There are now three alert badges on the site. They are circles with the number of messages not replied to, inside them. You will see them in the header, on members tabs and in the drop down below your name.
Clicking on the badge will take you to the upgraded interactions section. From there you can either reply to the message (which will mark the message as read) or mark the message read without replying.
Members of the site can create their own blog, posting about things that relate to thier business or craft.