Tuesday, June 7, 2011

+1 This Blog and Follow Me...Please!

Jumping onto to the social media bandwagon here...I've added 2 buttons on the right column on this blog.  The first one is the Google +1 button and the second is the Twitter Follow Me button.

I'm fairly certain most of you know what Twitter is by now.  Not everyone uses it, but most people know what it is and what it does.  The Catholic Investor has had a Twitter account for some time now, and I've set up Feedburner to automatically tweet a link to each post that I publish.  I am also going to start tweeting a little more.  Sometimes, I find that I have thoughts about investing, but it's either not long enough to justify a full post or I simply don't have time to write a post on it.  So, I'll just tweet my thought.  If you use Twitter, please follow me by clicking on the Follow button!

The other one is the Google +1 button.  What exactly is +1, you ask?  It's Google's way of "Liking" something (borrowing from Facebook).  With Facebook, you "like" something and it shows others that you enjoyed, say, another friend's picture or comment.  It's a short and sweet way of keeping in touch with a friend.  For example, I see my friend upload a picture on Facebook, but I don't really feel like writing a long winded comment.  So, I just "like" the picture.  He sees my "liking" and knows that I've enjoyed it.  The next time we meet up, we can talk about the picture and it's like we have already talked about the topic.

Google's +1 is a little bit more subtle and ingenious.  At first glance, it looks like a Facebook rip off, but it's more than that.  The "+1" phrase was developed by use in forums (I believe...or at least that's where I see it most).  When one forum member says something and another member agrees, he/she would reply with simply "+1" to convey that message.  It's like saying, there's 1 more person who agrees with this.  I think Google's engineers basically had this in mind, and wanted to use it to enhance its search results, which is its bread and butter.  I believe +1 will be hugely successful.

The reason is simple.  When I search for a topic, say, "Rule 1 investing", this blog shows up near the bottom of the first page.  This is due to Google's algorithm taking into account the number of incoming links and their quality, along with the contents of this web page.  Once +1 is fully launched and many people are using it, if my readers decide to +1 the site enough, the Google results will take that into account and bump up my ranking, because people have +1'ed it.  It makes +1ing actually useful to the many other users, including those you don't know, as opposed to the Facebook "like" button.  In the past, Google has always looked at the internet itself to determine the relevance of a site, neglecting the input of the countless internet users.  +1 is the single, easiest way of tapping into the collective wisdom of us users.  I'm hopeful that +1 will turn out to be the next breakthrough in Google Search!

So, won't you be so kind as to +1 this site?