Yahoo! Pipes has become one today’s most popular topics. Evidence of this is available by looking at Technorati where Yahoo! Pipes has moved into sixth place as a popular search topic beating Microsoft Vista. The new Yahoo site, launched on February 7th , already appear to be a success. Yahoo! Pipes’ popularity comes from its ability to filter, reorder and transform information streaming out of RSS feeds. At last there is a tool that can fulfill the needs of many web users, and has transformed the read and write web by allowing the user to modify syndication sources.
The new RSS (real site syndication) mash up tool fits perfectly the web 2.0 trend where popular sites let you build a web of your own.
Creating a pipe is as simple as a drag and drop andusing a fetch box for a given XML type of feed will automatically generate a module. Once the output module is finished you have your web application in seconds. You can build almost anything; I already see some thinking of building some search engine optimization related bits and pieces.
On the technical end, Yahoo’s new web-based application can connect with external Application programming interfaces, such as Ebay’s. Yes, you can even build a custom monitoring pipe for your watch list.
According to search engine Yahoo, future versions will integrate more data sources, such as the Google Earth/Keyhole markup language, and have even more flexibility.
Pipes still needs some work when it comes to user friendliness but it is a huge step forward for people who like to reorder a default RSS output, create a composite feed of their separate blogs or build a filtered news feed on a specific topic.
One problem that some see happening in the near future is that this diverse group of content creators will begin to seek compensation for its work. This trend will continue and not only the original creators of the RSS feeds will desire compensation but so will the Pipes builders who used their creative minds to modify those RSS feeds. Immediately, SEO experts may also wonder how the Sunnyvale based search engine and community building company will deal with unethical use of Pipes i.e spamdexing.
I am still doubtful if there are enough discovery infrastructures in place to effectively harness all of this creativity. But if Pipes can not handle it, some other tool will step in. Yahoo has opened a new era -finally moving forward towards more sophistication than the social bookmarking offers. For now, many users can be happy that RSS feed modification is no longer a pipe dream.