Audio Hackathon 2015

NYC | September 19-20


Serial | Gimlet | Pop Up Archive | Public Media Platform | PRX | Soundcloud | Slack


Help Build New Ways to Listen

Audio storytelling is growing incredibly quickly. 46 million Americans listen to at least one podcast a month—17% of Americans. More and more exciting, innovative podcasts are being made every month.

Quality content deserves quality technology. Captivating stories deserve an incredible listening experience. Better tech could make it easier to access, share and discover great stories and great moments within stories. We want your help brainstorming and implementing new and exciting ways to hear the world.

On September 19 and 20, we invited developers, coders, designers, producers, sound designers to gather, grouped them into teams, and after introductory talks by audio professionals, had them participate in a two day hackathon. Afterward, teams presented their creations to our speakers and to employees from our partners.

Get Inspired by Some of the Best Creators In Audio

Learn from talented audio pioneers as they share their visions for the future of audio.

Ira Glass

Ira Glass is the creator and host of This American Life. The show is heard each week by 2.2 million people on public radio stations. Another 1.5 million download the program’s podcast, making it the top podcast on iTunes most weeks.

Alex Blumberg

Alex is the host of StartUp, and CEO and cofounder of Gimlet Media. He is an award-winning radio journalist. Prior to Gimlet, he was a producer for This American Life and the co-founder of Planet Money.

Daniel Alarcón

Daniel Alarcón is a novelist, journalist, and Executive Producer of Radio Ambulante, a Spanish language podcast telling stories from across Latin America and the US. He has written for the New Yorker, the New York Times Magazine, and Harper's; and his most recent novel, At Night We Walk in Circles, was a finalist for the 2014 PEN Faulkner Award. Daniel teaches at Columbia University's School of Journalism, and his graphic novel, City of Clowns, will be published this November.

Dana Chivvis

Dana Chivvis is a producer on Serial. She reports, edits and produces the podcast. Since its debut in October 2014, Serial has been downloaded more than 82 million times, averaging 6.8 million downloads per episode - the largest audience of any podcast. In April, Serial became the first podcast to win a Peabody Award. Before she joined the Serial team, Dana was a This American Life fellow. She also covered education as a reporter and digital producer for NBC News and AOL News and was a photo editor at National Geographic.

Sean Rameswaram

Sean Rameswaram is a producer for Studio 360 and the host of Sideshow, which is widely regarded to be one of the most devastatingly charming pop culture podcasts in the world.

Anne Wootton

Anne Wootton is the co-founder of Pop Up Archive, a platform of simple tools to help media companies and archives search and use digital audio. Pop Up Archive's latest project,, is a full-text search and discovery engine for podcasts and radio. Born in cahoots with PRX, Pop Up Archive works with producers that include 99% Invisible, Snap Judgment, The Kitchen Sisters, and Rooftop Media. Anne is a winner of the Knight News Challenge: Data and holds a Master’s degree in Information Management and Systems from UC-Berkeley.

Andrew Kuklewicz

Andrew Kuklewicz is the CTO of PRX, and at various times a developer, architect, project/QA manager, and facilitator. He and his team built and its many sites, such as for the Radiotopia podcast network, and PRX Remix. PRX tech has created apps for RadioLab, This American Life, The Moth, KCRW Music Mine, FRONTLINE, and PRX's Remix and Public Radio Player apps. He is chair of the tech committee for the PMP, and former lead developer for Pop Up Archive. In his spare time he is a tap dancer and founding member of 'Boston Tap Company.'

Kristin Calhoun

Kristin Calhoun began her career in technology at the age of 12, the only girl in her town’s computer programming summer camp. Always curious (and height challenged), Kristin has worked on projects that reimagine how technology can help public media not only remain relevant, but flourish. Currently, Kristin is the Executive Director of the Public Media Platform (PMP). The PMP is a not-for-profit start-up founded by American Public Media, Public Radio International, NPR, PBS and PRX. It is a digital distribution system, powered by a hypermedia API.

Stephanie Foo

Stephanie Foo is a producer at This American Life, where she tells stories through radio and video. Prior to that, she was one of the original producers of NPR’s Snap Judgment,where she helped develop the show’s unique style and sound. Her work has also aired on shows like 99% Invisible and Reply All.


Time Saturday, Sept. 19th Sunday, Sept. 20th
9:00 Breakfast Breakfast
10:00 Lightning Talks Group Check In
Continue Hacking
11:00 Creative facilitation, breakout, team building, small idea sessions
12:00 Lunch
1:00 Begin Hacking
Hacking Ends
2:00 Prepare Presentation
3:00 Presentations/reviews
5:00 Wrapping up
6:00 Dinner
Group Check In
7:00 Hacking continues Hackathon ends
🎉 🎉 🎉 After party! 🎉 🎉 🎉
10:00 Hacking ends

The Projects

The Team behind the hackathon

Stephanie Foo

Stephanie Foo is a producer at This American Life, where she tells stories through radio and video. Prior to that, she was one of the original producers of NPR’s Snap Judgment,where she helped develop the show’s unique style and sound. Her work has also aired on shows like 99% Invisible and Reply All.

Lam Thuy Vo

Lam Thuy Vo is is a multi-platform reporter and editor for Al Jazeera America where she leads a team of coder-journalists and covers poverty-related stories. She started her journalism career at the Wall Street Journal as a multimedia reporter and editor, spearheading the publication’s video operations in Asia, and has also worked as a producer and reporter for Planet Money, telling economic stories with charts, videos and other visuals.

Leonard Bogdonoff

Lenny is currently a developer for The New Yorker. He is a graffiti loving street artist from California and alumna from Soka University. He is interested in the sustainable development of future media companies. He loves all things buddhism, hardware art experiments, and blogs about building things at

Jeanne Brooks

Jeanne is currently the Director of Global Communities at DataKind where she works with global leaders to connect data scientists with social good organizations. Previously she was a fellow at the Reynolds Journalism Institute, the first ever Executive Director at Hacks/Hackers and the Digital Director at the Online News Association where she created the Midway and led production of training programs such as the annual conference and ONACamps.

Audio Hackathon is made possible by our incredible sponsors:

Photo illustrations made with photography by drestwn and Ilmicrofono Oggiono

Recap of the Hackathon


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