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Change at Warp Speed:
New Social Tools and Eye Health Links

Just when you think you're starting to 'understand' digital media, there are a host of new social tools to learn about and use...! CLICK works to keep tabs on these and tackles two with this edition—a new Healthy Sight Calculator from Transitions, which helps consumers better understand vision issues and can also be a good resource for you to use with them. And our contributor, Alan Glazier, OD, examines BranchOut, a new Facebook tool that is looking to build out from personal connections to professional connections and job search.



Also: remember to mark your calendars for The 2nd Annual CLICK Conference, now set for Thursday, Sept. 22, 2011, just prior to the start of International Vision Expo West in Las Vegas. Sponsored by The Hoya Free-Form Company, the 2011 CLICK Conference will be held at the Sands/Venetian Convention Center, from 7:30 a.m. to 9:30 a.m.

This year's CLICK Conference theme is "Social Circles," which will feature leading web experts and colleagues from the eyecare professional community who are going to examine how social influence is changing brands' and businesses' profiles on the web and what's working best for them. Space will be limited, so make your plans now! Registration details will be posted in the next CLICK!

Past articles, featuring specific examples, programs and tips that you can use today, are available in the CLICK Archive which features dozens of Cool Tools and important Sites to See. The easy-to-access Archives are located under the CLICK button at

Have you tried something new on your website or launched a special social media campaign? Tell us about it and we'll consider it for an upcoming feature in CLICK!


—The Editors






Discussing Eye Health With Patients, Using an Online "Healthy Sight" Calculator

PINELLAS PARK, Fla.—Encouraging employees to take advantage of their vision benefit to promote eye health and optimal sight, Transitions Optical, Inc. has introduced an individual version of the Healthy Sight Calculator. The free, online tool allows users to calculate their risk for eye-related diseases and vision problems, and how much they could save—in time, money and sight—with the right vision care and vision wear through their vision benefit. Results vary based on the user's age, gender and ethnicity, all of which impact risk for vision problems and health issues that can affect the eyes. The new tool can be used by employers to educate their workforce, or accessed directly by consumers at

"Most consumers miss the full picture of what the benefit can do for them—regular eye exams for early detection of eye and overall health problems, an up-to-date prescription to maintain productivity day-to-day, and eyewear features like UV and glare protection to preserve and enhance vision," said Pat Huot, director of managed vision care, Transitions Optical. "The calculator helps tell the story of what you could be missing if you don't care for your sight. It's a powerful way to motivate more people to use their vision benefit and get the care they need."

Transitions Optical developed the Healthy Sight Calculator with a team of experts through its Healthy Sight Working for You initiative, which aims to raise awareness about the value of eye care and eyewear available through a vision benefit. Contributors to the Healthy Sight Calculator include Kovin Naidoo, O.D., M.P.H., Ph.D., International Centre for Eyecare Education; Robert Pariseau, CLU, CEBS, Benefits Solutions Group; and Vincent Young, M.D., chairman, Division of Ophthalmology at Albert Einstein Medical Center.

The Healthy Sight Calculator takes visitors along a path, helping them understand their individual risk and potential savings, while providing education along the way. Visitors to the calculator can watch a video setting up the importance of caring for their vision, or can skip immediately to entering their demographic information, including age, gender and ethnicity. With each selection, the calculator provides details on how their demographics impact their risk. Users are also asked to enter whether they have health insurance, because the calculator considers this when determining how much the individual could pay out-of-pocket in medical costs for different eye- and overall-health issues.

The calculator then provides an overview of the user's risk for 11 vision-related issues in three categories, showing where the user is at higher risk than the national average. Issues covered include:

  • Vision Problems (Trouble Seeing Up-Close, Trouble Seeing Far Away, Eyestrain and Fatigue, Severe Headaches From Light and Glare)
  • Overall Health (Pre-diabetes, Undiagnosed High Blood Pressure)

Sections specific to vision problems, eye disease and overall health delve more deeply into risk rates and associated costs—in time and money—that could be avoided for different issues with earlier and proper care. Users can click on each vision issue for more information, including helpful videos narrated by Dr. Young and interactive "vision loss" simulations that show what they would miss seeing if facing that issue.

The Healthy Sight Calculator then provides a summary of individual results, and offers a customized recommendation for next steps based on each person's results. The summary can be printed out and shared with that person's eyecare professional. While some recommendations are specific to certain conditions, all users are encouraged to find out what's covered by their vision plan and to visit their eyecare professional. The calculator indicates that plans should include comprehensive, yearly eye exams and coverage of or discounts on lens enhancements (like photochromic Transitions lenses and anti-reflective coatings) to enhance and protect vision.

