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:

Slideshows - Cheap To Make, Lots of Ads

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

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
[link no longer available] After a decade as the publisher and face of Security System News (SSN), Tim Purpura [link no longer available] has...
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) : Members only. Login. or Join.

Related Reports

2020 Camera Book Released on Jan 10, 2020
This is the best, most comprehensive security camera training in the world, based on our unprecedented testing. Now, all IPVM PRO Members can get...
2020 IP Networking Book Released on Jan 06, 2020
The new IP Networking Book 2020 is a 280 page in-depth guide that teaches you how IT and telecom technologies impact modern security systems,...
Getting Started With Your IPVM Membership on Dec 02, 2019
Here's how to get started and get the most out of your IPVM membership. Books for Members All members can download the 3 member-only books below...
Security Dealer 'Social Media Contractor' Program on Jun 25, 2019
A $20,000 video surveillance system can be yours for free if you are willing to post on social media about the security dealer. Good deal, bad...
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...
Manufacturer Favorability Guide 2019 on Jun 12, 2019
The 259 page PDF guide may be downloaded inside by all IPVM members. It includes our manufacturer favorability rankings and individual...
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...
'Independent' Security Consultant Organization Sells Off Speaking Slots To Manufacturers on May 10, 2019
The International Association of Professional Security Consultants (IAPSC) have sold numerous speaking slots to manufacturers. This is part of...
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...

Most Recent Industry Reports

EyePark Presents Mobile Driver Authentication on Jun 05, 2020
EyePark presented its long-range QR code parking verification platform at the May 2020 IPVM Startups show. A 30-minute video from EyePark...
Bleenco "Under The Tongue" Temperature Detection Examined on Jun 05, 2020
"Say aah", says Bleenco, a PPE detection video analytics company, offering a different method for measuring body temperature with a thermal...
Hikvision and Uniview Entry Level Thermal Handheld Cameras Tested on Jun 05, 2020
While most screening systems cost $10,000 or more, manufacturers such as Hikvision and Uniview have now released handheld models for $1,000 or...
Sequr Presents HID based Cloud Access Control on Jun 04, 2020
Sequr presented HID based Cloud Access Control at the May 2020 IPVM Startups show. Inside this report: A 30-minute video from Sequr...
VergeSense Presents People Tracking Sensor on Jun 04, 2020
VergeSense presented its people tracking sensor and social distancing insights at the May 2020 IPVM Startups show. A 30-minute video from...
FLIR A Series Temperature Screening Cameras Tested on Jun 04, 2020
FLIR is one of the biggest names in thermal and one of the most conservative. While rivals have marketed fever detection, FLIR has stuck to EST...
"Fever Camera" Show On-Demand Watch Now on Jun 03, 2020
IPVM has successfully completed the world's first "Fever Camera" show. Recordings from Both days are posted at the end of this report for on-demand...
Cobalt Robotics Presents Indoor Security and Access Robots on Jun 03, 2020
Cobalt Robotics presented indoor security robots at the May 2020 IPVM Startups show. Inside this report: A 30-minute video from Cobalt...
Dahua Sues Ex-North American President, Says Legal Typo on Jun 03, 2020
Dahua's former North American President Frank Zhang claims he is owed almost $11 million but Dahua counter claims it is just a "scrivener's error",...
Smart Entry Systems Presents Cloud Multi-Tenant Access Control on Jun 02, 2020
Smart Entry Systems presented Cloud Multi-Tenant Access Control at the May 2020 IPVM Startups show. Inside this report: A 30-minute video...