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An OPS Application of Ancient Roman History - Or - Great Things Can Happen on the OPS Forum

Posted By Paula Morris, Sunday, February 24, 2013
Updated: Monday, February 25, 2013

I never thought of myself as a "phobic”. I mean, I didn’t think I was really fearful of things, but instead exercised a healthy amount of caution and common sense when it came to avoiding dark alleys, or wearing spike heels on icy surfaces. And I’m not crazy about spiders, so the first time I photographed a wildly inflamed eye with tarantula spines firmly stuck in the cornea, that aversion seemed reasonable.

But one day I was looking up something on the internet, and a misspelling led me to entries regarding phobias. Holy cow! It would seem that if there is a Greek word for it, there can be a phobia assigned to it. Case in point: neophobia – fear of anything new, also called cainotophobia from the Greek word for kainos meaning "new.” Reading about it made me pause………….

While I don’t think I am afraid to try new things, I am always willing to hang around in my comfort zone. I can be adventurous, but routine is comfortable. So when the OPS launched the new website, even though I was one of the folks who worked on finding a good answer for our Society’s needs, I was flat out intimidated by all the features the website offered! How was I supposed to know how to find things on the site (even though I helped upload some of the content)? This was all new stuff – I was an old dog and this was definitely a new trick!

Wait! Was I exhibiting the textbook symptoms of "neophobia”? Was I afraid to actually take the time to check out the new features? Or had I not looked at the website as an efficient new way of really connecting to OPS members. Hmm.

So, looking for comfort through familiarity, I started checking out the home page, and there in the left side menu, I found the word, "Forums”. Hey! I’d paid attention in History class and I knew of the famous, sometimes infamous, Roman Forum. Suddenly I smiled as the lyrics from the Peter Allen song, "Everything Old is New Again”, leapt into my thoughts.

It looked like the OPS has our own version of a "The Forum”, with many of the same features: a gathering place for people with like interests, and an efficient way to communicate with many people at once; much more far reaching than my personal email list. It’s a tool in the Merriam- Webster application meaning "something (as an instrument or apparatus) used in performing an operation or necessary in the practice of a vocation or profession”.

Our website can develop forums for all kinds of OPS groups, and in fact, the OPS Boards and committees have been using this feature in some capacity to conduct official OPS business since the website was launched. The forums are powerful tools, (but can be as fun to use as a toy), as they not only provide an easy venue to contact everyone subscribed to the forum, but all messages are archived and can be referred to at any time by any forum member. And files and documents can be stored for access through the Forum as well. So cool! For someone like me who is never very good at organizing my email, immediately saving and deleting, all these wonderful forum features are a gift.

A few weeks ago, a friend had a question about fluorescein sodium, and we quickly took it to the OPS member forum. In no time, folks were posting helpful information in response – members we were acquainted with, and some members we had never met! What a fabulous resource; and those responses were saved under that topic and are available for review by any member who may have missed the original postings. No doubt, we have the Roman Forum beat there.

If you aren’t an OPS member, you can read postings on the member forum, but you can’t participate by posting to it. But if you are an OPS member, you have full access to the website, including the member forum. All you have to do is log on, and the website is yours. To get to the OPS member forum, look at the left side menu on the home page, and select the 9th item down, "Blogs/Forums/Groups”. Expand the menu to the right, and select the second item down, "Forums”, and then click on the "OPS Member Forum” line. It is so easy – with only one thing to remember: you will get an initial email to let you know there is a new topic on the forum automatically. To continue to get email alerts to keep you up-to-date, you should click on the middle item just above the gray "TOPICS” bar that says, "Subscribe to Instant Updates” – or, you can choose "Subscribe to Digest”. Your choice to fit your style. You’ll need to choose if you want to receive alerts on topics, so if a topic doesn’t interest you, just don’t select one of the "subscribe” items. Sincerely, once I discovered how amazingly easy this is, I have been all over the website now – and this is just one feature of all that the website has to offer.

There are even sticky notes to educate you about the member forum, and guidelines for proper "netiquette” to keep our forum friendly and useful.

So, if you haven’t been on one of the OPS forums, I think you are missing out on a fabulous source and resource. Don’t be neophobic, give it a try. And if you have a quirky sense of humor, why not image that a posting is from someone in a toga!


"See” you on the forum!

Tags:  blog  cute  education  funny  Ice Breakers  Meaningful Use  New Life  PDC  Professional Development Committee  school  Social Media  Study  Tips 

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Comments on this post...

Barbara S. McCalley says...
Posted Monday, February 25, 2013
Thanks, Paula. There wasn't anyone more 'afraid' of the new website and functions than myself. Boy have I learned alot in the last 18 months and continue to learn everyday. This 'old dog' is still learning 'new tricks', too. I hope every OPS member takes the opportunity to check out more of our site features.
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Denice A. Barsness, CRA, COMT, ROUB, CDOS, FOPS says...
Posted Tuesday, February 26, 2013
Paula, you should have been a writer. Love the analogies!
After my spanking by Bob, working harder to work through my own phobias....
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