I
Gary Thill

Credit: Gary Thill

Aquatics International welcomes feedback from readers. All correspondence may be edited for clarity and space considerations. Please include your complete name and contact information.Letters may be sent by mail to Aquatics International, Attn: Editor, 6222 Wilshire Blvd., Suite 600, Los Angeles, CA 90048; by fax to 323.801.4986; or via e-mail to gthill@hanleywood.com.

I love the New Year! It?s our annual chance to start fresh. Make our resolutions. And implement all those changes we?ve been meaning to make for so long.

At Aquatics International, we?ve really embraced that spirit, and as you page through our magazine you?ll notice obvious and subtle changes throughout. As always, we?ve done our best to make the magazine easier to navigate and read. The goal is to convey the information you need to run a safe, healthy, well-managed facility.

One of the biggest changes we?ve made is a switch from the old reader service numbers to a new Web-based source for more information about products and advertisements you see in the magazine.

Longtime readers may be familiar with the old reader service number system. Each ad and product had its own number that you circled on a card and mailed in for more information. Unlike Netflix, though, getting that information took about six weeks. Hardly the speed of business.

With the new system, each ad and product will be linked to the new Web page, www.aquaticsintl.com/products. Once there, users can go directly to manufacturers? Web sites; or they can request more information, just as they did with the old reader service system. The difference is that they can expect a much quicker turnaround. Now that?s more like it.

Another big change we?ve made is to our People & Events page. We?ve redesigned the section to give you more information about industry companies, associations and professionals. The name of each person or company is in bold type so you can quickly scan the page to see if there?s anyone you?re interested in, just like certain gossip columns, which, of course, none of us read.

The calendar portion of the page has been reduced to the current month only, with a new featured event of the month. The thinking here is that the calendar is more functional as an online tool, where users can get more information about events with the click of a mouse. So use the calendar to find an event you may be interested in, and then point your browser to our online Calendar for more info.

Many of the changes we?re making aren?t in the magazine, but rather online. Our freshened Web site now offers a searchable database of past articles, with the search box clearly located at the top of the page. You can also subscribe to the latest news headlines with our new RSS feed, which automatically updates itself on another Web page or even in your e-mail box. It?s a great way to make sure you?re up on the latest headlines without having to go to every site.

We?ve got other big changes in store as the year progresses, including an all-new Online Education Center that will serve as a portal to all the certification and educational opportunities available to aquatics professionals.

By all indications, 2009 looks to be a bumpy ride for aquatics. But with all the changes we?ll be going through, you can be sure one thing will remain the same: When you need to know, Aquatics International will be there, in print and online.