Quiz Whiz

Written by KK Rebecca LaiNicole Zhu & Adam Baumgartner

Here at Vox media, we are constantly finding new ways to create engaging, shareable content. Our newest authoring tool is a quiz generator that offers thorough explanations of topics in enticing, concise and interactive ways. The tool also automates the process for creating an interactive quiz without involving a developer writing repetitive code.

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You Should be the Vox Media 2015 OpenNews Fellow

In June, Knight-Mozilla OpenNews announced we were selected as a host for one of its 2015 fellows. We're proud of this opportunity to support the open source journalism community, along with media organizations that we respect such as NPR, La Nacion, The New York Times, The Washington Post, The Guardian and The Center for Investigative Reporting.

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Vax ’14: The Things We Built

Here's the thing about a hack week: at its most basic, it's really just a decision to set an artificial deadline on making the things your team has been dreaming of for a while. A really harsh deadline, for sure, and one that isn't backed by any serious driving need. It's not like the end of a political campaign where you sprint as fast as you can to the finish line because there's no second chance. It's not part of a business cycle, holiday season, or year-end close out process. It's a simple call made together by a team: "Hey, let's make some things."

We've done this before. You can learn about what Vax is and why we do it here. And this is where we keep all the photo documentation of all the late nights and glowing laptop screens.

Vax '14 was a short, but fun-filled and inspiring week. Many people met for the first time, others hung out and worked together for the first time in months. But at the end of Friday, as we all boarded our trains and planes home, what we were really left with was proven concepts, validated theories, and many completed projects. Not everything that we worked on is a finished product (and some may never be!) but all the learning we did will inform the work we do in the future. So without further yack, here's what we made:

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Nine weeks to launch Vox — it’s easier to go downhill than up

On April 6th, Vox Media’s chief product officer Trei Brundrett tweeted out a screenshot of an email I sent him a little over nine weeks earlier. The subject line read: “PROPOSAL: timeboxed hackweek-style approach to initial Project X launch.”

He tweeted that screenshot just a few hours after we launched a new website called Vox — formerly Project X — Vox Media’s seventh brand.

Vox took nine weeks to plan, design, build, test, and go live (six weeks from the time development began). By comparison, the initial launches of The Verge and Polygon occurred about eight months after the respective editorial leads joined the company.

Why did we launch on that sped up timeline? It was an experiment for our team and our company, driven by our desire to get a product into users’ hands early, some constraints we could not change, and our enthusiasm for approaching a familiar problem in a new way. We don’t yet know for sure if it was the right decision, but here’s how we sped up the process, focused the scope, and shipped a site fast.

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Cyber Ninja Summer Camp visits Vox Media

Last week Vox Product hosted nearly 30 impressive young women from a Girls Inc. summer camp. They toured the Vox Media DC office and bombarded a panel of Vox Media employees—including front-end engineers Ally Palanzi and Guillermo Esteves, designer Ramla Mahmood, front-end designer Alisha Ramos, SB Nation social media editor Michael Katz, and Vox engagement editor Allison Rockey—with tough, thoughtful questions about their day-to-day experiences in the fields of technology and media.

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Vax '14 Day 3: The Empire Strikes Hack

By day 3 of Vax, the principles of "Less Yack, More Hack" had become merely a starting point for the crew who rallied in Philadelphia, Pennsylvania to build internet. That rallying cry was but a foundation upon which these makers were constructing an immovable digital fortress of hack. An awe-inspiring bulwark against the endless hammering waves of yack. A monument to hack so grandiose that it warded against not just yack, but even sleep.

What I'm saying is that by Thursday, everyone was pretty tired but they kept working on their projects and it was great.

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Meme generation made easy

Vox often use images on social media to give users more context than a normal tweet or Facebook post. We found that if we added a quote or interesting fact to an image that more users would share it. But having designers craft each image every time we wanted to do that was a huge time suck. Continue reading…
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