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A Very Social Meeting, A Very Social Academy
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Those of you browsing the O.N.E. shortly before the Academy’s recent Joint Meeting may have noticed a new feature on some pages: the ability to comment and review articles, including posts on the EyeNet blog. For many meeting attendees, that was just one way that social media and the Academy combined – and it’s only just begun, as you’ll see with this issue of YO Info.

Social San Francisco
Sites like Twitter and features like the EyeNet blog’s comments were just a few of the ways this year’s meeting fused online and face-to-face interactions. Visitors to got a live glimpse of what was going on at the Moscone Center, thanks to a live feed from the Academy’s Twitter account, @aao_ophth. And physicians like John Kitchens (@jkitchens) and Richard Ellison (@ricell) posted updates from Subspecialty Day and other events of interest for anyone following the meeting hashtag (#aaosf09).

jkitchens tweet

jkitchens tweet2

ricell tweet

ricell tweet2

Meanwhile, for those who preferred longer-form observations, a panel of contributors live-blogged the meeting for EyeNet.

  • Ravi Goel, MD, reflected on “the benefits of being an early bird”: “By the time I settled into my hotel, I quickly realized the benefit of coming to the Academy a day early: networking and learning one-on-one from colleagues in multiple subspecialties.”
  • David Chang, MD, reported on an only-at-the-meeting screening of Through My Eyes: The Dr. Charles D. Kelman Story (coming to public television stations around the country, this January). “Charlie Kelman’s remarkable life could indeed have been scripted for a Hollywood movie, and the photos, videos and interviews vividly recount the amazing story behind this multitalented but unconventional doctor … and his controversial, but ultimately revolutionary, invention. As we all know, this is also a story about the perils of innovation — daring to think outside the box, nervously testing new ideas in patients, and then having to prove prominent critics in the medical establishment wrong — all with your career and reputation on the line.”
  • Tamara Fountain, MD, described the thrill of attending a meeting that set a record for international attendees. “I also learned no matter what language you speak, your country of origin, the color of your skin, there is a universal need for connection, for education, for service to others. This Academy had a more global feel than any I have attended. I liked that feeling.”
  • Andrea Gray, MD, offered a guide to exhibit-floor trick-or-treating: “There is a bit of an art to this. One also has to gauge how valuable the item of sugary goodness is in proportion to the risk. Can I grab the candy and dash from the booth without having to listen to a spiel on why I should change my corporate credit card? Is the bowl unattended, or are there three exhibitors in matching polo shirts looming over it, a smile on their faces and a boss on their backs? It’s all about the risk-benefit ratio.”

The meeting was just the beginning of a more interactive Academy, however. With this issue of YO Info, the features launched on the O.N.E. and EyeNet blog expand to our publication, enabling you and your colleagues to discuss articles, share additional pearls, interact with the editorial board and more. Note that you can only view and make comments by logging in as an Academy member, however.

And coming in the new year, will also be adding expanded blogging features, groups and more. So what are you waiting for? If you haven’t yet created your persona, use the login box to the upper right-hand corner, click on your name, upload a photo and add a basic description. Be sure to also review the Academy’s Quick Guide to the new community features.

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About the Author: Christi A. Foist is the managing editor for YO Info and the Web and Member Communications Editor for the Academy’s Web site.

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