When I see a post by a friend I like on Google Plus, I’m encouraged to “+1” it. I found myself over time hesitating to use that button even when I’d like to / developing an aversion to it; and finally became aware of the reason this Saturday morning:
Friendship and interaction at an intimate level, to me, is not about the math of popularity. I don’t want to increase the number by one, I don’t want to do a x++ on the x of the post.
I want a verb. “+1” is objective – every +1 is literally numerically equal to every other one. It is not about my subjective response, my ‘liking’, or even about me – it is about the post, and how many +1 it has.
I understand that Google+ has other use cases based on asymmetric following, where the interaction is not based on friendship, but fundamentally it needs to decide if it takes its psychology of contribution from the hive mind of Digg/Reddit and voting, or something more human.