The official statement is: The +1 button is shorthand for “this is pretty cool” or “you should check this out”. This blog now has ’em. If you’re one of the (vast majority of) people who are looking at this in one feed-reader or another, you can’t see them, but you might want to glance at the home page to get the feel. Or just open this article in a browser and look down at the bottom.
Why? · First of all, anything that makes search better makes the Web better. Right now, the only way to “vote something up” on the Web is by linking to it. I’m a blogger so I can, but it’s out of reach — easy reach, at least — for a whole lot of people. No longer; we’ve added a signal that anyone, reader or writer, can use. Also I’m generally aware of the huge effort taking place here at Google of which +1 is an early manifestation. It’s audacious and smart and I’m a fan. So I want to support it.
Is It Perfect? ·
Nope; I’ve got my name on some bugs already, but this team is in
release-fast-then-iterate-faster mode; the bugs are doomed. In the
interim, if you want to drop a +1 button into your site, feel free to View
Source here and copy the setup. In particular note the CSS styling under
.p1inline for the front-page buttons.
There are a couple of big issues; I’m not sure they fall into the category of “bug” or “policy”. First, I’d also like there to be a -1 button. Second, I’d like the buttons to work in RSS and Atom feeds, in such a way that feed reader authors don’t have to do anything in particular for it to Just Work. Let’s see how that goes.
An Argument · You’ll notice that the +1 button is at the bottom of the article. When I was debugging this yesterday, a couple of Googlers suggested it should be at the top, so as to be above the fold; or maybe both places. Huh? Why would you ever +1 something you haven’t read through to the end? But they’re smart people, so maybe I’m just weird.