The site is intended to be a lot more than just local search, allowing users to join the conversation and write about local venues such as restaurants, review local tradesmen, as well as discuss local issues.
There are no ads on the site yet, but there’s little doubt that the site will start to run ads once the content and audience numbers grow.
Where I live is a similar site servicing Sth East Queensland.
Perspective: One of the challenges from the existing local search models such as Sensis’s Yellowpages and New’s Truelocal, is that they don’t provide facilities for consumers to review businesses. This is mainly because their listings are subscription based, and they haven’t found a way to juggle charging businesses a $1000 listing fee, while allowing consumers to publish a bad review next to their listing.
However, I think that consumer review sites have a definite place and if executed correctly, even the reviews get reviewed and rated, thereby providing a much richer source of information for readers. Amazon and Cnet are perhaps the best examples of this where professional reviews are mixed with consumer reviews to provide a rich source of product commentaries. Ning’s Restaurent Reviews with maps is another example that is purely consumer review driven. If Nook strikes a chord in Melbourne, I have no doubt that News will expand the service to other cities. I also think there is a place for professional consumer review organisations like Choice to take the lead in this space.