How IPVM Comment Voting Works And How IPVM Pays Members

By John Honovich, Published Jul 05, 2017, 12:00am EDT

IPVM now pays $4,000+ to members, per quarter, whose peers who recognized their comments.

IPVM has a novel feature that rewards members who receive votes on their comments with IPVM membership credits.

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 'informative' counts as 2 votes, each 'agree' 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. Informative has double weight since we want to reward / emphasize informative comments.

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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.

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 $2,500 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.

2017 Payout Results

In 2017, payouts have increased to $3,000+ per quarter. Now, more than 30 members are getting $100 or more per year with a dozen of them getting more than $200 per year, completely paying for their membership.

2018 and 2019 Payout Results

We are paying out $4,000+ per quarter.

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 (100)

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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..

$17.85 for one comment.

Nice, very nice.

Scott Sheldrake is a genius!

you're welcome Sheldrake.

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!

Trunk-slammer...(sorry, couldn't resist the temptation.)

Lol, leave Jon alone! :)

Jon's comment there was from 2 years ago. Now, in the past 3 months, he has 500+ upvotes which easily pays for his membership and then some. It's certainly valuable to IPVM.

I have thick skin and a sense of humor, so I still have Stephen a "funny" upvote. Paying it forward you could say. 

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.


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.


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?



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.


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.


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.

IMO, I think this will provide incentive for people like myself that would normally sit at the front of the class and remain quite while attempting to avoid the spit balls from the back of the class. Really how much extra time do we have available to spend writing comments?  

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 - 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?


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. 

Very cool, cant wait to start. 

Steven, welcome to IPVM! I just gave you your first upvote!

This all started with Jon Dillabaugh sending me the freebie! Thanks to all and the community for the fellowship.

Ironically and long overdue, this quarter that just ended could be J.D.'s first voting title:

Biblical support:

Here is a call for wisdom: Let the one who has insight calculate the number of the best, for it is the number of a man, and that number is six hundred sixty-six.

Revelation 13:18 


Good morning, dear. I bear witness and testimony that the votes for the comments listed as informative Okay, fun, remunerate users, while also can choose to vote being in neutral and indicate that the comment is not attached to the user's discretion Which makes the review of whether it serves them or not, the comment, giving the option to leave without a vote or give it that it does not help (Unhelpfull).
I thank the IPVM team for the remuneration received and use this commentary in English and Spanish to clarify, guide or guide Spanish-speaking IPVM users.

Sample of current balance, product that provides valuable comments to the IPVM community.
Its existing balance is one (1) dollar with 14 cents. Your existing balance of $ 1.14

Best regards.


*******************Comments in spanish.***************************

Muy buenos dias, estimados. Doy fe y testimonio de que los votos por los comentarios catalogados como informativos, De acuerdo, Divertidos, remuneran a los usuarios, mientras que tambien se puede optar por votar quedando en la neutralidad así como indicar que dicho comentario no se apega al criterio del usuario que hace la revision de si les util o no, el comentario, dando opcion a dejarlo sin voto o darle un de que el mismo no ayuda (Unhelpfull).
Agradezco al equipo IPVM las remuneraciones recibidas y hago uso del presente comentario en ingles y español para clarificar, orientar o guiar a los usuarios de IPVM hispanoparlantes.

Muestra de balance actual, producto de que aporte comentarios de valor a la comunidad IPVM.
Su balance existente es de un (1) dolar con 14 centavos. Your existing balance of $1.14

Saludos cordiales.

Holy Smokes Troll Patrol Batman. I like it. 

Now we need signatures at the bottom of our post that says, "If you like this comment give it a thumbs up! Please!" - Very Appreciated.


I think the payout for commenting is a great way to accomplish the following:

1. Engagement - allowing users to get involved and interact with the site and their fellow CCTV'ers. 

2. Content Generation - this type of interaction allows users to generate their own content for fellow users to read and comment on.


3. Incentives - the payout allows users to afford the premium by offsetting a portion, if not the entire cost of membership, through content and supplemental online TA.


Overall I think this platform is a win/win/win. 

Greeting from Hong Kong, and I think it is a good reward system for all of us to leave comments. Not just act like a CD-ROM (READ ONLY), and able to act like a DVD-R (READ AND WRITE). Also, myself will share my experience work at SI, Consultant and Sole Distributor in this great platform.

