Plus One Me, and the joy of game-like rewardings

The echoes of the ironic era haunts our everyday life. The individuality and self-help-mindedness of the 21th century sows doubt in our fragile psyche; even the honestly meant compliments are recieved with disbelief:

“I like your shirt!”

“… Are you sure?”

A game is never ironic (although the fantastic first person puzzles Portal and Portal 2 has taken the art of sarcasm to new heights). Every reward is well meant and every level up is the result of hard effort. The joy we feel when recieving feedback of that kind is strong and immediate. Why are compliments from people so different?

In my reading of Jane McGonigal‘s Reality is Broken (awesome book, more about it in another post) I discovered Plus One Me. Plus One Me is not a game, although it makes it possible to reward people with game-like acknowledgements. All you do is enter a persons e-mail, click on “+1 them” and chooses in what areas of expertise the person has shown strength and deserves to be rewarded for. For example, you may send +1 Kindness, +1 Leadership and +1 Attraction. There is about 35 different attributes and still counting (feel free to suggest new attributes that needs to be rewarded). Once you send your +1s the person will recieve an e-mail with your acknowledgements and, hopefully, a smile to wear for the rest of the day.

Why is this good, you ask?

Unlike reality (the real reality, at least) our +1s will not be recieved with an air of doubt and mistrust (which might be the case if I, with a possibly (you’ll never know) smirkful smile, compliments your shirt). There’s no sense of ironic agenda in an e-mail that says:

Hey There!

A friend of yours, Martin, +1d you to acknowledge some of your strengths. Specifically they’re acknowledging these attributes:

+1 Kindness

+1 Leadership

+1 Attraction

You don’t have to do anything or register for anything. We won’t send you any emails unless you receive more praise from friends. If you’d like to send some +1s to your friends, just visit You don’t have to register to send +1s, but registering allows you to see the totals of all the +1s you’ve received so far.

Enjoy your day. And congratulations!

When we’ve got ridden of the potential misunderstandings, there’s two major benefits of Plus One Me: the simplicity of using the website, and the strong well-being of getting an compliment.

The website is easy to use, no doubt about it. The easiest way is described earlier in this text, and the most complicated way is to register and do the same thing. There’s no extra features, no bloaty design standing in the way of complimenting your friends, co-workers or just about anyone.

Although it was forseen that my inbox would get some acknowledgements since I started spreading the word of Plus One Me (I’m in no way involved in the website, other than as a user), I’m humbled and happy about the things people like to compliment me on, and I feel that the feedback is sincere and well thought over. It is equally hard to express acknowledgements as to recieve it, and Plus One Me limits the effort to a minimum and maximises the impact massively. An effect may be that we get better at expressing such feedback in real life as well, and that is why I feel the need to use Plus One Me and share this with you.

That, and the joyful puzzlement I can send by rewarding people anonymously:

Someone +1d you to acknowledge some of your strengths. Specifically they’re acknowledging these attributes:

+1 Attraction.

Enjoy your day. And congratulations!

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  1. Mauricio’s avatar


    I´m reading Jane´s book also, and would like to take a look at, but the site is dead now… Do you know any other similar service? Thanks!


    1. John V’s avatar

      I loved plusoneme … I think Google’s +1 thing killed it. I think Klout’s +K is similar


      1. John V’s avatar

        I’ve changed my mind. Klout’s +K is limiting and simply a feeder for a popularity contest, where plusoneme was a much more open-ended and friendly service. Does anyone know the creators and if there’s interest in trying again. I know they didn’t have much (or any?) monetary gains from the service, but I think there’s a void that needs to be filled.


        1. Chris T’s avatar

          Hey folks, hey John,

          I’m currently developping a website which works a bit like the good old plusoneme. With this website, I want to make it possible to give and fulfill real quests and tasks which result in receiving gold, experience and finally skill points. Does that sound interesting or even awesome? Or do you just need a character skill board and the opportunity to give skills to somebody with a little message?

          I’d love to get your feedback about your wishes and your needs for such an application. You can just reply here, I will read it and hopefully have the necessary skill level to make it ;)

          Thank you very much,


        2. Igor’s avatar

          100% agree. Such a nice service. After reading a chapter in Reality is Broken I wanted to give +1 to many people. Thinking about building my own…


  2. Elizabeth Jolley’s avatar

    Try It’s there. I am confused, however, trying to figure out how to use the site. There doesn’t seem to be any way to ask for help on the site. I don’t see any place where I can enter an e-mail address in order to send a Plus One to someone. Any ideas?


  3. Debbie Mc’s avatar

    I read Reality is Broken and was interested in Plusoneme as a tool for my elementary students (most of whom are of the age that games are a passion & are connected via web). I can do something similar with class dojo (“I saw you do something good today” or bad) but liked the more sophisticated game connection. I’m looking at my unit lessons in terms of do they have a goal?, what are the (un)necessary obstacles?, is it voluntary?, are there visible milestones along the way?, & how well am I doing?
    I’m getting the impression that Plusoneme is no longer available?
    Boogers. Looks like I’ll go back to stickers. Sigh.



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