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2/13/2016
10:00 AM
Marilyn Cohodas
Marilyn Cohodas
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Name That Toon: Dark Reading Caption Contest

Take part in our brand new cartoon caption contest. Join the fun and maybe you'll win a prize.

We’ve all gotten many a good LOLs from John Klossner's hysterical cartoons over the past year. John has taken shots at everything from the Ashley Madison breach to connected cars to encryption, all of which attest to the truth of the saying that a picture is worth a thousand words.

His words -- or captions, to be more precise -- have been pretty much right on point, as well. And I can tell from all your comments that we have more than a few budding humorists within the Dark Reading Community, too.

With that in mind, I am pleased to announce our first -- hopefully not last -- cartoon caption contest. Here's how it works. John has penned a naked cartoon in need of a caption here. You, the reader, can submit your caption in the comments. John and the Dark Reading editors will choose the best.

To enter, you must be a registered site member. If you haven't signed up yet, take a minute to register now. Also, be sure to read the terms and conditions of the Name That Toon contest before you post your caption.

For those of you who know a good cartoon when you see one but don't want to enter a caption, you can still exert influence on the selection of the winner by voting on the submissions. Click thumbs up for those you think are funny. As always, editorial comments are encouraged and welcomed. The winning cartoon caption will appear online with the cartoon in the weeks ahead, and the winner will receive a $25 Starbucks gift card.

Finally, a few tips on how not to write captions from comedian Zach Galifianakis and former NYC Mayor Michael Bloomberg in a Wall Street Journal article about celebrities who have struggled with the caption contest of the renowned New Yorker magazine, which has been publishing cartoons since 1925 and conducting caption contests since 2005.

The Journal recounts results of a quantitative analysis of New Yorker cartoon contest winners by consumer psychologist Peter McGraw and cognitive scientist Phil Fernbach. Among the findings: winners write captions that use original language and don't that didn't refer to concrete elements in the cartoon.

Better still are the pearls from celebrated New Yorker cartoon editor Robert Mankoff. Mankoff blogged that there are just two secrets to writing a good cartoon caption (and winning a contest): Be funnier, and enter more.

Good luck!

More Cartoons from John Klossner:

 

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Marilyn has been covering technology for business, government, and consumer audiences for over 20 years. Prior to joining UBM, Marilyn worked for nine years as editorial director at TechTarget Inc., where she launched six Websites for IT managers and administrators supporting ... View Full Bio
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Christian Bryant
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Christian Bryant,
User Rank: Ninja
2/14/2016 | 1:49:26 PM
Great Direction!
I think this is a nice addition to Dark Reading's reader-interaction model.  I look forward to seeing more of these contests and opportunities for the readers to show their personalities and knowledge.

Calls for article submissions would be nice, too, with a modest prize for the winners (outside publication, which is already a pretty nice reward), and perhaps more contributor exposure through media, such as spotlights on writers who are less-known.

Anyway, this is a great opportunity for the humor and sarcasm of the hacker community to shine.  A little levity to soften the all-too-miserable reality of InfoSec.  
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