Giving away products can be a logistical pain. For instance, when we give away a T-shirt or laptop, we have to go through hundreds of comments, contact the person, and do a lot of manual processing. A new Y Combinator startup called ContestMachine that just launched makes giving stuff away as easy as putting a widget on your blog.
You create a contest widget by entering all the details of the giveaway: prizes, deadlines, rules. Winners can be randomly chosen by ContestMachine or judged by the blogger. It automates the process of creating giveaways, and opens up contests to any blogger or small business who has a Website. The service is free to try out for up to two contests a month, and then charges $9 a month or $90 a year for more contests.
The startup hopes to attract advertisers who want to connect with blog readers and offer products to give away as a form of marketing. If ContestMachine can build up a large enough network of bloggers, big brands might want to use it as an efficient means of creating attention or buzz for their products. The bloggers, in this case, would act as filters for what is cool and what is not. Or maybe they’ll just give away anything they can get their hands on.
Here’s a contest I just created to give away a coveted TechCrunch T-shirt. Just eneter your e-mail, and ContestMachien will pick a winner at random. The contest ends tomorrow.