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What clicking the +1 on a blog post means

If you've seen the +1 next to a blog post, or on a website, or on Google+, you may have been wondering what it means, and if you should click on it. It's a little bit like the Facebook "like" button, but it does more.

Clicking the +1 button is a public acknowledgement of your approval of something you have seen on the web. And I do mean public. Because this is Google, not Facebook, this is a much larger audience. And so it works for both the person for whom you are clicking the +1 button, and it works for you.

If I see a great post about dachshunds, I will click the +1 button. In addition to letting the person who wrote the blog post know that I appreciate the article on preferred doggy treats for wiener dogs, I am also making a public acknowledgment that I am someone with an opinion on dachshunds. If anyone wants to find out about me, they can click on my public +1 and see my profile.

Although there are some people who still hide behind "avatars", blank faces, or fake names, the vast majority of people with a Google profile don't. This has become something of a revolution on the web, changing anonymous "sniping" comments to public acknowledgement.

No, clicking on a +1 button won't tell the world that you are expert on dachshunds. It will just tell the world that you approve of them. And if you just happen to be a person who has some knowledge there, your approval will help enhance the integrity of the post that you just plussed.

So, before you start clicking the +1 button, go complete your Google profile (here is mine). When someone plusses one of my posts, I try to go back and learn a bit about them. If I see a blank face, or an avatar, or an incomplete profile, I get the message. If it shows that it is a real person, with a real face, and real information, I am impressed. And chances are much higher that I will be plussing a post written by them.