Pipes combines all the feeds and aggregates them to one place. For example, if you are looking for articles with a certain phrase in them such as “social media planning” you can enable a feed. You can see pictures of the phrase through Flickr if you choose to pipe to it. Now instead of being drowned in headlines from other aggregators, the use will be able to customize the information they receive in a personal place. Different Pipes allow you to customize different searches. For example, one Pipe helps you search for apartments near “something” such as parks, libraries, or even grocery stores. I love this tool because it allows tech savvy people to collect data on the web. In fact, even if you don’t know programming, you can still utilize this tool. When you start to build a new Pipe you can select from the pre-made instructions or modules.
In order to form a Pipe you have to drag and drop the modules, string them together, and add a few extra directions. This basically allows you to write your own program for a specific task (in this case customizing person data you receive).
There are two major parts of using this tool: the first is the interface (called editor) and this is where the Pipe is put together. When the project is saved in the editor, the instructions will be saved as a special kind of document engine. Then the engine reads this document and approaches anywhere from dozens to hundreds of Web services from the feeds that you supplied. If you break the instructions down into chunks you will receive better search results. Usually after the release the Pipes get a lot of attention from bloggers, developers and experts on web-based applications.
First and foremost you need a Yahoo ID. If you don’t have one yet, you can get one: https://edit.yahoo.com/registration. Then, create a new pipe by “cloning” an existing one at: Popular Pipes, or you can “clone” a pipe that you have already made. Remember, as you are creating a pipe, you can choose whether you want to publish and make it public, or not. If you decide not to make it public, then they will only be available for your usage. This does not mean you can’t share the information from your Pipe, it just means people will not be able to find the source and the mechanism used to create the pipe. After you log-in, click on View Source and you will be able to see exactly how the Pipe was constructed. The Clone allows you to copy a pipe and change it around to your advantage.
Let’s take a look at “’clone” a pipe.’ When you click on “Clone” a pipe you will get a screen that looks exactly like the original Pipe. The original will be named “Original Copy of the Pipe” and the clone will be named “Open Source Copy of the pipe.”
How will you get the information created by the Pipe?
You can capture the information created by the Pipe through a RSS feed, which you can put into a RSS reader. The other way to receive the information is to create a ‘badge’ which will feed on Blogger, WordPress, Typepad or iGoogle. Pipes even offers you the raw code that you can add to any website in order to view your information as well.
The Pipe is ready to run, however now you also have the option of an ‘edit source’. When you click on ‘Edit Source’ you will see the details of the Pipe and any filters you have set up as well. The Open source feed is pretty simplified as you will see the “Fetch Site Feed” on the left hand side. This will have all the URLs listed. Now you do not have to search for the RSS feeds on the site URL that you entered. The “Fetch Site Feed” has the ability to pick up any RSS feeds on the website or web page to the URL you entered.
As you look on the left hand side, you will see that there are other modules you can choose from, such as “Fetch Feed”. This is a great feature to use if you had actual RSS feed links. Now for the ‘Fetch Site Feed’ you can enter the URL of the page of the site, or you can even enter the RSS feeds URL that is available from the source.
Do you not like one of the URLs? Well, you can simply click on the ‘minus’ sign that is left of the URL link. If you want to add a link then click on the ‘plus’ sign at the top of the list, this will allow an open field to be added to the bottom of the list.
If the source discovery was successful then the logo will appear on the left side of the URL, otherwise the question mark will appear. The question mark just means that the feed is just down for the moment.
The filter box allows you to set limits around your raw feeds, so you do not receive an abundance of information that is not useful. You will have the option to Permit or Block the words that your specifiyed. In addition, you have the option to Any or even All the words you specified. You can even add or modify words in the text box. In addition, you can even change the Rules by clicking on the plus symbol next to the ‘Rules’ button. By adding more rules, you can filter by keywords and publishing date.
Now let’s click on the ‘item: description’ box, where you will see a drop down of multiple options. If you are keyword filtering, then use the ‘item:description’ or ‘item: title’. When you set up the feed, use both of these to see which one gives you the most efficient results. One of the options allows you to filter by publishing date, however if you are trying to receive the most current information, then this is not important.
There is also a ‘Contains’ box in which you can choose ‘Does Not Contain’ which will take out less-relevant and duplicate results.
If you are trying to browse and find rich information for a industry that is new to you, then this will give you the information you need without consuming a large amount of your time. Try it out and let me know what you think!Share on Facebook