Welcome to the August 2001 issue of the OptiBoard Community Newsletter!

========== [ In This Issue ] ==========

-> OptiBoard Sponsorship Programs
-> OptiBoard July Statistics
-> OptiBoard Shirts Now Available
-> Referral Contest Update
-> Hot Topics
-> OptiBoard Featured Member of the Month
-> Moderator Column: 'Fighting the Fear of Posting' by Harry Jilson
-> This Month's Featured Forums

========== [ OptiBoard Sponsorship Programs ] ==========

Please help support OptiBoard by clicking on the link of our primary sponsor - Transitions Optical. This link is available from any OptiBoard page.

If you are interested in becoming an OptiBoard sponsor we have several new plans available, including our Premier Link program, OptiBoard Newsletter Sponsorship, and the new Sponsored Forums. In addition, we are now taking bids for the Primary OptiBoard Sponsor for 2002. If you are interested in any of these, contact webmaster@optiboard.com for details. Serious inquiries only, please.

========== [ OptiBoard July Statisitics ] ==========

Here's a few of the many hot topics currently being discussed on the Board:

New Members in July: 92
Total Members (as of August 5, 2001): 959
New Posts in July: 1799
Total Posts (as of August 5, 2001): 18159
New Threads in July: 230
Total hits in July: 655368 (35577 per day)
Total Kbytes downloaded: 1586610 (1.59 gigabytes!)

========== [ OptiBoard Polo Shirts Now Available for Order! ] ==========

Thanks to hard work from our Moderators, Jo and Pete, a secure order page has been set up for the new OptiBoard Polo shirts. Visit this link for more details and the order page:


========== [ Referral Contest Update ] ==========

The OptiBoard Referral Contest has been extended until September 30th. The winner will receive their very own OptiBoard.com email address, plus a Custom Avatar and User Title (if they don't already have one.)

As of August 3rd, John R was in the lead with 3 referrals. However since Moderators are not eligible to win (although we do like it when they get referrals!), the actual leader right now is Jenny P with two referrals. The race is close and it's not too late for someone else to take the lead. For more information, visit this URL:


========== [ Hot Topics ] ==========

Here's a few of the many hot topics currently being discussed on the Board:

Tips on Dispensing (also the Featured Thread of the Month!)

What is your typical workday like?

What percentage of AR jobs do you dispense?

Here's a new one

Optiwear is Here!!!!

The OAA and Our Future

Poll: National and State Organizations

Distance Learning in Optical Education


Base Curves

UK Dispensing

Interesting Ce news

Optical Country & Western Song Titles

========== [ OptiBoard Featured Member of the Month ] ==========

Optiboard has improved greatly in the past six plus years, not only in appearance, but in the quality and depth of its content. That is a direct result of the input of our Members. The Administrator and Moderators take notice of the countless contributions made by board Members, which measurably improve the quality of this board.

Occasionally one member will stand out in particular and the administrator and moderators would like to recognize this individual. Hence the award of a tip of our collective hats! The OptiBoard Featured Member of this Month is:

Jeff Trail!

Jeff has been an avid OptiBoarder since the very early days when we were running on the WWWBoard script. Jeff owns a Wholesale Lab in Florida and has been a consistent and knowledgeable contributor on many issues related to lab processing. Some of the comments from our Moderators about Jeff included; 'a great source of information' , and 'a real pro who's been there, seen it, done it and writes about it.'

Congratulations, Jeff, and thanks for all you've done for the OptiBoard Community!

========== [ Moderator Column ] ==========

'Fighting the Fear of Posting' by Harry Jilson

By now you have had a chance to look around the board and see what the new features are, and how they work. You may even have found some friends on board. Its time to take the next big step! Check out your profile under 'status'.If it still says 'Novice,' it means that you haven't made many posts yet. Posting is easy and it's a sure-fire way to have the novice status upgraded. You may have noticed the Avatars which appear beneath the member's name on some posts. It takes just 25 posts to be able to have an Avatar, and we have one new member that made that milestone within a week. Its really easy to do.