The individual version of the Healthy Sight Calculator complements a version for HR professionals that assesses savings and return-on-investment possible for an entire workforce through a premium vision benefit. The HR professional version of the calculator can be found at More information for ECPs is at or, or contact Transitions Optical Customer Service at (800) 848-1506 (United States) or (877) 254-2590 (Canada). Said a Transitions spokesperson, "We absolutely hope that eyecare professionals take advantage of the Healthy Sight Calculator, by pointing their patients to it using their own communications. We would recommend that they simply link to the calculator for now, given the sophistication of the back end of the tool, and, of course, they can also promote it on their professional Facebook pages."





Expanding Professional Connections via BranchOut

ROCKVILLE, Md.—BranchOut is the newest and largest professional networking service on Facebook. BranchOut was founded in July 2010 by a team with deep experience in social media, online recruiting, and Facebook applications. Modeled after LinkedIn, BranchOut has the advantage of tapping into the tens of millions, maybe hundreds of millions of people in the work force who don't participate on LinkedIn, with the option of "professionally" connecting i.e. having the advantage of the facebook business connection without having to share personal information.

In the first quarter of 2011, BranchOut's monthly active user count grew from 10,000 to 500,000. Here are some of the tasks people use BranchOut to achieve, according to the site:

  1. Create a safe and professional profile—BranchOut profiles only show work history, education, and positive recommendations. If two people want to connect professionally on Facebook, but not grant access to one another's personal Facebook profiles, BranchOut is the solution.
  2. Job Search—BranchOut's advanced search options allow users to find the job opportunities based on their location, industry, experience and job title.
  3. Business Advantages—By leveraging one's Facebook friend network, BranchOut provides unprecedented inside connections. Just search for a company and you'll see all of your friends and friends-of-friends who work there.
  4. Build a powerful network of professional connections—Some BranchOut users are already connected to more than one million people and companies. You can send invitations to connect directly to contacts or you can ask friends for introductions.

I call the concept behind BranchOut the "one degree of separation concept" which social media participation enables. On BranchOut, you not only see your own connections (your friends), but theirs as well. If someone you know is between someone you want to meet (one degree of separation) you can reach out to the person you know to make the introduction. For example, if you have 500 Facebook friends on Branchout, you become connected via one degree of separation to approximately 50,000 other people on Facebook. If any one of them is someone who can help you professionally or personally and you want a connection, you use BranchOut much like you use LinkedIn; the difference is many people who use Linkedin don't use Facebook.

It's very easy to use. When I first signed up for BranchOut and started to create my profile, I was surprised to find it was already 80 percent done. If you already have career info in your Facebook profile it automatically transfers to your BranchOut profile WITHOUT including any of your personal information. BranchOut profile displays only professional data, no personal pictures or information from Facebook.

On BranchOut you have the opportunity to endorse connections, leaving a "brief highlight of a connection's unique abilities, talents and qualities" and immediately tweet or post the recommendation to Twitter or Facebook, exposing their services to everyone in your and their network. It would be beneficial for you to receive an endorsement from BranchOut contacts for the exposure it gets you social web-wide. Another feature is "Top Companies,"where you can learn where the people in your network work, without having to scan individual profiles. You can then market your services to those businesses via your connections. If you are looking to hire, posting basic job listings on BranchOut is free.

I have been building my professional network on BranchOut over the past few months and found people eager to connect and help arrange connections. For example, I participate in a business networking group. When I looked at one of my colleagues profile, I saw she worked at a local business which accepts VSP. I contacted her and asked if she would post a "recommendation" for me on BranchOut after connecting with her work colleagues on BranchOut and my business was immediately exposed to anyone at that company using BranchOut and Facebook and connected to my colleague.

If BranchOut succeeds, it will be the answer for those who don't participate or hesitatingly participate on Facebook because they don't want to share their personal profile information with business contacts. BranchOut is an interesting hybrid between Facebook and LinkedIn. Be sure to connect with me on BranchOut when you build your professional network!

Alan N. Glazier, OD, FAAO is the founder/CEO of Shady Grove Eye and Vision Care in Rockville, Md. A search and social optimization consultant, he is now a regular contributor to CLICK and also writes a regular blog for Glazier is at and his regular posts can be found via his Twitter handle: @EyeInfo, his blog: and his website: Author: Searchial Marketing: How Social Media Drives Search Optimization in Web 3.0.



