Moving at the Speed of Creativity by Wesley Fryer

Using Yahoo Pipes to Create a Single-User Contribution Feed from a Team Blog

The title of this post may suggest these procedures might not be something you’ll discuss over the dinner table tonight, unless your family is a LOT geekier than mine. None the less, it’s possible you might find a wonderful use for Yahoo Pipes in the weeks ahead as I’ve done recently, and this post could help in that process. Here’s the situation.

I read Alan Levine’s post last month, “Smokin Yahoo Pipes” with interest. I’ve dabbled a bit with Yahoo Pipes in the past, but until today hadn’t created anything I was particularly proud of or found exceptionally useful.

Several months ago I started using Friendfeed as a way to create a more comprehensive “bread crumb trail” of my online activities. Friendfeed provides:

…an instant, customized feed made up of the content that your friends shared — from photos to interesting links and videos to messages just for you. And your friends get their customized feeds, full of the cool stuff that you’ve shared.

In order for this to work and be particularly interesting/helpful, however, it’s necessary to setup your Friendfeed account to include RSS content from different websites you use, share, and post to. The following screenshot highlights the nine different websites which I’m currently sharing via Friendfeed. I actually “claim” more websites than this online, but these are the primary sites I’m updating fairly often.

Wesley - Services - FriendFeed

You’ll notice one of the included sites is Yahoo Pipes. Since I’m now posting several times per week to the NECC 2009 blog ISTEconnects, I want to include my own posts in my FriendFeed stream. The site provides an overall feed of full posts, but I haven’t been able to figure out how to get WordPress to provide a feed which ONLY includes posts by a particular user. (In this case, me!)

Enter Yahoo Pipes.

My Yahoo Pipe for my own ISTEconnects posts

With Yahoo Pipes, I was able to build (in literally two minutes) a RSS feed which took the overall WordPress posts feed from ISTEconnects and cut out all the posts which do not include my last name. The blog is configured now to include the author’s last name in the content, so this was an easy way to filter the feed. Whoa la! Yahoo Pipes delivers the goods I wanted!

I added the RSS feed for the pipe’s “output” to my Friendfeed settings, and now my ISTEconnects posts show up in my Friendfeed stream.

I added the Friendfeed embed code to the “content” page of my personal website about a month ago. I’m not entirely happy with the categories I have on that site, as I’d like to more prominently feature my presentations/workshops page— it’s currently listed under “teaching” — but I do like the fact that the content page more comprehensively represents things I’m posting and sharing on a regular basis– and that now includes ISTEconnects posts.

Hat tip to Alan for the idea and encouragement to use Yahoo Pipes creatively to solve an RSS need!

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2 responses to “Using Yahoo Pipes to Create a Single-User Contribution Feed from a Team Blog”

  1. Alan Levine Avatar

    I’m happy to see someone else make use of Pipes… FWIW WordPress does provide a feed for author contributions, it is usually http://www.yourblogname/author/xxxxx/feed where xxxxx is the WP user name.

    But the real point of doing a small pipe like you did (and my first one) is that it plants a seed about what might be possible.

  2. Memewthegiant Avatar

    What if you want it the other way around? You want to import your friendfeed feed into Yahoo Pipes?  I’ve done that, but somehow, the Yahoo Pipe does not refresh, even if I’ve got new stuff in the friendfeed feed.  Any thoughts?