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2×4: An Interview with Myke Hurley

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2×4: An Interview with Myke Hurley

    2×4: One series that examines two topics, creativity and productivity, by asking those who make things on the web the same four questions on both subjects.

    Myke Hurley is your worst nightmare. Living, breathing, walking, talking proof that you can create something meaningful in your spare time. He’s done what most of us convince ourselves we can’t: build something amazing in the hours in between his full-time job. In just over 18 months Myke took what started as his podcast, “The Bro Show” and has grown it into a full-fledged geek and tech-oriented podcasting network that now includes seven shows. The 70 Decibels network is home to several of my favorite podcasts including the aforementioned Bro Show, The App Orchard and Enough. It gets quite a bit of love, not only from us geeks around the web, but from the folks over at iTunes. Several shows on the network are hosted by well-known members of the Read and Trust network including Stephen Hackett, Brett Kelly and Patrick Rhone.

    Oh yeah, and he’s British, which isn’t only inherently awesome; it makes things even more impressive as many of his podcasts span both timezones and continents. In fact, a recent episode of Enough with Lifehack’s own Mike Vardy simultaneously spanned three countries at once. Clearly I’m in awe of what the man has built, but rather than continuing to gush, I’m going to be quiet and let Myke do the talking. Or in this case, the writing.

    Without further ado, here’s a behind-the-scenes look at the up-and-comer of tech podcasting, Myke Hurley.

    Creativity

    Have you always considered yourself a creative person?

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    I have. Throughout my life and especially over the last few years I have tried and failed to launch many creative endeavors. I have started and given up on many books and blogs. I never found that sweet spot until I began podcasting in April 2010, when we started The Bro Show.

    Since then we have launched many shows and created the 70Decibels network that encapsulates them. The shows allow me to be very creative and I try to ensure we have a range of different shows to fit all tastes. This also allows me and my co-hosts to dip in to many different areas.

    However, I have now caught the bug for podcasting. If I could, I would launch a new show every week and publish as many as I could. The only thing that stops me doing this is time and one day I hope to be able to remove most limitations and focus on the network full-time.

    What mediums and inspirations do you gravitate toward to realize your creative goals?

    Obviously my chosen medium is audio. I find it so much easier to speak rather than write. I enjoy writing and think I’m okay at it, but I’m far too critical. I agonize over every sentence and constantly go back over things to make sure they read well before publishing. With audio you cannot do that. Once something is said, it’s said and your immediate memory is the only record you have during the conversation. If I don’t remember the point I made five minutes ago then I cannot change it, so whatever is said, is said. Additionally I have a unwritten rule with the shows not to edit for content. I don’t cut parts of the shows out because somebody may have said something incorrect or not overly interesting. I feel that his damages the integrity of the overall product and harms the flow of the conversation. I discussed this more in a recent episode of my show Cooking With Brett And Myke.

    I am heavily inspired by the pioneers of podcasting that came before me, Leo Laporte and Dan Benjamin. These men have created Empires, not just podcast networks. They are where I aspire to be one day, with a whole host of excellent shows that are produced full-time and broadcasted live to the masses. I also see Kevin Rose and Alex Albrecht as an inspiration. Diggnation was the first podcast I had ever heard of and it was through their show that I became interested in the medium.

    If you had to point to one thing, what specific posts or creations are you most proud of and why?

    This is a really tough question for me. I love all of the shows and find it difficult to pick out specific episodes as I am always happy with what’s been recorded; I always feel good about what we commit to AAC.

    However, some people have remarked to me some of their favourite episodes of some shows. Episode 6 – Money of 11 Minutes is a fan favourite, as is Episode 14 – Don’t Worry Do of Enough. I have a love for Episode 52 – Happy Birthday of The Bro Show. I feel that of our most recent shows, Ungeniused, Cooking With… and The App Orchard, I have not had enough time to really consider favourites. But they are all like children to me and I love recording every episode!

    Any suggestions for those who feel they may not be creative enough to unlock their inner artist?

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    Just keep trying. It took me a long time to realize the thing I enjoyed the most. I tried so many different projects before I came to podcasting and now I don’t want to do anything else. Don’t be afraid to experiment and try new things out; you just don’t know what you might find.

    Productivity

    Can you describe your current personal and professional responsibilities?

    In the day I have a real job at a real, big company. I manage a team of people in a retail/finance environment. Then at home I run a podcasting network called 70Decibels. We have seven shows that make up the network and we are looking to expand these next year. I am a host, producer and editor of these shows

    How do you go about balancing the personal, professional and digital?

    The balance can be difficult. I leave my day job around 5pm and travel home to start work on the network around 7pm. I record Monday-Wednesday and do general work for the shows throughout the week. My Friday-Sunday is time spent strictly with my better half, with no commitments from the network. I do occasionally have to work Saturdays for my day job.

    Of course, sometimes emergencies or good ideas can creep up during my workday. I am more committed (long-term) to making a success out of the network, so I tend to deal with or capture these things whenever they come up. Obviously, this is provided they do not take up too much time; it’s my day job that allows me to continue running the network, and it’s the only thing that puts food on the table.

    What tools and techniques do you find yourself counting on to get through your workload?

    I have tried so many different GTD apps but as of yet none have stuck for me. I tend to use Simplenote/nvALT as a way to capture things and I even use it as an inbox for to-do items that aren’t particularly urgent.

