EGOSPY – Sneak Peak.

image It’s now approx 1 week since I left Microsoft and its been an amazing and relaxing time for me, in which I've sat down and mapped out various RIA based projects I’ve wanted to work on for the past 3 years. The one project that’s taking the bulk of my latest interest is an application I’ve called “EGOSPY”, something in which I think the RIA community will probably meet with mixed feelings.

The application came to me yesterday after I watched a few comments on a blog post I posted on around Adobe and the recent iPhone announcement. The parts that struck me as being odd, were not so much the opinions expressed by folks on that blog, but it was more along the lines of what they were saying and how they went about saying it. I’ve often found the overall behavior in general around the RIA community very political when it comes to choosing a technology platform to adopt (on both sides of the isle). Its always been a fascination for me, as I've been on both sides of the firing lines and have watched in depth how various factions interact with one another.

In light of this morbid curiosity I seem to have, I thought of an idea on what if someone tracked these skirmishes? in that what if someone wrote an Application that essentially keeps score, measures the impact each event has and as well as track the behavioral patterns of the folks who comment etc. This is what EGOSPY is going to do and the chuckle part for me is I'm building this in both Adobe AIR and Silverlight Out of Browser – in case others may want to peak at the data, they can do so but not have their brand-religion impacted (choose your poison if you will).

You can see a sneak peak at the concept in play so far (basically its a still of the console) as i’ve got the base foundation laid for both Adobe AIR and Silverlight codebase + assets. I’m now wiring the various moving parts to it, aka the secret sauce.

I intend to use both Amazon Simple Database and S3 Storage as well as ASP.NET and Windows Communication Foundation as the proxy/filter at times between Amazon and the Client.

I’ve also drafted a breakdown of the types of personas I'll be monitoring and looking to validate with some basic home grown research. Feel free to add/subtract your input here:

image High Priest/Priestess.
The architects of a brands doctrine and will often be seen at major religious events only. These entities will often command the Priest/Priestess into action in and around how they approach situations that require a response from a brand. They will at times take a passive aggressive approach to competing brands in an open format, all the while providing a behavior model in which they expect to be repeated by Disciples, Priests/Priestess and Fanatics.

Belong to the secret order of a corporation and their jobs are to ensure all believers of the brand remain so. They will typically enlist and/or encourage Fanatics/Disciples to fight for a particular cause, especially if a brand's doctrine is challenged openly. They often prefer a swarming effect to an event in the hope of drowning out all chances of the vocal minority from exerting their objections/beliefs around a given doctrine.

image Spinsters.
Are specialized fanatics who often follow a strategic transmission pattern to indoctrinate the target group. This may begin with a simple transmission such as a provocative blog post, video medium or an advertisement eluding to imperfection in a competing brands doctrine.

image Disciples.
Someone who believes and helps to spread the doctrine of a given Brand. A typical Disciple is pretty locked into the belief system outlined by a given brands priesthood. They rarely deviate from the doctrine and will typically challenge any who argue against it in an open manner. Disciples almost never provoke attacks, and are typically defenders rather than aggressors.

image Berserkers. 
These types of people are dangerous. They do not execute restraint and will often attack any who get in their way. They differ from Disciples but only slightly as these types do not favor any one particular brand. They generally are easily irritated by ignorance.

image Peacemakers.
These types of people often favor a particular brand, but will often move themselves into position to ensure that hostilities are reduced to a peaceful resolution. They typically don't outwardly project their brand beliefs onto others and are more inclined to allow others to co-exist within their community haven.

image Fanatics.
Extremists who will actively provoke arguments in order to enforce their particular brand belief system on others. They cannot be reasoned with and are typically vocal and approach situations with high amounts of emotion attached. They pride themselves of on being aggressors and will rarely make coherent points and will instead focus on ad hominem attacks etc to shift focus from a given cause.

image Apatheists.
Someone who has an indifferent attitude towards a brand and the existence of its Priesthood, Disciples and Fanatics, not really caring one way or the other about brand issues. As a general rule, this lack of interest is motivated by a disinterest in Brand but are more focused on what the Brand produces.

imageSkulking Ninjas
Someone who is obviously a fake alias, but has suspicions of being part of the Priesthood, Disciples, Fanatics or Spinsters. Typically these people often are part of the Priesthood or Disciples but can’t show their true identity for fear of open reprisals and/or are looking to defect from the doctrine but can’t due to severe penalty clauses. At times these folks are personal, and are there not to debate or interact on a given topic, but are purely motivated by an absolute hatred regarding a particular person.

The ghost who talks, typically someone who is obviously a fake alias as well (much like the Skulking Ninja), difference however is they are consistent in their alias and often will talk about a given topic/brand without ever being identified. They are a secondary identity attached to someone who either prefers to remain anonymous or can’t reveal their identity due to the possibility of either criminal charges, political retribution or career limitations imposed. They thing about these entities are that whilst they are essentially a lie, they often speak raw open and transparent truth majority of the time – given they have no fear.

The concept behind EGOSPY was inspired by this discussion via TED. As i often think that in part the social impact that the above personas have is in many ways part of a kind of brand focused censorship – aka brand dictatorship.

An example of the GUI.


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