Yahoo Pipes: The Custom-Filtered Web
One of the biggest challenges for many of us these days is *filtering* the fire hose of information that the query-able or "subscribe-able" web (nice ring to it!) can provide.
Michael Yoon recently pointed me to Yahoo Pipes, a new service that allows non-programmers to create highly-customized RSS feeds, starting with a variety of source feeds and allowing a broad range of pre-determined and/ or user-defined intermediate processing.
I'm a big Miami Dolphins fan. To keep my habit under control, I've decided I'm only interested for now in what their new coach Cam Cameron is going to do to fix the offense. I built a pipe to filter several major Dolphins news sources for "Cameron" and then serve me the results in a pubdate-sorted RSS feed. Took 5 minutes to do, and I started from scratch without cloning any prior pipes as models (a really nice feature, like what Ning provides for social media sites, here's an example we built).
What's even more interesting is to create mashups across different kinds of services. One popular example is the NYTimes/ Flickr mashup that serves you an RSS feed of Flickr photos based on an analysis of the content (such as looking for the most frequent keywords) in the NYTimes feed.
A very interesting service to track, still a bit techy for the mainstream, so we'll probably see some Pipes-based intermediaries emerge, folks who will build a collection of specialized pipes for niche audiences. As for monetization: PPC keyword advertising in the feeds?
Here's a good post by Anil Dash on this new service.
Postscript: Perry beat me to it.