I first heard of Vox in the summer of 2014 when my favorite television writer, Todd Vanderwerff, left The AV Club to become the Culture Editor at Vox. I read so much of his work that I have a link to Vanderwerff’s article page in my bookmarks.
Early on, I read mostly the cultural news and never really ventured much into the site proper. Reading the cultural news, the thing I was most struck by was how technologically advanced the site was. The site could do so many interesting things that no other site that I have ever worked on could do. I was impressed with how new information would appear as you would scroll down the page. I was impressed that Vox could make surveys and charts and videos that far surpassed most of the usual drab content on the Internet.
Eventually, I did take on Vox as a whole, and was extremely impressed. Vox‘s approach to the news is unique. Rather than simply reporting on large confusing topics, Vox tries to break them down for the reader or “explain” either through helpful articles, videos or what they call card stacks. Card stacks allow writers to break down confusing topics into essentially online flashcards. Vox’s passion for information sharing is only somewhat more important than Vox‘s mission to educate. One of Vox‘s best videos is an explanation of the Iowa caucuses told with LEGO people. It’s a simple teaching mechanism, that is also extremely effective.
While many publications have been slow to embrace new technology, Vox bends technology to its will, creating flexible, movable, transformative content that works for the creator, not the other way around. It’s a unique and exciting prospect and no wonder leading writers are leaving their jobs at reputable media organizations to join up with Ezra Klein.
In it’s short existence, I have been impressed with the amount of thought leaders, artists and politicians Vox has managed to interview including Barack Obama, Bernie Sanders, Nancy Pelosi, as well as, Lost and The Leftovers‘ Damon Lindelof, the filmmakers the Duplass brothers, and many more. It’s impressive for a 29-year old Editor-in-Chief and two-year-old publication to have so much editorial clout in American media.
Vox has gone from an infrequent destination for me to a daily must-visit. As long it continues to inform, innovate and educate, Vox should have a great future ahead.