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It is six years!
by Thanos Kalamidas
2010-12-20 08:52:31
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A couple of days before we were talking with Asa about our weekly radio show and we said that it should be a full hour dedicated to Ovi magazine and it’s 6th birthday. And then Sunday came and we started exactly at three with Asa singing “happy birthday” and fifteen minutes later we were talking about anything else than the landmark of Ovi sixth birthday. Did Ovi stop being so important for us or did we get tired of it? Are we overwhelmed of Ovi magazine after six years or we just had enough?

For six years we have gone through a lot of things both as Ovi magazine and as individuals and sometimes our personal problems influenced our work for the magazine and vice versa. We have gone through anything you can imagine, from hackers, to threats and from blackmails to seen the police at our doors and us trying to prove that we are not elephants. And in a personal level our lives today have little to do with what we were six and a half years ago when we started building what we published online for the first time at the 20th of December 2004.

Six years after we both know that we had no idea how big was what we started and I have mentioned it many times that what started six years ago – already a couple of years after - took a life of its own often pulling us with it. But here come two facts that not many are aware and oddly Asa and I often forget. How big Ovi magazine is. The irony is that we remember it every time we are talking about the whole subject with somebody who is new to the project. An example, a couple of days ago I was talking with a friend about a side-section of the Ovi magazine, Le Meteque. When we started the project our aim was to create one section for every European Union member with all short of information, articles, photos, personal experiences trying to introduce the countries and help foreigners like us who want to immigrate or to visit and as it was natural we started with Finland. But the whole concept has been somehow “asleep” – Finland is the only country that exists in the Le Meteque section at the moment - mainly because we lack time and resources. And this is one of the many different sections we want to evolute and we have also already planned the foundations to do so. You just need to check the site map to understand what I mean.

But with this example I tried to show you the two main facts often missed about Ovi magazine. First of all Ovi magazine is totally volunteer and we have never got any financial help from anywhere. Not that we wouldn’t appreciate it and it would help improving and activate all those parts we haven’t till now. Ovi magazine is a result of the work of a group of people who never actually met, we most of the time have no idea how each other looks but with a very unique way we have manage to become friends and honestly – and here I’m also talking for Asa – we are extremely honoured and proud to have them as friends. Our differences ideological and philosophical sometimes are huge but our friendship, respect and understanding gigantic. That’s the other fact that I hope it can be sensed when you read Ovi magazine. And this friendship, respect and understanding is creative and that’s what gives life to an online magazine that has become a reference.

The demands of Ovi magazine are exactly the same as any print magazine especially in time even though it is online and that’s something Asa and I often found difficult to explain. There are tens of details that we need to take care in daily base for the result you see every morning. From the succession the articles have to uploading series of things here and there. To coordinate events with the articles, reminders and marks not to forget photos and illustrations. And the demands of the magazine multiply every year. For six whole years.

And all these things are in our minds all the time so when the radio show started we sang “happy birthday” and then we started talking about …Christmas food! After so many years and despite our age difference – something Asa reminds me often – our friendship has reached the point where we don’t need to say much, we sense and empathise without words and the last two days the thought of the sixth birthday has overwhelmed us with memories of the path we took the last six years. And of course we have a lot of anecdotes – including some really funny ones – and we did use them in editorials or radio show the last five years, stories and anecdotes we suddenly felt we didn’t want to repeat. Why? The answer was in a very brief exchange of words between us during one of the music breaks.

During the music breaks and with the microphones off Asa and I usually talk knowing that nobody can hear and during one of those breaks – actually it was during Bob Dylan’s song ‘for ever young’ – I said “In January I have to do something about the PDFs” with Asa asking about the new site’s lay-out we are planning lately with the addition of a couple of new sections and me answering “when we are ready.” Then we returned to our Christmas food conversation. This very brief exchange says everything, yes we were overwhelmed from the weight Ovi has put on us but that doesn’t mean that we have stopped creating, expanding and planning most of all dreaming. Coincidentally the next music break was with the Eagles, ‘Take it to the Limit’. And in this brief exchange there are plans for a couple of special PDF publications, for an extra service for Ovi and a lot more plans we have talked about many times, we have checked and changed again and again.

Ovi magazine in its sixth birthday has mature and with the magazine we have also matured. Through the mistakes and the experiences – bad or good – we have grown and we are ready and more prepared for the next steps. The next steps will come and it is inevitable and I have the feeling that this is a common sense among the people who contribute for this project and honour us with their friendship. Ovi magazine really celebrates its sixth birthday in a very mature way not with promises but with planning and dreaming and that’s a sign of success.

For Ovi magazine’s sixth birthday I like to thank first of all Asa who has been a companion and a friend in a very difficult travel, then to remind the third of the Ovi founders even though he chosen a different path, John Pederson and a special thank to all those friends – I insist that this is the best way for the fellow contributors - I have met through the Ovi magazine pages and emails.

Happy sixth birthday Ovi magazine!

Thanos Kalamidas

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Eva2010-12-20 09:08:27
Happy birthday Ovi magazine! Looking forward to reading year 7.

David Barger2010-12-20 09:36:34
Cheers, Ovi Team! Happy 6th Birthday!!

Emanuel Paparella2010-12-20 16:08:55
Happy Birthday Ovi and ad majorem! Indeed, as the beautiful quote by Thoreau announced on today's cover, when labor is disinterested, a labor of love, it becomes pure poetry. That is my ultimate wish for this magazine which is able to encompass very divergent opinions and avoiding the boorish and the crass and the propagandistic. That is not an easy act to perform, it is similar to walking on a wire coming close to the sublime, but, despite its flaws, it is what distinguishes every serious publication from the mere tabloid. Congratulations.

bohdan yuri2010-12-20 18:51:46
Thank you both.

Jack2010-12-20 22:08:17

Its amazing that its been six years already. Yes, Happy Birthday Ovi and congratulations to the entire staff and writers as well. Well done. And to each of you the best in the coming seventh year.

Thanos2010-12-21 00:53:48
Thank YOU my friends!!!

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