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Worth1000 is a Photoshop contest website and discussion forum where users can submit digitally manipulated images and discuss various editing techniques and practices relating to digital art. During its run from 2002 to 2013, Worth1000 grew into an influential humor community and is cited as the birthplace of several internet memes.
On June 18th, 2001, the domain Worth1000.com was registered by founder Avi Muchnick. According to the Worth1000 FAQ, the site was officially opened to the public on January 1st, 2002. When the site was initially launched, it included a searchable gallery which registered users could upload photos to (shown below left). By April that year, sections for contests, tutorials and forums had been added to the site.
On October 7th, 2004, the book When Pancakes Go Bad: Optical Delusions with Adobe Photoshop by Muchnick was released (shown below, left), which features photoshop tutorials paired with notable digitally manipulated images. On January 19th, 2006, a second collection of photoshop tutorials was released titled I’ve Got a Human in my Throat: Create MORE Optical Delusions with Adobe Photoshop (shown below, right).
On December 29th, 2010, Muchnick participated in an “Ask Me Anything” (AMA) post on the /r/IAmA subreddit, which received over 1,100 up votes and 340 comments prior to being archived. In the comments section, Muchnick revealed that his favorite image posted to the site was an photograph of several jazz musicians with their instruments replaced with large slabs of meat (shown below) and that he had been threatened by various copyright holders for the content on his site.
On August 12th, 2013, Muchnick published a forum post announcing that he no longer had the resources to properly maintain the website and would be turning Worth1000 into an archive that requires no maintenance. The post went on to reveal that the final day for submissions would be September 29th but past works could still be accessed on the site. Following the closure announcement, the news was reported on by several tech sites, including BoingBoing, TechCrunch and Fark.
Worth1000 regularly held image manipulation competitions wherein contestants are asked to submit photoshopped images that fit within the specific theme provided. The contests also played a vital role in spreading internet memes that originated from elsewhere, such as Bonsai Kittens, Little Fatty, Engrish, Manbabies and Untoons. Other winning examples listed on the site’s Hall of Fame include a “Bugle Hut” by user bpkelsey (shown below, left), 100% Froganic Cotton by user meowza (shown below, middle) and “Bajazet’s ‘Writing’” by user Shorra (shown below, right). The site also features tutorials on using image manipulation software and a variety of digital art-related discussion forums.
Colorized History are historical black and white images that have been colorized using image manipulation software. The earliest known tutorial demonstrating how to perform colorization on a PC was posted to Worth1000 in July of 2002.
One Letter Off Movie Posters
One Letter Off Movie Posters are a series of parody advertisements created by replacing, adding or removing one letter from the original title of the film. The earliest known photoshop contest for these images was launched on Worth1000 in September of 2006.
Anagrammed Movie Posters
Anagrammed Movie Posters are photoshopped film advertisements in which the letters in the title have been changed to form new words. While the practice initially started on the Internet humor site Something Awful in April of 2003, the meme was popularized on Worth1000 in November of 2008.
According to Alexa traffic reports, Worth1000 has been on a steady decline in rank since late 2012 (shown below) and has a United States traffic rank of 24,881 as of September 2013.
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