Today we launched a slightly different version of our caption contest. Until now, we have been selecting a photograph from our wire service that we thought looked funny enough to get some interesting captions. You'd post those witty and ever so entertaining captions, we'd select a winner, and then repeat the process.
Our forward thinking, progressive Web team are firm believers that our print product should promote the Web site and vice versa. So it always seemed to me like a good idea to post the results in the paper as well as online. Sandy (the executive editor) expressed her concerns over publishing photos of real people with comments that might be deemed offensive. That being the case, we have decided to publish our caption contest in the newspaper and use cartoons rather than real pictures. I've seen some samples of the cartoons, and I'm sure you guys can think of plenty of hilarious captions for them.
Another change is that we'll no longer be giving our coffee cards to the winner. Instead, the winner will receive a black and white print of the opinion page with the cartoon containing their winning caption. I know, it's not coffee, but sadly coffee cards don't grow on trees, while apparently printed cartoons do. I'd rather there be a more tangible prize, but I'm not a part of the decision making process. I just complain a lot, which makes giving me a blog a really bad idea. I could try and put spin on this and say that the new prize allows thousands of people around the county to see your name next to your winning caption, and that the glory associated with that is worth far more than mere coffee, but I'm not going to do that.
We will be selecting the funniest 4 entries at the end of the week, and then opening up the voting process to our readers. A voting form containing the proposed winners will appear on the caption contest page, and the 2nd phase of the voting process will begin. It's like American Idol, except without the talentless screeching and with slightly fewer nonsensical ramblings from the judges. We even have a British guy on the judging panel (me!).
Finally, the name has been changed to "Open Mike Cartoon Contest". You see, the cartoonist is named Mike Peters, he's a Pulitzer prize winner from the Dayton Daily News. I suppose knowing that helps make sense of the name.
Anyway, you can find the Open Mike Cartoon Contest here.