Tuesday, May 29, 2007

Website review: Light Iris

Have you ever Googled "sore nipples" and come up with on overwhelming list of possible links--with maybe a few kinky sites thrown into the mix? I haven't. In fact, while Google periodically sends freaky searchers to my blog, I've never had any trouble finding answers to my parenting, baby care and personal health queries using everyone's favorite search engine. That said, when Parent Bloggers Network asked me if I'd like to check out a new search engine for expectant and new moms, I (both expectant and a new mom) jumped at the chance. Light Iris uses the Google search engine, but it optimizes the results for the swollen and sleep-deprived, providing users with a culled-down list in a clean, well-organized layout. And its pink and green! Because we're girls!

So I put Light Iris to the test, comparing its results with my old-standby Google's results. I didn't brainstorm possible searches, I just remembered to check in with Light Iris with I was doing a mommy-related search (sticking with Google when I needed to look up a restaurant address or find a Shoebuy promo code). Here's what happened.

Search: "Repeat Breech"
I've been borderline panicky as week after week ticks by and baby number two refuses to turn head down. My midwives and the OB who supervises their VBAC patients all assured me there was no reason to believe I'd have a second breech baby, but what mother can resist the pull of the Internet when it comes to medical self-diagnosis and treatment?
Results: Both Light Iris and Google results focused on repeat c-sections following a breech birth. Both included a couple of links to ways to turn the baby (yes, I've tried 90 percent of them) and highlighted a blog post from Life of an Albuquerque Mommy that reads "4% of women have a breech baby. The chances of having a repeat breech baby increases," an interesting tidbit that contradicts what I've heard and was unfortunately not backed up links to any study.
Winner: Light Iris by a hair; its results were better organized on the page

Search: "Potty training boot camp"

We've circled June 1 on the calendar, and we've spent the second half of May telling Z how many days are left until we say "bye-bye to diapers." Having determined that reverse psychology wasn't working with 2 1/2 year old daughter, we're under plenty of pressure to get her using the potty. Baby sister arrives in July and Montessori preschool starts in the fall. And yes, the school requires that kids be toilet trained.
Results: Again, the results were fairly comparable, with both search engines placing Sesame Workshop - Toilet Training as the lead result. Unfortunately, the article's "don't worry about it, maybe the preschool will accommodate some accidents" attitude wasn't what I was looking for. I found better results with some mommy bloggers' first-hand accounts, including a tip I plan to use: letting the kid play with a bowl of warm water with a special toy in it while sitting on the potty!
Winner: Google, for finding me an inspiring blog post.

Because Light Iris and Google are both using the same basic search engine, you aren't likely to find substantially different results. What Light Iris does is cull down the returns and organize them in a clean, less-overwhelming layout. Which is probably very welcome when you're looking up "projectile vomiting" at 3am. If you're hysterical, hormonal and sleep-deprived, it makes sense to turn to Light Iris. If you're an information hound with a few more minutes available to analyze Google's results pages, you'll have more to choose from.

See what other new and expectant moms are saying about Light Iris here. Or click here to learn how you could win a free 2-day pass to the BlogHer Conference right here in Chicago.