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
comments feed is
- Go to Yahoo Pipes (You can also click on the link. You must sign in to Yahoo if you still haven’t.)
- Click on My Pipes, the link to the right of Home.
- Now, click the blue button titled “Create Pipe“.
- You should see a grey colored canvas saying “Drag modules here” with quite a few controls to the left.
- 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.
- 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.
- Click on the “+” at the left of “URL” written on the “Fetch Feed” module. This should create another text box in that module.
- 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.
- 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.
- 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.
- Save the project by click on the save button at the top right and name it as “Tutorial“.
- After the pipe is saved, click on “Run Pipe“at the top of the page.
- Now, click on “More Options“, right-click on “Get as RSS” and copy the link.
- Use your favorite RSS reader (I suggest Google Reader) to subscribe to this feed.
- There you go. Now you’re all set to combine multiple feeds of your choice and use them at your convenience.