EDITORIAL – The 13th years of oikotimes.com is about end. It was once again a year full of excitement and passion for all of us. The team of oikotimes.com managed to be on the spot in the spectacular world of Eurovision Song Contest and the rest of Eurovision Family Events. Here is recap of our work and our excitement. After several problems with the website in 2011 and a downfall in the statistics oikotimes.com revamped and returned to success with at least 2,0 million views this year.
GREECE DECIDES 2013
The story that personally involved me as Greece entered the Eurovision Song Contest the very last minute. This was due to the collaboration of former ERT with MAD Television and I was assigned the maintenance (for the second time since 2006) of the one of the most popular TV stations: Eurovision Channel ERT powered by MAD. The preparations for a unique national final also involved the team of oikotimes.com and once again along with Andreas and Yannis we provided the latest interviews, exclusive footages and multimedia in combination with the most updated reports from the Greek national selection. Greek Europrediction predicted Koza Mostra as the winners of the Greek selection with more than 25,000 unique votes. The excitement we offered to 100 guests of Greek national selection through invitations given to the visitors was a big asset to the team.
Stefan and Luka were so excited their country made a big national selection and we decided to closely follow it. It was an amazing venture for our editors and actually they both predicted Moje 3 as the winners of the Serbian national final. Lots of multimedia and video quotes came through oikotimes.com from Belgrade, the city which proudly hosted the 2008 Eurovision Song Contest.
OIKOTIMES 12 YEARS PARTY
For the third time since 2011 oikotimes.com celebrated it’s annual online anniversary with a unique party. After Athens 2011, Brussels 2012 we came back to Athens for a 2013 Eurovision in collaboration with Antivirus Magazine and with the support of MAD TV. The party took place on April 7th at Noiz Athens Club with Eurovision 2013 national finalists Alex Leon & Giorgina plus the representatives of Belarus and Azerbaijan (Alyona Lanskaya and Farid Mammadov). The performance of Happy Birthday by Alyona Lanskaya was historical for us.
EUROVISION IN CONCERT 2013
On April 12 we landed in Amsterdam and thanks to the amazing hosting of Katjia we managed to have an amazing three day work and excitement in The Netherlands: Eurovision in Concert and we attended the event for the 2nd time. Too many countries, too many obstacles and too much work but we actually enjoyed it especially meeting Carola and fooling around the hotel with her. The best moment of the venture was of course the strawberry daiquiri we had the final night at the canal outside the hotel premises. The hospitality and the help of the organisers (Rene mostly) was amazing once again and no matter what we had the greatest time of outlives with performances which we enjoyed with our friends (Mikey thank you for the beer). Not to forget our videos with the artists during the first day of the event was a big success as once again we were the first to upload on the web and bring you first the direct excitement from the Dutch capital.
EUROVISION SONG CONTEST 2013
Too late? Maybe but we saved the day! The bad press centre services and my delayed arrival to Malmoe led to several problems for oikotimes.com coverage and information provided. But since we all got together, work came to an amazing level with interviews, reports, multimedia and backstage stories coming all day long. It was for sure an exciting week with lots of walk to the city, to the hotel, to Euroclub, Eurovillage, Euro…this, Euro…that! We met again wonderful artists, wonderful people and collaborated with wonderful friends. Adrian, Belen, Mikey, Moshe, Alexander, Marc were amazing. The site got really great critics from most of our friends but also from EBU and SVT people. We got a great Eurovision winner and we partied until the very end of the day. It was a huge surprise to meet again with people collaborating in the past like David and Morten while some Greek friends visiting Malmoe (like Kostas) brought and extra excitement to my life. Will not forget the amazing quotes we had during our “smoking breaks” with Olivier and Konstantinos (yes the tall hottie who made Alyona Lanskaya sparkling for the semifinal and the final). Sometimes be the bitching gang is not bad at all! In this venture will not forget the smile of Emmelie, she really encouraged me in the entire coverage of this contest and of course the bug hug always there for me by Victor, a wonderful and crazy Spanish (OK Catalonian) friend of mine.
