OnSugar is a new blogging platform with a twist. The service has added several functions usually found on other social networking sites so that it feels like a blend of WordPress mixed with Twitter. For example, on the homepage you can view the public timeline which updates with posts from all blogs or just those you follow. You can also follow bloggers and their blogs and send them private messages (just like Direct Messages).
One of the most useful features is the dropdown menu that allows you to jump from one of your blogs to another. The other menu item (see right image) displays all of the tasks that you can perform on the blog you’re currently visiting. For example, you can create a new post, edit drafts, change themes, widgets or pages. You can also change your site settings or invite other bloggers to guest blog on your site.
Speaking of themes, you can use existing themes or copy them and change them to make them your own. You can also create your own original theme from scratch if you want.
The Start Following link appears on all blogs and acts like the subscribe to RSS feed option that we see on all blogs these days.
When you create a new post you’re presented with a great deal of choices, which is another thing that makes this blogging platform different than most standard platforms. You can create many different types of blog posts. Besides the standard text post, you can also create polls, question and answer type quizzes, quotes, links and more. As for media, you can upload audio and video files or embed them.
The home page has a cool filtering system that lets you display whatever you want to see. For example, you can choose to see all new posts from all blogs or just the sites you subscribe to.
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You can select what kind of posts to view too, such as only posts with audio, video, polls, quizzes, links, etc. It’s a unique way to let users manage and control their blogs and those that they follow.
The service might appeal more to women because of its initial look and feel, but there seems to be a significant amount of men on the service already. The platform is different so we’ll have to see what shakes out when more traditional bloggers give it a try. Is it a good idea to mashup social media services with the blogging platform model? I think it is. WordPress and Blogger have made strides (ever so slowly) to give their users more social media tools and functions. Time will tell how much farther they will go to make their blogging platform more social.