The web is opening huge new opportunities for local community based communication. Without the cost of paper and printing, the economic model for local newspaper publishing is radically altering.
Hyperlocal has become a buzzword as familiar to news junkies as eat local is to foodies.
While there is an aggregation of the big national publishers, local community publishing around the world is beginning to expand as smaller, local publishers look at the significant advantages web-based publishing can bring to a community.
Time Magazine has termed this as "hyperlocal publishing" and predicts it to be the next big trend in publishing world-wide.
Quite independently, my wife Fran and I began developing the software to make such "hyperlocal" publishing a reality here on Tamborine Mountain when we moved here over 12 months ago.
Fran has been head graphic designer at Channel Seven in Sydney, the Sydney ABC and the Nine Network as well as being an accomplished potter.
Peter Smith circa 2005!
I've worked in film and TV for the early part of my career and then founded a multimedia software company and developed a variety of software products and sold them around the world.
This publication - "The Tamborine Mountain Daily Star" is the result of nearly a year's investment of time and capital. I have rolled up my sleeves and become a software developer again and Fran has designed the site so it looks - and is - both elegant and easy to use.
We believe that this online publication will be a revolution. Not only are we providing timely local news in text, photos and video, but we invite the participation of all in the community in the creation of content that is relevant to them.
Save trees. Save resources. Go green and get your news on-screen.
The second function of the site is to help attract and direct tourist traffic to Tamborine Mountain businesses - which rely on an enthusiastic and motivated tourist flow to underpin the financial well being of the whole community.
So, we have collected all of the tourist information and making that available in the one place so it's easy for visitors to locate. We hope you will find the way we do it attractive, informative and useful as well.
We will have an on-line shopping mall that is currently being developed where local artists, food producers and businesses can sell their products to the wider world.
Finally, we will become a repository - a central storehouse - of local community information. From things mundane: when the garbage is collected; to the essential: emergency notifications of road closures, storm and fire warnings; and finally, where to find the right trades-person to fix your home. You'll even find the weather news on our front page.
We look forward to your help and participation in this revolution in community publishing. Let us know when you think we are doing the right thing; and where you think we can make the Tamborine Mountain Daily Star even better, please tell us that as well.