The Yolo Bro And The Death of Journalism

By: John Honovich, Published on Apr 24, 2018

There's an old quote:

The job of the newspaper is to comfort the afflicted and afflict the comfortable

Unfortunately, the opposite is more typical in the security industry, and it is getting worse, as print dies out and old school publications turn to increasingly embarrassing means to make money.

Meet Steven Karantzoulidis, web 'editor' at Security Sales and Integration (SSI) magazine. Karantzoulidis most recent publication was a slideshow on 7 Awesome Pens Given Away at ISC West 2018, in which he praised Axis' pen, declaring 'this baby was built for performance':

And ZKTeco for those who 'want a pen with cool biometric symbols on it':

Unfortunately, this is not a one-off. Slideshows are Karantzoulidis's go-to-move, with his ongoing surveillance videos series of shootouts, brawls and drug dealing:

Get Notified of Video Surveillance Breaking News
Get Notified of Video Surveillance Breaking News

Slideshows - Cheap To Make, Lots of Ads

While slideshows offer little value to users, they do have two upsides for publishers: (1) They are cheap to make - it requires minimal expertise and research. Simply gather pictures or videos, write a few comments and done. (2) Becuase the reader/viewer needs to click for each image or video, the publisher gets up to 10x the amount of advertising impressions of a conventional single page article.

YOLO Bro

Karantzoulidis has made it clear he has no shame about what he does:

Laughing about pens and liquor store shootouts and batteries blowing up in people's faces is Karantzoulidis's thing.

Journalists "Partner" With Manufacturers

He is no outlier. This is how SSI operates. Even worse is that SSI has started recently, in their own words, being a 'partner' with manufacturers as this ongoing series with Dahua demonstrates:

It is bad enough that trade magazines, in this industry, overwhelmingly re-run manufacturer press releases or conduct 'interviews' where the manufacturer gets to say whatever they want. SSI has taken it to the next level of publicly partnering with them.

Fabricating Monthly Audience

Despite partnering with manufacturers and running these slideshows, SSI still resorts to massively fabricating their total monthly audience.

With SSI's 'methodology', you could claim to be 12 feet tall by summing the length of each arm and leg to your height. The most absurd part is adding up website users with website pageviews since, by definition, pageviews are performed by users, making it guaranteed that the 110,087 is fabricated 'audience'. Moreover, the deception exists with combining different newsletters, social media 'followers' etc.

And SSI knows this is fabricated, they add in fine print at the bottom that effectively admits as much:

As if they could not 'attempt' to identify or eliminate 'duplication'.

Bad For The Industry

The industry needs more organizations doing real research, reporting and criticism. Both end users and integrators would greatly benefit from better information.

And even us, who may benefit from this state, would like to see more alternatives for real journalism. As is, being 'alone' makes it easy for the manufacturers to portray us as an outlier, and that the normal and correct way things should work is 'partnering' and pandering to advertisers.

Print media is, no doubt, dying but that does not mean the future must be yolo bros.

2 reports cite this report:

SSN Publisher Quits, Starts New Print Trade Magazine on May 11, 2018
After a decade as the publisher and face of Security System News (SSN), Tim Purpura has joined the UK's Hand Media where they are starting a new...
Bogus Research Plus Lazy Reporting - SSI And 'Global Market Insights' Examined on May 07, 2018
If you wonder why there is so much obviously wrong information online (factually, not simply disagreeing on opinions), this is a great example of...
Comments (28) : PRO Members only. Login. or Join.

