The Internet as LEGO’s. Yahoo! Launches Pipes

Yahoo! has released Pipes, which lets you “remix feeds and create new data mashups in a visual programming environment.” Tim O’Reilly describes Pipes this way:

“They allow developers to use two websites in a way that their creators didn’t quite intend, which extends them and makes them more useful. But mashups have generally been limited in their scope… But perhaps more significantly, to develop a mashup, you already needed to be a programmer. Yahoo! Pipes is a first step towards changing all that, creating a programmable web for everyone.”

Nik Cubrilovic at TechCrunch explains his early experience with Pipes:

“The beauty of the application is with its simplicity – a user can take any sources, user input requests or… module and drag+drop them into place and then connect the pipes. Within minutes I had built an application… that would search for ‘Techcrunch’ in a variety of feeds, bring that data together, sort it and filter it for unique results. I saved the application and published it, from where I can now execute it at any time and receive the output in a variety of formats. I can take a copy of an existing pipe… and use it as a base template for my own pipe and I can browse an existing library of pipes.”

Niall Kennedy looks at the risks to established web publishers:

  • Pipes makes it easy to remove advertising from feeds or otherwise reformat your content.
  • It changes the reliability of delivered content, the relationship with the end user.

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