Last week I wrote a post about using ifttt to boost personal productivity. What ifttt does is automating information gathering and processing to ease your life. Today I want to introduce another web automation tool, Yahoo Pipes, which is another powerful tool I use daily.
Yahoo! Pipes – Automate Your Online Life
Yahoo! Pipes is an online tool that helps users to compose their own recipes of automated process. You do this by linking different standard modules to create a complete process. There are many different types of modules available in Yahoo! Pipes. They are grouped under the following types:
- User Inputs
It is not difficult to understand what these modules do. Obviously Sources modules help to pull data from web sites. Location and URL modules collect location and web site address information, Date gets the date and time, etc. Some modules are interactive that they obtains input from the pipe creator or user.
Yahoo! Pipes – Create Your First Pipe
Using Yahoo! Pipes is not as easy as using ifttt, but it is not difficult at all. I found this video that you may want to watch:
Let me show you the whole process by screenshots. Let’s say, tech geek Tom subscribed to a number of RSS feeds of different tech blogs (including Cloud High Club of course!). He wants to combine these RSS feeds into one feed so that he does not need to subscribe to the same list of feeds in all his feed readers on the computer, tablet and smartphone. So he goes to Yahoo! Pipes.
Tom clicked Fetch Site Feed on the left sidebar, copied the RSS feeds and paste into the URL fields. Then he linked the “Fetch Site Feed” box to the “Pipe Output” box by dragging one node to another. He then clicked Save and “Run Pipe…” to generate the pipe.
Bang! It’s done. A new feed containing the contents of all feeds Tom inputted is created. He can enter this feed URL into any feed reader.
Yahoo! Pipes is certainly more than this. Instead of demonstrating all its features to you one by one, let’s just show you some pipes created by other users.
- Free iTunes Downloads – Songs – Monitors the iTunes Store to keep track of free songs.
- Twitter for Tumblr – Grab a twitter feed, clean it up to a suitable form and publish to Tumblr
- eBay Price Watch – Checks for items fitting your specified price range and keyword
- Google Translate Sample Pipe – Takes a RSS feed and translate the content into the language you want and generate another feed. This is a great tool for people who want to follow stories in non-English web sites.
- Social Media Firehose – Monitors the appearance of a specified keyword in a wide variety of social networks. This is a handy tool to keep track of your online reputation
- World Weather Viewer 3.0 – Push weather news of your locality to you
- Yahoo Finance Stock Quote Watch List Feed w/Chart – Stock quote watch
…and much more. There are many pipes that other users created and made public that you can use. Once you found a great one, you can copy it and make it yours by clicking “Clone”.
Yahoo! Pipes ia a very useful tool to save people’s time spent on finding and processing information. It just lacks a nice-looking user interface. Try it for a few times and you would gradually pick up and enjoy using this intelligent system.
Yahoo! Pipes: http://pipes.yahoo.com/pipes/