This blog is frequently asked to endorse products or people. It’s a bit of a pain, but there you go. Such is the price of world domination and international renown – my personal friend JK Rowling (whom I call Joanne) gets a lot of the same kind of thing.
A couple of months ago, for example, I was approached by the Trump campaign to write a vilification piece about Hillary Clinton*. And yesterday Brad Pitt (more an acquaintance than personal friend) was on to me to write a love letter to Angelina – he’s trying to make-up with her, it appears**.
Anyway, I used to teach students how to get the information they need for research, and part of that was how to use The Internet, also known as Google. I tried to explain to the young men and women that they weren’t using Google so much as Google was using them. And they didn’t get it.
So I tried to get them to understand that Google’s turnover is $70 billion, which was probably a bit more than theirs. Still no joy. And they also didn’t get that when they searched Google they didn’t get the results they wanted or needed, so much as those that Google wanted them to have. Trusting souls, God bless them. Also they didn’t have a clue how to do a search. They didn’t get that, either. Also, I’m not a very good teacher.
But what I only discovered lately (via the excellent book So You’ve Been Publicly Shamed, by Jon Ronson – assuming his figures are correct) was that every time we do a search on Google, they make $0.48. And that 90% of ALL digital marketing worldwide goes to either Facebook or Google. That’s 90%, folks.
And you know, I don’t think they need that money, and I don’t want to supply them with any more. Especially considering how little tax they pay to the Irish State. Nothing personal, Google, but fuck you.
So Colum at work pointed me the way to Ecosia. Ecosia is an internet search engine (yes, there is more than one – another fact that the young students found difficult to believe). And now I use that.
Instead of making squillions of dollars from our searches, Ecosia plants trees. Yes, it does. It’s not for profit, and thus far Ecosia has planted over 5 million trees, with the money it makes from advertising. That’s a tree every 11 seconds, folks, and it costs a massive 28 cent to plant a tree. So far, Ecosia has over 2 million users and has generated almost €3 million for this great environmental cause.
I’m personally responsible for the planting of 498 trees, and I’ll hit 500 by next week. Yah for me!
So this blog endorses ECOSIA.
Go to https://www.ecosia.org/ for more.
Go to the App Store and download Ecosia for your phone.
* I said no thanks to Mr. Trump.
** I said yes to Brad. I owed him one since that night in Vegas with the golf clubs on the roof of the Riviera. Watch this space.