EUROVISION YOUNG DANCERS
Few days after the 2013 Eurovision Song Contest and been one of the editors of www.youngdancers.tv, the team of oikotimes.com covered for the second time the Eurovision Young Dancers in Gdansk, Poland. The coverage runner smoothly although we didn’t attend Gdansk. It was the first time that such a show brought to oikotimes.com about 100,000 extra visits
STOCKHOLM PRIDE 2013
Lilian Brunell (aka our Nana Mouskouri) attended the 2013 edition of Stockholm Pride which had the biggest Eurovision line up, any European event had so far. We managed to have several video interviews from Eurostars which you can find of course in our YouTube channel.
ANTWERP WORLD OUT GAMES 2013
For the first time oikotimes.com attended the Antwerpen World Out Games which had a flavour of Eurovision. Upon arrival in Brussels and then to Antwerp, the excitement was big as once again I met with my eternal friend Olivier and met Alexandru finally. We all toured the city of Antwerp and discovered the amazing culture and sights seeings of the city. We tasted the amazing chocolate flavours of the city as well as the amazing food! Ruslana, Kate Ryan, Loreen and Alcazar made this venture even more exciting. Having a cappuccino in the main square of Antwerp while waiting for Ruslana was even more amazing. My personal excitement is when I introduced Ruslana (and furthermore Eurovision as an idea) to my American journalist and friend David. He was simply EXCITED!
EUROVISION LIVE CONCERT 2013
It was not exactly schooled but David and Serafin travelled all the way to Setubal (Portugal) to enjoy the show. Then I thought: why not doing some work for oikotimes? They booth accepted and they collaborated once again with our one and only Mr Eurovision Larry King (aka JP from radiointernational.tv) and brought us exciting interviews with Eurostars like Alex Panayi (Cyprus 1995, 2000), Jalisse (Italy 1997) and many many more Eurostars, the videos of which can also be found here.
Then at the end of September we made more changes to the website. We changed our logo which hadn't change since January 2010. The new logo presents the brand of oikotimes.com with an all time running clock symbolising the 24/7 awake of the oikotimes.com team to bring you the latest news. The logo designed by a Greek company and we are proud to have it for the next years and sharing it with you!
JUNIOR EUROVISION 2013
We also got to Junior Eurovision. It was Kyiv. Exciting and weird at the same time. The city was under a political turmoil but NTU was professional and focused on the project with people like NTU’s deputy director Victoria Romanova sacrificing everything to make things work. Exciting enough as the team had hilarious times (and lots of drama as usual) while EBU’s Kath Lockett was acting more like a Eurovision Mother rather than EBU’s Press Officer. It was exciting as along with JP we interviewed all of the participants and celebrities attending the event (expect Ruslana who cancelled the appearance anyway). Exciting backstage tour for the first time in an event like this and we got the chance to go on stage for the very first time in my life. When things didn’t work out well my eyes were set to Olga every time she appeared to the press centre made me feel again happy. Julia made everything possible for me to have a great time in Kyiv with ideas for getting the best latte in the city! Yana’s smile and hug really helped me out in the very final day when everything seem to have been devastated after the incident that happened within the team and the awful Ukrainian security. NTU’s tour to the city for the press was amazing. I had the best time in my life although arrested outside the airport of Kyiv for… smoking! But the most amazing moment was when Gaia won and I saw the entire Maltese delegation thrilled and partying all night long.
Well 2012 was not a good year for oikotimes.com statistics but 2013 turned out to make it up. almost 400,000 extra visits for the website reaching the total of approx. 2 million visits this year. Impressive increase in our social media and YouTube video views. This happened because the team helped out and I have to praise them for sacrificing their personal time and joy just to help this baby of mine. Whether you love of hate oikotimes, I am so proud that for 12,5 years this website rules in the Eurovision world. More than 2,400 posts were published on the website this year and dozens of them were interviews, most of the exclusive. Although it hurts for some, we had the best and most amazing news first on the website and we finally launched our own VKonstakte profile this year. We are also proud that Europrediction, the most popular poll on the web amazed to predict Denmark and Malta as senior and junior Eurovision winners, something that happens for 3rd consecutive year. Not to forget our Eurostar of the year, Helena Paparizou voted by you as the best Eurovision star of the year.
Thank you all for a magnificent 2013 and we promise you an amazing 2014