Borne out of frustration one evening in May 2004, the concept of Ovi developed from a conversation between Brit Asa Butcher, Greek Thanos Kalamidas and American John Pederson when they all agreed that they each needed a place to hone their individual skills, to have some fun and expose their talents to potential employers.
It took a month of heated discussion to choose the Finnish word 'Ovi' as the title of their online portfolio – this was almost three years before Nokia announced the launch of its own Ovi portal. Ovi means 'door' and the name was chosen because it symbolised the barriers and difficulties we must all overcome in life, especially when living in a foreign country, which was the situation of both Asa and Thanos.
The original format of Ovi was a static website that was only updated with new work written by the three founding members once a month: Click here to see how the site first looked in January 2005.
During Ovi's first year Asa and Thanos learned the basics of web design and were given motivation to continually develop Ovi Magazine through the growing number of dedicated readers who sent us support via emails. On the first anniversary of Ovi's launch they released a drastically redesigned site: See it here.
Over the next year the three Ovi founders were joined by a growing number of voluntary contributors: Juliana Elo, F.A. Hutchison, Edward Dutton, Mark Hayton, Jan Sand, Satya Prakash, Tony Butcher, Rob Jenkinson, Jane Eagle, Matti McCambridge and Mike Jennett were among the very first. Asa and Thanos soon realised that Ovi was no longer a live portfolio but rather a living, breathing online magazine.
After sixteen monthly theme issues Ovi had accumulated over 700 articles and had almost 45 different people contributing articles, columns, poems, stories and illustrations, plus commenting on their now-defunct forum. The publication of a monthly issue allowed contributors sufficient time to amass all the material but their was irritation at not being up-to-date with world events, so there was only one direction Ovi could go and that was to go daily.
Ovi Magazine went daily on September 4th 2006 and the creation of the daily edition gave our team a new freedom to immediately share their opinion on current topics.
In January 2007, Ovi magazine came second in Newropeans Magazine's Grands Prix 2006 awards. They were nominated as one of the three finalists in its 'Citizenship - Information' section. The awards reward people behind the democratisation of the EU. A registered jury of around 1,000 people voted online awarding Ovi magazine 29% of the vote.
The daily magazine continues to go from strength to strength, with the Ovi boys building new partnerships and working harder than ever to bring the best of themselves to their ongoing project. What the future holds is unknown, but the Ovi team are never short on ideas and plans, so stick around and join the Ovi project.