How Comment Voting Works And How IPVM Pays You

Author: John Honovich, Published on Jan 06, 2015

IPVM has added a novel feature that rewards members who receive votes on their comments with IPVM membership credits. We are now paying out $2,000+ per quarter to members for their comments.

Voting Key Points

Here's how it works. Any member can vote on the comments submitted by other members. At the bottom of each comment, there is a series of options, simply click as appropriate. Here is an example of the voting options:

Here are some best practices on voting:

  • If you already know what that commenter is posting and think it is valuable, choose 'agree'. If you did not know it, but you learned something, choose 'informative'.
  • Use 'unhelpful' when the comment is off topic / unrelated to what is being discussed.
  • You cannot vote for your own comments nor can you agree and disagree on the same comment.

Vote For Your Colleagues

You should vote for your colleagues as not only does it recognize their contributions, each of your votes effectively 'pays' / 'rewards' those members with membership credits.

How the Payout Works

Each 'agree', 'informative' or 'funny' counts as 1 vote each. Each 'unhelpful' is -1 votes. Disagree is neutral as we do not want to penalize members for saying something that others may disagree.

The net number of votes is used to credit member. Each vote is worth 35 cents, so a member with 10 net votes, would get a $3.50 member credit, one with 100 net votes would get $35 member credit, etc.

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Pay Every Quarter

Every 90 days, IPVM does an automatic payout, sending emails to each member and crediting their IPVM accounts.

2016 Payout Results

We are now paying out $2,000+ per quarter (at ~$10,000 per year rate) for commenters. For example, ~20 members are getting $100 or more per year in IPVM member credits for their comments, paying for half or more of an annual IPVM membership.

Goal - Pay More

We want to pay more. We want members to be rewarded for commenting. This is valuable to IPVM because the more recognized commenters feel, the more good comments we get, which makes IPVM more valuable to everyone.

Comments (47)

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Very cool - I like that you aren't issuing credits just based on quantity of comments. I think we can all imagine how that would go..

Each 'unhelpful' is -1 votes, each vote is worth 35 cents...

Do you want a card number, or do you want to just roll the balance over into the next voting period? ;)

Let's hope I can keep up with informative, funny and agree votes as I don't want to have to pay out for any unhelpfuls. And don't vote unhelpful on this comment trying to be funny! : )

Oooh! i am up to $1.05 on this comment alone!

Being a smaller integrator (don't call me a trunk slammer!), these credits are very valuable to me. It helps keep my cost of access down to the best resource I have found. Could I afford to pay for IPVM? Sure. Is it better to contribute and defray the cost? Absolutely!!

Thanks John!

I have 2 questions:

1. Will credits be given when a person posts as undisclosed?

2. Will credits be given on votes casted during a quarter regardless of when the comment was made or is it only on your comments for a given quarter?

Yes, credits are given when a person posts undisclosed.

Yes, credits will be given on any votes given during a quarter, even if the comment itself being voted on what posted 6 months, 1 year ago, etc. Given that most posts are read in the first month after publication, it won't likely make a huge difference but votes count on any comment, regardless of comment's age.

Wow! "You like me, you really like me!"

"I'd like to thank the Academy, my cast and crew, my agent, my makeup artist, my fellow nominees..."

No wait - that is my Academy Award speech.....

Ah, the irony of it all... ;)

Flattery will get you nowhere...

This is nice. IPVM paid for my Starbucks this week :)

Are there plans to add the commenting system to the mobile version of the site? When viewing on my phone, I tend to choose to view the full site even though I must pinch and zoom. I have also found that the full site runs better on my phone than the mobile version.

Kyle,

Thanks. We plan to revamp the entire mobile site this quarter. It is a priority.

And now looking back at my original comment, the new responsive site is up and is probably one of the best forum interfaces I have seen especially on a mobile device. I can be on a job site, remember reading something on IPVM and quickly reference it in a search all without having to click "desktop version" anymore. Your email blasts are also some of the best I have seen and one that I check but have never marked as spam. Thankfully it's not sent everyday unless I subscribe to a thread. Thanks again for the ease of access and quality of engagement.

