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10 years – Blog Update

I started this blog in 2007 at the suggestion of friend and colleague Justin Bazan, OD. of Park Slope Eye. Think of it – so much has changed in 10 years. iPhones were brand new and iPads didn’t even exist. Keeping up with the Kardashians was in its first season. Crowdfunding wasn’t really a thing yet and Instagram didn’t even exist! beblob-logo

And this blog has changed a lot over the years, too. Originally called “Bright Eyes News and Updates”. I made the original logo (above) in MS paint and the blog was a generic WordPress site. Over the years, it was shortened to Bright Eyes News. In the early years, social media was really just being we experimented with a lot of new technology, including RSS feeds, social media widgets, contest apps, and lots of other things. It got a bit cluttered, I admit.

MovePicAlong the way, our website, BrightEyesTampa.com also changed to reflect our growing practice. We updated to reflect the larger Linebaugh Avenue location. We added sections for specialty services such as vision therapy, myopia control, and orthok. We merged it with the website that we created for the Bright Eyes Kids location. At the same time, we finally incorporated the Bright Eyes News Blog into the single website that you see now.

We’ve done a little bit housekeeping recently. Two things you might notice:

  1. The improved content of the site overall.
  2. The redirect of the old blog to this one (if you stumble upon it when Googling)
  3. The elimination of the Feedburner email update (for those that signed up very early on).

None of these things should affect readers much, but if you do miss the email updates, I recommend that you follow us on Facebook or add our URL to Google Alerts.

Thanks for staying with us, dear readers. We hope to continue blogging for another 10 years. We can look back with nostalgia at the 2017’s current events and yet to be coined words!

See Well!

-Dr. Nate

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Recommendations for Playing Pokemon Go

pkIf you are under 30 or have kids, chances are good that you’ve heard of Pokemon, a card game/cultural phenomenon featuring “pocket monsters”, combining card collecting, game play, and battling. Pokemon is celebrating its 20th year and has spawned books, TV shows, movies, video games, and more.

The new app called Pokemon Go is one of the hottest phone-based games in a long time. It’s an augmented-reality game where you catch and battle pretend Pokemon in the real world. And it’s fun.

I am too old to have played Pokemon as a kid, but my kids play. I am interested in real-world electronic gaming and used to be very involved in Foursquare. 4 years ago I did play Ingress, a phone-based global game of Capture the Flag built by Niantic (then a Google company). Niantic is the company behind Pokemon Go. So when a librarian mentioned to my daughter (checking out a Pokemon book), that the public library was a Pokespot, I decided to download the game and play it with my kids.

If you play Pokemon Go, there are lots of helpful guides to get you started. Here is one my wife found on Forbes. I encourage you to read them, because there is no game play guide. What follows are the recommendations from a pediatric optometrist to parents with kids about how to make Pokemon Go the best it can be for your family.

PLAY. OUTSIDE. SAFELY.

  1. Play Pokemon Go WITH your kids!

    Pokemon Go TeamBW

    Our avatar walking around.

This is a rare chance to play on a digital device as a family! Take advantage of it.

  1. Create a rule that the app can only be opened OUTSIDE.

Spending time outdoors is important for children’s visual development. Pokemon Go is one of those few apps that encourage this. In fact, users are posting complaints about how much exercise they are getting by using it! Don’t forget sunglasses and sunscreen.

Get out of your car and play! Let’s face it. Driving around just to catch Pokemon without getting outside and exploring is just lazy. And defeats the goal of getting exercise and playing in the real world. Lots of parks and areas with public art have Pokestops and Pokemon Gyms. Get out of the car, catch some Pokemon, but enjoy real world, too.

  1. Insist that you play in a group.

Walking around distracted, eyes affixed to your phone, is risky. Streets, curbs, bicycles, lampposts, and other people could be ignored. People have been injured playing Pokemon Go. Play in a group, so that someone is paying attention to the surroundings. In our house, the group must include both kids and one grown-up. Grown-ups can keep the group from going where it shouldn’t. Plus, it is more fun with other people!

  1. Use caution with strangers.

Pokemon Go Zubat

Catching a Zubat.

