Here is a guide for using Flotzam at a conference:

Flotzam at a conference is fun. It gives the audience the ability to immediately participate in the event as well as on the blogosphere. Their photos, twitters, etc, show up on the big screen.

If you would like to see Flotzam in action, you can (1) install the application from http://www.flotzam.com or (2) watch a video about the application at http://flotzam.com/video.htm. You can also watch a video that discusses the Mix Flotzam Restyle contest and the winners here: http://visitmix.com/blogs/News/Flotzam-Design-Contest-Winner/.

If you aren’t familiar with these social networks used by Flotzam, here’s a brief intro of what they are and why they are interesting.

  • Twitter allows you to text messages from your phone to the Twitter service, which then get posted on the web. So, by displaying Twitters from conference attendees, you can see almost real time information about what people are saying about the conference.
  • Flickr and Facebook integration is about allowing attendees to upload their photos of the event to their service and then Flotzam will pull and display their photos.
  • Digg is service that allows the community to post interesting stories and then vote on their relevance.
  • RSS is a syndication format supported widely – you can display any RSS feed through Flotzam.
  • YouTube is a site that allows people to upload video.

The end result is that Flotzam aggregates all these networks and does a fun visualization.

A few things to note:

· If there is another social network you want to add to Flotzam, it requires more code to be written. There’s an explanation of how to do it here: http://flotzam.com/blog/post/How-To-Add-A-New-Datasource-To-Flotzam.aspx. An easier route to getting different data into Flotzam is if that social network supports RSS.

· Because Flotzam pulls data real time, there is the chance that inappropriate content could appear on the screen.

If you would like to use Flotzam for your conference, you need to do the following:

1. Download the .exe build of Flotzam here:  http://www.flotzam.com/download/flotzam.zip

2. 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.

3. 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.

4. Determine what feeds you want Flotzam to display.

Note that you will need to somehow communicate to the attendees how to access the services you set up. Another option is to not let attendees know about the tags and simply have your conference folks twitter and upload photos.

Here are the steps to configuring Flotzam:

1. All settings can be changed by clicking SETTINGS AND OPTIONS in the upper left corner.

2. For example, if you want everyone who is at the event have their Twitters appear, you can create a Twitter account such as myconference, let people know about it, and then specify for Flotzam to “Watch My Followers” in the Twitter settings panel, providing the username and password for the myconference twitter account.

3. If you set up a Facebook event for your conference, you can enter the Event ID in the Facebook settings panel. The Event ID found in the URL when on the Facebook event itself, so if the URL for the event is http://www.facebook.com/event.php?eid=2367953648 the event id is 2367953648). You'll also have to provide you credentials to Facebook.

4. If you want to add a different Flickr tag, you can modify the tag in the Flickr settings Panel.

5. You can specify a DIGG setting and a YouTube tag.

6. If you want to manage which RSS feeds show up, you need to do that management in Internet Explorer.

7. Lastly, if you want to have different skins show up, you can check that box in the general settings tab.