If you haven’t gone over to play with the new Yahoo!Pipes yet, you just might want to give it a try. It’s kind of like a Quartz Composer/Tinker Toy-inspired layout system for information and it’s tons of fun. Pipes allow you to collect and filter information to create custom information feeds.
To get started, visit Yahoo Pipes via Firefox. (Pipes works a lot better with Firefox than Safari.) Click “create a new pipe” and log into your Yahoo account.
More after the jump…
You’ll see a list of modules on the left, chunked into categories like Sources (items from the web), User inputs (exactly what it sounds like), Operators (programmatic elements), URL (an element that builds URLs), String (concatenation) and Date. To create a pipe, you drag modules into the main layout window and connect them together.
For example, this pipe prompts the user for a Zip code and then searches for Pizza within a five-mile radius.
This pipe searches the Mac blog and TUAW for my posts.
You can also make the pipes do a “content analysis” on an RSS feed and replace the results with Flickr images that match the content of that feed, or you can keep an eye on current prices for particular eBay items, and so forth. To get inspired, pop over to Yahoo’s list of the most frequently run pipes. All published pipe layouts are public. If you see something you like, you can grab it and adapt it for your own use.
There are docs here, but they’re pretty sparse and not especially helpful.