When I moved to Las Vegas nearly three years ago, I quickly discovered a burgeoning tech scene led by Tony Hsieh of Zappos fame. It's a neat and vibrant community, and I recently sat down with Dylan Jorgensen of The Downtown Podcast to talk a bit about it.
PS: What is the Downtown Podcast?
DJ: The Downtown Podcast is a weekly local news and entertainment show we film in the heart of Downtown Las Vegas each Thursday at 9:00pm. The show outlines the news, events and people that relate to this unique revitalization project.
PS: What is the goal of the Downtown Podcast?
DJ: The goal of the Downtown Podcast is to inspire, connect and inform. If we even nudge even one person each week in a better direction, this passion project is worth the effort. We never know exactly how the show will influence the community, so we just do what we can and let beer and serendipity do the rest.
PS: How does the Downtown Podcast differ from traditional news?
DJ: When was the last time you heard local news welcome someone to town and ask how the audience could help them grow their upcoming event or business? The downtown Las Vegas community has 100% faith in citizens' empathy. We are the only news source to fully understand that. We bring people on to find out how the entire community can help their cause. I jokingly call it "Santa Claus" news.
PS: How do you get your news?
DJ: I think @PRSarahEvans and the team at Tracky.com had it right when they talked about the "1% of doers" that make this world move. We don't try to get news, we try interact with the community in way an outside audience can follow.
PS: Why do you volunteer your time?
DJ: A lot of my idols are amazing at taking complicated concepts and explaining them in people relevant ways. I enjoy hosting the Downtown Podcast as a both a way to connect with the people around me and to hone that skill in myself.
PS: Who is involved in production each week?
DJ: The volunteer team is what makes the Downtown Podcast so special. We have had a number of volunteers come in and out, and the team right now is remarkable. My co-host is Susan Hinton, camera and sound work is done by Pawel Szymczykowski and Alan Goya, Jacqueline Jensen produces and markets the show each week, and we even have an international intern named Denise Kutzner. Two newer additions who make the show really fun are our live musician Michael Spadoni and "Mack Holiday" from HolidayWhatTV
PS: Why is Tony Hsieh's so successful at building a community? First he built Zappos and now he's working on a whole city?
DJ: Thomas Jefferson said, "the harder I work the more luck I find". I feel like this message is at the heart of everything Zappos & the Downtown Project do. The culture is not about getting a paycheck for finishing a task, it's about making sure you work on the things you care about with people who care about you.
PS: What are some of the notable guests or moments?
DJ: Personally, my favorites so far the ones most outside the box like Robin Farmanfarmaian, Dr. Omri Avirav-Drory and Austen Heinz, Flavor Flav and Cyan Banister. Just to formulate a relevant question to ask them I had to stretch my thinking about the world.
Visiting Las Vegas? Or a Vegas local? You can register for a filming on downtownpodcast.tv or email Producer Jacqueline Jensen at Jackie@DowntownPodcast.tv with questions.