OnSugar: A Revolution in Drupal Blogging

OnSugar is a new blog publishing platform with a few interesting twists: It's built on Drupal, and it's amazingly easy to use.

In fact, it's so easy to use, if these features ever get back into Drupal core, Wordpress is in big trouble. Hats off to the team at SugarInc for a job well done.

It's hard to capture the revolutionary nature of the improvements they've made to the Drupal blogging experience without trying it yourself, but here are just a few screenshots:

OnSugar new post

Creating a new post is easy, and you get a wide variety of content types out of the box: Text, Gallery, Spread, Poll, Quiz, Quote, Link, Chat, Video, and Audio!

OnSugar spread

OnSugar's spread feature solves perhaps the most common Drupal feature request: easily positionable images and text. And they provide you with hundreds of thousands of free images from Getty Images.

OnSugar themes

Changing your theme is as easy as clicking a thumbnail, and you can preview your new look without even leaving the page. There are dozens of themes to choose from, and they can all be customized.

OnSugar widgets

Widgets are essentially Drupal blocks. OnSugar provides about 20 different block templates, covering everything from plain HTML to Flickr feeds. Blocks can be repositioned on the fly via drag and drop, and your changes are saved instantly.

Editing OnSugar widgets

Widgets can be edited without leaving the page, thanks to a handy AJAX-powered popup. The large font size makes for easy reading.

That's just a brief tour, there's a lot more I haven't covered. From a technology and easy-of-use standpoint, OnSugar may be the best thing ever built with Drupal.

However, I do have some concerns about OnSugar's terms of use. If you're a professional blogger, you should be aware that OnSugar looks down on self promotion*. What that means isn't exactly clear, and I've written a blog post about it on my experimental OnSugar account.

*Update: It turns out the warning about "self promotion" I received in the welcome email was not meant for OnSugar users. The message has now been removed from the welcome email. Thanks to Brian at OnSugar for the update!

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Posted by John on 2008-09-20