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Uranus.fi Success Stories: Ovi magazine
by The Ovi Team
2006-09-29 11:47:44
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It can be difficult at times, when moving to a foreign country, to find a career where you use all your talents. In some case you end up feeling like you are settling instead of using your skills, and maximizing your potential. That is the key to Ovi!

You wont find your typical news updates in Ovi. The magazine strays away from the every day news headlines and incorporates ideas that make you think, sometimes about things you never though to think of. With over 700 articles covering everything from politics to the origin of mask wearers, “It has something for everyone.” says creator Asa Butcher. Ovi, which means door in Finnish, was created to provide people with opportunity. Since its creation many have walked through Ovi, some for an interesting read, some to express their own ideas.

When creators Thanos Kalamidas and Asa Butcher first met, they realized that, though they were very different, they mysteriously worked very well together, and they shared many of the same dreams and goals. Judging by their backgrounds and their personalities the two couldn't be more opposite: Asa Butcher from South England, is a rather reserved, yet witty writer, journalist and script writer. Thanos Kalamidas on the other hand, is a very loud, outspoken Greek, with a background as an art director, illustrator and cartoonist. As they say opposites attract, and with their powers combine the two make for a very magnetic team, but it was not until the summer 2004, while both working independently, that they decided to put their heads together.

Once they realized their combined potential, “The next step was natural” says Butcher, and together with a third partner; John Peterson, Butcher and Kalamidas went into planning a revolutionary on-line publication. Ovi was created for for two reasons: the need for a English on-line publication in Finland, and the creators' desire to be able to do what they love, write freely about issues they felt were important. The name Ovi conveys the philosophy behind the publication. Ovi does not have a target age, or social group; its a door meant for anyone with a desire to become more aware of the world around them.

In December 2004 the first edition of Ovi magazine hit the virtual press. Since then the concept of Ovi has grown into a matrix, spreading around the world with readers from all over Finland to Brazil. With over 400 visitors a day, and approximately 40-50% from Finland, the magazine that was originally directed at frozen expats, has become quite a success both in Finland, and abroad. “A lot of people find interest in Finland” says Kalamidas. The creators also attribute Ovi's international growth to the universality within the concept of the magazine. “We take an issue in Finland and apply it globally” Kalamidas comments.

Not only has the readership gone global, but Ovi has and a continuously growing staff as well. Over the past two years Ovi has had forty different regular contributors from around the world, who all work voluntarily. “ Each individual member of the Ovi magazine has his or her own ideas as long as we respect certain issues,” says Butcher. The magazine is how ever not tolerant of any kind of racism, or discrimination based on social class, ethnicity, sex, or social issue.

Now, with issues changing every day, Butcher and Kalamidas have decided to take Ovi to another dimension and move to a daily publication. “ We have to go daily because issues are changing and growing.” says Butcher, “ it may eat into my sleeping time, but yeah, we're ready,” he continues
“ We wouldn't do it if we weren't ready,” adds Kalamidas. Along with the new dimension they have added to their on-line magazine, they have also added a third dimension to their team. Tony Watts, financial analyst from London, is taking on numbers, and technical side of Ovi.

What sets Ovi magazine apart from a regular magazine is its interactive capabilities. Not only does being an on-line publication make the magazine more accessible to read, but it enables the creators to provoke ideas that readers have the ability to respond directly to. Readers can even start their own blog on Ovi, as well.

Ovi will still continue to have a monthly printable publication for those who like something tangible (and in English) to read on the train, but their web-based publication will have daily updates to keep up with cutting-edge Finland, and the rest of the globe. The creators openly encourage those who are interested in being part of Ovi magazine to contact them via their website; no matter what corner of the globe you are from. As for the future of Ovi; that in itself is an open door.

Taken from www.uranus.fi  

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