Saturday, March 15, 2008

Managing Lifehacker RSS Overload

One of the blogs that I make sure to read on a daily basis is Lifehacker. Not only because its excellent but also because I don't want to exert myself with RSS overload. Lifehacker updates too many times in a day.

Moreover, several things, like MAC OS X and Linux related stuff  doesn't help as I do not use them. All such posts add to my RSS exertion, if I do not clean my reader regularly. At least for now, I just need windows related stuff. Perhaps, if I could just filter the unwanted from the lifehacker feed.

Of late, I have been tinkering with Yahoo-Pipes a bit. So I tried my hand at that. In fact filtering lifehacker's RSS feed for my purposes was fairly easier than I thought. Yahoo-Pipes is a great rescue!

Here is how I got through this.....

Step I: Fetch the feed on the pipes dashboard, expand the items in the debugger and look for category. Expand the category, what we would find, are the tags assigned to the post.


Step II: Once you know the tags, drag the filter operator on to the dashboard and permit as below. (Note that, lifehacker has too many tags, but Windows, Mac OS X and Linux are common)


That's it, we are done. You can look for other tags and accordingly pipe a totally different feed. In this case, the pipe will only allow feeds where category matches the post tags. We can either stop here or tweak it further. In fact, I just wanted to restrict Mac and Linux related post and not the several other post which are neither Windows, Mac or Linux specific.

Just to allow other posts, I would once again fetch the lifehacker feed on the dashboard, then use the filter operator to block the posts tagged Mac OS X and Linux. Then join the output of the two by using the union module and then use unique module to block duplicate entries. This pipe can be viewed here

In fact, Yahoo Pipes are extremely useful for blogs that do not give label feeds. Categories in pipes would identify the labels. Once we know this, rest is cakewalk.

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