Yahoo Pipes

Yahoo Pipes

Yahoo Pipes is a very powerful tool used to "aggregate, manipulate, and mashup content from around the web." Yahoo Pipes is a little complex, so I would recommend watching this tutorial to get a feeling for Pipes. Here is another good tutorial.

My pipe

One major problem I had with my RSS Feeds is that I have 5 technology sites that I really like, however, it's hard to use them because only a portion of the news regards Apple. They bring in a ton of articles every day, but I don't always have time to sort through all 5 looking for news involving Apple. This is where Pipes works perfectly. Go to my "Apple Tech News" Pipe and look at the source. As you can see, the source is my 5 sites (AlleyInsider, GigaOM, ReadWriteWeb, Slashdot, and Techcrunch) and the Pipe only allows items that contain the words Apple, iPod, iPhone, Mac, or AAPL in the description. As well, I blocked any items that have the words fruit, food, or tree. While these items probably wouldn't come up anyways (because this is searching technology sites), this is something you will have to include in most of your pipes. This is because when you search for Apple on most sites, you get a lot more than just the company (Apple pie, Apple trees, Golden Delicious Apples, etc.). Here is what my source looks like:


Creating Pipes is much easier than it may seem. After watching the 4 minute tutorial, creating the above Pipe took me about 10 minutes. After it is created, you can add this Pipe to your RSS Feed so that you can easily check it. Additionally, you can search through other user's Pipes and find what works for them. I searched "Apple News" in Yahoo Pipes, and struck gold with the first pipe, called "Unique Apple News". Looking through his pipe I found several websites which I had never heard of. Additionally, looking at his source I learned how to eliminate duplicates (using the Unique Operator) and I implemented this into my own Pipe (as seen above), which was drastically needed (because there is a lot of overlap with these sites)! Therefore, searching other user's pipes not only provides you with new web pages, but will hopefully help you improve your pipe.

Pipes is an amazing resource for our job, do not let it pass you by! Check out a similar pipe I created that filters popular news sites (Google News, WSJ, CNN, and others) for Apple news. Another potential idea is you could combine all of your RSS feeds into one 'feed source' and then create separate Yahoo Pipes for each product. So then you would have one feed providing iPhone news, one with iPod news, one with Macbook news, etc. In this case, you would also have to create a miscellaneous feed for all the other little things. Go experiment! The possibilities are endless with Yahoo Pipes!

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