Archive for the ‘RSS’ Category

Yahoo RSS Pipes, etc.

February 20, 2007

Just heard about Yahoo pipes. Thank you Jean-Christophe.

Summary: Yahoo pipes is cool stuff for RSS addicts. Some related thoughts about RSS as a multi purpose protocol…

Yahoo pipes is a very interesting system for managing RSS feeds including:

  • content filtering
  • adding a user interface (a search form dedicated to a feed)
  • aggregating several feed together.

The system is a little bit complex to setup but looks very powerful. A very useful brick in the RSS layer… When Web 2.0 empowers Web 3.0 🙂

RSS has the potential to be used widely in the information chain. We currently are using only a fraction of this potential, mainly for news… I mean, we have with RSS an information protocol that is categorised, has meta data we can read, search and organise in various ways.

The protocol could be used to replace site maps (Google site maps or other), navigation panels in websites, monitoring events in enterprises (hardware, system, organisation, teams). Probably some other application too…

So what is missing in the layer for achieving these results (applications):

1) better categorisation of RSS items (server side): currently under used because of the lack of intelligent RSS clients able to render them..

2) start using RSS “channels” (most RSS feeds have only one channel…): channels are a great way to offer different views on the same information space, or related ones..

3) having RSS readers that make better use of RSS item categories: I haven’t found yet a RSS reader that can display more than a single view on a RSS item list, or that can display them in a tree view (assuming category namespaces are tree based of course).

4) implementing HTTP security (basic, digest, etc.) in all RSS readers: security enabled RSS readers allow RSS Applications in intranet or extranet spaces.
For example: Mr MD can follow his company events (commercial/project/hardware events) whilst he is on a business trip somewhere..
Mr Network Mgr can check his server health when offsite.
Mr Everybody could safely check his emails through a RSS feed (some are already doing it…).

5) having mobile phone/PDA RSS readers: RSS feeds are smaller in size than full web pages and easier to write than WAP pages. Would be useful to follow RSS events on phones/ Blackberry etc.

example of RSS feed with categories (only one level shown in rss reader):