Yahoo Launches Pipes, an RSS Remixer

RSS feed remixing has been a
pet topic of mine for quite some time, so
tonight it was a pleasure to discover Yahoo’s new Pipes service (hat-tip Thejesh). It’s a beta service from Yahoo and the name, which pays tribute to Unix pipes, betrays that it’s designed for geeks and early
adopters to experiment with. Pipes is described as “an interactive feed aggregator and
manipulator” and essentially it enables you to create remix feeds. It’s a hosted service
“that lets you remix feeds and create new data mashups in a visual programming
environment.”

You can either create a new pipe from scratch, using the nifty visual tool, or browse
through existing pipes and select one that strikes your fancy. You can also ‘clone’ a pipe, and make your own
adjustments. Then click on
“Run this Pipe” to see the results. Some automatically deliver a set of results, for
example this pipe that
aggregates Yahoo blog feeds. Others you need to add additional data to get results – for
example this “hot deal
search”
pipe [screenshots below].

The real power is in the filtering options. Opening up the editing environment reveals
a lot of choices to manipulate the individual feeds [see final screenshot below].

The idea is to then subscribe to the remix feed in your favorite Feed Reader. This is
a neat service from Yahoo and I’ll be playing around with it more tonight! The UI seems a
little geeky and kind of reminds me of Ning (not sure if that’s a compliment or not, as
Ning never took off). But I’ve long thought that RSS remix feeds are the future of RSS
and certainly one way to try and filter information overload. So this is a great move by
Yahoo to release an RSS remix service to the early adopter crowd. Let us know what you
think of it in the comments…

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