Dave’s cool new thing

I apologize for the jumpiness of
this video I grabbed to demo how my
screensaver uses a stream of photos from my
Flickr-contacts’ photos generated by
Dave’s software, that can found at
at FlickrFan.org.

Dave Winer often describes himself online as a “media hacker.” And today, he’s releasing a new product called — at least for now, FlickrFan. It is quite a cool media hack. And by hack, I don’t mean anything malicious, but I mean, something that’s a result of being able to experiment with technology and content one enjoys and understands in ways others may not.

In this case, the product is a simple desktop tool (Mac only now) that builds on some of his earlier developments related to RSS and OPML and Radio 8 (an early desktop RSS newsreader/blog editing tool). I don’t claim to have any understanding of how it does what it does, but having used it for the past 24 hours, I can tell you what the result is: It streams photos from your Flickr contacts — or other designated sources like the AP photowire — onto your HDTV while it’s in the screen-saver mode. It works also as a screen saver on a Mac.

As your contacts update their Flickr photo stream, your screen saver becomes a constant slideshow of images from your friends. I must admit, while I have lots of Flickr contacts and even subscribe to an RSS feed of them, viewing them as a screen saver provides a much more serendipitous means of discovering what your friends are up to. I added a brief demo of what’s showing up on my FlickrStream — and before you ask, fimoculous is my friend who posted shots from the cool party.

There is more the product does — i.e., it backs up your Flickr photos and it provides a desktop folder where you can drop photos that are automagically posted to Flickr and it will create a Twitter tweet when you add a photo to your Flickr account. But for now, I’m just enjoying the way all those photos from my friends are just showing up on my screen saver.

By the way, I have a Mac mini set up with a HD projector in our office conference room. I’m already thinking of ways we will be using photos from Flickr.com/hammock in that room using FlickrFan.