By Jim McCloskey
I have two main objectives in asking you step on over to the WaterShapes booth during this year’s International Pool|Spa|Patio Expo in Orlando:
[ ] First, I want to chat with you about WaterShapes.com and get your thoughts on the huge set of changes and upgrades we’ve recently unveiled. Your feedback is always appreciated, of course, but it’s unusually valuable right now, while everything we’ve done is still fresh in mind and we can respond to your comments and suggestions more easily than we may ever be able to do.
[ ] Second, and as many of you know already, I’m always on the hunt for articles we can publish in our twice-monthly newsletters and upload to our web site. We now publish much more than twice the volume we did when we were a printed magazine, and our hunger for fresh material is basically inexhaustible. In short, we need your help to keep things rolling on the high level to which you’ve become accustomed. And getting involved is easier than you might think, so please do stop by to say hello!
We’ll be in booth #857 in the heart of the Genesis Pavilion: See you in Florida!
I’m still often asked if I miss the magazine, and the simple answer is, yes, I do. It was a beautiful monthly artifact, a piece of work as palpable and real as a swimming pool or fountain or pond and very much a point of pride for those of us who produced it. But that was then; this is now.
To illustrate, consider just this single point: When we sent out magazines each month, we knew the names and business affiliations of those on our mailing list but never had any clear idea how many of those copies were being opened or which articles were being read and by how many of you. Now, as a digital resource, we can’t be exactly certain what your name is or where you work (unless you’ve volunteered that information), but we know minute by minute what it is you’re reading. That’s quite an odd flip – and believe me, we’re in a much better position now to know what you like to read and use that information to guide us as we pull things together twice each month.
Many years ago, a pool builder asked me why we bothered publishing articles about ponds and fountains in the magazine. These things didn’t interest him, he said, and never would. I couldn’t respond convincingly back then, but if he asked that same question now, I have a clearer response and solid backing for editorial decisions we’ve been making for nearly 20 years.
It makes me proud that we always stuck to our original mission and our commitment to serve the needs of all watershapers. I could only hope it made sense in the past; I know it now for a fact.
We’re about to enter an active period with the WaterShapes Professional Network. Early in 2018, we will begin a new drive to sign people up. More important than that, we’ll be going back to all current members to make certain their own sites are linked to WPN using its official badge and link.
As has been stated many times, if we are to make our collective Internet presence work to the best possible extent, all participants in the program need to be bound up as one, single entity. This is what makes WPN impossible for search engines to overlook when consumers start looking for information.
Watch this space and the WPN Corner of this newsletter for details!
See you in Orlando!