Gold, Yogurt and the Rila Mountains of Bulgaria

When traveling to Bulgaria, the Seven Rila Lakes located in the Rila Mountains (pictured in our header*), should be at the top of your list. These glacial lakes are connected by streams, each with a special name like the Tear, the Eye or the Twins. With such amazing beauty, it’s no wonder this place is said to have a special energy (or that it comes so highly recommended by our friend, Angel Milev).

But aside from amazing places to see, Bulgaria is a fascinating place. Here are a few of our favorite facts about it:

  • The country has both Slavic and Turkic origins resulting in a unique mixture of cultural traditions, beliefs and language.
  • Bulgaria’s history is one of the oldest in Europe. It stretches back to the 7th century when the country was established.
  • The oldest gold treasure in the world, dating from 4600-4200 BC, was discovered in Bulgaria.
  • Bulgarians eat a lot of yogurt and the country is the historical namesake for the yeast agent Lactobacillus Bulgaricus used to make yogurt.

Now, here are the pages of some of our favorite Bulgarians:

Petar SvarcWhen Petar Svarc isn’t working as a mobile app developer he loves to spend time with his amazing wife and daughter.

Vassilena ValchanovaVassilena Valchanova likes to talk about her five year relationship with her blog and has a passion for towels and roast chicken.

Grisha StrundzhevA motion graphics designer, Grisha Strundzhev loves 2D and 3D animation and everything related to tattoos.

Alexandra-Emily KokovaAlexandra-Emily Kokova is an Instagram addict, a Batman Fan girl, and a writer.

Boris HristovBoris Hristov runs a Google hangout for the SQL Server Community. Check out his YouTube app to see the videos and get some tips!

Rossitsa TsanovaA photography enthusiast, Rossitsa Tsanova captured some amazing photos of a traditional festival in Etropole. Check out them out on her Flickr app.

Nikolay AngelovWe found Nikolay Angelov‘s headline both relatable and attention grabbing. It reads simply, “I love chocolate”. Now that deserves a compliment.

Sabina Panayotova Sabina Panayotova is an advocate for animal adoption, a TEDxSter and a blogger.

Krassimir DobrevWe love the beauty and simplicity of Krassimir Dobrev‘s page. Have a look!

Thanks for coming along for our world-traveling adventure! Stay tuned for our next destination! If you have a suggestion of where we should visit next, let us know in the comments or on Twitter.

*Header image, “Pogled kum ezerata ot biloto.” Licensed under Creative Commons

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Student Spotlight: James Sun rises from Beijing to the Bay Area

James Sun, a student at Middlebury College, has been named one of Canada’s young leaders under 20. But if you asked him to tell his story, you’ll learn that he wasn’t always a top student.

“I used to be a video game addict. [I had] a C- average until Grade 8,” he told about.me. “Then, one of my friends inspired me and pulled me out from addiction. Ever since, I’ve always wanted to do the same for others, creating technology and non-profit initiatives that help others maximize human potential.”

James was born in Beijing, China, where he lived for nine years. He then immigrated to Toronto, Canada, where he lived for another nine years. Half of the year he was by himself as his parents took turns working in Calgary.

Through this experience, James learned “how to cook some really awesome dishes” and “manage his time effectively.” That is of course, when he wasn’t playing all those video games!

Now, James is focused on creating impact in the world. When asked what motivates him, he attributes it to his parents and his unique experience growing up. He’s currently a TEC intern, a program that True Ventures runs during the summer. Along with other high achieving college students, James works at a True Venture portfolio company in the San Francisco Bay Area.

“I cannot afford to waste this once-in-a-lifetime chance to take advantage of all the opportunities around me and make the lives of others better as well,” James said. “Both my mom and dad gave up a comfortable life in China in order to give me an opportunity to receive a great education in North America.”

His advice to other undergrads?

“If you see a problem or feel discomfort, don’t just blab about it and complain why it sucks,” James said. “Think about why it exists, what is the root cause, and figure out a solution. If it’s a problem that affects enough people, you might just have found the next big thing.”

This rising star practices what he preaches.

