I came across this rather groundbreaking application from Yahoo! the other week and I really have to hand it to the developers over there - this is very, very cool. I'm talking about something called "Pipes" which is currently in beta and which will probably prove to be one of the "killer" web apps in 2007.
Having written my own RSS feed aggregator in C# which combined all my team's feeds into one RSS, I was slightly deflated to find that Pipes does all this aggregation and manipulation, whilst on a speed trip. I love it. I've put together my team's feeds using Pipes and you can subscribe to the result here. There is also a search version where you can search the team's feed for anything you want. You can then subscribe to this search result via RSS, for example, check out this search of our team's blog on "James Senior". All in all, very cool - I'm interested to see what comes of this little experiment by Yahoo and whether there's anything else that it out there that does a similar thing...
How did I do this, well thanks to the rich AJAX web experience and intuitive user experience it was little more than a few clicks and drags and hey presto - a RSS feed for the UK's Technology Adoption Group!
Aside from my team's feed there are some interesting (and far more complicated) concoctions from other contributors, take for example the combined Yahoo! and Google Search feed which aggregates a user's search results from the two engines. Obviously there is scope to include Live.com search in there also, but I can't seem to find an RSS view of search results to use unfortunately.
At the moment some of the matching is a little hit or miss but once community driven tagging of content becomes mainstream and an everyday activity accuracy of results and content links should be much better. I wonder if there is an opportunity there....
Why am I promoting Yahoo's product, I hear you ask? Because it's fricking cool and I wish Microsoft had of thought of this first! Maybe I'll get a comment telling me that we actually do have something similar, it just got lost in the Live branding fiasco.
They've also got a blog over here: Pipe Blog which has got latest news and announcements on the technology.