Yahoo! has been thriving on hacks. It’s quarterly Hack Days have given engineers the opportunity to build radical and sometimes silly alterations of existing services. Once in a while, these hacks are truly revolutionary. Enter Yahoo! Pipes.
This super cool project started as a Hack and has now become an official project. How cool is it? Think of the impact Digg, Flickr, Delicious, Technorati, and YouTube had on the internet in 2006. Pipes has that potential!
So, what is this potential “Segway” product? Pipes allows you to create aggregated feeds to publish on your own site.
Lets say you wanted to create a web page about Pizza in someone’s local area. B.P. (Before Pipes) you would have to write code for a form requesting a zip code, you’d then have to write code to request the appropriate rss feed from Yahoo! Local for restaurants, Epicurious for recipes, Craigslist for pizza loving personal ads, Flickr for images of pizza, etc. You’d then have to parse the XML and build modules to display the information.
That’s a lot of work for a simple project.
Enter the Pipe
Pipes allows you to do all of this in a simple drag and drop interface. I first used it in its early Alpha stage and it took me about 10 minutes to figure out what was happening. They’ve steadily worked on the interface and you can accomplish the above tasks in about 5 minutes. You can then use their tools to publish the results to your own blog or web site.
Mashing up has now become easier than opening a box of potato flakes and adding water. This is big folks, really big.
Here’s how the Pipes team describes their goal
Pipes is an interactive feed aggregator and manipulator. Using Pipes, you can create feeds that are more powerful, useful and relevant.
It ain’t perfect… yet
Pipes does have some rough edges, there’s no doubt about it. It’s not very accessible, but they’re working on that right now. If you have suggestions or find bugs, let them know.
Enjoy this site as the super-cool, revolutionary site it is. It’s was created with passion and hard work by a small devoted team. They’ve got the spirit of a startup with the power of Yahoo!
Enjoy the new A.P. Era (After Pipes).