Hachette launches social bookmarking tool for Sugar

Hachette Filipacchi has launched a new social networking and social bookmarking website for its teen title Sugar, and plans to introduce widgets to integrate the site with Bebo and MySpace.

Sugarscape.com includes social networking features such as user profile pages, friend lists and messaging tools. It also allows users to share links from elsewhere on the web. Hachette Filipacchi describes the site as the first social bookmarking tool aimed at teenage girls.

Hachette Filipacchi UK digital director, Dave Killeen, said: “Sugar readers use the web extensively. We’re making the most of that by letting our readers tell each other what they find most interesting online.

“The end result will be a social sushi-belt of pointers to and comments on the most popular content from around the web.”

Sugarscape’s social bookmarking functions work much like well-established sites such as Digg and Reddit.

Sugarscape.com users can use a toolbar for their web browser to post links from other sites they visit to Sugarscape.com. Once a link has been posted to the site in this way, or “Sugared”, other Sugarscape users can vote or comment on the link.

Users can vote to ‘Sugar it’if they find the link of interest, or ‘Shove it’if they do not. The links deemed most popular by Sugarscape’s users are given more prominence on the site, where they are interspersed on the site with stories written by Sugar’s editorial team.

The user-submitted and editorial content are colour-coded seperately and readers can chose to see only stories added to the site by the journalists.

Widgets that will allow Sugarscape users to post their links to other social networking sites, such as Bebo and MySpace, are currently in the pipeline for the second phase of the launch, Killeen told Press Gazette.

Widgets are small pieces of software that allow users to display content from one website on another.

‘It’s very much about slicing and dicing your brand and putting it in various places across the web rather than just building one destination site,’Killeen said.

‘With this audience in particular, we really have to be everywhere and anywhere, really. So we’re building various web apps that don’t just sit on Sugarscape, but right around the web.’

Sugar magazine’s existing website, Sugarmagazine.co.uk, will continue its digital operation, providing readers and users with frequently updated editorial content on-line.

The site is the first in a series of new launches from its new digital team headed by Killeen, who joined the company in January from Associated Northcliffe Digital.

‘We’ve started with no one here at all in digital, so we’ve been able to get a bunch of really good geeks who are commercially astute but want to do something really original with the brands that we have,’Killeen said.

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