Google +1 takes on Facebook

Google will begin allowing users to personally endorse search results and Web pages, its latest attempt to stave off rival Facebook while trying to jump onboard the social networking boom. The so-called "+1" button started to appear alongside Google search results for some users this week, letting people recommend specific search results to friends and contacts by clicking the button. Eventually, the feature may begin to influence the ranking of search results, although according to sources, that is still under consideration. Results are now ranked by their closely guarded algorithm.

In other Facebook news, it was a good week for F2F human contact after Christian clergy said a large number of people have given up Facebook for Lent. Facebook "is almost compulsive," said one pastor. "That's why it makes sense to give it up for Lent!"

It was also a good week for this +1, Amanda Hocking, who may be publishing's most unlikely self-made millionaire. According to Tad Vezner in the St. Paul, Minn., Pioneer Press, a year ago, the purple-haired college dropout couldn’t find a traditional publisher for any of the eight young-adult paranormal romances she’d written in her bid to keep up with the rent on her small Minnesota home. But then last spring she decided to start self-publishing the whole lot as e-books, which sell at just 99 cents to $2.99 a title. By January, the 26-year-old was moving more than 400,000 “units” a month, and pocketing roughly 70 percent of the gross!