Related Reports

LifeSafety Power NetLink Vulnerabilities And Problematic Response on May 20, 2019
'Power supplies' are not devices that many think about when considering vulnerabilities but as more and more devices go 'online', the risks for...
Inside Look Into Scam Market Research on May 17, 2019
Scam market research has exploded over the last few years becoming the most commonly cited 'statistics' for most industries, despite there clearly...
Verkada False Allegations Against Avigilon Exposed on May 08, 2019
Verkada has leveled false allegations against Avigilon, as part of their aggressive marketing tactics against the 'dinosaurs' in the 'ancient'...
Verkada Salesman: IPVM "Stuck In A The Stone Age" on Apr 25, 2019
Verkada is 'tackling dinosaurs' and battling those, like IPVM, who are 'stuck in a the stone age'. Verkada's recent sales recruiting promotion...
The Embarrassing Story of ISC West's Best New IP Camera on Apr 24, 2019
A sad but simple situation: Only 2 companies paid SIA the thousands of dollars required to compete for the best new 'cameras IP' The judges...
Securadyne CEO: IPVM 'Entertaining For An Ignorant Few' on Apr 16, 2019
Securadyne's CEO Carey Boethel is unhappy with IPVM's report - Failed Integrator Rollup, Securadyne Sells to Guard Giant Allied. Indeed, he...
ADT And 'The Defenders' Silent About Massive Complaints on Feb 14, 2019
ADT's largest dealer, "The Defenders" has been the subject of a massive number of complaints over many years and many forums, most recently a CBS...
"At Hikvision, We Build Trust" on Jan 03, 2019
Hikvision has joined a growing number of video surveillance manufacturers marketing their trustworthiness. In a recent trade magazine full page...
Scam Research And The $86 Billion IP Camera Market on Dec 19, 2018
Scam. The most widely cited research numbers in many, if not most, industries come from a growing number of Indian 'market research firms'. We...
Axis: "No One Wants To Buy A Camera" on Nov 09, 2018
Axis has, in its own description, made a bold declaration: The industry is changing so rapidly that the following statement might seem bold but...

Most Recent Industry Reports

Hikvision Colorvu Camera Tested on Jun 24, 2019
Hikvision says their new ColorVu line captures "vivid chromatic images in darkness", with unconventional white light illuminations whereas most...
China Subway Facial Recognition System Examined on Jun 24, 2019
A China city of 6+ million people has installed facial recognition-enabled gates in subways, allowing commuters to enter stations by simply showing...
HID Mobile Tested on Jun 21, 2019
HID Global is one of the largest access brands, but their mobile access has had challenges. Indeed, the company has already restructured their...
Genetec Beats Milestone For IHS #1 on Jun 21, 2019
For years, Milestone has touted that they are the #1 VMS. Now, Genetec has beaten them in IHS rankings. But what is this? Even other manufacturers...
Risk of Amazon Alexa Guard: No Battery Or Cell Backup on Jun 20, 2019
Amazon positions its Alexa Guard Service as a "smart home security system" and says it can help you "keep your home safe". However, the...
Exacq Remote Cloud Access Tested on Jun 20, 2019
Remote cloud access has been missing from most VMSes (including Exacq and Milestone). Now, Exacq, after releasing Cloud Drive Storage earlier in...
Briefcam Buys Frost Award* on Jun 20, 2019
Frost 'awards' are well-known and widely disrespected. Now Briefcam is touting their win. The way it has worked for many years is that Frost...
IFSEC 2019 Show Report on Jun 19, 2019
The UK's largest trade show, IFSEC, is underway and IPVM has been examining what is new and happening at the show. Inside, we cover: Huawei...
Repositionable Multi-Imager Camera Shootout - Avigilon, Axis, Dahua, Hanwha, Hikvision, Panasonic, Vivotek on Jun 19, 2019
Repositionable multi-imager cameras are one of the fastest growing segments in video surveillance, with a slew of new offerings being recently...
Genetec Synergis Cloud Link - Complex, Costly and Confusing on Jun 18, 2019
Genetec's Synergis Cloud Link is complex, costly and confusing compared to competitor access control architectures. Inside this note, we examine...

The world's leading video surveillance information source, IPVM provides the best reporting, testing and training for 10,000+ members globally. Dedicated to independent and objective information, we uniquely refuse any and all advertisements, sponsorship and consulting from manufacturers.

About | FAQ | Contact