Yesterday Yahoo launched a new service called Pipes. The service is an extension of the pipes Unix feature. As yahoo describes it:
Pipes is a hosted service that lets you remix feeds and create new data mashups in a visual programming environment. The name of the service pays tribute to Unix pipes, which let programmers do astonishingly clever things by making it easy to chain simple utilities together on the command line.
Ultimately, Pipes enables users to take various data feeds and then perform various operations on the data (sort, merge, loop, cut, count, etc). The output of your filtering can come in the forms of RSS, text, SMS, and JSON. This is kind of a hybrid of the features that I said would be useful in Google reader in a prior post.
The power of Yahoo Pipes is pretty incredible. Ultimately, users can create their own custom search engine and perform a variety of operations on the result set, all from the comfort of a nice user interface. As of now, the average internet user probably won’t take advantage of this service. I could see a future add-on to the service in which Yahoo aggregates the various query strings of each feed and presents the various variables to the users in the form of simple drop-down menus.
If you want to read more about the new Pipes service I recommend checking out the following articles by Brady Forrest, Tim O’Reilly, and Jeremy Zawodny.