Before my role is not allow me to leave comments on this platform. And, now I can feel free to speak up and share my idea and opinion.

the articles are great, they are very detail. but the second voice in the videos is low and not clear.

I think it is a very good idea to motivate the real professional guys to share their experiences, acknowledges  and ideas with our community!

I need to dispute an Unhelpful that I got according to your definition:


  • Use 'unhelpful' when the comment is off topic / unrelated to what is being discussed.

How do I do this?

To balance out the unhelpful vote, I just marked your comment above 'agree' and 'informative'.

I would recommend ignoring individual unhelpful votes. I get them too, for what it's worth, and I just move on.

I appreciate that. 

I feel fortunate as an early adopter of this negative vote dispute method, as I can see it getting out of hand for you.

Sometimes people will excitedly, if incorrectly use “unhelpful” as if it means “strongly disagree”, instead of “off-topic/unrelated”.

So just take it to mean that and no more :)

I think "unhelpful" votes should be disregarded if that said voter has a negative balance.  :-)

That that I'm thinking of anyone in particular.

Carl, suggestion rejected, CASE CLOSED!

In all seriousness, sorry about that. This week was the first time someone significantly abused using the unhelpful vote. I am hoping it's a unique event but if it happens again, we'll take action.


Well, I think it was probably a net positive for most with the large uptick in the "funny" category.


I think "unhelpful" votes should be disregarded if that said voter has a negative balance. :-)

Interesting idea, but it could unintentionally lead to chaos.

For instance, if I think you are serially unhelpfulling me, I might do the same to you in an effort to disable you etc...

Another idea might be a cooling off period between unhelpfuls.  I mean how many do you need to do in one day really?


Each day in every topics and comments that the members are posting, there is a some lessons to learn. This keeps us fresh in our industry. I should be appreciating the effort of every single member. This is what makes a strong community.

Any information on Perimeter Intrusion System (IDS) installation and commissioning considerations.

I'm not sure that a "disagree" counts for less than an "agree".

We could all sit here bloke smoke up populist posts and agree with each other and cash in. The lemming theory pays.

Whilst Jon suggests that IPVM "do not want to penalize members for saying something that others may disagree", this is exactly what the disparity between "agree" and "disagree", results in.

Hikvision is an obvious subject. Anyone can say something negative and the lemmings all pile in with agrees and the OP gets paid per click, with the effect that subscribers are financial encouraged to post negative comments on the likes of Hikvision - thus IPVM have created click-bait environment.

I would have thought that rewards should relate to contributions rather than just posting something that will attract as many "agree" clicks.

But like most minorities, anyone countering the status quo is disadvantaged - which is a shame.

To me Agree, Disagree and informative should all be 1. Unhelpful is fine at-1 but should be monitored to prevent trolls targeting posts that they may disagree with but can do more damage with an unhelpful vote.

Tim, for IPVM members, the #2 top voted commenter is Sean Nelson, who is a rabid Hikvision proponent. The #6 top voted commenter is Jon Dillabaugh, a Hikvision dealer.

with the effect that subscribers are financial encouraged to post negative comments on the likes of Hikvision

We pay $0.35 for each upvote. I have not seen anyone really want to waste their time making money by posting comments on IPVM. People may dislike Hikvision or love it (Hi Sean!) but business professionals are generally too busy and have better ways of making money than trying to get IPVM member credit.

In general I probably agree with you Jon, except that there should still be parity between agree and disagree, so I’m still unclear why there isn’t?

Because people disagree it doesn’t mean you’re wrong. It’s just opinion isn’t it?

Just seems odd to me.

Nice! I am thinking to share 50% of my payout with all voters ;)

Firas, welcome, great first comment and I gave you a funny!

John, Thanks for the welcoming and I gave you Agree! 

That is the betterment of the members and it makes a difference. 

Thank you, Fabian.

Team, I'm putting together a proposal for a hotel with three basement floors with lift access on each basement floor. The lifts are categorized into banquet or hotel guests. The architectural design is such that banquet lifts can only access up to third floor including the basement floors while hotel guest lift may access all floors. The client is interested in using technology to control movement of pedestrian and vehicular traffic within the hotel without inconveniencing their guests either for banquet or hotel guest floor access. I had thought of deploying access control into the lift cabins with a central access card processing point at the lowest basement floor and the ground floor. The client also thinks of using technology to achieve complete lock-down for basement access/exit should need arise. For this, I had thought of achieving by putting in access control rules onto the management software for lift access while also deploying K-Rated bollards for vehicles at the ground floor to control access to basement floors for vehicular access.

