Emily Webb wrote an article about optometrists and blogging for the newspaper of the Optometrists Association Australia. I’ll link to her article if they make it available on their website. She sent me a copy of the original print version and it’s found in Volume 28 Number 8 August 2007. Another optometrist interviewed is Dr. Stuart Macfarlane. For now I’ll just post the original transcript of my e-mail interview.
Emily Webb wrote:
> Hi David,
> It will just be a few questions:
> 1. Why did you start blogging?
I was introduced to blogging by Intel blogger and friend, Josh Bancroft, of tinyscreenfuls.com. It was when I went back to visit Portland during the October 2004 GWCO conference. He introduced me to the wonderful concept of web site syndication and the blogs that were using it. He also introduced me to the Clue Train Manifesto (cluetrain.com) which my take home message was that people want to give feedback to companies, and the companies should listen and change for the better in response to the open conversations they have with customers.
With optoblog.com I started out wanting to share optometry news and write reviews for ophthalmic equipment- like engadget.com and arstechnica do with computers and electronics. But I found out that just repeating the news I read from sources like AOAnews.com and revoptom.com is redundant. I don’t have to be a news machine if these source authorities would simply publish an RSS feed for their updated content. Instead, I try to focus on how I can be “part of a conversation” and what significance the industry news has for me. I would like to write more reviews, but they are more time consuming compared to jotting down a few rants about the state of the profession and ophthalmic industry. I wish more optometrists would give feedback to the ophthalmic vendors because improvements need to be made in the usability of products like PM/EHR software and digital exam equipment.
I’ve recently added a new feature: cartoons. My inspiration derived from savagechickens.com who draws hilarious cartoons on a yellow sticky note. Mine are on a sea-foam green back ground (like optometry thesis project report covers), and they’re kind of like political cartoons except they are just about our profession. Sure, the art is bad, but they could bring a smirk to your face.
> 2. What positives/benefits have come from the blog?
This request for an e-mail interview from an Australian writer is a highlight. I think the industry vendors have finally caught on to seeking feedback. Just this week I saw in my website logs that someone with an IP address from Johnson & Johnson (Vistakon-Acuvue) browsed around my blog and then searched my site for the word “Ciba.”
> 3. What do you like about blogging?
I can express my opinion, and maybe someone will validate it for me. I don’t get the opportunity very much to speak with my optometric peers about the state of our profession, and it’s my hope that blogging will start conversations with other optometric physicians. I could be way out there on a particular issue, so it allows me to go on the record, get the opinions of others, and then re-evaluate my stance. I hate the current state of web boards because they usually are exclusive and talk in secret behind closed doors. The ClueTrain Manifesto is all about open conversations, and I subscribe to that philosophy.
> 4. Your advice to novice/would-be bloggers?
I got into the geeky world of getting a web host and using WordPress.org for the back-end of my blog. It requires a lot of maintenance. I would just open an account at blogger.com or wordpress.com and let them take care of your back end- er…the technical side that requires almost constant tweaking and security updates. Ready-made solutions would allow you to focus on your content, ideas, and conversations.
Also, don’t dwell so much on the negative and writing rants exclusively (do as I say, not as I do).
> Also, do you have a photo you could email? It needs to be high res
> (300dpi) and preferably a portrait.
The best photo that I’ve got for now is attached. It’s taken with my digital camera at 72 dpi but the pixel size is 1280 x 960. When does this publish? If you gave me a few more days I might come up with something better.
Thanks for the interview!
David Langford, O.D.
> —–Original Message—–
> From: David (optoblog) [mailto:firstname.lastname@example.org] Sent: Friday, 30 March 2007 3:43 PM
> To: Emily Webb
> Subject: optoblog interview
> Sure thing. I can do an e-mail interview. I’m just some cheeky
> American who has only been in practice for 4 years, but fire away.
> For your background information I have attached my C.V.
> -David Langford, OD
> Emily Webb wrote:
>> Emily Webb wrote:
>> Hi David,
>> I am a journalist with Australian Optometry newspaper, the member publication of Optometrists Association Australia. I am writing a feature on blogging and I’d love to interview you with a few questions via email. My email is [******]
>> Emily Webb
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