Business

Bremerton couple launches new 'zine

"Among the millions of Web pages that provide information on just about every possible subject, a local couple has organized a site with more localized topics.Jim Broumley, co-owner of Wave of the Future Computer Solutions in Bremerton, helped launch www.westsoundtoday.com about two weeks ago in an effort to provide news, information and a soapbox for the Olympic Peninsula community.Broumley started the electronic magazine - also known as a 'zine - in collaboration with his wife and business partner, Sheila, and two Wave of the Future employees. He said it was a logical step for the company, which designs Web sites and database programming.So we spend a lot of time online, he said.After examining business and commerce Web sites, Broumley said finding a localized directory was next to impossible, as was finding a way to search for one.Search engines are really clogged, he said. So we wanted to set up a place where any local business can post their listings.But in addition to merely providing a directory of companies and services in Kitsap County, Broumley said he hopes to give members of the community a way to make themselves heard through through contributions such as commentaries, poems and photography.You want to provide people with something they can write and then post, he said. This was something we wanted to do for fun, and as a benefit to the local community.The current edition of West Sound Today features local businessmen discussing topics such as chronic pain and e-commerce, as well as a featured animal available for adoption from the Kitsap Humane Society. In addition to local content, the site also includes national and global news from sources such as CNN, USA Today and the BBC.Broumley said he hopes local residents send in articles on places of interest such as museums and state parks, as well as any other contributions they want to provide.We can even post it anonymously if they want, he said.In keeping with current pieces featured on the site, Broumley said he encourages businesses to provide commentaries on different industries, but wants to keep politics out of the 'zine.I'll leave that up to the local papers, he said. I want to keep the content local and positive.With room for four features on the home page, Broumley said he would like to have enough material to rotate a different column in each week, allowing each contribution to be available for a month.Of the four people working on the site, Broumley said he generally works with the content, while Sheila performs most of the graphic design, but duties frequently cross over. The two additional staff - Nate Ayers and Cheryl Olguin - provide additional assistance when needed.With such a small organization, you kind of do a little bit of everything, he said.Broumley said the Internet has the potential to change the way people interact and gather information, so using it to strengthen local ties is an important goal.We want to use the Net for the good of the community, he said. Some day, everyone's going to have their own Web site. You'll be able to do anything on it."

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