Lawrence "Larry" Hryb (pronounced /ˈhɜrb/ (deprecated template) "Herb"), also known by his Xbox Live gamertag Major Nelson, is the Director of Programming for the Microsoft gaming network Xbox Live. His blog "Xbox Live's Major Nelson" provides an "inside" look at operations at Microsoft's Xbox division. He picked the gamertag Major Nelson after a character by the same name on the 1960s U.S. television comedy I Dream of Jeannie after it was recommended to him by his TiVo. Prior to taking the position at Microsoft in 2004, he was a former programmer and on air host with radio broadcaster Clear Channel Communications. Hryb graduated from Syracuse University in 1989 with a degree from the S.I. Newhouse School of Public Communications with a minor in Education.
Work at Microsoft
Larry Hryb worked for Clear Channel Communications in Hartford, Connecticut for WKSS prior to Microsoft. Larry joined the Xbox team in early 2004 as the Xbox LIVE Director Of Programming. Hryb has been instrumental in the development in the Xbox 360, Xbox LIVE and the 'New Xbox Experience'. He was also one of the small team of people at Xbox who came up with the concept of 'Xbox 360 Achievements' a popular feature of Xbox 360 games. In addition, Mr. Hryb has done much forward thinking community work, and has advised numerous gaming and non-gaming companies on how to best manage their communities and social network.
Hryb is most known for his popular weekly podcast "Major Nelson Radio", available on iTunes, Zune marketplace, and from his site. Direct from inside the Microsoft Xbox team, Hryb and his colleagues including regular co-hosts Laura Massey ("lollip0p"), Stephen Toulouse ("Stepto"), and Eric Neustadter ("e") discuss Xbox, Xbox Live, Xbox 360, Kinect, Zune, gaming, technology, other next generation consoles (including the PlayStation 3, and Wii), among other subjects. Wil Wheaton and James Pfaff ("litheon" or "lith" for short) also regularly appear on the show. His show regularly hosts interviews with people in the gaming community, and offers prizes to listeners through his "Name the Game" contest, where he plays a short audio clip from a game, and a winner is drawn from the correct entries. Additionally, regular features of the podcast include "Xbox 101", a segment devoted to various features on the Xbox 360 or Xbox Live, and the after show, an easter egg where Hryb talks about random topics. Hryb and Neustadter regularly joke about each other's Xbox Live gamerscore and gaming habits. Xbox 101 is also a series of "Inside Xbox" videos on Xbox Live.
On November 6, 2006, he celebrated his '200th' podcast, which was marked with a nearly two and a half hour show. Hryb openly admits that he added to the show number and the figure doesn't accurately reflect the number of shows made. Hryb switched to a #1xx numbering around July 18, 2005, when he did show #136 after the previous '7/10/05 Blogcast'. Major Nelson was interviewed on the Video Game Outsiders Podcast (show #50), where he commented "About a year and a half ago, I started numbering my shows at 100...it makes it sound cooler, bigger numbers are always better."
In addition to his podcast, Hryb hosts a weekly one-minute segment titled Major's Minute. On Xbox Live and the Xbox website on Thursdays, Major's Minute recaps new content and news related to the Xbox Live Marketplace. Hryb was also a regular on the defunct Sirius Satellite Radio program "Level Up", designed for the casual video gamer.
Hryb is married and lives in the state of Washington. He enjoys photography, Xbox 360, Nintendo DS, and many other gadgets, and notably in his Podcast, hunting for the perfect ice. In 2006, Next Generation Magazine named Hryb one of the "Top 25 People of the Year" in video gaming. Also, in 2009 he was featured on Wired.com's "100 Geeks You Should Be Following On Twitter". Hryb has worked with multiple Fortune 500 companies, advising them on how to use social media to better connect with the community. Revealed in podcast #351 that his guilty pleasure is KFC mashed potatoes with no gravy. Larry Hryb has admitted to having Coulrophobia in podcast #345.
- ↑ Hryb, Larry (2008-05-25). "Show #280: XNA, DRM and more". Majornelson.com. http://majornelson.com/archive/2008/05/25/show-280-xna-drm-and-more.aspx. Retrieved 2008-05-29.
- ↑ Hillis, Scott (2008-01-03). ""Major Nelson" emerges as face of Xbox". Reuters. http://www.reuters.com/article/technologyNews/idUSN0265215120080103?pageNumber=2&virtualBrandChannel=0&sp=true. Retrieved 2008-05-18.
- ↑ 3.0 3.1 Hryb, Larry (2006-11-09). "Now serving over 100,000 comments". Majornelson.com. http://majornelson.com/archive/2006/11/09/100k-comments.aspx?sidebar=1&PageIndex=5. Retrieved 2008-05-18.
- ↑ "Inside Xbox - Major's Minute". Microsoft. http://www.xbox.com/en-US/community/insidexbox/video/majorsminute/default.htm. Retrieved 31 January 2010.
- ↑ Campbell, Colin (2006-12-13). "Next-Gen's Top 25 People of the Year". Next Generation Magazine. http://www.next-gen.biz/index2.php?option=com_content&task=view&id=4395&Itemid=36&pop=1&page=0. Retrieved 2008-05-18.
- ↑ Denmead, Ken (2009-05-13). "100 Geeks You Should Be Following On Twitter". Wired.com. http://www.wired.com/geekdad/2009/05/100-geeks-you-should-be-following-on-twitter/. Retrieved 2009-05-24.