Thanks for your concern, empathy, and fast comment. UR right - it is a real pain, as I am full time in IM, and I might edit dozens of posts in a day. Anyway, your response made me do a bit of testing, which revealed a few things.
First, yes, Zemanta does slow down browsers - for me, FF and IE. Second, there appears to be a plugin conflict on FF which slows it down even more - almost to a halt sometimes.
FYI, here are my plugins: http://heymalc.com/images/ffaddons.JPG
On to my testing. With plugins enabled I noticed that Z often stumbles when looking for the editor. It displays: "Finding editor...", then quite often, "Gave up on finding editor. Retry." This could still be hanging 3 or more minutes later. The FF bottom bar is reading "read fstatic.zemanta.com" all this time. This happens frequently to me.
So, step 1 was to disable all FF addons. I did this.
The remaining tests were done:
1. FF (no addons) with Z
2. FF (no addons) w/o Z
3. FF with addons and w/o Z
4. IE with Z
5. IE w/o Z
Results, in seconds until either Z displayed images, or (w/o Z) blue bar completed:
It is pretty clear to me that Z slows down IE and FF at least for me - FF takes nearly twice as long to save, IE 3 times as long. In addition, it conflicts with one or more of my addons to compound the issue. I will have to find out which one.
**My Computer** - I am running:
Pentium quad core
4 x SDDs in parallel with RAID 1
8 meg RAM
Windows 7 64 bit
In summary: thanks for making me check this - as I will now hunt down the offending addon! Once found, it will mean that I will at least be able to function with Zemanta. However, it is clear that it slows down browsing for me quite considerably.
Hope this is constructive, and if I can help further, let me know here or, probably better, at malc (at) heymalc.com.
I think Zemanta is a great idea and I do recommend it to my students as well as using it myself. I hope you can resolve the reduction in browser performance, in which case I could recommend it even more heartily.