I dint see the options... Maybe it's not available for mobile or only some articles???

Ok, I will stick out my neck and say I do not see any value to this for a paid subscription type forum or web site. Please look at this as positive feedback as I have been very satisfied with the forum and website to date.

At my age, and having been in the security industry for a long time, this jumps out at me as a red flag. An incentive to participate on a paid forum just seems odd. This would have played a large factor on my decision to subscribe because I spent a lot of time vetting the site, prior to subscription, looking at the potential downside. I am not saying it should be a factor, only that it would have been a factor in looking for a professional site.

I don't think that an incentive to comment portrays a very professional image either. Discussions and comments should be driven by the quality of the content.

The first thing that jumped out at me was this is a marketing technique to drive up subscribers and thus advertisers, and causing a negative effect on the quality of the content by attracting unknowledgable contributors. Why not give the incentive back to subscribers in the form of a rebate on their fees?

Just my initial reaction and thoughts.

Ted

Hi Ted,

Thanks for the thoughtful feedback. For what it's worth, I voted your comment 'informative' :)

"Why not give the incentive back to subscribers in the form of a rebate on their fees?"

That is what it basically is. We give it as a membership fee extension. For example, if someone has a personal annual plan for $199 and they get 47 net votes, they get a free extra month.

As for advertisements, we don't accept any advertisements, sponsorships, or anything like that, so that is not a factor at all.

Does that help?

John

John:

Thanks. I think it is a preception thing. It is hard to argue with but I don't see what the advantage is on your end. I may have also misunderstood what "heavily promote" meant.

With that said, there is nothing else that comes close to the IPVM site in content. It took a long time to find and I would hate to loose it.

Ted

The advantage is that I want frequent commeters to feel that we respect their contributions. This is one way to do so.

Btw, when I say promote, I mean educate / inform members to vote more. If someone like you makes a good comment (like you did above), I want other members to vote it up and to know that voting it up helps recognize your contribution to the site.

John:

Outstanding idea then. I, probably like a lot of members, don't always contribute to the community. Time is one issue but having to reinvent the wheel everytime a new application comes along is time consuming as well.

I just read the Tri-Ed article and am glad to see it is not just me. Unfortunatly, I see this across our industry. The thought of a camera package, sold as a kit to security professionals, really iritates me. If it is sold in a big box store one knows what they are getting but to market that crap to the industry itself.

I love thermal technology too but when FLIR bought Digital Watchdog [IPVM Editor: FLIR bough Lorex/Digimerge] and now advetise an 8 camera kit, I lost all faith. Maybe they had to stay alive.

Keep up the good work. I am on board 100% and at your service.

Um, what advertisers?

I just join IPVM and I am thrilled with this new features.

Once joined, I looked through the Articles and Discussions to find answers for my current situations and problems.

But some content lacked responses from the community.I believe with this, there will be more constructive information from the ground for me as people will see the incentives to help others with their expentise and knowledge.

Keep up the good job! :)

C, welcome!

Btw, if there are any discussions or articles that need updating or more info, just comment here or shoot us an email - info@ipvm.com and we'll get that fixed.

Or, you could just dig up them old bones by replying to the original comment?

Do you know offhand were there more voters or votees?

Update: Commenting and voting is way up in the last 10 days.

Voting is easily up 100%. We had in the range of ~4000 votes for first three months. On the current pace, it should be over 10,000. I am glad to see that, hope it encourage more participation and rewards more members.

The voting buttons look good. They make voting easier.

Gotta love the new 'you've already voted indicator'.

Nothing was more disconcerting than going to give someone your 'agree' vote, and instead taking one away because you forgot you had already voted...

Go ahead, try it out below. ;)

John, a suggestion in light of the 20 some unhelpful votes given in the space of just a few underlying comments and one underlying issue, in the 'what to test' thread.

Similar to other voting sites, perhaps we should change the system, at some future point, so as to tax a non-admin voting 'unhelpful' with the smallest but non-zero ding to their own total. This is not done to discourage the voting, rather just to cause some reflection upon it, and thereby reduce the retaliatory systematic down voting of multiple comments that can ensue.