Learn how James uses about.me:

Q. How do you demonstrate your personality on the web?
Mainly through Facebook, sometimes I use Twitter. I’ve always wanted to start writing a blog, but never got around to it.

Q. What made you sign up for about.me?
I’m part of the True Ventures TEC Program, a fellowship program at a VC Firm, and it was a requirement that all of us had to sign up for it. :)

Q. What’s your favorite feature?
Search function that allows me to find people who are associated to people, places, and companies.

Q. What is your advice for others on the platform?
Look at the “Who’s Viewed Your Profile” section and connect with people who are interesting, both those who have similar and dissimilar interests.

Q. What is your top three favorite profiles?
James chose inspirational entrepreneurs in the technology sector: Tony ConradBre Pettis, and Dan Martell. Check out their profiles below:

Tony ConradOur very own Tony Conrad

Bre PettisMakerBot CEO, Bre Pettis

jpegDan Martell, Co-founder of Flowtown

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University of Chicago Students: A bevy of social entrepreneurs and idea makers

Is that Hogwarts? No, it’s the University of Chicago: this week’s location for our Students of the Week post.

Their mascot is the Phoenix, and you’ll find these impressive overachievers spending a lot of time studying amidst Gothic-style architecture and discussing Hegel at Harper Library. In their free time, they’re eating at the Med or hanging out at the Point.

Klevin LoKlevin Lo, is still a Lakers fan but he loves exploring the city he now calls home, Chicago.

Kristen GindlerYou’ll find Kristen Gindler working at the intersection of public policy and research. Social media management and non-profit development are Kristen’s forte!

Dennis ZhaoDennis Zhao is an idea machine who likes to geek out on value investing, hip-hop dance, and design.

sunena-540x360And finally, meet our TEC intern for this summer, Sunena, who is a social entrepreneur, motorcyclist, and jewelry maker.

5 interesting things that students do in or around the University of Chicago:

  1. Get (to) the Point?! It’s a man-made peninsula.
  2. Bike up LSD…no it’s not a drug. But an awesome street bordering Lake Michigan.
  3. Food at Pilsen! The only place for authentic Mexican food…yummy.
  4. Shopping at Watertower
  5. Go to Jazz Clubs!
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Happenings at about.me: BuildUP and Silicon Students

This week, our very own Tony Conrad, will be speaking at two events for entrepreneurs in San Francisco:

Check out a couple of the organizers behind these events and give them a round of applause for spreading the entrepreneurial spirit and wisdom!

Christian Danielle Anderson

Christian Danielle Anderson is a former investment banker. This incredible woman thrived in high-pressure environments and quickly rose through the ranks. Yet, something inside of her told her there’s more out there. Motivated by her now co-founder, Wayne Sutton, she embarked on an entrepreneurial venture that would change her life forever. Read more about BuildUP VC.

Edouard Foussier

Edouard Foussier is a gatherer of entrepreneurial individuals. Together with fellow French entrepreneur, Pierre-Simon Ntiruhungwa, Edouard runs Silicon Students, “the academy of entrepreneurship for young talents from all over the world.”

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Choosing the right color palette for your page

Whether you’re creating or updating your about.me page, selecting the colors for your page can be a daunting task. Choosing the right color palette directly impacts how effectively you communicate the information on your page. But it doesn’t have to be so daunting. Here are some answers to your questions about choosing colors for your page.

How many colors should I choose?

While this is a hugely debated question, a good number of designers recommend using three main colors on a website. The platform currently enables you to choose a color for your Name, Headline, Bio Text, Links, Page Background, and Bio Background. We recommend choosing one color for your Bio Background and a second color, which contrasts with your Bio Background, for your Name, Bio Text. Finally, we suggest selecting a third color (which also contrasts with your Bio Background) for your Headline and Links. This will make them stand out.
about.me edit panel color picker

How do I find colors that go well together?

There are several different color rules you can follow when trying to find complimentary colors. Some of the easiest tools we’ve found are sites like Adobe Kuler that help you choose complimentary colors when you start by picking one color on the color wheel.  adobe kuler 1

Are there tools on about.me to help me choose the right colors?

