Today we are going to look at a naming and branding nightmare.
I'm talking about the new Google "+1" feature that is Google's attempt to take headspace away from Facebook.
Instead of pressing the ubiquitous Facebook "Like" button next to a search result or article, you can now press a "+1" button and thus "+1" it. Google users can now be, according to Inside Facebook, "generous with their +1's" (that would be numerous pressings of the +1 button).
I'm not sure this feature will catch on.
Note that when you go to the Google Blog article that explains the feature, they say things like this: "The beauty of +1's is their relevance." And then they show you how to "get started +1'ing the stuff you like."
See the problem? This is an apostrophe nightmare right from day one.
I mean, "+1'ing?" Who would have guessed? And how do you make a plural with an apostrophe?
It gets stranger. Now, you can specifically search things that have been "+1'd." As in things things that "have been +1'd by those in your network." This means, that "+1'd" is the past tense form of "+1."
Do you see now why we do not make numbers into verbs? Using an apostrophe to create a past tense is a no-no. It should be +1d. But, of course, that looks wrong.
And are we really going to have people saying to each other that they "plus oned" something? Really? This definitely does not make it through the spell checker!
Never mind that people doubt whether we really need this thing.
Facebook does not seem very worried, that's for sure: "With no add-on for publishers available yet, it's clear that Google has a long way to go before they put a serious dent in the massive lead that Facebook already has when it comes to measuring consumers' interest in content around the web."
Yeah, well, when they do, I'm not +1'ing anything.