Project Dogmeat and Other Good Things

At Pilone Consulting, the holiday season isn’t the only thing getting us excited! We’re excited to announce a little project we’ve been working on, codename Project Dogmeat. Dogmeat, for short, is our first big step into providing advanced technical resources for our clients, on top of the other services we already offer. Dogmeat is a sophisticated social network monitoring and analysis tool that aims to provide independent developers with practical analytics and reporting.

Dogmeat is broken into three primary modules: aggregation, analytics, and presentation. The aggregation module is a highly configurable workhorse: when a client requests monitoring on a keyword, we add a custom command to the module’s list of repeating searches. These parameters cover keyword, content age, social network, frequency of searching, and more. When the module picks up a positive match, it saves practically every detail of the content, from author to comments, and stores it locally for analysis. (One important point to make is that we never store anything that can link content to an actual name or person. Everything is based on usernames, whether that’s your Reddit account or Twitter handle, we can only look at what you share publicly.)

Once the raw data is stored, the analysis module is ready to break things down for client digestion. When an aggregation period is over, we run the raw data through the analysis module, which not only cleans and organizes everything, but also performs several calculations and observations on the data (some standard statistics, some proprietary network-based assessments). This new data is stored alongside the original raw data, and is ready for presentation. The presentation module scoops together everything from the aggregation and analysis module and generates a static web page for client consumption. This web page not only presents all of the data, it also generates customized and configurable graphs to present our findings for optimal clarity. The page also gives clients the option to download some, or all, of the data as a CSV for their own analysis.

Currently Project Dogmeat is working with full Reddit support, and Twitter is in active development. While we aren’t ready to offer this service to our clients, we have open applications for participation in our pilot program, where select indie studios can have their search terms run on Reddit for two weeks. Participation is free and non-binding, all we ask is for participants to fill out a questionnaire after we give them their complete report. If this is of any interest to you, or you know someone who may be interested, please send an email to chris@piloneconsulting.com, subject line containing “Pilot Program”.

On a personal note, I would like to share that I’ve begun participating in Extra Life. Every year I, and Pilone Consulting, make a donation to Child’s Play Charity, a charity that I believe is doing a very good thing for young people in need. Please visit my page if you’d like to help the cause, it would mean a lot to me, and even more to the kids at Connecticut Children’s Medical Center.

Lastly, we at Pilone Consulting want to say Happy Thanksgiving. Whether you’re celebrating with friends, family, or by yourself, there is always something to be thankful for. We’re thankful for our clients, our colleagues, and our friends in the industry. Without you, we wouldn’t have a reason to give every day 110%. Thank you for reading, thank you for your continued support, and see you next time.

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