Saturday, February 10, 2007

The Browser is the Web Service

Hard to imagine, I know, but there are actually other companies working on web services besides the Seattle-based e-commerce giant for which I work. And, in a violent betrayal of all business sense, today I'm hyping one of them: Yahoo! Pipes. The internets, as we all know, are not a dump truck. They are a series of tubes, and Pipes allows you to connect those tubes in whatever ways you might wish. Then it allows you to sort, edit, filter, &cetera them, and finally publish the results. What causes it to pretty much kick the ass of the web service world to this point is this: you don't have to be a software developer to use it. It's got a nifty little drag and drop UI; you type RSS URLs into text boxes, and connect those boxes into other boxes which perform operations like match text in entries or sort those entries by publication date. Here, for instance, is the UI for the blog aggregator I constructed. And the published results are here: The Hermeneutic Blog Circle Aggregator.

This is an unusually short post for me, so as an added bonus, here is an aggregated list of alternate titles I considered for this post:
  • The Web is The Service
  • The RSS Feed is The Message
  • The Tubes Are The Dump Truck
  • The Not Buffy is The Veronica Mars
  • The Blog is The Unblog
  • La Ceci N'est Pas Une Pipe est Une Pipe
  • The Stoat is The Potato
  • The This List is The Thing That Is Not That Funny
Next: The Noun is the Other, At First Seemingly Unrelated Noun!