Consolidating Twitter feeds with Yahoo Pipes

I have been suffering from web addiction for a long time. So when Twitter first came out, I figured that would be the last thing I need. Plus, to really take advantage of Twitter, you’ve got to have a relatively fancy phone with a data plan. A decent phone costs anywhere between 150 and 400 dollars, and service plan runs around 80 dollars a month (about 1000 dollars a year). That’s a lot of money.

Off tangent (跑题): Regarding phones, I had high hopes for T-Mobile’s GPhone. But a few friends who have GPhones were a little disappointed. iPhone needs a competitor but it looks GPhone is not there yet. Now that I am running my own business, I am thinking about upgrading to a new phone with a service plan, so you Android people need to work harder to impress me.

Anyway, to get the latest happenings of people I am interested in, I go to Twitter every 2 months or so and just read through the messages. It is not very efficient.

I’ve heard of Yahoo Pipes before but never played with it. But after reading an O’Reilly book which recommended Yahoo Pipes, I thought: wouldn’t it be nice to consolidate the tweets I am interested in and deliver them in my Google Reader? So that’s what I did.

It is really simple to build a pipe. If you’ve worked with Sql Server DTS, it will look very familiar to you. The whole process is surprisingly simple yet powerful. You can even apply regular expression as filters.

Here is the key takeaway: when defining source, pick Fetch Site Feed. For instance, I am interested in 冯大辉‘s tweets, and I just put http://twitter.com/fenng as the address in Pipe. The beauty is that you can add more feeds and consolidate them in one pipe. I then published the pipe, subscribed it in my Google Reader. Because the tweet message is short, I can just eyeball through the subject line, save information if it is any interesting, and then click “Mark all as Read” button.

2 thoughts on “Consolidating Twitter feeds with Yahoo Pipes”

  1. You can do this without Yahoo Pipes too… just subscribe to each RSS feed for each twitter feed. If you want them all mixed together put them all in a folder in Google Reader and then read them via that folder.

  2. Thanks for the tip Chris!

    Hope all is well with you. Man, I haven’t been to the user group meeting in ages now.

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