HOWTO: Use a Yahoo Pipe to filter feeds

One of my friends at work asked me today how I sift through volumes of news to find articles and information on Google and specifically on Google Code for my articles. The answer is simple, I don't. Granted, I DO read a LOT, but there just aren't enough hours in the day to read everything I want to. So, I have a Yahoo Pipe sift through the feeds for me. Pipes is "a powerful composition tool to aggregate, manipulate, and mashup content from around the web." Its fairly easy to use and doesn't require any code or coding experience, although understanding the basic layout of an RSS or Atom feed is a definite plus. The method I'm going to describe could work for any blogger or anyone who wants to filter a single or large group of feeds by keyword. I'm not going to go into the details of Yahoo Pipes, there are plenty of tutorials and examples for that. I'm just going to describe how I built the small pipe I use to filter for Google news.

The first step is to log into or create a Yahoo account and go to and click on Create Pipe. The first node we're going to use is under sources and is called "Fetch Feed". Add as many of these as you want to pull in all the feeds you will need.

Then use unions (located under Operators) to join these Fetches together. If you have more then 5 feeds, you will need multiple unions.

Finally, add a filter, also located under Operators. Here, "Permit" items that match "any" of the following. Then, add rules where item.description > Contains and then the word or phrase you want to search for. This filter will allow any posts that have the words through, and block everything else. Send the output of the Filter to the Pipe Output and you are done.

You can then subscribe to the output of this pipe with the reader of your choice. When I subscribe to my pipe's [feed]( .run?_id=vF35LapU3BG9UzFodbq02Q&_render=rss) in Google Reader, I only see posts that contain the word Google or google. I also could have done that as one filter with a regular expression, or just with "oogle".

Here is a full view of the pipe