Best Yahoo Pipes So Far!

yahoo pipes

Since I started blogging, I always felt the need to grab the world wide web and sculpt it the way I wanted. One day, I discovered Yahoo Pipes, and I was blown away. Unfortunately, I discovered along with Yahoo Pipes, that for some reason, the RSS system was not very reliable. For example, I subscribed to specific keywords in the Craigslists’ job postings to sort out the posts that were in my field of interest, and have them sent to my email inbox. For some reason, the feeds I receive are always 15 days old. So what’s the point of using such a rapid technology, if you are going to be the last to reply to an ad.

In the end, I just figured that the Yahoo email service must be broken. I still use Yahoo Pipes to gather HyveUp’s different feeds under one feed for those who want to follow all the posts we write on HyveUp subdomains. And there are still a few pipes on Yahoo that I find worth recommending here:

  • People Search: Enter anyone’s name and this pipe will crawl Flickr, Google, Live, Yocci, Sproose to find items where that name appears.
  • Add an image to your feed items: Enter a feed and this pipe will search Yahoo Image for each feed and attach the first image result for each feed.
  • Webpage-to-RSS: Think only blogs have native RSS syndication? Think again. This pipe will scan a page’s content, and when new content is added, it will detect it, and communicate it to you as an RSS feed item. Must have (to track Google trends for example).
  • Social Media Firehose: This is a social media search for tracking brand or product mentions on a slew of social media sites, including flickr, twitter, friendfeed, digg etc. It taps into their search APIs directly, so it’s much more immediate and comprehensive than say, Google alerts.
  • Fetch full feeds: Annoyed by those truncated feeds in your readers that force you to visit the site. Well no more, take that stupid feed, run it through this pipe, and do not worry about the ‘click here to see the full post’.
  • Geo Twitter: I like this one. Enter your Twitter username and see where your friends are on a map. Really cool! Discover that your friends are all over the world.
  • Friendfeed minus Twitter: Love Friendfeed, but fed up with all those insignificant Twitter updates that pollute your stream. Here is the pipe you need. It resolves the problem mentioned above.
  • True Twitter Friends: Don’t remember who are the people with whom you had a discussion on Twitter. There you go. Run your Twitter name through this pipe, and it will retrieve the name of the persons you had a discussion with on Twitter.
  • Facebook Group RSS feed: You have twenty groups on Facebook, but you never bother to check it out. No more, with this pipe, create a RSS feed of all your groups and receive new comments in your email inbox!
  • Facebook Newest Apps: Developers and early-adopters, be the first to know!

And there are many more like those. I hope you’ll have fun with those pipes. Please show me the ones I have not mentioned here that you think are worth mentioning. Thanks!

Has Twitter Lost Its Mojo?

Recently, I purchased a mobile device that pushed me to considering IM as my main hookup to most of my social networks. The easiest way was to generate a social stream through Friendfeed, via their IM feature and imaginary friend feature.

Most importantly, I am now using Friendfeed to tweet. It requires a little more tools than just the Friendfeed IM feature, but overall it is just more convenient to post on a platform that links to all the other ones, including Twitter. I know I am late in the Twitter vs Friendfeed discussion here, but still, I am starting to realize how Friendfeed is eating up on Twitter’s grounds.

I think Twitter has failed to provide in-house tools to help users tweet. On Friendfeed, there is the tools page, with the bookmarklet, the Mail2FF, the widgets, the post to twitter, IM notifications, feed reader, facebook app, the iGoogle app, the iPhone app… Thanks to those tools, connecting to your social stream became a breeze.

For a long time, Twitter was just offering a profile widget. Today, they successfully grew a very productive developers’ community, which provides more tools to easily connect to one-another on Twitter. I personally think that, alas, their applications’ development outsourcing strategy shattered their service’s consistency. I know too many people who have a Twitter account, but never really understood what to do with it. There are 50 desktop clients for Twitter out there. Same goes for iPhone apps, discovery tools, contact management tools, communications tools… Tracking apps through tech blogs is just too nerdy and time-consuming.

What saves Twitter is its search feature. It turns Twitter into an avant-guarde live Web platform that makes marketers go nuts! But the steam is fading away, and despite its originality, the question remains: What am I supposed to do on Twitter? A 140 characters is quite short, it forces me to thought-process a tweet before making it public (seriously). My friends’ stream is a hubbub. Twitter doesn’t seamlessly embrace my day-to-day habits.

Freedfiend offers me all the tools I need to customize my networks, and the social stream that outputs through my IM provider. I can even reply from my IM, post a note, like or comment an item, and of course pause and resume the stream to go at my own pace.

Now let’s take a step back: Live Web search engines are hot these days: IceRocket launched its live multimedia search feature a few days back, and Twingly launched a live microblogs search feature yesterday. Friendfeed already has a built-in search engine, and a rss file is available for any search query.

Almost everything that goes on Twitter goes on Friendfeed too. And where Twitter is clutter, fuzziness and noise pollution, Friendfeed is clear and accessible. So my question is fairly simple: Since Friendfeed became the hub for all social networks, has Twitter become yet another social network?

Update: Friendfeed just launched the Twitter-to-Friendfeed feature to subscribe on Friendfeed to all of your Twitter friends.