Thursday, February 22, 2007

Pipe Down: Fun with Yahoo! Pipes

Well, I've finished my first Yahoo! Pipe. I decided to create a feed that pulls from several "life hacking" blogs and limits results to posts containing lists of tips (which I often find myself drawn to). I rounded up feeds from a list of popular life hacking blogs like Lifehacker, 37 Signals, and WebWorker Daily and told Yahoo! Pipes to Fetch them. Then I connected that to the Content Analysis operator, and then connected that to a filter. I had to set the filter up to permit only blog post titles that contain keywords common in "Tips" type posts. I chose: "tips, top, some, favorite, best, steps, and ways." This was based on reading through several of the blogs and noting what words commonly appeared in the titles of "tips" type posts.

Lastly, I told it to sort by Publication Date and filter out duplicates. Here's the result:

It worked pretty well. A few non-tip posts made it in, but for the most part it did what I'd hoped. I remain very excited about Yahoo! Pipes and will mess with it as much as time allows. It's still beyond non-techies, but I can see this becoming a powerful tool for Webmasters who want to display targeted content and power news junkies who want to create truly unique "newspapers." Yahoo! Pipes plus a newsfeed aggregator like Netvibes or Protopage equals the world's greatest online newspaper.

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