The statistics for members show that just over a third of us don't make any posts at all. Many of this number are new members. While it is fun to just sit and watch sometimes, it is also fun to post. We all have an interest in the optical business; that's what brought us here in the first place. It follows that we all have something to offer one another in terms of knowledge or insight. If you just sit back and let others contribute you are depriving the rest of us of what you have to contribute, and not holding up your end.

If you are unsure how to post, give it a shot in the test forum; you can always delete it. You don't have to be a rocket scientist in order to post and please don't hesitate to jump into a debate; you must have noticed a few of these already. You may not always be right but you will always learn something . Posting will build friendships as you go along, then you will have the pleasure of meeting those friends in person at the various functions we all attend.To sum up, by posting you will improve Optiboard, broaden your horizons, broaden our horizons, and make some friends and have fun in the process. Lets see YOUR name in the forums today!

========== [ Featured Forums and Moderators ] ==========

Here is an introduction to the OptiBoard Forums from some of our Moderators:

*** General Discussion Forum ***

Generally, this is a discussion forum! If you are asking a question or posting a thought on an optically-related question that doesn't quite fit into any other specific category- like Ophthalmic Optics- then this is the forum in which to post.

As the most active forum on the board, the General Discussion Forum is a good place to post something for which you need an immediate reply (for example, "does anyone have a 58-16 A.G. Apollo frame in G.E.P?"). Chances are, someone on the General Discussion Forum will see your post and respond within hours.

Sometimes, discussions in one of the more specific forums that have a broad appeal will be "bumped" into the General Discussion Forum to reach a wider audience.

Pete Hanlin, Moderator

*** Optical Marketplace ***

The Optical Marketplace is the forum where you can buy, sell or trade optical goods and services. Sell that old edger that you just upgraded. Ask if another member has a frame you are looking for. Do you sell tools or offer specialized services like frame repair? The best part about the Optical Marketplace is that it is easier to post here than on most other internet classified ads sites and has an international audience.

Jo, Moderator

*** The Job Board ***

The Job Board forum is a great place to post if you have a vacant spot on your staff you need filled. OptiBoard has members from all over and often you can even catch some good people who are looking to relocate. If you are looking for a job, it is a great way to find employers at both large and small establishments, since our members come from a very diverse group of optical professionals. Members and visitors come to OptiBoard everyday so your posts will get read.

Jo, Moderator

*** Education and Professional Organizations ***

The EDUCATION AND PROFESSIONAL ORGANIZATION forum is a place where opticians can gain information in regard to their state/national organizations, as well as opticianry college programs around the globe.

Come join us in discussions about the educational and professional state of opticianry! Let us know of your experiences, and the direction you think we should be moving toward!

Your opinions count...a lot!

Laurie Pierce, Moderator

*** International Optics Forum ***

This forum is for everyone to use, but it is better than the General Discussion forum if you require a more country-specific answer to a question, or wish to post information about what your governing bodies are planning to do with optics in your country. If it is felt that the post needs a wider audience, it may well be moved to the General Discussion forum.

John R, Moderator

*** Just Conversation ***

The Just Conversation forum is where you can chat about all non-optical subjects. From serious subjects such as religion and politics, to silly ones such as fingers and The Weakest Link, pretty much every taste is catered to. Recipes and book reviews have also appeared here.

Maria, Moderator

*** Optiboard Site Information Section ***

The Optiboard Site Information Section consists of three separate forums.

1. Feedback, Comments, and Help: This forum is the place to ask questions concerning the many aspects of the board itself. Members are encouraged to submit any suggestions for how the board can improve, and ask for help with any problems they encounter with the board.

2. Q&A: This is the area for new members to visit in order to learn how to use the various tools that Optiboard offers its members.There is also some usefull information concerning the importance of things like private messaging, your member profile, and how to get the most out of the new board.

3. The Test Forum: This is the forum that allows members to test the new features of Optiboard so that they will come out the way they are planned.You can start a poll if you want.You can practice writing in colour or with different fonts.Nothing that appears on this forum is permanent.It is similar to a blackboard in that regard because it is erased periodically.

hcjilson, Moderator


Once again, thanks to all of you for your support and for helping make OptiBoard truly the 'Premier Online Community of Eyecare Professionals Worldwide!'

Steve Machol
OptiBoard Webmaster