Writers I Read: Myke Hurley

This time around, I’m talking with Myke Hurley, one of the guys behind three great podcasts — The Bro Show, Enough — The Minimal Mac Podcast and 11 Minutes. He also tweets and writes at The Podcasting Project.

Stephen: Hey Myke, thanks for agreeing to spend some time chatting about what you do on the Internet. For those readers not familiar with you, who are you, and what do you do online?

Myke: Hello Sir! Thanks for inviting me to take part. I’m honoured and in such great company!

I’m Michael Hurley from London, UK. Online you’ll know me as a Podcaster extraordinaire! Currently I am a co-host of The Bro Show, Enough — The Minimal Mac Podcast and 11 Minutes. I write on my personal blog The Podcasting Project, in which I document my journey in Podcasting and I also submit (far too lengthy) iOS reviews for Macgasm.

I also post random things to my Twitter account.

Stephen: I’m a huge fan of both of your shows, and was honored to be a guest on the Bro Show a while back. You’re doing some great stuff, man. How’d you end up in podcasting?

Myke: Well it’s something I’ve been interested in for many years. Back in 2006 I recorded something in GarageBand. But it was just me and at the time I didn’t really know what I was saying or doing. However, I knew it was something I’d like to pick up one day.

Then in March 2010 I was talking with Terrence on the phone and we were ruminating over some Apple rumours and the latest lawsuits. Then we had the idea that other people may actually want to hear it. Terry hadn’t been very geeky until then so I jumped at the chance of being able to spend a couple of hours every week talking about my favourite subject.

We were planning things for a few weeks, making sure we had a format and a website ready, before recording and releasing the first episode of The Bro Show on April 9th 2010.

Stephen: One of my favorite part about this series is seeing how many people “fall into” their passions. It’s exciting that it was similar for you. You said Terry wasn’t very geeky before the podcast, what about you?

Myke: I agree! I consider myself very lucky to be able to do what I do now. We are close to making money from the shows and they are really growing. Where money isn’t the ultimate goal—it’s what aids further growth and pays for any costs and future equipment.

Me? Geeky? Oh you bet!

I know no programming languages – i’m not that smart when it comes to that stuff. But I love what I love—products and the businesses that encapsulate them. I’ve been a religious Mac user since 2005 and haven’t looked back since. I have a real thirst for tech news; I love to know what’s going on in the tech world and recently, the relationships that technology is able to build.

Stephen: The relationships that are possible due to things like Twitter are amazing. It is crazy that you and I would ever chat, let alone become friends. We’ll probably never meet, but that doesn’t mean we can’t be involved in each other’s lives.

Myke: Oh definitely. The Internet has changed what a relationship can be. People can be heavily involved in someone’s life without ever having any face-to-face interaction.

However I do have a dream of taking a massive American road trip at some point in my life where I can stop off and say ‘Hi’ to these people that I talk to every day and consider close friends.

Stephen: I think The Bro Show is a great example of this. You’ve had some superstar guests. How did you land those early ones?

Myke: We’ve been extremely lucky to speak to the people we have. And what’s even greater is that a lot of our guests have become friends and are happy to be a guest again. It’s something I have always found hard to wrap my head around.

I am a fan of every person we have had on the show, so getting to talk to these people is always awesome for the geek inside me.

Our first guest was Mr. Patrick Rhone. I reached out to him on Twitter and he was very gracious to agree to be a guest. He spoke very nicely of us after being on the show and this brought us in to a close circle of people whom we interact with daily. These are the people who have mainly made up a lot of our guests since. As we started to bring on more people (Dave Caolo, Brett Kelly, etc) it showed to their collective fans that they enjoyed what we did. It was like a stamp of approval.

Any other guests we have had who are out of this circle (which now mainly consists of the Read & Trust members) have just come from me reaching out. On the whole any others have just come from reaching out and appealing to people’s kind natures. We are always extremely grateful of the time they give us.

Stephen: The relationships that are formed on the Internet are strange, aren’t they? You live thousands and thousands of miles away, but are just a click away, all at the same time.

Read & Trust is a great network. My favorite writers on the Internet are members, and I count many of them as friends. I think Read & Trust is a response to a hunger people have for valuable, well-done content in a world of re-tweets and rumor sites. I think that podcasts like yours are in the same category.

But quality content takes time and hard work. What does the Bro Show look like behind the scenes?

Myke: Most definitely. The work that those guys are doing is awesome and is surely inspiring many others to put their fingers on a keyboard and create something. The work that they do inspires me to create more shows and better content with a level of quality that people can enjoy.