Yes! Our Color tab in the Edit Page panel can definitely help you pick the right color. Simply click one of the color boxes and our helpful color selector will pop up. The color selector has several suggestions based on the colors in your background image. You can also use the circular color picker button (right next to the color number) and you’ll be able to hover directly over a part of your background image to select that specific color.

about.me edit panel color picker 2

How do I evoke a certain emotion with the colors I choose?

Color psychology is another thing to consider when choosing the colors for your page. Here’s a list of colors and their most common meanings:

Red: energy, passion, power
Blue: coolness, freedom, loyalty, patience
Yellow: light, optimism, happiness, joy
Green: life, health, wealth, prosperity
Orange: friendliness, warmth, courage
Purple: peace, wisdom, royalty, sophistication
White: freshness, cleanliness, youth
Black: power, elegance, mystery
Pink: romance, playfulness
Brown: comfort, strength, stability

Do you have some examples?

Of course! If you’re looking for examples of pages with great color palettes, check out our team’s collection of Pages with Amazing Color Schemes.

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Adventures with Backpackers

“When I am in the office, I feel that I am existing unconsciously and that moments of my life are passing without my involvement. Backpacking, bagging a summit, climbing a crag- those are the total opposite. I chase that electrifying feeling of existing because I can’t let life pass me by.” 

These are the words of backpacker Katie Beringer whose passion for outdoor sports is effusive and doubtlessly felt by many other backpackers and adventurers who we’re featuring today.

We’re excited to highlight them because we’ve seen so many backpackers use about.me to tell their stories in unique and beautiful ways. Some link to their blogs, like Brian Green, who uses his to narrate his early love for the outdoors and give tips to fellow backpacking enthusiasts. Others, like Katie, use their pages to connect with other outdoor adventurers and kindred spirits. Still others use their background pictures to show off their passion for adventuring, like Henry O’Brien, whose photo is in our header.

So take a minute. Explore some of our favorite backpackers and their stories.

Brian Green Ever hear of the Prometheus Ocean Diver line of watches? Brian Green invented them.

Katie Beringer We admire Katie Beringer‘s passion for using sports and outdoor adventures to empower women.

Tomas F. Marentes This Colombia native, Tomas F. Marentes, has lived in 5 countries, including the U.S., where he is currently earning a degree in advertising.

Kara Harms We completely relate to Kara Harms and her passion for chocolate and find it awesome that she plays the ukelele.

Erik JohnsonErik Johnson‘s optimism shines through in his beautiful background picture.

Kristin AddisIn 2012, Kristen Addis quit her job as an investment banker to travel solo in Southeast Asia. Two years later, she’s still going stong.

David HineDavid Hine is a single malt drinking, wild camping, packrafting, outdoor enthusiast.

Sara AnttonenWe’re not quite sure why she’s in this bathtub, but we love that Sara Anttonen, of Finland, is simultaneously enjoying the great outdoors.

Apurv GujarA ComicCon attendee, Apurv Gujar is a mechanical engineer with a nomad’s soul.

Know any other groups of cool people using about.me? Leave us a note about it in the comment section so we can feature them!

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Manchester United, the Marines and Songwriting: Staff Picks

Our weekly Staff Picks lets you get to know some of our awesome users. Check out their scintillating personal stories and quirky favorite things. Above is Cyra Morgan, a singer and songwriter whose amazing songs you can listen to and see performed via her YouTube app! Check out her page and don’t forget to leave her a compliment.

Below are other pages we love.

Ander HerreraProfessional soccer player, Ander Herrera, used his about.me background picture to announce his recent transfer to Manchester United.

Stephanie Tucker We love that Stephanie Tucker takes advantage of our embedded video feature to preview her awesome YouTube channel for design tips. 

Stephen F. ShawAs evidenced by his uniform, Stephen F. Shaw is a U.S. Marine but he also has a passion for helping entrepreneurs through his profession as an attorney.

 Have a fantastic week and remember to discover even more great pages on our Staff Picks page.

