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

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

-> OptiBoard Newsletter Sponsor's Message
-> Moderator Column: "The Power of Community" by Steve Machol
-> OptiBoard October Statistics
-> OptiBoard Shirts Still Available
-> We Have A Referral Contest Winner!
-> Hot Topics
-> OptiBoard Featured Member of the Month

========== [ OptiBoard Newsletter Sponsor's Message ] ==========

This edition is sponsored by Optical Dynamics Corporation, providing business solutions for the optical professionals. Q-2100 Lens Casting Technology, Business Plans, Marketing Concepts. Training Systems, Advertising Programs.


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

"The Power of Community" by Steve Machol

It was a pleasant day, sunny and mild, and I was watching television in the living room. Suddenly a news bulletin flashed on the screen to announce the horrible tradegy that had just taken place many miles away. After staring at the screen in disbelief for several minutes, I picked up the phone to call my Mom. 'Yes', she said sadly, when I asked her if she had heard the news. Everyone, it seems. had heard. The date was November 22, 1963. I was just 11 years old, home sick from school, and on that day my life changed forever.

On September 11, 2001 my life changed again. This time it was my Son calling his Mom to tell us the news and we both stared in disbelief as the shocking images were displayed for the world to see. Once again I picked up the phone to call my Mom, and again she had already heard the news. We also called other family members to touch base and make sure they were alright. Thus, this scene was repeated millions of times around the world as people reached out to their community of family and friends to reassure themselves and re-establish their social connections, which now seemed so tenuous and fragile.

After talking to family members, my thoughts turned to my friends on OptiBoard. I needed to do something but didn't know what. There were already messages on the Board about the tradegy. I quickly put together a new page and logo designed to show respect for the victims and their families. It seemed so trivial, but it was all I could think of doing at that moment. I then began to read the messages on the Board. People from around the world wrote messages to others they'd met only in cyberspace - messages sharing their grief, their anger, their disbelief and their sadness.

Much has been written on the power of a community to heal and provide support. Humans beings are social creatures and contact with other humans is a central component of our lives. But most of these references are to direct human contact, with little regard for online communications.

However as our experiences on OptiBoard have shown, these methods of communication can enhance the feeling of community and enrich our lives in ways that weren't possible before. There are many people on OptiBoard that I consider close friends, even though I've never met them in person. These people were important to me on September 11th and my life is richer for knowing them.

Though it may only exist in cyberspace, OptiBoard is an important and valuable community of friends and colleagues. My thanks go out to all of you for being a part of it.

========== [ OptiBoard September 2001 Statisitics ] ==========

Here's the Board statistics for September:

New Members in September: 102
Total Members (as of October 3, 2001): 1157
New Posts in September: 1226
Total Posts (as of October 3, 2001): 21127
New Message Threads in September: 191
Total hits in September: 594210 (19807 per day)
Total Kbytes downloaded: 1370703 (1.37 gigabytes!)

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

There is still time to order your very own OptiBoard shirt. Visit this link for more details and the order page:


========== [ We Have A Referral Contest Winner! ] ==========

And the winner is........


In the final days, Sean edged out to the front and finished ahead of Mike Fretto 7 referrals to 6! Thanks Sean, Mike and everyone who referred OptiBoard to others.

Here's the final standings:

-> Sean - 7
-> Mike Fretto - 6
-> hcjilson - 5
-> John R - 5
-> Steve Machol - 4
-> David Wilson - 3
-> JennyP - 3
-> Ney Rojas-Mejia - 2
-> Sylvia Howell - 2
-> Jo - 2
-> harry a saake - 1
-> EyeManFla - 1
-> Corey Nicholls - 1
-> Pete Hanlin - 1
-> Jeff Trail - 1
-> Francine Titherington - 1
-> mullo - 1
-> kjw1231 - 1
-> Judy Canty - 1
-> Jay A. Little - 1
-> sam hamadani - 1
-> LaurieC - 1

[Note: Moderator were not eligible for the contest and their results are reported for informational purposes only.]

As winner of the contest, Sean receives his very own OptiBoard.com email address.

Thanks again to everyone who made referrals to OptiBoard. And please don't forget to follow up with your people and encourage them to become active Members. As recently posted by Harry Jilson:

"An increased membership doesn't mean very much if the new members don't participate. All of you who referred members should be in touch with them to welcome them to the board and encourage their participation. As most of you know, once you get over the 2 post hump, it gets easier, and then folks jump right it. So please encourage your referrees to post."

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

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

Please Pray (also the Featured Thread of the Month!)

Tips on Dispensing

Poll: Who Is Your Favorite Lens Manufacturer and Why?


Poll: What are your states reqs for being in optics?

Poll: What Percentage of AR Jobs do you Dispense?

ABO Credits Online

Face To Face CE Credits

Welding spatter


"smart Mirror"

Progressive Lens Terminology

Essilor Natural

"OptiBoard Anonymous"

Poll: What if Al Gore had won the election?

BBC Film on Afghanistan

Who'd a thunk it?

========== [ 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:

Cindy Hamlin! (aka 'cah2020' on the Board)

Cindy has been a long time contributor to OptiBoard in many areas. As one Moderator states,

"I have to nominate Cindy Hamlin who always thinks of OptiBoard first when it comes to posting her job openings. She has also contributed alot to the Education and Professional Organizations forum lately. She just isn't using OptiBoard for free advertising she is an active participant in all discussions. She has also contributed ideas for adding extras to the Job Board."

Thank you Cindy for all your efforts. It's because of people like you that OptiBoard has grown into the professional community it is.


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