SocialMention is a way for you to monitor what's being said about you or your brand via social media and on the web. SocialMention monitors more than 100 social media properties, including Twitter, Facebook, YouTube, Digg, Google and others. Based on the service's search metrics, you receive sentiment rankings, the major keywords used in conjunction with your brand, a way of seeing "who" is mentioning your brand the most. You can easily sign up for Social Media Alerts for your brand (these are similar to Google Alerts). There is also a plugin which enables you to display buzz about your brand on your own website or blog.



Described as "air traffic control" for Twitter, TweetDeck is a personal browser for staying in touch with what's happening now, connecting you with your contacts across Twitter, Facebook, MySpace, LinkedIn and more. It's a tool that can help you or your team monitor what's being said, which allows you to customize your Twitter experience with columns, groups, saved searches and automatic updates — all useful for saying up to date with what's being said and managing or scheduling your time for tweeting, sharing photos, videos or direct links. Its dashboard can be used on laptop, desktop, smartphone or tablet. TweetDeck was acquired by Twitter this spring.


Liberty Sport is getting into the social media game this summer with the launch of its new blog, Sports Eye Injury Prevention. "We continue to get emails from parents and coaches sharing stories, thanking Liberty Sport for their protective eyewear and how it saved their child's eyes," related Linda Laube, vice president, marketing. "Or worse," she said, "we get stories about children who actually received eye injuries and now have to wear protective sports eyewear. Each email ends with the same question—why wasn't I told and how can I share my story with others so they know? We finally have the resources to start a consumer blog where Liberty Sport can provide information direct to parents, coaches, and medical professionals who are interested in both participating and creating awareness about the prevention of eye injuries in youth sports and/or they can share their stories."

The number of new eye injuries is startling, with an estimated 13,500 legally blinding injuries recurring each year. More than 600,000 eye injuries related to sports and recreation occur annually. For instance, basketball, one of youth sports most popular games, has approximately 6,522 eye injuries a year between the ages of 1-15 years of age. Research shows that 90 percent of these injuries are preventable. Protective sports eyewear specifically designed and manufactured to meet or exceed the appropriate U.S. impact standards, can help, points out Liberty Sport, which, for 30+ years, has been at the forefront of a national movement encompassing health professionals, educators and the private sector to prevent eye injuries in sports and recreational activities.

_ is a new digital resource for eyecare professionals and their patients, developed by Essilor of America to drive further understanding about the benefits and importance of No-Glare lenses. The new site offers eight training videos for ECPs that feature real-life situations to explain how both children and adults will benefit from No-Glare lens offerings. Further, the first 250 ECPs to complete the training will receive a $50 Gift Card. "Only 35 percent of Americans have No-Glare lenses, which is why Essilor recognized the need for refreshed education," said Howard Purcell, O.D., vice president of customer development, Essilor of America. " addresses this need and reminds ECPs to create a dialogue with their patients about the many benefits that No-Glare lenses can provide—from amplified acuity and contrast to minimized eye strain and reduced scratches and smudges."

The videos cover a wide range of real-life situations in which patients benefit from wearing No-Glare lenses, such as: driving at night, children at school and other day to day activities. ECPs who correctly answer simple multiple choice questions at the end of each video will receive a certificate from Essilor stating that they have completed the No-Glare training program. The entire course takes less than 30 minutes to complete, and registration is free with the creation of a new online account. To learn more about No-Glare lenses or access the training videos, visit


Vision West, Inc., a premier ophthalmic practice management and buying group resource, has partnered with California Chamber of Commerce to offer its members access to HRCalifornia Express, an online one-stop site for human resources tools and solutions. HRCalifornia Express helps doctors and business owners protect their practices from compliance problems by providing quick, accurate answers to California and federal employment law questions. The one-year subscription to HRCalifornia Express provides an organized, labor-law compliant website with a multitude of tools including a vast library of HR topics, templates and forms that are easy to access. HRCalifornia Express is available at a reduced rate of $99 per year and can be accessed through the member side of the Vision West website or at: Additionally Vision West members also receive a 10 percent discount on all products at CalChamber's store site.

Vision West CEO and president Joseph Mallinger, OD, MBA said. "Human Resources is a huge part of operating a successful practice and our members will truly benefit from CalChamber's offerings." CalChamber president and CEO Allan Zaremberg pointed out, "This new partnership will strengthen even more California businesses who are striving to stay current, compliant and out of court." The online library includes a host of resources regarding labor law compliance, which operators can access quickly and easily via a dashboard of topics including benefits, compensation and termination, as tools such as forms and compliance posters.


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