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Save the Date! Come To The 2nd Annual CLICK Conference, Sept. 22 in Las Vegas!

CLICK continues to tackle all the hot topics driving digital and social media but there's nothing like face-to-face contact. So... make sure to mark your calendar and join us for another exciting, hands-on, can't-miss-it "in person" event — The 2nd Annual CLICK Conference!

It's scheduled for Thursday, Sept. 22, 2011, just prior to the start of International Vision Expo West in Las Vegas, at the Sands/Venetian Convention Center, from 7:30a.m. to 9:30 a.m. Sponsored by The Hoya Free-Form Company, the 2011 CLICK Conference theme is "Social Circles." Mobile's gaining momentum, search is going "social" and reviews are revealing. What do you need to know? Leading web experts along with colleagues from the eyecare professional community will exclusively share what's shaping trends and their take on what's working best. Space will be limited, so make your plans now! Registration details will follow soon!

CLICK, Vision Monday's e-newsletter, continues to be an essential resource in its twice-monthly briefings to ECPs about web technology and Internet developments. Don't forget the CLICK Archive features dozens of Cool Tools and important Sites to See which offer content and resource ideas for your sites and your social media activities. The easy-to-access Archives are located under the CLICK button at

Have you tried something new? Tell us about it and we'll consider it for CLICK.

—The Editors




First Impressions: Google Plus – What You Need to Know And What I've Learned So Far

By Nathan Bonillia-Warford, OD, FAAO

TAMPA, Fla.—Facebook is ubiquitous these days. With almost 700 million users, it is the undisputed king of the social networks. Many eye care providers include Facebook in their marketing strategy and it is so dominate that Facebook makes news almost every day with change, modifications and rollouts.

However, for the past week, a major source of discussion on the internet has been about its competitor Google + or Google Plus the new social-networking platform from Google.

The Google Plus release is noteworthy for several reasons. The past social applications from the search giant, Wave and Buzz, were considered major missteps. The recent roll-out of the "Plus One" button was seen as Google's copy of Facebook's "Like Button" that would have little impact on the social web. This time, however, Google Plus is receiving major attention as a potential force to alter internet ecosystem for both individuals and businesses.

At first glance Google Plus looks and feels very much like Facebook. This is clearly no accident. This is the first serious attempt by any company to challenge Facebook in the social networking space and Google has learned much from Facebook.

In some ways Google Plus is almost exactly like Facebook:

  • Users have profiles that can be filled out with relevant information they want to share such as where they work and went to school, their interests and hobbies, and links to other profiles online.
  • Each person has a "stream" that they can update with comments, web links, pictures, videos, or location. Each item can be voted up and commented on by friends.
  • At the top of the page, there is a discrete notifications area that alerts the user when one someone comments or posts something.

However, there are some key distinctions:

  • Circles – Facebook receives frequent criticism for the way it handles privacy. Circles puts privacy front and center for Google Plus. Instead of simply being friends with someone or following them, with Google plus you add them to your circles. The distinction is not purely one of nomenclature. With circles from the very beginning you determine how to classify people based on much information you would like to share with them. This is essential for people like doctors who want to maintain a separation between public and private interaction online.
  • Hangouts – With video becoming more utilized online, Hangouts make it very easy to set up group video chatrooms. Using Circles to control who is allowed to participate, these chats could be one on one, a small group planning session, or with anyone who is interested.
  • Sparks – Much of the new web is about "assisted serendipity" or ways to help people do things they want to do, but just didn't know exactly what that was. Sparks tries to help in this area by listing webpages, videos, and more based on interested listed by the user.

