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Managing the Stream of Digital Media Info

It's been a busy year of digital and social media developments and CLICK has worked to keep tabs on the key ones for our readers in the eyecare "space." From the advent of new mobile apps and tools to the arrival of Google+ and new Brand pages on Facebook and Twitter, there are dozens of new ways for eyecare professionals to boost and enhance their online presence and stoke stronger relationships with patients.

We hope you'll take a few minutes to go through the easy-to-access CLICK Archive located under the CLICK button at, which features dozens of Cool Tools, Sites to See and other resources for building your web image and your office's connection to patients. You can also learn from other ECPs, particularly about how they've grappled with the growth of social media. Take some time, alone or with your team, to watch their talks and look at their presentations from CLICK's 2nd Annual Conference earlier this fall, sponsored by Hoya The Free-Form Company. CLICK's videos are posted at VM's Video page.

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.

All the best for a happy, healthy and prosperous New Year!

—The Editors




Transforming Your 'Social Purpose' Programs Via the Web

NEW YORK—'Tis the season, to be sure. But over the past year or two, the notion of being grateful and giving back to those less fortunate is becoming a more permanent part of the day-to-day business landscape—and a priority of many consumers and patients, doctors and retailers.

The trend, defined as "social purpose" by many reflects many things, from the impact of the global financial crisis of late 2008 and beyond in addition to a growing sense of "social responsibility" on the part of patients, customers and companies. Since 2009, Vision Monday has shined a spotlight on many of the give back programs in the vision care field through its A Greater Vision web section and coverage. A Greater Vision offers the optical industry a forum, both online and in print, to detail and promote their philanthropic vision care efforts. Providing a central information location for nearly 30 organizations (and growing), the section recognizes there has been a crescendo on the part of eyecare professionals, organizations and the industry to marshall resources to provide eyewear and eyecare for the underserved both here at home and abroad. Similarly, Vision Monday's "Local Diary" also features the local community efforts of independent ECPs.

The number of people needing vision care remains staggering, as do the statistics surrounding the problem: Over 45 million people in the world are blind, a figure that is expected to grow to 76 million by 2020; 124 million people worldwide suffer from low vision and 670 million people in the world suffer from uncorrected vision problems, most of which could be addressed by a pair of eyeglasses.

At the same time, the rise of companies whose missions involve a purpose to donate to a cause is pronounced. This is includes such companies as Tom's Eyewear, adopting the Tom's Shoes' mission of 'One for One', eyewear companies like 141 Eyewear and Eyes of Faith's new "Wear & Share" concept to combine purchases with support of vision care resources.

Digital and social media has facilitated the fundraising efforts of thousands of good cause organizations and groups. As a feature in this month's Marie Claire illustrates, new ways for non-profits to connect their causes to purchases are multiplying. Just a couple of examples: which works with more than 2,500 retailers to donate a percentage of purchases to charities; visitors can designate which of 100,000 nonprofit partners they want to contribute to. is a volunteering site for professionals, while you're waiting in line or having lunch. The site's Web-based tasks take between five minutes and two hours: those who sign up get a weekly e-mail with options based on your interests. Or people can search the site by cause or location to choose an activity.

How can the web enhance your practice's causes and community activities? There's a new universe of online tools up to the task.



Overwhelmed by Multiple Social Media Streams?
Time to 'Summify'

By Alan Glazier, OD, FAAO

ROCKVILLE, Md.—According to Mark Zuckerberg, founder of Facebook, social sharing grows exponentially as time goes on; users share twice as much today as they did one year ago. A year from now that figure will double, and so forth. The amount of information shared in more than one stream is overwhelming, so how can you manage to stay on top of the information that is important to you when it is streaming at you from so many different directions?

