meetup, together with Freebase (event listing).If you’re in the area on saturday, 21th, do drop by as we’re going to mash up all kinds of cool semantic and open data collections.

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I’m participating in NaBloPoMo

After being accused of not blogging enough to actually fully appreciate subtleties of Zemanta, I decided to start blogging regularly to see what I can learn and how my feelings towards the blogging recommendations will check as I become true power user, and not only interface developer/QA guy.

Image by Seven Morris via Flickr

For now it’s going extremely well, with lots of lessons learned and I also managed to try out quite a few blogging styles. I enjoy doing this so much, that I will extend this blogging also over the weekends. There’s a cool incentive called – NaBloPoMo – National Blog Posting Month, with a perfect pitch Post every day for a month. That’s all you have to do.

This is my post for the day, and we’ll see if I can keep up with this.

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Visualizing books using Zemanta and Wordle

Most of my readers are by now probably already aware of Wordle, Java applet, that allows neat visualization tags. Given that Zemanta released early alpha API preview recently, I was looking for a fun project to showcase some of it.

So for this experiment I’m going to try to visualize some of the popular classic books, using text files of Gutenberg project. Technical details at the bottom of the post.

Jane Austen – Pride and Prejudice

Pride and Prejudice as through words and tags
Pride and Prejudice as through words and tags
Pride and Prejudice through words
Pride and Prejudice through words
Pride and Prejudice as tags

Herman Melville – Moby-Dick

Moby Dick through words
Moby Dick through words
Moby Dick through tags
Moby Dick through tags

George Orwell – 1984

1984 through words
1984 through words
1984 through tags
1984 through tags

Technical details

The whole process is done using a simple python script. The script reads in the text file, breaks it into chunks of 360 words, as is roughly one A5 page and then sends it to Zemanta API. It repeats this process for first 30 thousand words of the book. The limit is arbitrary, I just didn’t want to run the script for too long.

Afterward, the text was manually pasted into Wordle and I played with random function and details until I started to like the image. You can also take a look at my full Wordle gallery.

Lessons learned

I’m especially happy how 1984 turned out. For this kind of visualization it’s important to choose source carefuly, so you can get more powerful results that way. I’ll probably continue experimenting with this on 1984 text.

Zemanta Pixie