One cool thing is that players tend to congregate at Pokemon Gyms and Pokestops. You can see them looking at their phones and hear them talking to each other in Pokemon language. These players can provide helpful suggestions, but make sure your children understand to use common sense with strangers. Again, having a parent in the group is helpful here.

  1. Only allow play during daylight and in safe areas.

Maybe this is common sense for younger kids, but I have read stories about teens walking around in the early hours of the morning, going to unfamiliar areas to catch a Meowth or an Oddish. Combine this with attention being paid to the screen and, well, you get the idea. There have already been people arrested for using Pokemon Go to lure people to a secluded area and robbing them.

  1. Consider an external charger for your phone.

Even with the battery-saving setting, if you take long walks, your battery will not hold up if you are playing Pokemon Go the whole time. Just saying.

Update: A good reminder from my Neighborhood Homeowners Association: Many PokeStops are fountains and fountains are often in ponds. Know what else are in ponds in Florida? Alligators. So don’t get too close to ponds without looking around. Especially at night. The local police have a few other recommendations here.

One more thing. I know for a fact that there are Pokespots and Pokemon near the Bright Eyes Family Vision Care office. (Unfortunately, none near Bright Eyes Kids.) So don’t forget to Catch ‘Em All when you come to your appointment. 🙂

-Dr. Nate

Kickstarter Alert: Glasses! A board book for young ones in glasses

Longtime readers will know that my friend Ann is amazing. As the founder of Little Four Eyes, and co-founder of Great Glasses Play Day, Ann is very passionate about children with glasses and is very savvy online. I am thrilled to share with you her next big project – the Kickstarter campaign for Glasses! A board book for young ones in glasses. “Glasses!” features pictures of children wearing glasses and rhyming text and is adorable!

glasses book check out our kickstarter

Glasses!

As you can read on the Kickstarter page, this project begin as as simple poem about her daughter Zoe’s glasses:

Some glasses are red,
Some glasses are blue.
I think your glasses look great on you!

And while this evolved into a very cool board-book project that is on its way to being funded, Ann explains that it primarily is a vehicle for education andinspiration:

While bringing this book to reality is my main goal, I want to raise awareness of the importance of early detection and treatment of vision issues, and to help those facing early vision problems to know that they’re not alone. While babies and toddlers in glasses are not common, according some studies, 1 in 20 preschoolers should wear glasses.

I also hope that this project encourages others to explore writing children’s books, particularly for kids facing less common situations. I especially hope this will encourage even more books about vision issues for very young children.

I am very supportive of Ann and her effort I have personally pledged $150 toward the project. She has donation levels that start at $1, so you have any interest in glasses OR kids OR books, I strongly encourage you to visit the page and donate! My kids don’t wear glasses (yet) but they LOVE books and will be very happy to see this one. And of course, we will need at least one copy for the waiting room! 🙂

Glasses!

It just shows you how much difference we can make when we are passionate and focused! Go Ann!!

Dr. Nate

By Nathan Bonilla-Warford, OD
Bright Eyes Family Vision Care
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Anniversary Eye Exam Harlem Shake

We have officially been in the new office for 1 year! Woohoo! We have greatly enjoyed the new space and patients always comment on it when they come in.

So we decided to celebrate — with the world’s only Harlem Shake Eye Exam!

What do you think of that? Want this kind of fun in your life? Request an appointment with us or call 813-792-0637. 🙂

Dr. Nate

Nathan Bonilla-Warford, OD
Bright Eyes Family Vision Care
Located in the Westchase area of Tampa.
Dr Nate Google PlusBright Eyes Tampa on FacebookBright Eyes Tampa on TwitterBright Eyes Tampa on Yelp

Yelp is Official in Tampa!

At Bright Eyes we try to stay ahead of the game when it comes to social media. We’ve had the blog for about 4 years now. We have fun with Facebook and Twitter. When foursquare was available in Tampa, I was one of the first local bloggers to write about it. As turned out, that was pretty successful.

yelp

Well, I am excited to share the news that Yelp is official in Tampa! If you are not familiar with it, Yelp is a social online business review site. People use the site to help decided where to go and then share opinions about their experiences afterward, good and bad. You can read a more detailed explanation on my Westchase Patch blog here.

