11 Things We Would Tell Ourselves If We Could Go Back In Time

Dear Upworthians,

Now that we're *officially* one year old, we want to say a colossal thank you! Without your interest in the issues that shape our world, Upworthy couldn't function. If we could find a way to shake every one of your hands, we'd do it. (Full disclosure: we'd probably use a lot of Purell afterward because one of you is bound to have a cold.)

When Upworthy first started out, we weren't exactly sure what it would look like. Truth be told, we're still shaping the site. But knowing what we know now, here's the advice we would have given our past selves one year ago.

Sincerely,
The Upworthy Staff

1. Always remember that the Internet is an inherently amazing place... 
and that people can recognize quality if they get a chance to see it.

Last November, Upworthy ran a story on "GoldieBlox," bringing a million views in just a few days to a fledgling toy company geared toward encouraging little girls to become engineers. The massive rush of orders that came in after Upworthy's post went viral helped move the company in a few days from vision to viable business.


2. A totally virtual office is going to make your virtual watercooler pretty bizarre... 
and sometimes serious business meetings will morph into impromptu costume parties.

Everyone at Upworthy works from home, and the combination of frequent video conferences and solitary confinement makes things get really weird. Here's our editorial team planning out our emergency hat protocol.


3. Keep an eye on your Twitter feed... 
because every once in a while, a super-famous person is going to tweet about Upworthy.


4. No matter how badly your day is going... 
having people who appreciate you will always feel like a digital shiatsu massage.


5. While the majority of your commenters are intelligent and genuine...
you’re always going to get some people who are as witty and respectful as a typical YouTube commenter.

Seriously, if there's one thing Nazis were known for, it's their choice in font size and their traditional last name of "Eisenberg."


6. Even after sending 100,000 animated GIFs to each other on internal Upworthy email...
you still won't figure out whether it's pronounced "JIF" or "GIF."

Cracking this conundrum has become one of Upworthy's most burning, lingering questions from 2012. If anyone knows the actual answer to this, please contact us immediately!


7. Even though it doesn't seem possible, that animated slam poetry video about pork chops and bullying will be really, really good...
like, for real.

This incredible video, posted in January, got 3.44 million viewers raving about how deeply it moved them. All the attention got its creator a last-minute TED Talk slot.


8. The biggest traffic spike of 2012 WILL come in October right before the election, like you expect...
but it will completely baffle you by having absolutely nothing to do with the election, unlike what you expect.

When Jennifer Livingston received a rude email about body image, she delivered an incredibly heart-felt speech about compassion and love. More than 4 million viewers celebrated her fighting back with respectful dialogue by sharing her story all over the Internet.


9. That pop-up box thingy that's kind of annoying...
will also be ludicrously effective at helping you and your incredible partner organizations become larger forces for good in the world.

Look at the bright side: at least they didn't say THIS.


10. Don't ever be afraid...
to tell people you cried.

Upworthy posted some pretty emotional stories throughout the year because we loved them. We found out pretty quickly that we weren't the only ones. Thanks for being willing to shed a few tears with us this year.


11. According to how many unique visitors you get in your first year... 
you can logically expect to have 900 billion unique visitors per month exactly 59,600 years from now.

Our future selves truly can't wait to hit our 900 billion visitor mark!



You know, when we started this thing, a lot of folks we talked to thought there wasn't much of an audience for visual, shareable content about ideas that matter. We're so grateful you proved them wrong. Thanks for making this site what it is, and here's to a great Year 2!

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Posted By:
Peter Koechley

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