+1s - meirav changes her mind, and then changes her mind again

so, back when the whole #plusspam thing started, I was among those who totally and utterly hated it. I was therefore ecstatic when +Halfdan Reschat wrote an extension which enables users to hide this stuff from their stream:

I do, however, have friends who totally and utterly love this feature. And recently I've come round to the other side...

this happened soon after I got the snazzy new laptop, which meant that (a) I didn't have all my extensions on the new machine, so I was taking the opportunity to review which ones I really need; (b) I now have a computer that can handle a lot more information and scrolling through my G+ stream is a lot lot smoother, so I'm less bothered by what sort of stuff might be taking up real estate there.

so I found myself actually enjoying some of the so-called plusspam, finding interesting posts that I wouldn't have seen otherwise - and so yesterday I thought: maybe it's time to change my own settings and enable other people to enjoy my own +1s? after all, I'm benefiting from other people's plusspam, so why not return the favour? (I'm benefiting in two ways: one is that I'm seeing interesting posts, but also some of my own posts get more exposure thanks to others who plus them.)

so I went to my settings and changed the relevant one from "only me" to "public" (if you don't know where that setting is, here's a link: https://plus.google.com/apps/google) and I was going to post some kind of announcement, but...

today I was browsing my stream and saw a friend's post that I wanted to plus in a friendly waving hello kind of way - and I found myself suddenly feeling the internet equivalent of tongue tied, because do I really want people who follow me to have this post surface in their streams? because it suddenly felt like letting some video camera follow me as I go about my life, chatting with my friends, being, you know, social - yes, I know there's no breach of privacy, it's not going to show people stuff that's not already public information, but there's a difference between saying hi to your friend Joe when you see him out and about, and having your fist bump recorded for the whole world to see.

so I've changed my setting back to "only me" because I don't want to be all self conscious like that when I'm interacting with friends here. if Google ever change it I'll rethink - I think this feature has potential but the implementation is far from ideal.

One major fault with it is that the on/off switch is at the wrong end - people should be able to say "don't show me this stuff", just as we were given an option of removing "what's hot" from our streams.

But looking at it from the other end, the problem I see here is that there are a variety of reasons for plussing a post, including a friendly nod when you don't have anything to say but you want your friend to know you've seen their post, and Google haven't provided an alternative for that usage. (and they don't give us any control over which of our plussed posts will be shown.)

so really, what I'd like to see is a separate button, which I'd call Recommend.

but somehow I don't think that's going to happen. so in the meantime, I shall continue to enjoy the plusspam of those who choose to share theirs, but I don't feel I can comfortably share mine.

p.s. if you hate plusspam you can use the extension I linked to, or alternatively use this workaround: instead of viewing your "all" stream, put a Slash in the search field and hit enter; change from "best of" to "most recent" and you get to view your stream without the extras. [in my experience, this automatically shows me only posts from people in my circles. if you find it's showing you more than that, just click More (top right) and select "from your circles".]
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