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Vax '15 Day One: The most wonderful time of the year

It’s hard to believe that it has been a year since the Vox Media product team last converged on the beautiful city of Philadelphia for Vax, and since then a lot of awesome stuff has happened. This week we'll be reporting on the various projects that teams are working on at our annual hackathon but before that we're going recap some of what’s gone down since last year. If you're not aware of what Vax is you can read our "Vaxplainer" on how this event came together here.

  • In 2014 we had 64 people travel to Philadelphia for Vax, and since then we’ve welcomed 14 new members onto the product family, across multiple disciplines. We now have product team colleagues scattered across the globe in the United States, Canada and the United Kingdom - that's 78 people! If you use the image slider above you can compare the size of our team from last year to this year. You can also see some of where our team travelled from to get to Vax from on the map below, and put some names to the above faces here on the product blog roll-call.

  • Aside from on-boarding our wonderful new colleagues we've also created new tools to allow our editorial teams to continue delivering rich content to our readers, including our open-sourced platform Autotune for turning templates into bespoke web content. That slider image above? It's an Autotune project, and a great example of how quickly you can visualise information to your audience.
  • Last year we launched Vox shortly before Vax, and since then we've relaunched two of our verticals on our modern media stack, ChorusEater was the first to arrive on the platform in September 2014, followed by Racked in February 2015.
  • We're also very excited to have welcomed both OpBandit, a digital media-focused technology designed to optimize the presentation and distribution of editorial and advertising content, and Re/code, the technology business news organization founded by Kara Swisher and Walt Mossberg into our Vox Media family in April and May of 2015 respectively.

A photo posted by Harold Neal (@metacreek) on

The day before Vax '15 officially kicked off, most of the product team begins to arrive in Philadelphia. As some of you may be aware, no trip to Philadelphia is complete without visiting the famed Reading Terminal Market, or a quick stop by Philly's renowned Capogiro Gelato Artians.

A photo posted by Kelsey Scherer (@kelsa_) on

To kick off the event Trei Brundrett, the Chief Product Officer for Vox Media, and Lockhart Steele, VP of Editorial, took to the floor to make some announcements. Lock discussed how for the first time this year the product team will be joined by members of the editorial team to discuss and bring back the learnings of these projects to their respective teams. Trei spoke of the history of Vax, of what started as a small event in 2013 that became an annual Vox Media tradition by the fall of that year. For the 78 colleagues in attendance the message was clear; less yacking, more hacking.

It's time to hack.

If you're looking to keep up to date with our adventures here on the Product Blog, and on Twitter or Instagram where you can follow the #VAX15 tag to join in on the adventure from afar.