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article imageDilbert Cartoon Asking For User-Generated Content

By malan     Apr 22, 2008 in Entertainment
Every wanted to be a comic strip writer? Comic strip series 'Dilbert' is allowing fans to take a shot at writing their own endings and punchlines to the popular character's comic life. Is user-generated content the answer to finding fresh, funny material?
The Washing Post is reporting that Dilbert cartoonist Scott Adams is asking fans of the comic strip to prove that they are funnier than him.
A user-generated feature added onto the Dilbert.com website allows fans to rewrite the final frame of the daily comic strip, adding their own punch line to the piece. Fans are then allowed to comment and vote on the entries in the new "mashup" section of the site choosing the best content.
Next month Adams plans to take the idea a step further and will actually all users to generate the content for the entire comic strip from beginning to end and apparently some of the best may be featured in the real published strip that is featured in over 2000 publications.
User-generated content is making the leap from the web to the real world in several areas including the New Yorker magazine who has been placing reader-generated content on it's back pages via weekly contests that allow users to submit captions.
United Media, VP of Interactive, Rob Fassino says that the user-generated content submitted for received for the Dilbert comic strip could very well turn out to be funnier than the strip's author, and he's ok with that.
"If people are producing 500 [punch lines] a day, it's inevitable that some of them are going to be funnier," he said. "It's just a matter of scale."
Adams also seems to be ok with the threat of his punchline being beaten by someone else. He has kept his e-mail address public for years and is known for sometimes using his readers' experiences as an inspiration for his strip.
"Dilbert has always been an ongoing conversation with the readers," Adams wrote in an e-mail yesterday. "We don't have any plans to publish reader punchlines. But I don't rule out anything."
User-generated content continues to find it's way into all industries, web, news, entertainment, publishing... what's next. A TV show where the viewers are allowed to write the story line? Hmmm...
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