The desire to ingest more and more information grows with each social media site you sign up for to the point where one can reach "social media overload." That's where a new tool called "Summify" comes in. Summify automatically identifies the most important news stories for you across all your networks. It's like a "hyper" RSS reader. When you plug in your social accounts, say on Google +, Facebook and Twitter, their algorithm collects the links that show up in your feeds, filters them and sends you a summary. Duplicate content is removed, items you typically ignore or don't "click" on are removed and items with subject matter you have shown interest in in the past are included in the feed. Right now, the only social accounts Summify can help with are Twitter, Facebook and Google, but more sites like LinkedIn will be accessed in the future.

Currently, Summify only collects links to articles, but will soon include links to video and audio as well. Summify pays special attention to the content that has been "liked" and "shared" by friends in your network and while global amounts of "likes" and "shares" are considered, Summify's algorithm is weighted to your likes and likes within your network. As you use Summify, the algorithm learns more about you and alters your feed with the purpose of providing you what it believes is more of the information you want to see.

For me, Summify has made my Facebook and Twitter experience more user friendly. It reduces the amount of time I spend scouring my feeds for internet marketing information, music or international news, enhancing my social media experience. It has also changed the way I get my news. Every morning I have an email with five articles Summify's algorithm thinks I'd be interested in reading and I estimate about 80 percent of the information Summify provides falls within my areas of interest. Summify estimates that for every story that makes it into a feed they reject 150 other less relevant stories. Prior to Summify I had to filter through a ton of garbage to get to find information I might be interested in. Summify has the advantage of being incredibly easy to use and the news is there when I want it. I am excited to see how Summify evolves and improves, refining my information gathering abilities.

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.


New Year's Earthcam

We know you need to prepare for the New Year. Here's a fun way to do it. Check out a series of videos (including 3D versions) of how the New Year is celebrated around the world. You can watched archived video streamed from Times Square and other world cities. The site offers a countdown to 2012 festivities. And if for some reason you don't have your own modern pair of 3D eyeglasses, featuring the latest in passive technology, the site offers a cut-and-paste guide to creating your own stereoptic glasses with instructions on red/blue gels over cellophane.


History of Christmas

Leave it to the History Channel to put its own fascinating information together to recount the history of Christmas as a holiday. From the day's spiritual history and images to the story of Santa Claus and "strange Christmas traditions" to an interactive guide to Christmas Facts, this site offers a mix of videos, infographics, and photo galleries.


REM Eyewear just launched its new B2B online ordering system which allows customers to not only order anything from the company's eyewear catalog, but also quickly reorder frames using the rapid reordering feature as well as order directly from a personalized list of favorite REM products. According to Kevin Hundert, REM's manager of new business development, the variety of different options for online ordering at makes the entire process very fast, easy, and painless. The company has added a new advanced search feature which allows customers to search REM's entire catalog by name or drill down by color, gender, material, age group, and more. Hundert notes the site's advanced search features were molded around customer feedback and continue to be adjusted based on their needs The new Catalog on Demand feature allows customers to create customized PDF catalogs. "They can add one frame from from our Converse Heritage Sun collection, five frames from our Lipstick collection, and then the entire Jones New York Women's Collection and with the click of a button create a downloadable PDF catalog with their personalized selection of frames," he pointed out. REM is offering online training tutorials to help customers use the new site and increase the efficiency of their business, he added.


After months of testing with customers, A&A Optical has launched a new marketing resource center, Market My Practice, a site built especially for A&A customers. "The goal of the new resource-rich center is to help our ECPs grow product turn, save money and build brand equity in their local markets," points out Juli Ann Radmanesh, marketing manager of A&A. Market My Practice allows ECPs to build personalized, professional looking marketing pieces for events, promotions and the brands they carry. The site also allows A&A's ECPs the opportunity to find new patients and build onto their existing address lists by using an extensive consumer database. Direct mail templates, customizable mailers and ads for key brands and a range of other tools are available on the new site. A&A accounts can see the new Market My Practice center via A&A's home page and by logging in with their A&A account number and password, or first-time users can click to receive a password or complete a registration form.

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