    I’m a big fan of pen and paper. I’m a Moleskine guy at heart, but think I could be converted to Field Notes in the future. I find paper to be the fastest, most efficient capture method. The only downside is that a notebook doesn’t sync to the cloud.

    The network is produced and run from my MacBook Air. I use some built-in tools like GarageBand to produce it and add some others like Skype to help me get it done. I have documented some of the tools I use on my blog and am currently planning a new and more effective way of sharing my experiences in podcasting. Watch this space.

    What is the best starting point for the unproductive amongst us, who are looking to get more organized?

    Find an easy capture method. GTD won’t be everyone’s cup of tea. Just find something that works for you, something that you can have easy access to. Then build from there.

    More by this author

    2×4: An Interview with David Sparks 2×4: An Interview with Myke Hurley 2×4: An Interview With CJ Chilvers 2X4 Interviews 2×4: An Interview With Gabe Weatherhead 2×4: An Interview With Brett Kelly

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    Last Updated on November 25, 2021

    Protecting Your Online Life With Secure Passwords

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    Protecting Your Online Life With Secure Passwords

    With all of the recent online services and companies falling under attack to hackers in the past few months, it seems only fitting to talk about password creation and management. There are a lot of resources out there discussing this, but it never hurts to revisit this topic time and again because of its importance.

    Password management isn’t necessarily a difficult thing to do, yet it does seem like a bit of an annoyance to most people. When it comes to password management, you will hear the famous line, “I don’t really care about changing my passwords regularly. I have nothing important online anyways.” Let’s see if you have nothing important online when your PayPal account gets taken over because you thought the password “password” was good enough.

    In my opinion, it is an “internet user’s” responsibility to make sure that they keep secure passwords and update them on a regular basis. In this article we will discuss how to make your online presence more secure and keep it secure.

    The easy fundamentals

    First thing is first; creating a strong password.

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    A strong password is a mixture of alpha-numeric characters and symbols, has a good length (hopefully 15 characters or longer), and doesn’t necessarily represent some word or phrase. If the service you are signing up for doesn’t allow passwords over a certain length, like 8 characters, always use the maximum length.

    Here are some examples of strong passwords:
    * i1?,2,2\1′(:-%Y
    * ZQ5t0466VC44PmJ
    * mp]K{ dCFKVplGe]PBm1mKdinLSOoa (30 characters)

    And not so good examples
    * sammy1234
    * password123
    * christopher

    You can check out PC Tools Password Generator here. This is a great way to make up some very strong passwords. Of course the more random passwords are harder to remember, but that is where password management comes into play.

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    Managing your passwords

    I know some people that keep their passwords in an unencrypted text file. That’s not a good idea. I suppose that if you aren’t doing much online and are decent at avoiding viruses and such, it could be OK, but I would never recommend it.

    So, where do you keep your strong passwords for all the services that you visit on a daily basis?

    There are a ton of password safes out there including KeePass, RoboForm, Passpack, Password Safe, LastPass, and 1Password. If and when I recommend any of these I always count on LastPass and 1Password.

    Both LastPass and 1Password offer different entry types for online services logins (PayPal, Twitter, Facebook, Gmail, etc.), credit cards and bank accounts, online identities, and other types of sensitive information. Both have excellent reviews and only differ in a few subtle ways. One of the ways that is more notable is that LastPass keeps your encrypted password Vault online where 1Password allows you to keep it locally or shared through Dropbox. Either way, you are the holder of the encryption keys and both ways are very secure.

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    LastPass and 1Password both offer cross-platform support as well as support for Android and iOS (LastPass even has BlackBerry support). 1Password is a little pricey ($39.99 for either Windows or Mac) where LastPass has free options as well as premium upgrades that allow for mobile syncing.

    Upkeep

    You should probably change your passwords for your “important” accounts at least every 6 weeks. When I say “important” accounts I am referring to ones that you just couldn’t imagine losing access to. For me that would be Gmail, PayPal, eBay, Amazon, all my FTP accounts and hosting accounts, Namecheap, etc. Basically these include any account where financial information could be lost or accessed as well as accounts that could be totally screwed up (like my webserver).

    There is no hard and fast rule to how often you should change your passwords, but 6 to 8 weeks should be pretty good.

    Alternatives

    You may think that all of this is just too much to manage on a daily basis. I will admit it is kind of annoying to have to change your passwords and use a password manager on a daily basis. For those people out there that don’t want to go through all of the hub-bub of super-secure, encrypted, password management, here are a few tips to keep you safe:

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    1. Create a unique and hard to guess “base password” and then a pattern to use for each site you logon onto. For instance a base password could be “Ih2BaSwAa” (this stands for “I have two brothers and sisters who are annoying”). Then you would add something “site specific” to the end of it. For Twitter Ih2BaSwAaTWTTR, Facebook Ih2BaSwAaFCBK, etc. This is sort of unsecure, but probably more secure than 99% of the passwords out there.
    2. Don’t write your passwords down in public places. If you want to keep track of passwords on something written, keep it on you at least. The problem is that if you get your wallet stolen you are still out of luck.
    3. Don’t use the same passwords for every service. I’m not even going to explain this; just don’t do it.

    These are just a few things that can be done rather than keeping your passwords in a management system. Personally, with over 100 entries in my password management system, I couldn’t even dream of doing any other way. But those out there with only a few passwords, having a simpler system may be beneficial.

    So, if you want to be a “responsible internet citizen” or you just don’t want to lose your precious account data, then creating and maintaining strong passwords for your online accounts is a must.

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