While some of us grew up with word-of-mouth networks that came from chats at the corner shop or the school pick-up, much of that has disappeared as life moved online.
That’s according to Sanchee Barnes, a Batemans Bay resident who struck out trying to re-create those networks when she moved back to the coast after living and working overseas.
“When I came back to where I grew up in Batemans Bay, I was a mum,” she said.
“I tried to find playgroups, but the links didn’t work or the landline numbers were disconnected.”
With a background in IT and a passion for efficiency, she decided to take matters into her own hands (or more specifically, her fingertips).
“At the moment, we have random community databases, we have random pages for events,” she said.
“But it’s not centralised and it’s not often updated, meaning you have to search for more information.
“I thought, ‘I’ve got an idea for a solution, so we’re just going to build it!'”
Over the past 18 months, Ms Barnes and her team have put in the hard work of developing, designing and coding an app, named canXsee, to bring community information together.
“We’ve got activities, attractions and services on the app,” she said.
canXsee would be free to use, Ms Barnes said.
“You won’t have to add in any information – it will take you straight to the home page,” she said.
“We’ve only got the mobile at the moment, but we’ll be adding more features and the ability to have it on your web browser over time.”
Ms Barnes said the app was designed to keep the Eurobodalla Shire informed.
“There’s no platform that brings the different entities in our community together,” she said.
“There’s no way for all that information to be in one easily digestible place where you don’t have to click through the myriad groups, pages and posts on Facebook and other social media.”
Ms Barnes said a reliable source of information would help people in decision-making, from planning holidays to being aware of issues affecting their community, such as natural disasters.
“We’ve got to empower people in the community with that knowledge,” she said.
“Knowledge is power, and the goal of the app is to give people real life in real time.”
When released publicly, the app will be available on the Apple App Store and the Google Play Store.
Ms Barnes said she and her team were carrying out final checks ahead of the release in early November.
“It’s hard enough just mum-ing and life-ing before you add in this work,” she said.
“I’m totally exhausted, but there is a new, fresh energy coming from the team and a bit of excitement that is slowly swelling.”
canXsee is set to be released in early November and be available for download through the Apple App Store and the Google Play Store.
More information can be found online at https://canxsee.com/.