Those of you who follow me in Twitter, have noticed that I’ve tweeted a lot in Finnish lately. Those who follow me here, have noticed that I haven’t been blogging very actively in the past couple of weeks.
There’s an explanation, and this is it.
I’m working with a bunch of excellent, skilled, inspired, energetic and simply great women to create a new magazine for the Finnish market. The magazine is called Huuma, which freely translates to ecstasy or daze. We don’t see any sexual connotations in the name in Finnish, but we’ve learned the literal translation might imply something along those lines in English.
Anyway, Huuma magazine aims to inspire, excite, empower, encourage and bring joy to its readers. We don’t have many policies, but not treating our readers as consumers is one of them. There will be zero advertisements in the magazine. Instead, we offer our readers 64 pages of interesting stories and beautiful photographs. Our themes include e.g. sports, technology, culture and society. We aim to bring forward the exciting adventures of you and me, the fantastic things everyday people do. We won’t retouch our photographs, and we’re not in the business of publishing make-up tips or break-up stories.
Huuma is crowd sourcing par excellence. One person started talking about her slight frustration over traditional women’s magazines in April 2013, her friends joined the conversation over the summer, someone said why don’t we make a magazine of our own, and by September 2013 there was an outline of themes and articles, a plan to crowd fund the magazine and the seminar to launch it, and dozens of interested and committed women ready to make the dream come true.
Today, the magazine is practically ready. We’re finishing the layout, and getting ready to send the pages to the printing-house. Here’s a sneak peek to some of the pages. Looking good!
Photo: Ihmistenlehti Huuma 1/2014
As we’re crowd funding the magazine, in practice it means that we need to sell it in advance. In order to convince people of a high-quality product with interesting content, we’ve shared sneak peeks of the pages.
And there’s more! Our January launching seminar has a great outline of superb speakers, who’ve all joined pro bono. No one gets paid, not the writers, photographers, visual designers, seminar organizers or speakers. We’re all in it for the experience. As of today, we have five more days to reach our goal of 20 000 € in the Finnish crowd funding website Mesenaatti.me. We’re now some 6000 € short, and I’m not worried. We’ll get there by 20 December.
I’ve personally found inspiration in Libertine and the more recent Riposte, and it is incredibly rewarding to be involved in creating something similar to Finland. Not that I’m comparing our magazine to these fabulous products of smart minds, but more like looking up to these fine examples!
We are (so far) planning to publish a single issue of Huuma and organize the greatest seminar of 2014. What happens afterwards, no one knows. Maybe this grows into a regular magazine, maybe not. The beauty of it all is in not knowing. However, what we do know, is that we can do it.
♦ In the meantime: Have you heard of the great Lens Politica film festival? No? Read this.
♣ Song of the day: Michael Nyman, The Promise