parenting

Parenting on the Web
Business Standard, June 26, 1999
Excerpts from the Article

Over the last five years, as millions migrated to the Web in search for information and entertainment, it has become much less of the geek dominated world of the past. Movies and music made it big on the Web, as good as technology, news and information. As surfers looked for more than freeware and porn, lonely hearts sites proliferated, and so did online meeting places and dating centres. What next? Parenting sites, of course!

While the web may or may not have followed that logical sequence, it is true that parenting and family sites abound. ParentSoup (www.parentsoup.com) and www.parentplace.com are only a couple of the more famous ones. It was only a matter of time before the first Indian parenting site came up. Indiaparenting.com was launched recently and aspires to be the definitive guide for Indian parents around the world. One would expect that a bigger site, say, a portal like Indiatimes or Rediff-on-the-Net would have thought this up first. Or perhaps, as promoter Nirali Sanghi says, such content is better created by a bunch of focused people. By the looks of it, www.indiaparenting.com has the potential to be the ParentSoup of India. And in a market where the first mover advantage translates into a hardy loyalty, it may be a winner.

So what have we got here? First, about 1,800 pages of content. That is massive, even by the standard of mature websites. The women's health section offers information and advice on contraception, hormone replacement therapy, osteoporosis, breast cancer etc. The fertility section deals with everything from pregnancy problems to recent advances in medicine. Other detailed sections include preconception, newborn care, baby's diet, child development etc.

The touch in definitely Indian, which is the stated purpose of the site. This is exemplified by the section on Indian parenting customs and traditions - the traditional Indian baby shower, the namkaran (naming ceremony) and mundan (head shaving ceremony). There's even a section on rhymes, songs, and prayers in English, Hindi, Gujarati, Marathi and Malayalam. Among children's stories, we find Indian legends, the famed Panchatantra stories, Arabian Nights, Aesop's Fables etc. There are also reviews of children's movies, games, photo contests and numerology.

The site has the normal levels of interactivity you have come to expect from other parent sites. In Doctors On Call, a panel of doctors including gynaecologists, pediatricians, radiologists, cardiologists, neurologists, speech pathologists and dentists answer questions you are too embarrassed to ask a doctor personally. An opinion poll asks users whether parents should try to influence their kids' choice of friends. The site seems to have inspired users too - there is a substantial contribution from readers such as baby talk, and Muslim names and prayers. The site makes even a father feel at home.
 

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