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Are You an Undiscovered Rock Star?

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The band Journey lost their lead singer last year. In search for a new lead singer, Neil Schon, one of the band’s founders, turned to the Internet. How do you search more than 17 billion Web sites for a lead singer? Schon turned to YouTube and searched for singers online. After a couple days of searching, Schon found a young singer halfway around the world in the Philippines. His name is Arnel Pineda, and after auditioning in Marin County (just north of San Francisco … and near Academy headquarters!), his incredible voice landed him the job as lead singer. Journey’s national tour is sold out everywhere, and the craze about Pineda is spreading like wildfire.

This Cinderella story illustrates the power of the Internet and how it can be used to connect individuals around the world. But before you can be found on the Internet, you must know how to publish on the Web. Do you know how to create and publish your photos, video and written work on the Internet? Are you familiar with how to buy and even sell things to people around the world using free and inexpensive tools available on the Web?

My courses at the 2008 Academy Joint Meeting in Atlanta will help people learn how to publish Internet content, create Web sites and buy and sell on the Internet. These are all critical skills for YOs, as the Internet can be an effective marketing tool for your practice and great medium for sharing your expertise with others.

Without sounding too much like an infomercial, I will provide a brief background about my expertise so that you can be assured that you will be in good hands with my courses and that I am the right person for this task. During medical school, I started an electronic commerce business that generated more than $500,000 in yearly sales on eBay and Internet shopping sites, working just a few hours each day before classes and clinic rotations.

As an ophthalmology resident, I co-founded a case report and clinical information Web site (www.eyerounds.org) for the department of ophthalmology at the University of Iowa. This Web site has received more than 2 million visitors and offers hundreds of clinical cases and articles about ophthalmology. I also co-founded a book publishing company (www.fepint.org and www.medrounds.org) that uses Internet publishing methods, as well as traditional bound paper books.

With all of this experience, as well as more than 10 years of expertise in e-commerce, publishing and Web marketing strategies, I have created courses to share my knowledge and experiences with Academy friends and colleagues.

Course Descriptions

Web Design Primer for the Ophthalmologist
If you can organize your computer hard drive into folders, then you can start a Web site! Basic Web design and organization is easy to understand and extremely fun. With a few clicks of the mouse, your pictures, audio clips, videos and articles can be shared around the world. A Web site is an important marketing modality for your practice. Learning how to maintain one will help reduce your costs.
 
This course offers an overview of the organization of Web sites, basic server organization and introductory Web design to help you setup, design, and publish Web pages on the Internet. This instruction provides a hands-on, step-by-step construction of a basic Web site on the Internet. I will help you understand how Web servers work, teach you how to upload and organize content on a Web server, discuss how to create and publish Web pages using Microsoft Front Page and teach you how to use free software like Blogger to maintain and create your Web site. To achieve maximum benefit from this course, I recommend people create an account on Blogger and YouTube.

Internet Blogging and Publishing Services
The written word can be a powerful tool. With the invention of mass publishing methods such as the Gutenberg Press, cultures, countries and people have been greatly influenced through education and awareness. The Internet is a faster and more powerful form of publishing medium that can transmit not only words, but sounds, pictures, and videos. You can contribute your knowledge and expertise with others. If you have a special skill or talent, then you can be the expert who will teach thousands of others.

This course will offer an overview of how to blog, publish and share your ideas on the Internet. The course also covers how to package your content into traditional books for distribution. Plus, this instruction provides a hands-on, step-by-step construction of a blog. To achieve maximum benefit from this course, I recommend that people create an account on Blogger, Facebook and YouTube.

Selling and Purchasing on eBay, Craigslist and other Mediums: How to Clean Your Office or Attic at a Profit!
During medical school, I had a colleague who used an old, broken microscope as a book end for his textbooks. There was no use for the microscope, as it did not have a functioning light and objectives were missing. I asked if I could sell the microscope on eBay. He agreed, as it was nothing more than a heavy paperweight on his desk.

I took photos of the microscope and posted a complete description on eBay, including that this microscope was non-functioning. I started the seven-day auction at a starting bid of $1, without a reserve price, and added a $25 fee for shipping and handling. The microscope received a few bids during the first few days. By the sixth day, the bidding was at a respectfully profitable $150. The exhilarating part came during the final 30 minutes of bidding on the seventh day. Each time I hit the “reload” button on my Internet browser, it was like watching the numbers increase on the jackpot meter in Vegas. The bidding increased from $150 to a final price of more than $600 within 30 minutes! While I cannot promise you that every transaction will allow you to walk away with $600 from free “junk,” I can promise that, by the end of this course, you will learn how to shop, sell and make money on the Internet.

My course on e-commerce will also help you recognize phishing schemes and teach you how to protect yourself from fraud. Additionally, this course will help you understand how to purchase goods and services online safely, increase your knowledge of how to sell personal or professional goods and services online and demonstrate how to receive money safely from buyers.

Conclusion
If any or all of these course offerings interest you, then I encourage you to attend my Saturday courses at the 2008 Joint Meeting in Atlanta. The lessons in these courses will help you publish and share your ideas, views and knowledge online. With some luck, my e-commerce course will help you make money from the “junk” in your office, home and attic. Or you may hit it big and be the lead singer for your favorite band! At the least, you will learn how to market your growing practice by using inexpensive tools available online.

>> Browse the Online Program

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About the author: Andrew P. Doan, MD, PhD, is a comprehensive ophthalmologist and eye pathologist. He is also chief editor of YO Info and a member of the YO Committee. Want more Doan at the meeting? Check out the Breakfasts with the Experts he'll be part of.