Flotzam was initially introduced at MIX07 in Las Vegas the past year. At that point in time, Flotzam was nothing more than a screensaver mash-up pulling feeds from a variety of sources and built to leverage Windows Presentation Foundation. The project is still available as a screensaver for both Windows Vista and Windows XP, but its creators, Karsten Januszewski, Microsoft Technical Evangelist, and Tim Aidlin, Microsoft Design Evangelist, have also put together an application that is now available for download. The mash-up will literally converge a variety of resources on your desktop and deliver new information, data, news, images, feeds, blogs, centralizing all content and permitting a higher level of focus.
“Watch the flotsam and jetsam of data that you care about in this mash-up of Facebook, Flickr, Twitter, Digg and blogs. Using this simple application, you can configure what you want to watch and the speed in which you see it. Want to view what your Twitter friends are doing? Want to see the photos your friends have posted on Facebook? Or maybe their photos on Flickr, too? Download now and have all of your photos, Tweets, Diggs, Facebook invites & pokes and feeds come to you,” reads a message posted on Flotzam's official website.
Tim Sneath, Microsoft group manager for client platforms, reveals that with its evolution Flotzam has the potential to become a pluggable, modular social networking client. Januszewski refers to the mash-up as a panopticon (all seeing in Greek), and this is exactly what Flotzam is meant to offer, as a tool designed to aggregate materials from a variety of data sources. Januszewski informs that Microsoft is even running a contest to build skins for Flotzam with the grand prize a Xbox 360. The challenge is connected with the upcoming MIX08 in March. You can watch a screencast of the mash-up, and a video interview with Januszewski and Aidlin here.
“Being a WPF application, Flotzam can be easily restyled. From the enter/exit transitions for new items to the overall visual look and feel of the Flotzam interface, you can do almost anything you want just by tweaking the XAML mark-up. And with MIX08 selling out quickly (hope you've registered), the team thought it would be fun to put together a little contest that gives you the chance to experiment with WPF by creating your own custom themes. We'll use the best entries at MIX, both on the keynote screens and on all the PCs around the show; Karsten hopes that walking around the show will be like visiting some kind of art installation with all these different skins appearing,” Sneath stated.
Microsoft, Windows Vista, Windows XP, Flotzam, Mashup, Mash-up, Tools, WPF