Lately I have been hearing a lot of talk about a technology called Yahoo Pipes, and what it can do to streamline RSS feeds. So today we are going to demystify RSS and Pipes for your benefit!
Let’s Talk RSS
To start, you must be noticing it gets harder and harder each day to keep up on all the great content accross the web. You likely know that Really Simple Syndication (RSS) is an easy way to keep up with this ever changing content. Rather than going out to each of your favorite sites one by one to see if they have new and appealing content for you, RSS is designed to bring the content of the sites you subscribe to right to your desktop via a Feed Reader. So rather than individually visiting 25 blogs in a row…simply open your reader and browse all content from one location. Your content comes to you!
Yahoo Pipes Technology Explained
Ok, now that you understand RSS let’s talk about Pipes. The term originally comes from UNIX and means roughly the output from each process is chained together creating a new output. Think of aggregation. You can say that pipes are the natural evolution of the RSS feed. Think about the current state of the blogosphere. Today you write a post on ActiveRain, tomorrow on Zolve, then Trulia and of course there is that guest post you recently did on another blog favorite. Plus this whole time you have been posting on your own blog. So how do you take all this content and mash it up into one feed for your readers? Introducing Yahoo Pipes.
Yahoo Pipes will aggregate and mashup content from around the web using RSS, data sorts, filters and translation. (Did I mention that no programming is required?) So in the example I mentioned above, the pipe you create could be a mashup of all your posts in one place—filtered by your name.
Let’s Build a Pipe
To get started, go to Yahoo Pipes and register for your free account. Once you have logged in, click the “Create a Pipe” button. You’ll notice the canvas appears. Start by simply dragging the module titled “Fetch Feed” from the library pane on the left side onto your working canvas. One by one enter the feeds that you would like to combine. Click the “+” sign to the left of URL to add another feed. Repeat the steps as necessary. Now drag out modules from the library such as “Sort” and “Filter”. Make sure you connect each module by its connecters. Once you have customized your pipe, click the save button and name the feed. Now click properties and give your feed a description and tags. Congratulations! Now save and publish your feed.