HOW TO: Blog About the Latest News Scoops Using Yahoo! Pipes (Part 1)

A good chunk of a blogger writings is usually based on fresh news stories that are making the headlines. The fresher the story, the higher the chance for the blogger to make an impact. We, Thoughtpickers, are carrying a social media blog which aims to bring a variety of informative and interesting discussions and topics about social media. As a part of our job, we have to deliver you our perspective and commentary on fresh social media news, and thus we were inclined to figure out how to get that chunk of fresh news as soon as it is reported.

Y! Pipes Screenshot

Y! Pipes Screenshot

A brief about news sources:

Our experience and research led us to the following 4 sources of fresh news, and the ways to obtain them as they develop:

One-way broadcast news sources (Web 1.0 style):

  • News agencies and news networks which operate in the real world. The best news aggregator we found is Google News. It aggregates many of the main news sources including AP, Reuters, CNN, NYTimes, …etc. It is also categorized which, in turn, allows us to pick the category that interests us the most – tech news in our case. In addition to that, it also offers alerts via emails or RSS feeds.
  • Press releases issued by companies around the globe. Press releases are covered partially by Google News if a company issues frequent press releases and  is listed as a news source by Google. Some of the top press release distribution services we found are: prweb.com, prnewswire.com, businesswire.com, pr.com, marketwire.com. Moreover, one of the best press release search engines we stumbled upon is EurekAlert which also sends alerts – as the name suggests. But again, after a lot of hours spent clicking around and comparing different services, we believe that Google News covers press releases in a reliable and fast way, so there is no need to consider other sources for press releases.


Two-way social media news sources (Web 2.0 style):

  • Blogs, the most open form of social media. Google Blog Search excels in covering the blogsphere. But, we didn’t pick it for the Y! Pipes application because Technorati blog search allows us to filter by “Authority“, thus excluding blogs with lower credibility.
  • Social news sites. We believe that CNN’s iReport, and Wikinews are excellent social news sources. Wikinews offers both the “new pages” feed and “published” news feed. iReport also offers news through RSS feed. Social media is indeed reshaping the news industry!

So, with piping all these sources via a Yahoo Pipes mashup in mind, we kept an eye out for how we can capture the latest headlines using RSS feeds. As a result, we need to capture 4 feeds: 1) Google News for press releases, and news agency articles, 2) Technorati blog search results, 3) iReports “newsiest” articles feed, and 4) Wikinews’s latest published stories feed.

Filtering and Sorting Using Yahoo! Pipes:

After collecting the needed RSS feeds, we jumped onto Yahoo! Pipes in order to filter and sort things out. What we did is the following: We collected all the feeds and filtered by the keyword entered in order to show you a feed of just the latest related topics to your keyword by reverse chronological order.

Below is an example of the feed results for the keyword “twitter”:

To use this Yahoo Pipe, the URL is:
http://pipes.yahoo.com/pipes/pipe.info?_id=UsnJH8h_3hGsImwy0UypaA

You just need to change the keyword to anything you’re interested in, and you can get the updates on your Google Reader, Netvibes, via RSS, or copy/paste a small piece of code to have it embedded on your blog just as in the example above.

If you’re geeky and would like to have a look at the pipe’s source, just click the view source or clone it and make your own modified copy.

We really hope that you’ll find this helpful in one way or another. Please let us know if there is any news source that you think should be added, we will gladly add it to the pipe.

Now, Google Trends and Twitter Trends are important sources for up-to-date news, too, maybe even faster than blogs and agencies! That’s what we’ll be working on until the next week. We’ll try to build up another pipe where you just plug-in a keyword and get the latest hot (trending) topics around it! Stay tuned and subscribe to our feeds to be the first to get our updates.

Comments and Reactions

  • http://blog.thoughtpick.com/ Beiruta

    Great post! I like the idea of Yahoo!Pipes! I think being able to catch the hot news as soon as its served helps bloggers in getting more website traffic as well as enabling sites to seem more professional and upbeat! Thanks for sharing!

  • http://blog.thoughtpick.com M.Bamieh

    and now you can have a one man newspaper :)

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