+1, but only if you get more control over contacts

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I’m not quite as enthusiastic about Google’s +1 button as some people, but then I’m not very gushing about many new things. It’s nice that Google will allow you to show approval of search results/ads/sites but there are some questions, and I can’t find any answers at this time.

Specifically:

– How do you get to control whose “+1s” will affect your search results? Via managing your address book? But in my case, for example, I have a ton of contacts that sent me mail quite a while ago, and with whom I only communicate once in a blue moon. Their +1s are worthless to me (would you like to know that Staple’s specials robot +1-ed Staples site? I thought so) and in fact can degrade my search results. Would I be able to turn it off?

– People that you communicate with via other social networks (Facebook etc) will not be included in the circle of influence, unless you also do something via Google (add them to your address book)? This moment is unclear. Or I just don’t buy the “magic” of finding everyone relevant to you automatically. Look how “well” that went for Buzz. Will we have horror stories of something being +1 by “an abusive ex” etc?

– Starting it with just search results is pointless. The real +1 button is needed right from the very beginning. Mostly because there’s a small chance of being able to say “Awesome” by just finding something via google search. Primarily, because +1 in different context would mean different things. My heavy metal +1 will be useless for your classical music search. Would Google be smart enough to know the context to a such degree that it really is relevant? If you did find a treasure trove of information, you probably don’t know it until after you’ve clicked it and browsed around. Will you really go back all the way to the search page just to +1 that site in the list? That’s a high barrier for entry, and that’s why it’s important to have the real button right now.

– For ads it’s the same — you can’t +1 something until you actually clicked on the ad and did find out the details of the offer etc (ads are fairly small to provide all details, and purposefully enticing)

– Beyond “don’t show results from NNN” there is no -1, and users do seem to want it quite badly (remember Facebook “Dislike”?)

– Current explanation is that your “likes” will be shown on your Google profile. Fine with me, but will there be some configuration on exporting/synching it with twitter/facebook etc. Yes, I understand that Google’s ultimate goal is to have everyone communicating via google systems (buzz/blogs/etc) but they have to start slow and be well-connected to all the other social networks.

Beyond this, I think it’s an interesting experiment. Will see if it survives and becomes popular and stands out in the colorful spread of like/tweet/share/post buttons.

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