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Featured Friday: A Marketer, Mommy Blogger, Journalist, & Philanthropist

It’s that time again: Featured Friday #FFaboutme! As always, add your about.me profile link to your Twitter bio for a chance to be featured on our blog. Putting your about.me profile in your Twitter bio gives people an opportunity to get to know you beyond your Twitter page. jpeg-4Danny DeReuter definitely wins points from us for all the apps he has on his page and for such a great bio. Short and sweet.

jpegWatch out for this up and coming TV personality, Joshua Conner, who is the youngest Chicago SJNN Reporting Fellowship participant for Northwestern’s Journalism School.

jpeg-3As a marketer, Jim Beretta travels often and is never far from his camera. Check out his flickr feed for an adorable picture of a seal and other great shots.

jpeg-2Check out Heather James‘s bio and you won’t be able to not jump into reading her mummy blog, Inspiring Mums.

jpeg-1It’s hard to say just a few words about Jennifer Breakspear and all the awesome work she’s doing to make a difference in Canada and the world at large. So just check out her page.

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Aurora Borealis, Reindeer and Bread Cheese: Fun in Finland

There’s so much to see and explore in Finland that we can hardly fit it all in this post! Let’s start with a fun fact though, did you know that Santa Claus comes from Finland? Here he is in his home in Rovaniemi where you can visit him all year long.

Finnish Santa Proclaming Xmas season

Below are more amazing facts that Alexander Kuznetsov, of Hello Lapland, shared with us about his home country. He was also kind enough to send us the photo he took of Santa, his time lapse video of the Northern Lights and the picture of them in the header.

  • Finns enjoy everyman’s right, meaning they can roam freely in nature, even on private land. They even have the right to pick berries, mushrooms and fish as they wander. As a result they have the duty to protect nature and they take this task very seriously.
  • A great way to explore Finland is through its cuisine including: fresh whitefish from local lakes, mushroom soups and bread cheese, or leipäjuusto, for dessert.
  • There are more reindeer in Finnish Lapland than people.
  • Helsinki, with its wide range of cultural activities and events, is one of the most interesting places to live in Finland.
  • Finns are quite shy and often keep to themselves but are still very accommodating and warm people. Meet some of them below!

Sami InkinenSami Inkinen is on a boat right now. He’s rowing, unsupported, across the Pacific Ocean from San Francisco to Hawaii.

Jenni Laaksonen To see more of her amazing photography, check out Jenni Laaksonen‘s flickr feed.

Antti Poikola We love Antti Poikola‘s photo which shows off his passion for cycling!

Mervi Eskelinen Mervi Eskelinen is a craftswoman and cat lover who blogs about blogging. Very meta.

Petri Viitala
Petri Viitala is a musician, theater technician and avid mushroom hunter!
Katleena Kortesuo

A nonfiction writer and mother, Katleena Kortesuo loves rocking those dreadlocks.

Kristian LinnoinenKristian Linnoinen must be quite the swimming enthusiast as the COO of a swim school and CEO of an aquatic exercise company.

Kaisa HernbergPassionate about clean tech, Kaisa Hernberg is working to make the world a cleaner and greener place.

Antti VirolainenAntti Virolainen won a grant from the Chilean government to work on his startup there and is now back in Helsinki to continue developing ShareTribe

Thanks again for coming along for our world-traveling adventure, stay tuned for our next destination! If you have a suggestion of where we should visit next, please tell us about it in our comment section.

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Singing, Arabic Poetry and Gaming: Students of the Week

Instead of focusing on a specific university this week, we’ve curated a collection of awesome students from all around the world. You might find them studying at a law library in Croatia or singing in a choir like our post header, Kevina Williams, who is completing her business studies in the UK this month.

Mohamad ShatnawiWhen he’s not programming, Mohamad Shatnawi is writing Arabic poetry and novels in Jordan.

Alicia Leow Though she’s studying Environmental biology, Alicia Leow aspires to be a journalist. You can also find her gaming in Malaysia.

Fran KušetaFormerly the director of social media for a presidential campaign, Fran Kušeta now studies law in Croatia

Quick Tips:

  • It’s important to give a great first impression through email, so add your profile to your email signature! Here’s how. If you have a Gmail or Yahoo account check out our new signature styles.
  • Did you know that you can add a link to your resume PDF on your about.me profile? If you’re looking for a job, this is an easy and professional way to get potential employers to learn more about you.
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