I have been using Yelp personally since early 2009 and have found it to be a lot of fun. We’ve also established a Bright Eyes account and have been offering Yelp discounts and check-in rewards check in for a quiet a while. But now that we have an official Tampa Yelp representative, we have lots of more options includingReviews of the Day, Newsletters, and official events. So get excited! This is yet more validation that we have a thriving tech scene in Tampa. It is something we should be proud of and continue to develop!

If you have any questions about how yelp works either for consumer business, don’t hesitate to let me know.

(PS: I’m still excited about Google Plus! If you haven’t had the opportunity to try it out yet, let me know and I will get you an invite as soon as I can.)

Dr. Nate

Nathan Bonilla-Warford, OD
Bright Eyes Family Vision Care
Located in the Westchase area of Tampa.
Dr Nate Google PlusBright Eyes Tampa on Google PlacesBright Eyes Tampa on FacebookBright Eyes Tampa on TwitterBright Eyes Tampa on YelpBright Eyes Tampa on foursquareWestchase Patch

Optometric Business Innovators of 2011

docstarsRecently I was surprised and delighted to learn that I was selected by VisionMonday and Review of Optometric Business as one of the 20 “Doc Stars in Practice Management.” The piece highlights the people who they feel are the Optometric Business Innovators of 2011.

I typically do not like to toot my own horn in a blog post. If I am mentioned in an article, or am published somewhere, I’ll most likely link to it on our Facebook page. Perhaps one of the Bright Eyes staff will write a post about the story. But it isn’t normally my thing to write, in essence, “Everyone stop what you are doing and look at how great I am.” But being named one of the top optometric innovators was special and so I figured I’d write about it.

In the spirit of disclosure, I should note that I am a paid writer for both Vision Monday and Review of Optometric Business. I don’t think I was a shoo-in because the selection panel was diverse and most of those chosen didn’t have any tie to them. But it does make it a little bit sweeter because these are some of the biggest names in eye care publishing and I’m happy to have developed this relationship with them.

I was selected for my use of “Digital Media.” The other categories were Marketing, Patient Experience, Influencers, Eyewear Dispense, Contact Lens Dispensing, and Business Management. I feel I am in very good company among the honorees. These include my friends Dr. Justin Bazan, Dr. Alan Glazier, and Dr. Derron Lee as well as some eyecare heroes such as Dr. Brad Williams, Dr. Tommy Crooks, and Dr. Glenn Ellisor. You can find a complete list of the recipients here.

Of course, since this was for innovation, there will be no resting on any laurels at Bright Eyes. We have several new ideas to roll out and I’m happy that I’m involved in some great projects in Tampa. Where all this takes us, well, we never know. But it is exciting, isn’t it!?

Dr. Nate

Nathan Bonilla-Warford, OD
Bright Eyes Family Vision Care
Located in the Westchase area of Tampa.
Dr Nate Google PlusBright Eyes Tampa on Google PlacesBright Eyes Tampa on FacebookBright Eyes Tampa on TwitterBright Eyes Tampa on YelpBright Eyes Tampa on foursquareWestchase Patch

Foursquare Day and the Press Conference with Tampa Mayor Bob Buckhorn

4sqday press conference(click to watch video)

I can certainly say that it is has been a remarkable journey. If you are not familiar, Foursquare Day started a little over a year ago when I was trying to find a way to have a fun event for Bright Eyes using foursquare and, to my surprise, the idea was very popular. In three weeks, it went global. You can read about happened in 2010 here and the recent story in the Tampa Tribune here.

This year, thanks to volunteers in Tampa and around the world, it was an event greater success. Foursquare Day was officially proclaimed by 19 mayors around the world, including Michael Bloomberg of New York City, and Tampa’s newly elected Bob Buckhorn. Over 1000 parties were held all over the world and money was raised for many great causes such as the Humane Society, Red Cross, food banks, and Japanese disaster relief.

