Guidelines for Commenting on Reports

By John Honovich, Published Aug 21, 2009, 03:29pm EDT

With over 2000 total comments so far, comments are one of the most useful and important elements of IP Video Market Info. When done appropriately, comments help readers appreciate a broad range of perspectives and issues involved. This furthers the goal of the site to provide an independent, educational forum for the industry.

Goals of Commenting

It's important that comments:

  • Ask questions: If something is not clear in the report, go ahead and ask - many other people may have the same question.
  • Challenge ideas presented in the reports: If you disagree, please comment and explain why.
  • Provide new information: If you know of documents or resources on the web that would expand the discussion, please comment and share a link to them

Guidelines for Manufacturers

While manufactures have in-depth knowledge, they also have incentives to market their products. As such, it is important to have manufacturers comment but done in a way that provides useful information to the community. I believe this can be done in a way that benefits both parties. Specifically:
  • Manufacturers should always identify their name and company - either at the beginning or ending of the comment (i.e., "My name is John Doe and I am the Dir of Marketing at VideoCo" with a link to your company). Identifying oneself is important so that readers can determine any potential bias the manufacturer may have.
  • If manufacturers advocate the use of their product, they should note drawbacks such as cost, complexity and lack of other functions that users may need. This is important to increase credibility.
  • Manufacturers should not make unsubstantiated claims about how much customers love their products or how well their products work unless they have links to documents that can verify these claims. Such links should be included in the comment.
  • If manufacturers recommend their products or make strong claims without validation, your claims will be criticzed (see an example in our video analytics discussion). This will help ensure quality discussions and reduce the incentive to shamelessly self-promote without contributing information or evidence.

Most of manufacturer comments are extremely informative and useful so only a little work is needed to rectify the problem areas.

Encouraging Comments 

I strongly encourage more comments. Already, many excellent comment threads exist (like the ones of hacking IP cameras, buying IP cameras online and debating market share).

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