Blogged started out as a straightforward blog directory in early 2008. Today, Blogged announced a major redesign of its product that puts the service's focus on facilitating conversations around blog posts. Blogged now presents users with a Facebook-like feed of blog posts, with the ability to comment on posts and share them on Facebook and Twitter. In addition, Blogged also rolled out support for Facebook Connect and a widget that allows bloggers to bring comments made on their posts on Blogged back to their own blogs.
Blogged slowly rolled out the new commenting features - as well as a FriendFeed-inspired option to 'like' posts - over the last few weeks. Some posts on the site are already getting hundreds of comments (a lot of them from Blogged's Facebook application), so users are obviously quite enthusiastic about these new features. Allowing users to share the stories they like to Facebook directly from the site will only bring more user participation to the service.
Bloggers have always been somewhat nervous about 'comment fragmentation' when it comes to services like Blogged, but there can be no doubt that these services also bring new readers to these blogs. The new widget that Blogged introduced today should help to alleviate some of these fears, as it will allow bloggers to showcase the discussions about their posts on Blogged back to their blogs.
After this redesign, Blogged definitely feels like a mix between Google News and the Facebook news feed, which is not a bad thing. The blog directory, which once formed the basis of Blogged, has now been relegated to the back pages of the site, though it still provides a valuable service in its own right.