The IAPB website is poised to mark an internal milestone – 2 million views since launch. What is even more encouraging for us is the fact that we managed to halve the time it took us to reach the second million – the first million took us 16 months, while the second took just 8. The website’s growth is coinciding with our steadily growing numbers on two of our main ‘outreach’ activities – our newsletters (VISION 2020 Newsletter and IAPB Focus) and our social media presence (Twitter and Facebook, primarily, but also LinkedIn ).
We know that you come to the IAPB website looking to find information that is accurate and useful for your advocacy and planning – indeed, this is a key strategic aim for IAPB. This idea animates the choices we make on the website. Historically, the website has hosted key blindness data from the WHO (and now, also from the Vision Loss Expert Group). In addition, there is the document library that has a growing list of documents of interest to our work (and yes, please do send us documents that you think should be available there), which is part of a broader (and soon-to-be revamped) knowledge section. There is, of course, the news section, but also a more flexible IAPB blog to include more immediate updates and insights from ‘KOLs’ (Key Opinion Leaders).
So, what is news and what is a blog post? Let’s see how they work together. Many of you will have noted the new World Bank/WHO report that identifies a set of indicators to monitor universal health coverage. All very good, but why is it important to the eye health community? The report includes Cataract Surgical Coverage as a reliable indicator – based on IAPB’s recommendations. So, the news pages carry a story on the report, from an eye health perspective: new report launched, with key eye care component and why it’s an important milestone. The IAPB blog sets out the context: what did we do to facilitate the inclusion, how and where does CSC appear in the report etc. Crucially, the blog also allows for additional information – so, what comes next? What is its link to Sustainable Development Goals and their impact on eye health and so on.
There are maps, introductions to eye health issues, information on the upcoming Council meetings, World Sight Day, VISION 2020 workshops – there can be a lot of content on the website. So sometimes, we decide to break off and build a “micro-site” – a neatly laid-out page with all the relevant information in one place that stands outside the website (like a neatly designed table of contents, with the content sitting on the IAPB website). For example, a new microsite on the IAPB Council of Members or one on the IAPB Photo competition have gone live in recent weeks. We believe this helps our readership access this content easily – do let us know what you think.
The IAPB website is a key tool in delivering IAPB’s strategic goals. We strive to make it better and more interesting to our diverse readership. So, do let us know what you think about it, and thank you for helping us building something that adds value to the sector.