April 16th was a busy one for me. After a few hours of sleep in Houston, TX, where I had spoken the day before to eye docs about Facebook, I flew back to Tampa early. I rushed for an interview for Bay News 9, did some blogging for 4sqday.com and then participated in a press conference with Mayor Buckhorn. It was very cool to spend time with the mayor talking about social media in a relaxed setting, outside by the Sail Pavilion. Then Mayor Buckhorn and I spoke at the podium about the importance of social media and business development, before Mayor Buckhorn proclaimed Jason Cyr the “Foursquare Mayor of Tampa.”

Until next year!

Dr. Nate

Nathan Bonilla-Warford, OD
Bright Eyes Family Vision Care
Located in the Westchase area of Tampa.
Dr Nate Google PlusBright Eyes Tampa on Google PlacesBright Eyes Tampa on FacebookBright Eyes Tampa on TwitterBright Eyes Tampa on YelpBright Eyes Tampa on foursquareWestchase Patch

Tampa Mayor Buckhorn and others to Celebrate Foursquare Day

Wow, what a crazy few days. I’m in Houston, TX for an optometry meeting and Foursquare Day got a nice write up in The Tampa Tribune, which featured a nice pictures of me. Very cool.

Mayor Bob Buckhorn will sign a proclamation naming the Foursquare Mayor of Tampa in honor of Foursquare Day. The event will take place at the Sail Pavilion on the Riverwalk at Tampa Convention Center on Saturday, April 16, 2011 at 2:04 p.m.

Mayor Buckhorn, myself and others will speak at the event, held in celebration of Foursquare Day and to help raise awareness about ways social marketing can be used to increase business. Tools such as Foursquare are not only an easy way to promote a business, but it is free, making it an affordable option to add t4SQday11 badgeo a marketing program.

After the real mayor’s event, we’ll be heading over to the Tampa Tap Room for the 4sqday party. Free drinks and give-aways, it will be a lot of fun!

Yesterday Mayor Michael Bloomberg proclaimed April 16th to be Foursquare Day for New York City. As the Huffington Post reports, NYC joins many cities in making Foursquare Day Official. This is all very exciting, the Mashable story even refers to me by name as the originator of Foursquare Day.

And lastly, don’t forget our big Foursquare Day Sale!

Dr. Nate

Nathan Bonilla-Warford, OD
Bright Eyes Family Vision Care
Located in the Westchase area of Tampa.
Dr Nate Google PlusBright Eyes Tampa on Google PlacesBright Eyes Tampa on FacebookBright Eyes Tampa on TwitterBright Eyes Tampa on YelpBright Eyes Tampa on foursquareWestchase Patch

Major Discount for New Yelp Patients!

yelpSS

We love new patients! We love Yelp! We have a huge offer for Yelpers new to the practice! $50 discount on any purchase or service! You absolutely cannot beat that deal.

Click on the screenshot above for more info. 🙂
Dr. Nate

Nathan Bonilla-Warford, OD
Bright Eyes Family Vision Care
Located in the Westchase area of Tampa.
Dr Nate Google PlusBright Eyes Tampa on Google PlacesBright Eyes Tampa on FacebookBright Eyes Tampa on TwitterBright Eyes Tampa on YelpBright Eyes Tampa on foursquareWestchase Patch

Mark Regen Interviews Dr. Nate about Social Media

Mark Regan interviews Dr Nate of Bright Eyes Tampa

Yesterday, self-described online marketing fanatic Mark Regan interviewed Dr. Nate about social media. Here is the opening:

In this week’s interview of Online Marketing experts here in the Tampa Bay area, I had the chance to hook up with Dr. Nathan Bonilla-Warford (Dr. Nate), owner of Bright Eyes Family Vision Care in the Westchase area of Tampa. He sprang onto the Tampa scene early this year with…

I’ll let him tell the story.

The interview covers Dr. Nate’s early interest in social media, Foursquare Day, local social media, healthcare marketing and more. Click here to read the interview in full and learn more.

Enjoy!

Edna Moore
Bright Eyes Family Vision Care
Located in the Westchase area of Tampa.
Dr Nate Google PlusBright Eyes Tampa on Google PlacesBright Eyes Tampa on FacebookBright Eyes Tampa on TwitterBright Eyes Tampa on YelpBright Eyes Tampa on foursquareWestchase Patch

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