How To Combine Multiple RSS Feeds Into One?

Have you ever felt the need of being able to combine two or more feeds and have only one feed to deal with? Now, why would someone need to combine multiple feeds, you might ask. Here are a few reasons trying to justify my point:

 

  • When you run a blog, it’s not always that your readers are savvy enough to be able to figure out the need of subscribing to your comments feed. That way, you lose readers because they feel no one had ever replied to their comments, in your page. Here, had you provided a feed that broadcasts both your posts and comments, life would’ve been much easier for them.
  • The same above reason, when you’re the subscriber yourself. It’s not necessary that every web administrator shall provide combined feeds but you can definitely combine them for yourself.
  • Sometimes you feel like congregating similar feeds at the same place. Say, for example, you’d like every news about “Nintendi Wii” to reach your Reader from various news sources like Google, Yahoo, BBC and the likes. In such a scenario, rather than subscribing to RSS feeds separately from each site, you can just combine them all into one feed and label it as “Wii News”.

 

So, what do you say? Don’t you think these are reasons enough for you to already get interested? There can be many other applications to this idea, if you could be a little more creative.

 

Today, for the goal that we’ve set ourselves, we shall use the power of Yahoo Pipes. This is a very strong technology that Yahoo has come up with and if you’re a developer yourself, I’m sure it’ll get you hooked once you start looking around, yourself. Since my first point was about combining the post and comment feeds of a blog, we shall try this tutorial using the feeds for my personal blog. The Post feed is

http://my-labyrinth.blogspot.com/feeds/posts/default

comments feed is

http://my-labyrinth.blogspot.com/feeds/comments/default“.

 

  1. Go to Yahoo Pipes (You can also click on the link. You must sign in to Yahoo if you still haven’t.)
  2. Click on My Pipes, the link to the right of Home.
  3. Now, click the blue button titled “Create Pipe“.
  4. You should see a grey colored canvas saying “Drag modules here” with quite a few controls to the left.
  5. Click on the “Fetch Feed” control to the left and drag it to the canvas in the center. It should say “Creating module” at first and then change into a full fledged control, like the figure below.
  6. Yahoo Pipes Multiple Feed

  7. Just when the “Fetch Feed” module is created, you should see another little module being created, called “Pipe Output“. This is the module that shall give us the final output.
  8. Click on the “+” at the left of “URL” written on the “Fetch Feed” module. This should create another text box in that module.
  9. If you click on the little “?” button at the top of every module window, you shall get to know what that module does by reading the help given at bottom left.
  10. Now, copy and paste the above two RSS links, one for the post and one for the comment, and paste them at the 2 text boxes.
  11. Yahoo Pipes Multiple Feeds

  12. Then, click on the little blue circle at the bottom of the “Fetch Feed” Module and drag the mouse till the yellowish circle at the top center of the “Pipe Output” module. This should create a pipe connecting the two modules, just as shown in the figure below.
  13. Save the project by click on the save button at the top right and name it as “Tutorial“.
  14. After the pipe is saved, click on “Run Pipe“at the top of the page.
  15. Now, click on “More Options“, right-click on “Get as RSS” and copy the link.
  16. Burn Feeds using Yahoo Pipes

  17. Use your favorite RSS reader (I suggest Google Reader) to subscribe to this feed.
  18. There you go. Now you’re all set to combine multiple feeds of your choice and use them at your convenience.

8 Responses to “How To Combine Multiple RSS Feeds Into One?”

  1. June 6, 2008 at 11:38 pm #

    Hi, nice post. but i think combining ath epost and comment feed is a bad idea in this age of feed fatigue. I had been using this for my feed but realise lots of irrelevant comments are going to all my readers.

  2. June 7, 2008 at 7:32 am #

    Really handy stuff – You the man!

  3. Kartik Bansal
    June 8, 2008 at 1:51 am #

    Give me a break .. who you guys r trying to impress by talkin about a year old technology .. Yahoo has updated pipes a multiple time sinc it’s launched and you showcase a basic feature of it

  4. June 8, 2008 at 9:25 am #

    @ Kartik – this is a ‘How to’ – we know Pipes is quite old and so is this feature – but its old for you – probably not for a lot of our readers — its something we need to keep in mind. We’ve noticed a gap between the self proclaimed technologists and the others who are not so keyed into technology and still follow the blog. It’s probably a reflection of the change in our attitude. If you think there are more things that you wish to add -then feel free to mark them out for us and we’ll post it!

    Also, i dont think writing about ‘old’ stuff is a problem as long as its still handy. This might sound like im trying to raise a storm (im not) – and please dont compare us to the great man (thats not the slightest of my intention) – but Gandhiji himself said – “I have nothing new to teach the World… Truth and Non Violence are as old as the hills”. A deep insight in that statement – which i think all of us in this industry should learn from. Not like we at WATBlog ‘teach’ our readers anything but philosophies and statements as the one above only keep us more rooted and humble. If it seemed like we are trying to ‘over – impress’ – we’re sorry.

  5. June 8, 2008 at 9:32 am #

    @ palin…
    The idea was not to combine post and comments but rather trying to teach our readers how to combine 2 or more feeds into one, using Yahoo Pipes. I just used the comments and posts feed url to show as an example.

    @ Harshil…
    Thanks, man!

    @ Kartik Bansal…
    We aren’t here to impress anyone. And by the way, Yahoo Pipes is a different kind of technology that can be used to take care of a lot many problems and can be programmed to create a lot many web applications. Moreover, I showcased a “basic” feature in it because this is the first time something on Yahoo Pipes goes up on WATBlog and we didn’t want our readers to get lost right away.
    Do let us know your take on it.

  6. August 31, 2008 at 12:58 am #

    Thanks for this simple walkthrough. I used it to solve a limitation with Facebook that only lets you added a single RSS feed on your profile page, and I have three blogs I needed it to pull from.

  7. thunderstruk
    September 12, 2008 at 6:31 pm #

    3 cents for WATBlog…
    1. love that TagCloud..cool ;-)
    2. good post. thank you.
    3. can’t you “spam-filter” know-it-all Kartik Bansals..

  8. Rodrigo
    December 19, 2008 at 12:04 am #

    Thanks. Pretty helpful.

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