My challenge is that human pedestrian can easily jump over bollards should there be a lock down requirement if lifts are controlled to and from the basement floors. Is there an electronic technology available that may achieve a complete lock down both for pedestrians as well as vehicular. Any ideas shall be highly appreciated.

NOTICE: This comment has been moved to its own discussion: Any Electronic Technology Available That May Completely Lock Down For Pedestrians And Vehicles?

I have worked in this in the electrical engineering field for 26 years, in that time I have seen keypads rule the world and fall into disgrace, supervised door camera rise and level out, cards touted as the end of all security needs hacked, hacked card credentials selected by owners due to price concerns, James Bond iris readers become reality, and both a business man and an actor become president of the USA. Don't ever be surprised at what technology can do now, instead what it be doing in the future?

One day can we have our own Grammy's or something for the commentators? Next ISC West I'd love to get an award for "Most Informative AND Disagreed with!" ;)

Thank you for the membership extension. Long time subscriber and appreciate your work.

No credit for QTY?  Damn, i was gonna recite the Gettysburg address in response to the question about compression algorithms.

very interesting approach, it helps to motivate members by inculcating  win-win relationship
try to be helpful  to others and earn money ;)

It looks like many comments posted in the last 8 hours (or so) now have a button for Fav votes.

Two things:

1. Does "Fav" stand for "Favorite"? If so, will comments

2. Does it earn 35 cents?

On the other hand, I noticed that the button links to ?category=admin_fav and it tells me "Unauthorized Vote Privileges" when I click it, so maybe it's just an accident.

I know I say elsewhere that fav was supposed to be for the admins of the site. Helps them with what ever back end stuff they do. I am guessing it's been accidentally revealed the the masses again.

Indeed you are correct. It was right here: Exacq Co-Founders Return, Start Qumulex

I should have searched for that name before posting, but at least John knows something is wrong now.

Comment voting can be a very helpful practice to help those (including me) keep going with IPVM membership cost in the pandemic period and subsequent crisis.

Besides the positive feedback, it´s a very interesting dynamic. It could be very interesting applying this in larger social media.




Quite a few of my government customers are wondering about the latest updates regarding the upcoming proposed Aug 2020’ "Blacklisting" regulation that is related to the NDAA.

I would appreciate guidance from IPVM and the IPVM member audience regarding the following questions:

  1. Will blacklisting only effect vendors who continue to sell the banned products?
  2. We are a State & Local agency, if we purchase any of the banned equipment, could our agency also end up being placed on the "blacklist"?
  3. What does "blacklisting" mean? How is it related to agencies that receive Federal grants? What are the repercussions? Who will enforce the “blacklisting”? How will blacklisting be enforced?
  4. If a product contains the Huawei "HiSilicon" chip, no matter what product it is, is it also included in the "banned" list?
  5. If a company sells the banned products to government agencies (State & Local) up until the moment the Aug 2020’ blacklisting takes effect will there be any repercussions? Repercussions to the vendor? Repercussions to the STLG agency that took receipt of the banned equipment?
  6. How would one know if the product they are buying contains the Huawei "HiSilicon" chip?
  7. How would one know if the equipment they are buying is a relabeled Dahua/Hikvision banned piece of equipment?
  8. Besides Dahua and Hikvision surveillance cameras does the equipment ban also include Dahua and Hikvision thermal cameras since the NVR’s/DVR’s they are typically connected to contain the banned Huawei “HiSilicon” chip?

NOTICE: This comment has been moved to its own discussion: Questions On How NDAA Blacklisting Will Work

It is an innovative plan which motivates members to communicate and express.

Very informative website. Hope you accept more different ways of Payment.

I just joined IPVM a week or so ago. I am quite impressed! And now, I see that you have a system that rewards positive, helpful comments—what a great way to keep people engaged and prevent unnecessary chatter. I already had some questions about Point to Point wireless links and have received excellent comments back.

My only comment to IPVM is that I just learned about your service. I wish I would have learned about it years ago.

Thank you for a great platform and for the help I already received. I will go back to my discussion question and mark the comments as informative now!

Buenas tardes

Necesito las capacitaciones en español, podar ayudarme sino le pediré la devolución del curso matriculado.

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