Pipes 2


What are Pipes?
Pipes are mashups.  Sounds messy, doesn’t it?   But, in fact, mashups are an efficient way of selecting and aggregating the flow of information that you want to take in and perhaps present to a wider audience.

Yahoo Pipes is an extremely intuitive software that makes it easy for you to specify and consolidate sources of information on a specific topic.

Why use Pipes?

Let’s start with an example:  Food blogs.  I love food blogs.  They are more than a bit addictive!  I can recapture some of the time I expend on my food blog habit by being efficient in the way that I follow them.   On a time efficiency scale, I can:

Here is what my Yahoo Pipe for my 12 favorite food blogs looks like:

And here is it’s output as an image and text mashup:

Easy!  Efficient!  My Yahoo Pipe gives me the latest blog entries from 12 different food blogs in one view.  I can just click on any of the images listed at the bottom and, boom!, I’m at the full blog post.

But Pipes are not just for food blogs!

You can consolidate and customize, with surprising specificity, blogs, news sites and image sources of all sorts.   In your library, a custom Pipe might be used to:

  • Capture the breaking blog posts from student blogs for book clubs, literature circles and Sakura Medal Brainbowl Teams.
  • Generate an image or content mashup for the 2nd Grade Insect Unit.
  • Follow popular author blogs
  • Track Iditerod news stories.


1.  Find 3 blogs that you’d like to experiment with and have their RSS Feeds handy.

Don’t know any blogs to follow?  Have a snoop here at the 2012 Weblog award winners and runners up for best blogs of 2012.  [Hint: See the gray panel on the left for links to categories and the years along the top to see previous year winners.]

Want to know more about RSS feeds?  Read more about them here:  RSS Explained

2.   Go to Yahoo at https://login.yahoo.com/config/login.  If you already have a Yahoo account, log in.  If you don’t, scroll down and punch the Create New Account button.  Fill in the necessary information and, voila!, you have a Yahoo account.

3.  To create a pipe, go to Yahoo Pipes at  http://pipes.yahoo.com/pipes/ and sign in with your Yahoo login in the upper right corner.

4.  Once you are logged in, hit    along the top.

5.  Now you are ready to build a pipe.  This video [4:39 min] will show you how to do it.

6.  Post your Pipe’s URL on to the your participants’ blog.


This is just the tip of the iceberg in terms of what Yahoo Pipes can do.  If you want to get more sophisticated with Yahoo Pipes, please explore these links:


Please post about your experience this week with Yahoo Pipes:

  1. 1 group reflection to the group blog.
  2. At least one individual micro-reflections to your Twitter account using our #C2Iasij hashtag.

Wondering what to write about?  Here are some suggestions:  Can you see any applicability for Yahoo Pipes in your library or in your personal life?  How is it an improvement over how you gather/track information now?  Was it tricky or easy to wrap your mind around Yahoo Pipes?



This Learning 2.0 module was originally designed and implemented by students in Dr. Michael Stephens‘ Transformative Literacies class in the Fall of 2012.  This class is part of San Jose State University’s School of Library and Information Science curriculum. It was authored by Ruth Larson Bender for The American School in Japan. It is available for use for other libraries or institutions.  This work is licensed under a Creative Commons Attribution-NonCommercial-ShareAlike 3.0 Unported License.

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