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Thursday, March 22, 2007

Yahoo! Pipes

Yahoo! has come out with a new product called Pipes that could very well revolutionize the way people get their information on the web. Yahoo! Pipes aggregates RSS feeds and websites based on user defined settings. The tool is very powerful and very user friendly at the same time. The idea is fairly simple - Connect to multiple internet sources, apply some user define preferences and settings and then pipe out the final feed.

After playing around with the tool last night I made a few quick Pipes to show you. First off, I made a simple Pipe of Teh SiBlog. As you can see there are no user defined preferences, but just a straight output of my blog. From there I applied some user settings such as constraints and sorts to get different results. At the end I had a Pipe that pumped out only posts containing "Firefox" or "Bacon" and then sorting them according to title......totally useless but I gained a better understanding of the tool. After that I wanted to create something that i could possibly use or even build on, so I went out to a few of my favorite sites, got their RSS URLs, and built a more complex Pipe of Digg, Mozilla Headlines, SiBlog and DSXchange. I made a filter to only allow Digg stories that had been dugg over 100 times as well as an unique filter on the DSXchange post so that I only get one (since the posts get update many a times). After that I merged all the sources together, sorted them based on their publication dates and piped them out. Waalaa, a Pipe that is somewhat useful!



Give Pipes a look and see what you can build or even find out there from other people (there are thousands)! You may be able to build a Pipe that covers 90% of what you do on the internet! Check out some of these tutorials to get started on making you first Pipes!

*Another important fact I learned yesterday is that you can get an RSS feed of SiBlog or any Blogger blog by simply apply "/atom.xml" to the end of your URL. For example here is a link to mine - http://thesiblog.blogspot.com/atom.xml.

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