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American Academy of Ophthalmology to Launch New Professional Networking Community for Ophthalmologists

02/05/2010   02:14:00 PM

SAN FRANCISCO - The largest international online community for ophthalmologists is now available for members of the American Academy of Ophthalmology at www.aao.org/community. This new online community gives ophthalmologists the ability to interact directly with their colleagues to share insights, perspectives and information via features such as groups, blogs, forums and sharing of photos and videos.

“Without a doubt, there is no other ophthalmic professional networking platform comparable to the Academy’s online community in scope and size,” said David W. Parke II, MD, executive vice president and CEO of the Academy. “It will be an essential resource for ophthalmologists around the world to collaborate and share information.”

Nearly 50 percent of Academy members recently surveyed said that they are involved with social networking sites such as Facebook, YouTube, LinkedIn and Sermo. More than 75 percent of those respondents chose “connecting with friends” as the primary purpose for their use of social networking sites, and more than 70 percent said they wanted a secure environment available only to ophthalmologists. The Academy responded by developing a dynamic, comprehensive community that gives ophthalmologists a secure place to share information among their peers, free from the presence of pharmaceutical companies, patients and the public. The online community is available for Academy members only and all contributions are secure. Members can access it by visiting www.aao.org and clicking on the Community tab.

Ophthalmic subspecialty and special interest groups such as the American Association for Pediatric Ophthalmology and Strabismus are already part of the online community; members can also create new groups on nearly any topic, making the community diverse and member-driven. They can share photos and videos, write blogs, add friends to their personal network and update their community profile known as a “persona”. Commenting and recommending features allow members to provide instant feedback on content throughout the Academy’s Web site. Members earn points and awards for participating in community activities, and the point rankings are shown on the community’s leaderboard. Forums and product reviews will be available later this year. These integrated social media services are provided by Pluck, the same company that provides digital platform solutions for the AARP, AMA, NFL and major news outlets.

By combining the Academy’s unmatched clinical resources with an integrated community full of collaborative opportunities, AAO.org will be the online destination where all of ophthalmology goes to connect.

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About the American Academy of Ophthalmology
AAO is the world's largest association of eye physicians and surgeons—Eye M.D.s—with more than 27,000 members worldwide.  Eye health care is provided by the three “O’s” – opticians, optometrists and ophthalmologists. It is the ophthalmologist, or Eye M.D., who can treat it all: eye diseases and injuries, and perform eye surgery. For more information, visit the Academy's Web site at www.aao.org.

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