Using Flotzam At A ConferenceJun 15, 2010 By Karsten Januszewski
Flotzam at a conference is fun. It gives the audience the ability to immediately participate in the event—their photos, tweets, etc, show up on the big screen, giving them immediate satisfaction and making them feel like they are part of the event.
Here’s a guide for using Flotzam at a conference.
Flotzam and Social Networks
Flotzam works with a variety of social networks. Here’s a brief intro:
- Twitter integrations lets you see what people are saying about the conference in almost real-time.
- Flickr and Facebook integration allows attendees to upload their photos of the event; Flotzam will pull and display the photos.
- If there will be a lot of on-the-fly press about your conference, Flotzam’s Digg integration will be helpful.
- Flotzam will display any RSS feed
- Flotzam lets you see and display Youtube videos about your conference
The end result is that Flotzam aggregates all these networks and creates a compelling visualization.
A few things to note:
- If you want to add another social network to Flotzam, you’ll have to write some code. Here’s how to do it: http://visitmix.com/labnotes/How-To-Add-a-New-Data-Source-to-Flotzam. If the social network you want to add supports RSS, it will be easier to integrate.
- If you don’t like the skins we have, you can find a designer fluent in Expression Blend to reskin it, as discussed here: http://visitmix.com/labnotes/How-To-skin-Flotzam
- Because Flotzam pulls data in real time, there’s a chance that inappropriate content could appear on the screen.
Getting Flotzam Up and Running
If you want to use Flotzam for your conference,you need to do the following:
- Install Flotzam here: http://visitmix.com/labs/flotzam/install/flotzam.application or download the source here: https://code.msdn.microsoft.com/Release/ProjectReleases.aspx
- You should have a machine with w/2GB RAM and a video card of 256MB. Be sure to test on your hardware to catch any issues in advance.
- The machine must have network access. Flotzam does not do well with intermittent connectivity; if you can’t guarantee a stable connection to the internet,don’t use Flotzam.
- Determine what feeds you want Flotzam to display.
Note that you’ll need to show attendees how to access the services you set up. If you don’t want to do this, one option is to simply have your conference folks update twitter and upload photos.
Here’s how to configure Flotzam:
- All settings can be changed by clicking SETTINGS AND OPTIONS in the upper left corner.
- If you want everyone at the event’s tweets to appear, you can create a Twitter account such as myconference, let people know about it, and then tell Flotzam to “Watch My Followers.” To do this, visit the Twitter settings panel and provide the username and password for the myconference Twitter account.
- If you set up a Facebook event for your conference, you can enter the Event ID in the Facebook settings panel. If the URL for the event is http://www.facebook.com/event.php?eid=2367953648, the event id would be 2367953648. You’ll have to provide your credentials to Facebook.
- You can add a different Flickr tag in the Flickr settings Panel.
- You can specify a DIGG setting and a YouTube tag.
- You can manage which RSS feeds show up, but you’ll have to do so in Internet Explorer.
- Lastly, select from the dropdown in the general settings tab if you want a different skin to show up.