In the pantheon of web-famousness, Worth1000 is up there with Fark and SomethingAwful when it comes to popular image sharing sites. With little of the crassness of 4chan, Worth1000 allowed users to compete against each other in Photoshop contests where they modified photos to match a theme.
Worth slowly morphed into a fascinating community over the past 11 years. Sadly, it looks like Worth1000 is just about to close up its contests and turn into a museum of past content if the founder, Avi Muchnick, can’t find a solid programmer to rebuild the site.
Muchnick is also the co-founder of Aviary and writes that that company keeps him “ridiculously busy.”
“A few years ago I hired programmers to do a code overhaul to help the site scale (from ASP to ASP.net),” he said. “After they left the company, it was unfortunately impossible for me to easily maintain their code base. And personally, I just no longer had time between my commitments at Aviary and my own family, to either rebuild it from scratch or to spend the time learning and updating that new code base.”
He looked for a long time for a new owner, but none could be found. Even programmers who would help him on his labor of love were hard to find and, in the end, he’s decided it may not be worth the effort.
“Over time, Worth1000 traffic was negatively impacted by my lack of attention to the site and in general it was clear to me it needed a new owner. While I had a lot of interest, I didn’t find the right buyer that would be a good fit for the community and make a transition worthwhile.”
The plan now is to create a sort of museum of past Worth submissions, allowing him to host the site on a simple Amazon S3 server and free up resources and time. It will also help him stay sane while he works his day job and takes care of four little ones in New York.
“In its current form its overly complicated and targeted for people entering contests. I expect that ad revenue will help cover the museum costs, but monetization is not my focus in converting it into a museum: Keeping the legacy of Worth1000 alive to wow and inspire new artists forever, is,” he said.