More importantly, this actually strengthens the power of the 'unhelpful' since it accords the weight of 'I felt compelled to express this' to any 'unhelpful' vote that one does see.

Just a thought.

"so as to tax a non-admin voting 'unhelpful' with the smallest but non-zero ding to their own total"

Can you clarify this? I am not sure what you are proposing. So if Bob downvotes Dan, Bob gets a partial downvote too or?

Yes.

From a stack exchange thread:

The motivation behind it is to put emphasis on up-voting or not voting at all. This way, down votes will carry more weight and it will also prevent users from abusing the system by down-voting excessively. According to what Jeff/Joel discussed on the SO podcast, they wanted to find a way to discourage users from down-voting for less legitimate reasons (say a pro-Java developer down-voting everything remotely related to .NET or the like). Edit: I have to admit, it definitely puts it into perspective to compare how many points you gain for other activities vs. the 1 point you lose for a down vote. It is effectively the smallest penalty that the Stack Overflow scoring system will permit.

Not sure about how the math should work. But it seems as though people are often using it as 'strongly disagree' button, which I did not think was your intent.

My last post being a case in point...

I gave you an informative to balance it out...

I don't think this is a systematic enough problem here _yet_ to solve. But I will keep this in mind if this gets more severe.

So, IMHO, the problem of incorrectly used Unhelpfuls is not necessarily getting more severe, but it still distracts from the discussion.

For example, in your recent discussion, How Will The Apple Watch Revolutionize Video Surveillance?, you received two Unhelpfuls on your original post, which consisted of this:

In all seriousness, do you see any valuable applications of a watch for video surveillance? Perhaps alarm notifications? Show a picture or video clip of the suspect? Quicker to review and respond?

It makes one wonder what the objection might have been here? Or could it have been simply a non-native speaker thinking it meant something like "Was this article helpful or not?". Anyway here is an easy suggestion which should help improve the usage in all cases.

Simply have a confirm box display when voting Unhelpful, which says something to the effect that Unhelpful votes are intended for <insert guidelines>. This would help clarify the usage, at the expense of slowing down Unhelpful voting, which shouldn't be a problem. You could even include a feedback memo that goes to the admins if you wanted.

I don't mind that people vote my comments unhelpful.

They might really dislike the Apple Watch. They might dislike my tongue in cheek title. Either way, it's not a big enough problem to solve.

Btw, next payout is in less than a month. Looks like you are going to win!

Looks like you are going to win!

Not by a long shot, Mr. Modesty...

I don't count...

Btw, 10 days to payout.

If you are that scared of retalitory votes, just post anonymous adn hopefully they won't catch on. I'm not sure if I have ever post anonymous before myself, but I could see people doing that more often in order to keep retaliation to a minimum.

However, you won't get street cred for your awesomeness!

Actually this was driven less by my neurotic fear of retaliatory voting and more by a concern for respecting the honest and valid viewpoints of members, even if unpopular.

I felt that such a statement would be weaker if posted anonymously, so I summoned all my courage to do so just as me. :)

Brave man! I admire your intestinal fortitude. Just for that, you get a BIG thumbs up :-)

Update: quarterly payment just went out - total paid $1500, up nearly 100% from the previous quarter.

Top commenter - Chris Dearing with over $100 paid out.

More details to come in a post this week.

Pound for pound, Ari is the man in my book. He is like 100 proof IPVM.

(Not to mention CL, RV, RT, EA, BR, MS, et al)

This is a fantastic way to keep people coming back to the site and keeping the conversations moving. Thanks!

We just sent our payments for Q2 2016 comments - over $2,000 total. Nice work everyone!

We just sent our payments for Q3 2016 comments - again over $2,000 total. Nice work everyone!

I honestly didn't expect to get paid for making a comment others agree with. I can see the logic in it thou. will definitely motivate some to more actively comment.

For me it is very gratifying to know that you can have an incentive according to the contributions to the IPVM community, where you can choose the retribution to the end user.

Every doubt that is contributed by any user can be useful for other members.

Thanks for the considerations.
 

Posting for pay?!? Based on the number of votes received?!? Hmm. I wonder where I put the schematics for that "Voting Bot" I saw in robotics class.

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