In the introduction you used the API Explorer to fetch your public profile. If the REST API is the core of the platform, the plugins are portals into Google+ from your web presence. This chapter explores these social plugins.
A great way to learn the social plugins is to use them. You will add them to a blog called Baking Disasters. Baking Disasters consists of a static HTML index page and two entry pages that describe a couple of particularly disastrous baking attempts. You can see the initial version of the blog here: http://bakingdisasters.com/social-blog/initial/. The entry pages are a great place to experiment with the +1 button, and the index is an ideal candidate for the Google+ badge.
Before there was Google+ there was the +1 button. Announced at Google I/O in 2011, this feature predates every other component of the Google+ platform. It provides a one-click interface for your users to publicly identify their favorite content. Once users have +1’d a page, they have the option to share it on Google+.
From your user’s perspective the +1 button is quite simple. They see your page, and since your content makes their eyes light up in excitement, they click the +1 button.
Figure 2-1 shows what happens next. The button turns red and their icon is added to ...