Posted July 10, 2013 2:49 pm by with 0 comments

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plus one streamDo you know how much new stuff shows up on the internet every day? And if we start counting every article, photo or video that gets passed on from one person to the next, the number is beyond imaginable. That’s why social media sites do their best to filter information so items with perceived value make it through all the clutter.

To that end, Google+ has updated your home page feed to highlight items that were +1’d by people in your circles (In our circles. . . in our circles. . . two points if you get that reference!).

I must stop here and marvel at what social media is doing to the English language. Yesterday, Facebook was going on about “likers” and now Google+ is making “+1’d” a thing. How long before that shows up in the dictionary?

Now, before you get all excited, note that this behavior won’t happen every time. Google says it will only happen “occasionally.” When it does, it will look like this:

highlighted posts

Here’s the part where everyone freaks out.

– And if you +1 a post, we may highlight it to your friends as well

One of the first commenters on the announcement post asks how to turn the system off because she may +1 some “risque stuff” that she’d rather not share with friends and family.

Here’s a tip. If you don’t want your mother, boss or 10 year-old niece to see what you’re up to, don’t write it, share it or click it on the internet.

And even though the concept of internet privacy is the world’s biggest oxymoron, Google+ has instructions for stemming the tide right in their post.

You can visit your settings to decide who, if anyone, might see your +1s highlighted in the stream:

In all cases: friends will only see +1s and posts they already had permission to see, we’re just calling extra attention to them

And of course: if you’re seeing too much activity from a given circle, you can always turn down its volume, or exclude it from Home entirely:

Good heavens! There’s a volume control on my Google+ page?! Who knew?

Responsible journalist that I am, I clicked on the links so I could understand the opt-out process and I didn’t understand it. Seriously, this whole circles within circles thing on Google+ boggles my mind.

Here’s my favorite section where they resort to pictures instead of words.

on ios

Really, there are way too many instructions and options. Here’s how to make this easier. If I follow a person, their posts show up in my feed. If I don’t follow them, then they don’t show up. Why can’t it be that simple?

If you’re using Google+ for your business, then this new highlighting system might help more of your posts rise to the top. All you have to do is provide content worth +1’ing.