Hold Your Own Photo-Design Contests With Aviary's W1K

Whether you realize it or not, you’ve probably come across the handiwork of Worth1000, a site that invites readers to use their image-editing skills to do everything from crafting new logos, to creating vintage ads for modern products or adding monsters to otherwise tame photos. The site has run over 200,000 contests since its inception in 2002, and now has galleries teeming with hundreds of thousands of user-created images.

Now Aviary, the company behind Worth1000, is looking to give site owners a chance to run their own image-design competitions. The company has built a powerful suite of browser-based imaged editing tools, and is now launching a new site called w1k.com that helps users easily create their own online photo-editing contests. These contests can consist of anything from crowdsourced logo-design competitions to humorous celebrity-morphs (and everything in between), and could appeal to a broad range of publishers.

Users will be able to submit their entries either using Aviary’s online photo-editing software (which should be suitable for most people), or they can upload images from their desktop if they’d rather use software like Photoshop or Gimp. Users will be able to stir up interest in their submissions by sharing links through Email, Twitter, Facebook and other services, though contest administrators will be able to restrict these options. The Aviary team is also implementing the anti-cheating system it has developed for Worth1000, so the contests should be more accurate than a homegrown image-upload and voting system.

Aviary is offering a basic template for free that will be more than enough for most users. To generate revenue, it will also offer a premium option that allows website publishers to create customized templates and also includes a robust interface for stat-tracking and demographic information. For an example of how customizable these contest sites are, check out this fake contest, which shows off a TechCrunch-themed design along with some interesting ideas for alternate Crunchies statue designs (we like the real guy just fine, though). Other examples include a competition sponsored by EA for MirrorsEdge and this Dark Theme, which will be available to free users.

Aviary’s w1k.com contest creator seems poised to do well. Companies like EA benefit from the contests because they help generate user-interest while simultaneously getting what amounts to free image design, while smaller sites can use the competitions to increase engagement. The basic technology behind running one of these competitions may not be too difficult to reproduce, but Aviary also has its browser-based image editor, which makes the contests accessible to a much broader audience.