Monday, February 12, 2007

Yahoo! Pipes : customize your feed subscriptions

I had subscribed to more than two dozen feeds. Managing and reading them becomes hard as number of contents gets piled up. Now, with all new Yahoo! Pipes Beta, I can manage all of them in a single location online. Not only that, I can sort, filter and do many more such operations with feed contents prior to final display.

The best part is, I do not need to write complex code and give complex command syntax. I can use very easy, graphical online tool - Yahoo! Pipes. I simply drag-n-drop modules, collect them in order to process, and save them. The end result will be simple, yet mind-blowing. I can share my customized feed with any one over the internet. The output itself is in rss format.

Here is a simple, quick example- Narad, the popular Hindi Blog aggregator gives contents sorted by the time of publication of a blog. I created a Yahoo! Pipe for Narad and filtered its feed through Alphabetical Ascending order. I hate cricket, so I filtered out by blocking all contents having occurrences of word Cricket. The output is simply impressive, which you can see here. It seems that Pipes Beta has some bug - it does not display Unicode Indic (Hindi) character in contents correctly, though it displays them correctly in post headings.

Presently, Yahoo! Pipes works only with RSS and Atom feeds. However, a similar, but not that easy or graphical as Pipes tool called NewsRack is available for quite some time that also works with non syndicated contents (use crawlers to collect new contents) as well.

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