Vax is now in full swing. Teams are in hack mode, working tirelessly to get projects into a stable state for demos tomorrow. While this is most certainly work for all taking part in the hack week, it doesn't feel like it. The location, atmosphere, schedule and team-bonding activities won't allow for it.
The true beauty of Vax and what makes it so special, however, is the freedom people have in creating anything they want. No ideas are too small or too big. No useless projects are worked on. Everything is fair game and each person on the team embraces this mantra.
Evidence of the varying work being created this year is easily apparent by glancing around the workspace. Below is a small and limited snapshot of what's going down in Philly and exemplifies the innovation and talent of Vox Media.
Podcast team is easy to spot. The large microphone and barrage of questions being asked is a dead giveaway. They're currently recording segments for "Get to know a product person." Additionally, before Vax is complete, they hope to finalize a full episode about internet accessibility. Long-term, the plan is to continue producing episodes that cover a variety of interesting and enjoyable topics. This will include relevant interviews with both internal employees and external figures.
Small paper creatures and tiny shapes are strewn across the Paper Yoga table. Focus and patience are definitely the keywords that apply to this team. They are creating an instructional origami book to illustrate the square fold and dollar bill fold. Because a book just isn't enough, they're also working on standing up a website to accompany the book. It'll provide further teaching on the building blocks of origami.
Notificat is one of the larger teams at Vax this year. With how ambitious their project is, it seems appropriate. They're exploring the idea of how might we make notifications valuable for our audience. Specifically, how might we think beyond push notifications as a broadcast tool and more of an opportunity to have a conversation with our audience, listen to what they know, what they've seen and then provide better information. Basically, if news is a conversation, how can we be a better conversationalist?