I love trying to improve things. Whether it’s personal relationships, my house or Pool & Spa News, I gain enormous satisfaction from honing in (some would say “obsessing”) on how to bring important aspects of my life closer to ever-elusive perfection.

So, in that spirit, for 2011 we’ve added a new section to Pool & Spa News and redesigned another.

First, the new. Although we frequently cover spas on our news pages, we’ve found that it was really not enough space, given all that’s happening in that segment of the market. So, starting in the next issue, we’re introducing a new section of the magazine called “Spa Smart.” It will appear right after the news and offer cutting-edge tips, trends and business analysis for the hot tub industry.

In deciding how to develop “Spa Smart,” I waffled a bit on whether to assign the section to one writer, or have a different member of the editorial department work on it for each issue. In the end, I decided Jessy Goodman should handle the task. She is a strong, enthusiastic reporter ready to take on more challenging responsibilities. Jessy’s been busy researching spa topics for upcoming articles, and I can tell you that what she has planned is great stuff.  So, keep your eye out for the new section, and don’t hesitate to contact Jessy or myself with any feedback.

Next is our redesign. For a long time, one of my pet peeves has been how we handle the products in our Marketplace section. In an effort to include as many manufacturers as possible, we had to resort to tiny photos and write-ups that were so short it was impossible to really learn anything about the product. But all that has changed.

From now on, when looking at products, we’ve opted for quality over quantity. Instead of publishing an extremely short, and obvious, explanation of what a given item does (“Cleans pool; comes in blue”) we’re providing much longer, in-depth descriptions with information professionals can actually use when deciding which products they want to carry.

These profiles are written by veteran reporter Linda G. Green. We’re debuting the section in this issue with automatic pool cleaners, and I’m happy to say that Linda’s brought her signature warmth and human touch to every write-up.

And as always, if you have any comments, questions, rants or raves, don’t hesitate to drop me a note.