A while back I wrote a bit of an expose in my blog about what has been transpiring in the parrot industry. It is no secret that internet marketers are teaching money hungry entrepreneurs to grab onto a niche market and sell “information.” Needless to say the parrot community is one of the more recent victims of these practices. The evidence is all over the internet. New sites are popping up every day and the tactics get sneakier and sneakier. One that really seems to have exploded is what I call the “bogus blog”
What you usually see is a blog that is presented as someone’s personal journal through parrot owning. When you dig a bit deeper you see the post is not really their personal story, but appears to be a reposting of something you may have read elsewhere. It seems like perhaps their content might have been provided by someone else…perhaps an internet marketer’s stock supply of articles? Maybe? Often when you click on their profile for more information, under “occupation” or “areas of interest” they even boldly say “internet marketing” Usually these folks are affiliates for the main company selling the parrot training information, toys, or other products. At some point in their blog readers will be directed towards the bloggers “new favorite product.” Ah, the real reason for the blog is revealed! I have no problem with affiliates. I have no problem with people selling stuff. I do have a problem with someone misrepresenting themselves as an innocent consumer with no hidden agenda. I think they should admit that they are on the payroll.
Another new trend is inserting words into a blog that are often searched on the internet like “Viagra” or “insurance.” The words have nothing to do with the subject of the blog. At the end of the blog is the link to the parrot website. I don’t usually like to give links to these examples so as not to give those sites more traffic. But this one is the perfect example of many of the problems. http://baeisfds.blogspot.com/2008/07/get-your-quaker-parrot-talking.html First it starts with a bogus blog with the non related words inserted. Then it sends you to a parrot site that is laden with ads, including a youtube clip from avian veterinarian Ellen Cook that they do not have rights to post on their site. http://www.train-parrot.com/ It also includes articles from some of the people most notorious for aiming to make a buck via massive internet marketing.
In some ways these sites are a blessing. The more “hard sell” sites that crop up, perhaps the more people will be questioning the purpose of these many parrot related sites. Are they there to rip off the innocent consumer or are they legitimate sellers with solid information and the credentials to back it up. Perhaps the consumer will be forced to be a more cautious shopper. I hope so …….for the sake of their birds.
On a positive note there are some fabulous legitimate blogs out there. I love hearing about Melanie and Stewie, Sid Price offers good solid free advice…no strings attached, as does Raz.
Patricia Sund also has a new blog that showcases her adventures in the parrot world. These sites are based in the science of behavior analysis, written by people with no hidden agendas who truly love parrots and training. And while they are often kind enough to mention Good Bird Inc, they are not on the payroll :) Visit them for great information.