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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

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

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!













Photo by Louis Hansel on Unsplash
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This story was originally shared on Capital One.

Inside the walls of her kitchen at her childhood home in Guatemala, Evelyn Klohr, the founder of a Washington, D.C.-area bakery called Kakeshionista, was taught a lesson that remains central to her business operations today.

"Baking cakes gave me the confidence to believe in my own brand and now I put my heart into giving my customers something they'll enjoy eating," Klohr said.

While driven to launch her own baking business, pursuing a dream in the culinary arts was economically challenging for Klohr. In the United States, culinary schools can open doors to future careers, but the cost of entry can be upwards of $36,000 a year.

Through a friend, Klohr learned about La Cocina VA, a nonprofit dedicated to providing job training and entrepreneurship development services at a training facility in the Washington, D.C-area.

La Cocina VA's, which translates to "the kitchen" in Spanish, offers its Bilingual Culinary Training program to prepare low-and moderate-income individuals from diverse backgrounds to launch careers in the food industry.

That program gave Klohr the ability to fully immerse herself in the baking industry within a professional kitchen facility and receive training in an array of subjects including culinary skills, food safety, career development and English language classes.

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Gem is living her best life.

If you've ever dreamed of spontaneously walking out the door and treating yourself a day of pampering at a spa without even telling anyone, you'll love this doggo who is living your best life.

According to CTV News, a 5-year-old shepherd-cross named Gem escaped from her fenced backyard in Winnipeg early Saturday morning and ended up at the door of Happy Tails Pet Resort & Spa, five blocks away. An employee at the spa saw Gem at the gate around 6:30 a.m. and was surprised when they noticed her owners were nowhere to be seen.

"They were looking in the parking lot and saying, 'Where's your parents?'" said Shawn Bennett, one of the co-owners of the business.

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Chewy, the pet retailer who has dedicated themselves to supporting shelters and rescues throughout the country, recognized the important work of a couple in Tampa, FL who have been taking professional photos of shelter pets to help get them adopted.

"If it's a photo of a scared animal, most people, subconsciously or even consciously, are going to skip over it," pet photographer Adam Goldberg says. "They can't visualize that dog in their home."

Adam realized the importance of quality shelter photos while working as a social media specialist for the Humane Society of Broward County in Fort Lauderdale, Florida.

"The photos were taken top-down so you couldn't see the size of the pet, and the flash would create these red eyes," he recalls. "Sometimes [volunteers] would shoot the photos through the chain-link fences."

That's why Adam and his wife, Mary, have spent much of their free time over the past five years photographing over 1,200 shelter animals to show off their unique personalities to potential adoptive families. The Goldbergs' wonderful work was recently profiled by Chewy in the video above entitled, "A Day in the Life of a Shelter Pet Photographer."