What’s In Your Pipe?

Yahoo! Pipes You’ve probably heard by now. Yahoo! (YHOO) just released a new service called Pipes.

Pipes is an interactive feed aggregator and manipulator. Using Pipes, you can create feeds that are more powerful, useful and relevant.

I described it to a non-technical friend as: “A way to create mash-ups of RSS feeds through a WYSIWYG UI.” My friend said, “Wha?” then bonked me on the head. So I punched him.

After he regained consciousness, I tried again: “It’s a way to make a new web site from a bunch of other web sites.” “Oh! Cool!” he answered as he rubbed his head. He’s not too bright, you see.

He’s probably not the target market for this tool anyways. But I am. And here’s how:

I’m currently looking for an apartment in San Francisco, CA, that has a garage. Sounds simple enough, right? Unfortunately, Craigslist doesn’t have advanced search options that allow me to really pick out the listings with a garage.

So I created this Pipe. All it does is filter out a bunch of text like “street parking only” and “no garage”, making it a heck of a lot easier to find an apartment with a garage.

This is just one really simple use for this tool. Apparently, there are more profitable ways to use it too. Rok Hrastnik from site-reference.com has written a lengthy piece entitled: “How Marketers Can Use Yahoo! Pipes to Increase Their Online Sales” to show just how.

If you understand RSS and technical concepts like filtering and aggregation, give Pipes a try. Maybe it can improve your online sales. And if you know of a good apartment in San Francisco with a garage, let me know!

Author: Mike Lee

An idealistic realist, humanistic technologist & constant student.

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