Yahoo Pipes is a powerful composition tool to aggregate, manipulate, and mashup content from around the web. Frankly, it has been around for a couple of years now and while it’s advanced a bit, I don’t think it has ever really caught on in a big way. The interface is a little funky and takes some getting use to, but once you do, it’s a pretty cool tool.
Pipes can do some very complex things, but what I think it does better than most other options is allow you to aggregate, sort and filter many RSS feeds into one. So, you might be asking at this moment, why would I want to do that.
I can think of number of reasons pretty quickly:
- Monitor mentions of your brand across multiple sources
- Monitor mentions of your competitors
- Monitor specific topics of discussion across the web
- Aggregate the columns of key journalists you want to influence
- String the blogs of your strategic partners into one feed
The image above is an example of output from a Yahoo Pipe for Duct Tape Marketing
I put together a quick sample pipe that includes mentions of Duct Tape Marketing and John Jantsch with duplicate content filtered from RSS feeds including:
- Yahoo News
- Google News
- Google Blog Search
The image above is the source code of modules used in this pipe example
In the social media world we live in monitoring across platforms that track social media sites, bulletin boards, blogs, blog comments, PR newswires and web sites has become important and more complex. A simple monitoring mashup from Yahoo Pipes may provide a good DIY fix.
Pipes also comes with some tools that allow you to easily create widgets and badges to place on web and blog pages.
If you want to dig a lot deeper into the use of Yahoo Pipes, I suggest checking out Dawn Foster of Fast Wonder Consulting. Her blog is filled with down to earth tutorials on how to use Pipes for many things – here’s a recent tutorial on using CSV files to run keyword searches.
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