Really Simple Syndication (RSS) is cool. As a user, I get to subscribe to content on the web that I am interested in. If Sony released a new product and I subscribed to their RSS feedback, I would know immediately as soon as they posted the link on the web. That’s nice, but frankly boring. Taking the concept of RSS and injecting some anabolic steroids into it, you arrive with something called a “Mashup” A mashup is simply an amalgamation of different Web 2.0 technologies that are “mashed up” together. So imagine connecting, RSS feeds from Sony Pictures, feeds from your local cinema, Google maps and finally a feed from your favourite Sushi bar. Connecting to all of these sites and pulling off information that is of interest to me, would certainly mean that my Thursday night is sorted. What I am really referring to is “Intelligent Aggregation”
Mashups are still in their infancy however. Connecting various bits of backend “stuff” (XML APIs), to all talk together is not easy. However, those folks over at Yahoo! have developed a new product called Yahoo Pipes. By piping various feeds from popular sites, you can create a real time, aggregation of information. Its sounds good in principle, though the UI needs work. MySpace loving Susan, might find it a little tricky and time consuming to get her perfect pipe working. Nevertheless, its nice to see Yahoo innovating again.
As with most 2.0 stuff, Pipes is still in beta. However, it will be interesting to see how the masses take to this technology.