This, just a ramble about progress and things.
Our most awesome Facebook group just hit the 5,000 member mark.
And you’re thinking, woopdie doo Jake.
You’re right of course. Just numbers (try to say it with a Scottish accent though … fiiive thuuusand – way more impressive). And sure, many of those members never post, comment, read, or otherwise partake in the idle subterfuge that is endmyopia. It’s also a tiny number compared to what we might have if we advertised the group, or inflated member numbers via various shady practices.
But your favorite eye guru keeps running out of shady with his day job. So actually 5,000 is a pretty legit milestone for us all of us pirates in the high seas of retail optometry.
Here’s why one might be actually excited about the 5,000:
Strength In Numbers
So granted, a lot of people don’t participate in the discussion.
But here’s what happens that we should care about: People look us up. People in the optometry field, people in science fields, people who publish things. And people with myopia who feel dubious about the treatment options the mainstream presents them with. Yes, there is the dodgy website that is endmyopia.org. An imaginarily bearded guru who is mostly in finance and as a side hobby trolls the optometry so-called profession. That by itself isn’t all that impressive.
Then though there is this social media thing. Endmyopia, the biggest vision improvement group on all of Facebook.
A few clicks further and people see the numbers. They realize it’s not just a few idiots in some remote corner of the Internet. Rather there’s a notable number of people involved. That alone doesn’t make us credible but it certainly makes us a force … of some kind.
As the Facebook numbers have grown, the insults, derisive commentary, and generally less than respectful attitudes from the mainstream have pretty much stopped. Where it used to be bullying attempts fairly regularly a few years ago, now it’s pretty nicely quiet. Occasionally we get an optometrist calling endmyopia a scam. Of course nothing is more fun than reposting those well qualified opinions here and watch how quickly the person realizes that there’s a lot of us and one of him. Rapid scurrying away ensues every time.
Numbers are key, if you’re going to mess around with potentially unpopular ideas on the Internet.
Time Well Spent
Right now an imaginarily bearded eye guru is sitting in some excessively trendy coffee shop in Hong Kong, with some overpriced sugarless coffee and a backpack.
That’s right. Exactly like one of those da*n travel hippes.
It’s off to Bangkok for a week or so, then a dodgy flight with a dodgy airline to the Ukraine. From there, a pile of dots on the map of Europe to take care of a number of highly overdue errands and business things. Time away from family and the little offspring, away from the gym and being fed and looked after.
Time is precious, and limited. You can spend it kitesurfing or making money or playing with your kids or reading interesting books (and hopefully not scrolling through Facebook all day).
Since no eye gurus get any younger the awareness of all this tends to make one picky about how to spend time. Here it helps to get e-mails of progress reports and Facebook updates and reviews ideally (reviews, yo! written one yet?!). Looking at the Facebook group and seeing that it actually is lively and helpful and real people participate in real conversation. That helps. Motivation is maintained.
And of course …
I can’t do one-on-one support for nearly as many people as have questions. But you can.
Instead of just sitting in front of a screen, reading, wondering, trying stuff all by yourself, you can actually stop by the group and see what others are up to. Thanks to some good moderating (Kim!) things are mostly kept fairly well on topic and you can always check in and find others in the same boat.
The same let’s try to see some land from the boat, boat.
All great things! Also loving some of the Youtube videos that members have made, and guides that have been put together. And of course the crap that get’s talked about a poor old defenseless tottery mountain hermit over on Reddit /r/optometry.
It’s better to be notorious than to be forgotten, darlings.
Also: The next few weeks, extra dodgy. More than usual even. If VanBeardly ever disappear completely, blame overpowered motorbikes in Bangkok, or Eastern European gangster types, or various illicit substances procured for various ill advised adventures. Or all of the above. Especially if forum answers from me take an extra day on occasion, apologies in advance!