In a previous episode we talked about RSS feeds and I could hear you screaming at your iPod â€œYes Cal but what do I do with it?â€ Thankfully, our benevolent overlords at Yahoo! have answered that for us with a sing word, Pipes.
Pipes is a web based application that provides a graphical user interface for building mashups. It allows the user to easily aggregate RSS feeds, web pages, and APIs to create Web-based applications.
Many times the feed you want to use only provides part of the picture, to get everything you need to add or subtract information from it. A good example is the â€œGeoAnnotated Reuters Newsâ€ pipe. It takes the news feed from Reuters, runs it through the geonames.org RSS-geoRSS service to give each entry a latitude and longitude. The resulting feed is then plotted on a Yahoo map to show you where in the world the news is coming from. Normally a mashup like this takes a programmer, a case of Jolt Cola and a weekend to hammer out but thanks to Pipes, anyone with the imagination and a case of Jolt Cola can do it.
So if youâ€™ve been looking for a way to mash up your company newsletter and your secret stash of pictures of the office Christmas party, Pipes is the answer you are looking for.
My name is Cal Evans and I am your sixty second tech.