Getting started with Yahoo Pipes

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Using Yahoo Pipes has fast become a cornerstone of mashups in the library world. This popularity is largely down to just how accessible it makes the process of mashing data. It provides a nice, visual interface for remixing and reusing information from multiple sources.

At its simplest, Yahoo Pipes lets you combine multiple RSS feeds into a single, comprehensive news or information source. The introductory video seems to have disappeared from the website, but there are some great guides and pretty extensive documentation available in other places. We’ve also put together a walk-through for creating a basic pipe from multiple feeds. This is available as a word document which you’re welcome to modify and/or reuse.

Another way to get to know Yahoo Pipes is by viewing the source and cloning existing pipes to see how they were constructed. And in that spirit, I’ve listed a few that demonstrate some of the main uses of Yahoo Pipes. Click on ‘Edit Source’ to see what’s happening behind the scenes or clone the pipe to use it as a starting point for your own creation.

Starter pipe: A very simple pipe to combine RSS feeds and sort items by publication date.

Library Technology: A Different Version– Combines multiple feeds and returns results for these that match particular keywords.

UK Academic Library Blogs – Combines multiple feeds, sorts into ascending order and limits the feed to 5 items at a time.

This is hopefully enough to get started and, like most things, the best way to learn about something like this is by trying it out yourself.

In a future post, we’ll take a look at some of the more advanced features such as geocoding.


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