A lot of the work that I put in to The Bro Show is actually on the days when I’m not recording. Before we first started doing the shows I used to skim the news and Twitter, picking up on things as I went along. But now I have to pay a lot more attention to stories, ensure I am reading them fully, checking over multiple sources and making notes—as this is the material I will be referencing later and talking about for an hour.

My iPhone is probably the machine I do the majority of work on, I use Reeder to pick up all my stories. I send the links and articles in to Evernote (as I can access it everywhere and both me and Terrence can email stories straight to it) and I write up a basic outline of what we’re going to discuss in Simplenote. It’s really important that I can access these services on my iPhone, iPad and Mac as I will use all of them to collect data before the show and have them on hand for reference during it.

When recording the show I keep notes of what we have discussed and any links mentioned for when I type up the show-notes later on. These notes are written in to a Moleskine notebook and I have used the same one for every episode we’ve recorded so far. I’m sure this will be a collectors item one day!

We record The Bro Show using Skype and when we’re finished I chuck it in to Garageband, trim the edges and add the music—before throwing it through a couple of other apps for post-processing and leveling. If you’re interested in finding out about my crazy set-up with this I have written about it in more detail here.

The other shows (11 Minutes and Enough) are completely different and require entirely different processes of their own. Enough is simpler as Pat does a lot of the thinking and the typing – I just edit and produce the show – whilst 11 Minutes can take hours. This comes from finding the exact points to include, trimming down the three tracks (each individual) and putting it all together.

It’s safe to say that my evenings are rather busy, but I wouldn’t change it for the world at the moment.

Stephen: That’s awesome. It’s very evident to me, as a listener of all three shows, just how much work and care is put into each episode. Where do you see these shows going in the future?

Myke: Thanks man. It’s hard work but I do enjoy it.

All of the shows are being adapted now to accept sponsorships. We have reached the point where to continue allowing the shows to grow we need to start making money. I will always ensure that our content is not harmed by the advertisers and we will only take ads from good companies. We have a great partner who will be delivering the ad sales for us and I’m really positive about where this will take us.

Obviously there will be some people that object to us putting ads in the shows — but I just hope that the majority of people will understand that without it the shows may not be around forever. Additionally I hope that one day I’ll be able to take this full time. So earning money is a big factor.

All of the shows are constantly evolving. Originally The Bro Show was just me and Terrence talking about tech, movies and video games. It has changed dramatically in to a show with a guest mainly discussing about Apple news. We are also starting to bring more guests on Enough. Having guests can be useful as it brings other viewpoints to topics, ensuring that our listeners don’t just hear my opinion over and over again.

I don’t have any other specific plans about how to adapt the current shows, but I keep an open mind—they will evolve naturally and I’m happy with that.

I do have some ideas for other shows that I’m working on. Hopefully the first of those will have begun by the time this interview is published.

Stephen: Care to give us a sneak peek?

Myke: In to the other shows? Why not…

Currently I am working on getting a show off the ground with Joshua Schnell over at Macgasm. This will be a show centered around iOS apps and games. I’m a big fan of the fruits of the App Store so I’m looking forward to this one. At the moment we are still fleshing it out, but it should be out very soon.

I have a couple of shows I’d love to do in the future. They’re basic ideas but maybe by sharing them I could get some great feedback from any readers.

  • A Movie Review Club: This show was inspired by what Dan Benjamin and John Gruber are doing on the Talk Show with the Bond movies. Every week the host(s) will set an assignment to the listeners to watch a movie which will be discussed on the next episode. We’ll tackle single movies, franchises, old and new. I would like there to be some form of audience participation in this one too—maybe leaving comments prior to the recording that could be referenced in the recording.
  • Essaycast: Every week a topic is set by the host and it is discussed by an esteemed panel of maybe 3-5 people. This can be on anything—but usually with a Tech slant. As the host I would play Devil’s Advocate for either side of the statement/question and a vote will be taken at the end as to what side of the argument the participants sit on. Again, I see this having audience participation in the form of comments and a poll to see where they sit—reviewed on the next show.
  • Web News: This would be a video show I think. It would mainly focus on reporting current Memes and other crazy web stories. It would be a comedy show in which everything is being reported in a sensible manner. A satire I guess.

They’re the shows I have locked in my brain at the moment. I sure hope nobody steals these ideas…

Stephen: Thanks for sharing. I think my readership is free of scumbags, so your ideas are safe with us! Thanks so much for chatting with me, Myke!

Myke: Haha! I certainly hope so.

Stephen, thanks for inviting me to be a part of this series. I’m a big fan of the site and it’s a pleasure and an honour to be a part of it.