It's Gone

My Blog has Disappeared from Google.

At least, I'm at page 25 of google search for "e-waste", and no sign of the blog.  It was page 1 six months ago.  Who killed it?  I noticed a massive fall-off of pageviews back in May or June.  I attributed it to a strong April, but it never resurfaced.

I've done nothing ornery.  If anything, I vastly reduced use of video and photos from online sources.

Has my writing suffered?   Or is there a third party interference?  (See the blog on "comments").   I  am sure Google is working on this and is finding who torpedoed the blog.  Here you go:  I'm typing in "John Shegarian" simply to increase google search hits, not because he has anything to do with it, he just searches his name a lot, I've been told.  If the rank doesn't go up, it's gotta be conspiracy, baby.

First:   A Blog Self-Audit.   I've been reviewing my posts from the last few months, by readership and content.  Do not blame conspiracies without first checking the most obvious source:  bad content.

The destruction of the Indonesian and Malaysian display device refurbishing market was possibly the most important E-Scrap story of the past decade, and I've tried to give voice to it.  The people who lost their jobs, the environmentalists engaging in "friendly fire", the environmental consequences...  Mainstream press (Motherboard, Scrap, Recycling International, picked it up, but it has been nowhere as successful as the story in CBS 60 Minutes, which conjoined the same refurbishing factories with unrelated wire burning operations in Guiyu, China.  But did I write about it too often, and cause pagerank to decline?

Rat on a train ditch.  Caught on a limb.  YOU know better - but I know HIM.

There's mixed advice.   Whether I would have gotten any of the coverage/pagerank had I not been a "crusader", or whether my virulence against the Ayatollah of E-Waste has just alienated or frightened mainstream recyclers.  A lot of very good people, like the folks at Total Reclaim in Seattle, Creative Recycling in FL, Synergy Recycling in NC, WeRecycle in CT, and ECS Refining in CA, have made major investments based on Watchdogs' advice about the export market.  I can't just compare them to the Church lining up with the Nazis, I can't just keep going over the top with my defenses of the Geeks of Color.

If I haven't made the point by now, I'm probably not going to find a way to make it.  The posts on Pieter Hugo and on MIT Forum on Data drew hundreds of readers, and they probably said enough.  Rereading them last night, it dawned on me that I'm going to find diminishing returns making the same point with different songs and literary allusions.

Someone I looked up to, when I was 17, Robert Duchesnay of Montreal, called me an idealist.  He both shook his head and encouraged me to pursue the ideals he said he'd abandoned.  He was 25, hardly a Churchill conservative.  But his advice was that said all that you can do is create.  Art!  He said if you try to change something specifically in the world - like Martin Luther King Jr. or Bobby Kennedy, someone would always rise up and respond with equal or superior force, championing the exact opposite.   It was a Taoist assessment.  The ten thousand things rise and fall, without cease.  Robert found my blog, about 6 years ago, by searching... Has my blog been bumped merely from "e-waste" searches, or will even long lost friends cease to find me?

In supporting the reuse and repair and refurbishing culture I found in Africa - I must acknowledge that someone somewhere was bound to accuse it, and oppose it.  As a political scientist, I've tried to make a de Tocqueville case for what is actually happening, to take a snapshot of the Tyranny of Green Majority.   I'm  stunned that it is an environmental organization.  And they are no doubt stunned that I, an environmentalist, have become their most vocal detractor.

What now?  Attract a "good cop".  I've tried to play that role, but the juggernaut of planned obsolescence in hindsight was sliding too fast.  I've tried to simply film hundreds of episodes of Techs fixing Stuff, in many countries, on   I've tried rebranding the effort, as Fair Trade Recycling.

Logically, this was the right move.   Shrillness in the blog opens cover for the IFixIt and Bloomberg stories about the Techs of Color.  If I run out to draw fire, and am not put out of business, it's a Green Light to step forward.  But I'm also saddled with the baggage of battle scars, war paint, and a reputation for antagonism.  Many, many good people were following the Ayatollah of E-Waste into battle, many believed that the black and brown and yellow techs were burning "e-waste" in witches brews and caldrons.   Many good people are looking for guidance.

Fareed Zakaria, Tom Friedman, Clinton Global Initiative...? There is no white knight to raise this back to google surface.  At the same time, the landscape is changing.  The sun is setting on the period when the USA  was a major good player for reuse and refurbishing...

But if you're gonna leap ahead, may as well LEAP AHEAD....

In 50,000 years, this will probably not matter.  I am trying to change the world for the better, but in my wildest dreams, it's for grandchildren and theirs.  Time is infinite.  I'm becoming like an angry electron, holding a photo against a refrigerator door.

But for now, the best I can be is a derivative.  I can calculate the best effort and improve upon it.  The important thing is to write more posts, like Hugo and MIT, which have more readers, and not to be more emphatic to a smaller audience.

What I like to think about is a world where there is less pollution, more species diversity, more education and sharing among people of different languages and cultures.  I think that recycling, avoiding mining, creating affordable internet, etc., is progress towards that goal.  It's sad that the best things I've seen in my life are destroyed by wreckless accusations and insults of "primitive" vs. the geeks of color.

But I've done about all I can do here, I think.

The next directions for increasing readership /ranking of the blog would either be "bullet points" or "how tos" - always popular at and Ehow.  Do they change people?   I dunno.   I could dig deeper into philosophy and literary content.

My favorite writing is allusion, the references to Bhagavad Gita, Tao, or To Kill a Mockinbird, to Trungpa or Twain.  I'd like to write something that lasts myself.  I've lived and been in contact with so many heroes, who have taken such greater risks, financially and vs. dictators, than I have.  I have lived to see heroes and have traded with them and worked with them, and have "gone native".  I think I need to do what Mark Twain did, take the real people he met, and turn them into characters in some kind of Tom Sawyer or Huckleberry Finn.

Writing about things that someone already discarded, threw away, will never be interesting.  I have to write about people.  I have to preserve the heroes who were called primitive, and show that not everyone in the USA was an accidental racist.

So we are below Google 25 now.   Blog rank fell more than 90%.  But readership only fell by half.  And PAGE readership - the time spent reading the page I wrote - is way up.  Seems I have lost a lot of image grabber surfers.  That could just be tightening my use of copyright photos as much as negative links....

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