When B2B magazines like Review first dipped their toes in the digital waters, we built sites that, by today’s standards, seem archaic. But readers were excited about technology, so whether our sites were of any real value to readers or not, we had to be on the Internet (with a capital “I”) and that meant having a rudimentary, painfully slow presence on the World Wide Web (back then, we’d never use abbreviated slang to refer to this majestic space).

For years, as the web developed a life of its own, publications—both professional and consumer-based—had one main goal: To post as much of their new and old content as quickly as possible. That’s how you were judged as a publication with an online presence. All that really mattered was who had a bigger pile of beans and how easy it was to find the one particular bean that any given visitor might be looking for.  

Regurgitating content. That was what we did. Don’t get me wrong; information for its own sake is a valuable and powerful tool. But it’s so Y2K. So, publishers began looking for ways to offer something more—something their competitors wouldn’t or couldn’t. That something was, unfortunately, more content. Stuff you wouldn’t find in the regular issue. This, clearly, was not a very progressive approach.

While I lament the many hours my staff spent in vain, updating news stories and posting new content, I am grateful for the fact that we didn’t seize those moments between 2004 and 2007 as ripe for Review’s digital rebirth. If we had launched a new site at that time, we would undoubtedly be forced to now reinvest in yet another new website, a mere two to three years later, since web surfing behaviors have so radically changed during this small window of time.

In health care, especially, there is a high premium placed on content you can trust. In fact, Review prides itself on this very philosophy. I can’t count the number of times I’ve been teased, “If you read it in Review, it must be true.” But, while considering the source is still important, the world is changing. People now care what other people believe to be true—not just what they know to be well-established fact. Opinions matter too. Smart online publishers recognize this and harness the power of their viewing public to create a more intimate and meaningful form of communication with their readers in the form of blogs, widgets and online polls, to name a few. This is precisely what we aim to achieve as we rolled out the completely new Review of Optometry Online.

As you’d expect of an education-provider like Review, everything you’ll find on revoptom.com lives up to the same high standards that we’ve set for the print publication. What’s more, the search is seamless and it’s much easier on the eyes than our old site. But, more importantly, and in keeping with the Information Renaissance in which we undeniably find ourselves today, revoptom.com is a powerful platform that, as it evolves, will help the optometric profession come together as a cohesive community intent on reaching new heights. It will allow you to access a virtual armamentarium of trustworthy information, as well as personal opinions. And, I promise, that’s just the beginning.

I urge you to visit the site soon and often. And, by all means, give us your feedback; this is your site and your space in which to learn and grow both professionally and personally.