By Jim McCloskey
As 2012 comes to a close, I’ve slooked back on the year just past and I’m amazed by everything that’s happened with the WaterShapes franchise. The newsletter has gotten better with each succeeding edition, and the watershapes.com web site has grown literally every day since we began revamping it in March 2012.
I’m proud of all of this because, for me, it has represented a monumental change in personal direction. Where I once sweated ink, I now radiate bits and bytes from every pore and am finding myself reinvigorated by every step of the process of turning WaterShapes.com into a valuable resource for professionals and consumers.
There’s still lots to come, including a couple of big changes you should watch for in the year ahead. This newsletter, for example, will in future be tied a bit more directly to what’s going on with the web site: Starting January 9, each edition will include information that will bring you up to date with new postings on the site and do more to simplify your path to valuable features and information.
I’d be willing to bet, for example, that relatively few of you are aware that more than 30 complete issues of the magazine are now available in our all-digital archives, or that copy from more than two years of WaterShapes EXTRA newsletters is up and running online, fully indexed and searchable and easily linked for use by watershapers communicating with clients or by clients who want to make a point with their watershapers.
There’s also our (relatively) new Of Interest feature, where we offer capsule information on products and services offered by leading suppliers and set readers up with links to detailed information provided on those suppliers’ own sites. We also have invested a lot of time in the Across the Internet and Aquatic Health, Fitness and Safety blocks on our home page, gathering compelling bits of news from the World Wide Web so you don’t have to go to that particular bother. At this point, the archives alone for these resources include nearly 500 interesting (and sometimes quirky) entries.
All through the year to come, we will continue to upload back issues, fill our site with fresh, original articles and special features and stick to our mission of bringing the best information on watershaping available anywhere on the planet to a steadily growing list of subscribers and active users of our web site.
We’ll also be constantly upgrading our Resource Directory. This was formerly an annual magazine issue that couldn’t be updated other than annually. When we start rebuilding it in January 2013, it will be as up-to-date as we can possibly make it every day, with mechanisms in place that will make it easy for manufacturers and suppliers of aquatically oriented goods and services to keep both watershapers and consumers informed and engaged.
And we’ll keep doing what we’ve been doing through this relaunch, working with new links, new videos, new technologies and whatever else “new” we can find to keep increasing the level and value of our communications with readers and site users. It’s going to be a great New Year, so please do bookmark our site, read site-related bulletins in our newsletters and follow along as we march boldly into the future of watershaping.
We defined that new industry back in 1999, and we’ll keep on defining it through 2013 and beyond!