A Strong Wind Blows

TL;DR: Looking for the new Aviary homepage preview?
Click through here to avoid the wall of text... :)

Aviary's achievements to date are mind-blowing. When I think back to just a few short years ago, when I was sitting around with my good friends, Michael Galpert and Israel Derdik, discussing the problem of creativity not being accessible to the masses; and to now, when we are a full blown company of talented individuals and have provided the world with a suite of powerful alternatives to desktop software, it's really amazing. I don't think that anyone could ever say again that they would be an artist, if only they had access to the tools.

But as I think back to that day I find myself wondering if we really fulfilled the core of our mission of democratizing creation. In order to do that we'd need everyone in the world to feel and be more creative. We have certainly provided the software to make it possible, but in doing so we have affected change only among artists and future artists with the skillset and sophistication to use powerful editing software. In order to really change the world and make it a better-looking place, we need to make sure that we are enabling everyone on the planet to be creative.

And to do that we need to think even more progressively about how we are providing creativity tools. Instead of simply trying to duplicate the desktop software experience, we need to think from the ground up: what is the best user experience for creating or improving content in a world where no other model exists?

Creating our embeddable HTML5 editor, Feather, was the first step in that direction. It was a tool that was built with a specific purpose: to be injected seamlessly into the existing creative workflows of other applications across the web and mobile. And to provide exactly the functionality needed for that workflow: No more, no less.

The next step in our goal of powering the world's creativity, is to fully open up the powerful bulk Effects API that helps run Feather's filters behind the scenes. This API will enable web and mobile apps to batch process photos and improve them in three major areas without any needed user interaction:

* Auto-correction (i.e. remove red-eye, fix lighting, fix blurriness, contrast and color levels)
* Apply stylistic filters (i.e. retro, polaroid-like, frames, comic book, etc..)
* Utility operations (i.e. smart-crop a photo to a person's face, rotate a photo, make thumbnails, etc...)

More detail on this particular bulk Effects API is coming very soon, but if you want early access please do email api@aviary.com and we'll provide you with documentation and an API key.

As part of this expansion we needed to make a new website - something that speaks to people at all levels of the creative spectrum. I realized that our homepage and various websites weren't readily accessible and the full breadth of what Aviary offers wasn't clear. With our continued expansion we needed a way to organize all of the various Aviary-related properties under one central easy-to-understand (we hope) homepage.

I hope that by organizing our site into more of a portal into the various components that make up Aviary we will better serve everyone who visits Aviary in finding exactly the tool or service they need. And best of all, we'll continue to service the core artist community that makes up our life-blood, by keeping the tools and community that uses them intact.

We're going to make the new homepage opt-in for the community and use the time-period before it goes live to accept feedback and make tweaks to it. I welcome your direct feedback - please reach out to me at avi[a]aviary.com and let me know what you think.

By taking all of these steps we hope to further extend Aviary's reach and impact on the world of creativity... and maybe in doing so make the world a better-looking place.

Soaring higher!

PS: You can activate the new homepage beta HERE... and if you don't like it, no worries you can always revert back.