Bob Conrad is the Energy Outreach Coordinator at the Governor’s Office of Energy. Additionally, he’s the drummer in several local bands, including The Firebombing, The Die Ads and formerly Zoinks. He’s also a cofounder of the This is Reno website, which recently launched a Reno Music online playlist, featuring a diverse slate of local music. For more information, visit thisisreno.com/reno-music.
What is This is Reno?
It’s a news website that myself and Ryan Jerz cofounded in 2009. The idea behind the site was to kind of level the playing field of what is considered news. We accept news release submissions and original content from theoretically anyone.
So, it’s like a crowd-sourcing aggregator?
I would say crowd-sourcing, but not an aggregator, because we’re not aggregating anything. Everything we post is sent to us.
Who are the people submitting?
Government agencies, public relations agencies, politicians, other journalists on occasion, people that just have an opinion about something, pundits.
The thing I’m most interested in is the Reno Music radio station.
We just had the idea of putting up an mp3 player and having bands submit songs so that there would be one location that people could go to to hear local bands online. Every band that I’m aware of, they all have Reverbnation accounts or Facebook pages or Myspace accounts, and if you want to go and listen to them, you have to go to every single band’s individual account to hear their music, and it’s this constant war for attention, and what this page does on This is Reno is allows for bands to submit an mp3, and anyone who wants to can go and listen to it.
Any criteria as far as audio quality or a limit to the number of submissions? Or can bands upload 500 home recordings?
Very little criteria. The most we’ve put on there for any one band is two songs. You don’t want any one band to monopolize the mp3 player.
Who are some of the bands that have submitted so far?
Right now we have 23 songs. … I can just go down the list: Suckapunch, Twelve Gauge Facelift, Vampirates, The Bradfords, Jazz Van Gough, The Deadly Gallows, Blunderbusst, Elephant Rifle [the author’s band], Crushstory, My Flag is on Fire, The Die Ads, Beercan, The Firebombing, Prima Volta, Manacle, The Wax Models, Think in French, I put a Zoinks tune up there, 28db, and namefollowedbynumber.
What’s the listening experience like? I just noticed it last night, and I tried to get it to play on my phone, and I couldn’t get it to play, so I haven’t listened to it yet.
What kind of phone do you have?
OK, so you’ll have to exit the mobile edition of the website and look at as a standard website and then you should be able to play it. I brought it up on my Droid, and I’ve been able to play it. And it comes up fine on an iPad, so it should be fine on an iPhone. … Personally, I think the premise behind the site in general is pretty interesting. We’ve won some awards for it. … I think what we’re doing is helping to redefine what is considered news in our own little niche of the world. Which isn’t to say, that I think you shouldn’t visit the other news outlets. In fact, I think if you want to become well-rounded in the community, you should visit as many as you can to see what people are saying and how they’re interpreting it in different ways. But the idea behind This is Reno is to let people read news direct from sources.