For a good while now, I’ve been spinning out the usual patter to folks I train about the virtues of Yahoo Pipes (and Feedrinse). I’ve been waxing lyrical about the potential benefits, without having had a real-world problem to apply them to, and so test this blind faith.
Until this weekend that was. Since I started work at the CIJ, I’ve been spending an ungodly amount of time scanning feeds relevant to that field (in developing the CIJ News Blog), and so neglecting my own feeds in the process.
Things came to a head yesterday when, setting down to go through a week’s worth of personal feeds, I ended up spending a good few hours I really didn’t/don’t have.
So this morning I rolled the sleeves up, and came up with a pipe for a very specific job.
I subscribe to a small number of high-turnover feeds which inform me about new sources in search, social media and news. It takes a fair amount of time to make your way through all Tech Crunch, Mashable and Read Write Web content, especially when you are looking for content applied in a particular field.
It occurs to me that if I made a feed out of these (and others) filtering for the term news, that this could serve as a suitably light Tech News feed, for new sources and information in that field. Meanwhile, for the application of non-news engines and apps, I can still rely on those journalism sources I subscribe to (OJB, Andy Dickinson etc.) to a fair degree.
A while ago I posted up all my source-based feeds in an RSS Amnesty.
So basically, I lifted those relevant feeds from my Search Awareness and Technology folders, dumped them in Yahoo Pipes, created a filter (for the term news), then piped them out, here*
Time will tell to what extent I’m missing out on content, or picking up too many articles along the lines of ‘Great news about…’. Unfortunately Yahoo Pipes comes with all the usual language-based caveats associated with simple (or even boolean) search.
And if it doesn’t work paticularly well, I’ll just have to think a bit harder about how these stories might appear – or maybe use more sources (or use of the social web) to make the pipe more sophisticated (like this one).
* I just spent almost as much time trying to embed the damn thing in this post, as I did creating the Pipe in the first place. Wonder how much time and effort is wasted by analy retentive attentive folks like me trying to make sure the presentation of their blog doesn’t let the content down, and wondering whether there’s a way to automate it…
** Seems to be on the blink for now. Bloody technology…
*** Fixed now…