But there is one very large distinction that makes distinctly different from Facebook. While Facebook is loosely integrated with millions of website via the Like Button, Google Plus is very tightly integrated with Google applications like Gmail, Google Reader, and Picasa. Since people are heavily invested in these applications, there will be a natural incentive to extend to Google Plus. Additionally, also Google Plus has notification at the top of other applications Google Documents and Google Maps so people will have constant social reminders. All over this will lead to not only more use, but more frequent and richer use of Google Plus. Finally, Google has smart phone operating system Android and use it to extend the Google Plus reach further than the Facebook mobile can go. None of these things is a guarantee that Google Plus will beat or even equal Facebook, but taken together it does give Google a fighting chance.

Want to learn more? Watch this short video series about Google+: A Quick Look on You Tube.

The last few years have been challenging, yet filled with unprecedented opportunities for eye care providers. While I have found that traditional marketing strategies to be increasingly useless in promoting my practice, Bright Eyes Family Vision Care, it has steadily grown through online marketing. We use email, blogging, Twitter, Facebook, and Google daily to reach both current and potential patients. It has been interesting to learn about these tools as they have grown.

After receiving an early invitation to check out Google Plus, I've spent a few hours each day learning how it works and discovering how I can use it to promote Bright Eyes. I've been exploring the service and getting it set up. I filled out my profile, with the same basic information from my Facebook profile. I've learned how to post and comment on items in the news stream. These actions will be completely familiar to anyone who uses social networking applications.

However, it has taken a little longer to get used to the Circles. Their strength is that a user can choose how to set them up based on their needs for privacy and different social segments, but because they are not pre-defined, each person must think about how they want to use them. I have created circles and realized that they were too broad and had to break them into smaller circles. Slightly more confusing is trying to figure out how I fit into other people's circles and what that means for overall flow of conversation. There remains some mystery about this among the people that I have talked, but figuring it out is part of the fun.

Overall, I do like Google Plus more than Facebook for sharing information with friends. However, I continue to use Facebook on a daily basis because it remains the dominant social media platform and it offer features that Google Plus doesn't, such as pages for business. However, that hasn't stopped me from switching my Facebook profile picture to an image that I saw popping up around the web that says, "I've moved...G+." While it is definitely a bit of an overstatement, a recent survey shows that a 2/3 of Google Plus users share my enthusiasm for the new service.

Demand to try out Google Plus is very high. Right now there are more people seeking invitations, than actually on the site. Hopefully, Google will release more invitations soon. In the meantime, feel free to ask me or anyone else you know on Google Plus for an invite, you'll get one soon enough and can try it out for yourself!

Nathan Bonilla-Warford, OD, FAAO, Bright Eyes Family Vision Care, Tampa, Fla., is an optometrist specializing in the vision of infants and children. A social media evangelist, he helped create "Peripheral Vision" which educates eyecare professionals about social media. Dr. Warford was a speaker at the first CLICK Conference last year. He is the chair of the social media committee of the College of Optometrists in Vision Development and is chair of the Florida Optometric Association's Children's Vision Committee. He is a graduate of the Illinois College of Optometry and is an active volunteer in many charitable organizations. He founded Foursquare Day in March 2010.


A New App + Website Help to Shine A Light On UV

ALEXANDRIA, Va.—As a part of its three-year ultraviolet (UV) campaign, "UV Been Missing Something," The Vision Council has just launched a free suitcase-packing iPhone app and campaign website. The goal of the campaign is to educate men, women and families about the harmful effects of UV exposure and to ensure consumers wear sunglasses, or other protective eyewear, that offers UV protection.

The new iPhone app, called PackLists, is designed to help promote UV protection for consumers' eyes. Besides offering UV levels in cities around the country and reiterating the importance of wearing sunglasses year round, PackLists generates a packing list that is customized to the user's gender and destination. PackLists is available through the App Store or can be downloaded directly from an iPhone.

In addition to the app, The Vision Council launched a new campaign website, The site includes an interactive UV map, information about the importance of protecting both adults' and children's eyes and tips for selecting the best types of sunglasses for various sports and activities. Visitors can also find The Vision Council report, "Hidden Dangers of UV: Keeping Your Eyes Safe."

