Making Google + and +1 Better Together

Combining Google+ and +1 has always seemed like a no-brainer to me. They both have a + in their name, for Pete’s sake! But us Google+ users have seen little use for the previously released +1 button (that little box that lets you “recommend” a page to friends much like Facebook’s “like” button). Up until now.

Today, Google announced a new feature of the +1 button that directly affects, in a positive way, Google+ users – you can share directly to Google+ via the box that opens when you click on a web page’s +1 button. When you click on the “share to Google+” link in the box, you will get a link, a bit of text describing the link and an image, which will appear in your Google+ stream when you “ok” the share. No more grabbing URLs, navigating to Google+ and manually adding the link into your status box. Now there really is a reason to click on that +1 button – easy Google+ sharing.

Google is also releasing to publishers and designers the ability to edit the shared “snippet” via code for each page of a site. This gives control to the owner of the site over the content that ultimately is shared to Google+. Nice for both the user and the publisher.

Check out the announcement below. The feature will roll out over the next few days / week, but you can get an early view if you head over and sign up for the Google+ Platform Preview. Now they just need to figure out a way to catalog +1’s within Google+, so we can all keep a record of what we like.

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What A Milestone!

I am not quite sure how it happened, but this week I passed the 1,000 post mark here in the Studio. This post will make 1,005th, to be exact. That is a lot of posts. And even more words. 1,000 POV’s on law, research, writing and technology. I knew I was wordy, but sheesh!

I guess when you enjoy writing, 1,000 posts can sail out of your keyboard without a great deal of sweat. I hope that Studio readers have enjoyed reading my content as much as I have enjoyed writing it.

Periodically, the Interwebs get all aswarm with debate on whether blogging is dead. The introduction of shiny new tools like Google+ definitely shift attention and emphasis from traditional blogging to the novel ways of communicating and sharing content. However, you have to stop and think about how much of the content shared on these news sites comes from blog posts or articles by amateur journalists. In my mind, blogging is still a solid part of the backbone of the Web and I am as dedicated to my RSS feeds as I am to creating blog-based content for myself and others to share.

If you only read, but have thought about writing your own blog, why not? There are so many great and free tools to help you on your way.  Check out Blogger, WordPress.com, Posterous, and Tumblr, to name a few. You will get a great deal of satisfaction out of the simple process of writing, and even more when you are lucky enough to garner feedback or even spark a conversation.

Write a Blog Post. Help make the Web a Better Place. And thank you for reading here. I really appreciate it.

Studio, +1

Back in March, 2011, Google trotted out its +1 button – a little widget that shows up next to your search results enabling you to “vote up” a particular result with the click. It is essentially another sharing button, but it comes with some strings – Google gains the ability to “tailor” your advertisements and results based on what you +1 (I see a new verb in the lexicon). In order to use and track them, you need to create a Google Profile, and your +1 saves will show on that profile, either publicly or privately. It isn’t a bad way to keep track of things you like, much like a Google bookmarking system, with benefits.

Now, Google is releasing the code to its +1 button and rolling the button out to major sites. Publishers can drop the code into their sites to make it even easier to mark down +1’s – if you click on a search result and view a page that you like, you can then hit the button there, instead of on the search results list. Check out the tutorial over at Mashable on how to add it to your site’s CSS / HTML editor. Or, you can do what I did on my self-hosted WordPress blog and add a plug-in that automatically adds the button to each post.

If you already have share buttons on your site, the +1 is a no-brainer. If you happen to garner a lot of +1’s, the number will show in the search results, which further impels your content in a viral direction. Like a universal recommendation icon for the Web. With these options, adding the button is easy, and encourages sharing, which, as they say, is caring. Hey – feel free to +1 this post, and click the little button at the top left!