A Real Discussion

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Scott WebbYou don't see too many honest discussions of contentious issues these days, but we've got one going at aquamagazine.com. A few months ago we ran a story about the FTC settling charges against POOLCORP, which launched an online industry discussion of astonishing proportion. 44 comments as of this writing; 6,000 words and counting. I check it pretty often, just getting a feel for where people are on the topic. Every time I think it may be dying down it flares back up again.

I won't get into the various arguments here — the issues are familiar to just about everyone in the industry, and the dozens of people who have taken the time to post their comments make their points better than I can.

I just think it's cool to see our new online magazine realize some of the potential we hoped for when we built it last year. We wanted to see people from all over the industry exchanging viewpoints in a freewheeling forum — to open things up a bit.

For decades, the problem with magazines (and TV, newspapers, radio, etc.) has been that they're so one-sided. Somebody writes a story, you read it, and that's the end of it. But when you've got AQUA positing a pool or spa topic, and then dozens of people pitching into one another on it, you end up with a much deeper understanding of the issue.

That's what I've gotten, just reading the comments which follow the POOLCORP story.

Media is evolving fast, everywhere you look. Like all technology, we'll soon make this online B2B community thing better, easier and faster. I think it has a big future.

ADA Compliance

Most commercial pool operators are aware that the ADA was recently interpreted to mandate that commercial pools must provide means of access to the disabled by March 15.

Typical pools involved include YMCA and community pools, but also hotel pools. Larger pools require two means of access, smaller pools need only one. Of particular interest these days is how the industry is responding to the mandate, having been down this road once, and perhaps again soon, on VGB.

Read Barrett's interview on page 48 to hear more about what people are doing to meet the deadline. From what I've heard, many pools are still waiting to see what they'll be threatened with.

I'm thinking the Feds would probably get a better compliance rate if they'd pay for it.

Scott Webb

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