Interested ECPs can also choose to simply embed a UV Indicator 'widget' on their own websites or blogs with a simple cut-and-paste tool the site. The widget displays the UV ratings in the ECP's hometown — and also allows visitors to their websites to input their location and receive the UV rating where they live.



Creately is a "visual collaboration" tool that enables anyone to create "visual" diagrams or illustrations of concepts, organizations or ideas. The site's Features page explains what Creately's software can do to help teams design and work on projects. There is also a demo video and short video tutorials on YouTube that help folks develop Creately projects for their project teams or their own website content.



A site that enables personal security and community interaction in the arena of novel and dynamic presentation. Beyond the conventions of PowerPoint, Empressr is described as a free online storytelling tool that allows you to create, manage and share rich media presentations online. Users can upload video, images and audio to get started creating cool slideshows. If you have your own website, blog, or social networking page, you can either post a link or embed your Empressr. Empressr also has great charting and table tools to create dynamic business presentations. An all-inclusive media library allows you to upload and manage your media assets and features drag-n-drop, search, filter and keyword support to locate files quickly. You can quickly import images from Flickr, Google, Yahoo and Photobucket. And if you can't find the proper image, you can use your built-in webcam to capture images directly into your Empressr media library, shoot a still, or record video and audio such as voice overs or sound tracks.


Jobson Internet Solutions, has debuted a new mobile application, EyeTrends. EyeTrends is an iPhone and iPad mobile application used to search, virtually try-on, and geo-locate different eyeglass and sunglass styles featuring tens of thousands of current eyewear styles from top designer brands. The app offers manufacturer coupons, rebates and incentives that allow consumers to save big on their next eyewear purchase. The application also provides a "Where to Buy" function which lists retailers and eyecare professionals that carry those particular brands in the consumer's identified geographic area.

"We have created a revolutionary app that harnesses the power of today's mobile devices and enables consumers to learn about current eyewear fashion trends, then search, try-on, locate, and save on today's most popular styles, "said Joe Savarese, President of Jobson Internet Solutions. "The EyeTrends app helps direct consumers to brick and mortar eye care professional retailers. There are more than 50,000 eyecare professionals and optical retailers listed in EyeTrends."

Users can download the app for 99 cents. EyeTrends also offers users the ability to try on frames with the applications "virtual try on" function. By either taking a photo with the iPhone or iPad, selecting an existing photo on the device or using a stock model image provided in the app, users can easily try frames on. The completed image can be saved, or if looking for a second opinion, can be shared with family and friends via email, Facebook or Twitter. Users will also have access to expert tips and advice on the latest eyeglass and sunglass trends with the app's "Trendoids" feature, fueled by 20/20 magazine, which helps inform users about the hottest eyewear trends, styles and fashion. EyeTrends is available now in the iTunes store and an Android version of EyeTrends will launch later this month.


ABB CONCISE Updates Patient Site

To bring more patients to doctors' websites, ABB CONCISE has made several changes to the cotnact lens reorder website — including a new Doctor Locator search engine. Patients searching the internet for information about their eyecare needs will find a lot of background and lens-specific information. ECPs who take advantage of ABB CONCISE's lens reorder services can enable ECP web stores to enroll patients with Rx and date, set and send automatic exam recall reminders, track patient orders and set up patients on automatic shipping based on compliance. ECPs with existing web stores are also being offered personalized templates, editorial control via a simple-to-use CMS system.

"The most exciting, newest feature is the Find A Doctor," Executive Vice President Lynda Baker says. This new doctor search will be available on both of our websites, the business to business site, and "When consumers find either websites and peruse the consumer-related links, they will use the Find a Doctor to locate an ABB CONCISE account in their area. That will drive more patients to our doctors' offices and their web stores."

ABB CONCISE is the largest U.S. contact lens distributor, serving over 15,000 independent eyecare practitioners throughout the U.S.


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