Video and the New Media

A multimedia platform allows AOC and EyetubeOD to present information in the format of the user’s choosing.

By Bryan Bechtel, Managing Editor

Since Advanced Ocular Care’s launch in 2010, the publication has partnered with the Optometric Council on Refractive Technology (OCRT) to produce an annual multisponsored educational supplement. The goal of this venture has been to expand the scope of education beyond the pages of the publication and to offer clinically relevant information while also presenting practical tips and pearls that clinicians can implement in their day-to-day practice.

Last year’s edition of this partnership provided a new multimedia twist on the format. The July/August 2012 AOC featured “Growing Your Practice in 2012 and Beyond: OCRT Technology and Treatment Update”; simultaneously, a digital version of the supplement, housed on AOC’s website, connected readers to additional content in the form of videos supported by EyetubeOD.com.

The utilization of multiple formats was, in essence, a microcosm of what the ongoing association of AOC and EyetubeOD is becoming: a unique blend of video and the written word offering users a comprehensive look at the issues that matter most to optometry.

INTERACTVE CONTENT

The stated mission of the OCRT is “To advance the art and science of refractive technology and the knowledge and skills of optometrists participating in refractive technology as well as provide clinical and practice management education to optometrists through various forms of communication and forums.”

It is this last point in the organization’s mission statement that strikes so saliently with the multimedia presentation of this supplement. Like the OCRT, the AOC-EyetubeOD collaboration is built on the fundamental belief that providing users with more than the written word more effectively conveys the desired message. Although the staff of AOC are editors by trade, and thus enamored with the written word, we recognize the changing landscape of publishing, as well as the different ways readers want to receive their education.

The Pew Research Center’s Project for Excellence in Journalism noted in its 2012 Annual Report on American Journalism that publishers were seeing a large uptick in readers accessing their products through online and digital (tablet format) sources.1 A substantial number of readers still access print editions, but across the board at Time Inc., Hearst Magazines, Conde Nast, and other large magazine publishing houses, a significant number of readers use online, print, and digital editions.

What does all of this have to do with how optometrists want to read AOC and/or interact with EyetubeOD? Bryn Mawr Communications, publisher of AOC, surveyed readers last year and found a similar trend. The readership of AOC is, likewise, accessing its clinical education via a blend of digital and printed formats. What this all speaks to is a transition period in media usage with an indefinite endpoint. Currently, readers want access to information in multiple formats. Staying relevant to a continually evolving readership demands that we present information across the multiple media that readers use. This is why AOC is offering information in print, online, via video, and on the digital newsstand accessible with an iPad (Apple, Inc.) app.

VIDEO: MORE THAN ADDED VALUE

The OCRT supplement is an interesting case study in why multiple media formats are relevant. One of the videos that came out of the project features Jim Owen, OD, MBA, discussing treatments for keratoconus. The video has become the single most viewed video on all of EyetubeOD. Interestingly, the print supplement, although it features a wide assortment of topics from tips for counseling patients about LASIK and cataract surgery to updates on contact lenses to strategies for growing the business side of practice, it does not feature an article on keratoconus.

The supplement was, by and large, a success, and the most resonating element of the entire project is a video that might be considered a value-added component. Except AOC-EyetubeOD is now considering this hybrid media presentation less the exception and more the rule. Behind the scenes, both AOC and EyeTubeOD are working to build a wide catalog of offerings so that users and readers will continue to find an entry point to the education they want and in the format they choose.

CONCLUSION

The old adage that “a picture is worth a thousand words” has proven its value time and again, and its truthfulness is at the core of AOC’s new focus on the use of the moving picture to relay information. It speaks, also, to another maxim drawn from the realm of the written word: show, don’t tell. That is, enable readers to experience the information on their own and leave the writer’s experience and/or bias to the side. The truth is, though, that as much as AOC owes to its editorial basis, it is a lot easier to actually show something with video than it is to explain it with words.

  1. Magazines: are hopes for tablets overdone? The Pew Research Center’s Project for Excellence in Journalism. http://stateofthemedia.org/2012/magazines-are-hopes-for-tablets-overdone. Accessed March 5, 2013.