Wiring the syndication bus together

Philipp Schmidt just posted on a cool new mashup of Google Forms and Yahoo Pipes that creates a kind of self-service aggregation of feeds for Peer-2-Peer University classes, you can see the prototype here. Go ahead, add the URL of your blog feed and test this puppy out.

What I like about this is that it’s not re-posting the work so much as providing a trace of posts (what Andre Malan appropriately termed the ghost blog), with the added bonus of including comments for each post inline—amazing! Moreover, each link brings you back to the original post or comment. It’s an early version yet, and I’m really impressed with the way it brings all the aggregated work together for a class. The key now is to allow people to add just their blog URL along with a specific tag or category they will be using so that it filters accordingly so that not everything is brought in, but only what’s appropriate. Once that happens we have some pretty sick and slick EDUGLU with free and loosely joined tools.

I increasingly think automating the discovery of a site’s feed along with the appropriate concatenation of the specified tag or category feed would make this so much easier for anyone to do.  The issue of knowing the specific feed for a tag or category on a wide range of blogging platforms and services is where some of this breaks down for users adding their feeds.

Finally, and perhaps most important, is the very cool image of The Wire actors in Philipp’s post that I have stolen above, which suggests his true genius.

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13 Responses to Wiring the syndication bus together

  1. Joss Winn says:

    (Tried to post this on Phillip’s blog but his spam filter was complaining that I didn’t have jscript turned on in my browser – I hate to think what the web would look like with it turned off!)

    Nice work Phillip. Is the Yahoo Pipes output you’re embedding in the wiki an RSS feed? If so, you could stick it through feed2js and embed it in pretty much any web page and style it with CSS. I guess the Google form is just a bit of jscript, too?

  2. Philipp says:

    I am having fun with this already. Found Joss’ comment on the Wire itself, because Jim added the bavatuesdays feed to it. Yay!

    Joss: Yes, you can get the Pipes output as RSS, or JOSN, or a variety of other formats. I am just using their “badge” which makes it easy to embed straight away.

    Have a look here: http://pipes.yahoo.com/pipes/pipe.info?_id=ed8183571a646f650678456d1b984f5d

    Regarding the comments on my blog: did it complain about you having javascript turned on or turned off? It’s the first time I hear about it, and I want everyone to be able to post comments of course. I recently installed a spam blocker plug-in, because my host complained I was getting too much spam … but now it’s keeping out the good guys.

  3. Joss Winn says:


    Here’s the error message:

    Sorry, there was an error. JavaScript and Cookies are required in order to post a comment.

    … blah blah blah…

    This message was generated by WP-SpamFree.

  4. Joss Winn says:


    Agree with the point about feed discovery for blog platforms. We could easily knock up a reference page for the time-being though.

    Also, don’t forget one of my favourite WP plugins for exactly this kind of thing:


    I love the way it let’s you easily syndicate searches.

  5. Philipp says:

    Thanks Joss – need to investigate this. The documentation says that the error should only appear if (either you don’t have JS / cookies enabled) the plug-in is not installed properly. The plug-in says it is in stalled properly. I wonder if Jim minds that we use his blog for our conversation 😉 Come to think of it, I am going to have all my conversations here from now on …

  6. Reverend says:


    Awesome stuff, kudos.


    Extra Feed Links is new to me, will play with this today. And I agree with you about the reference page, I have written a few over the years, but I guess I am being an syndication idealist again which is always dangerous 🙂

  7. Reverend says:


    I don’t mind if you talk here, it kinda ensures you don’t say too many bad things about the bava. And if you do….DELETED!

  8. Pingback: The Wire. Linking aggregated posts and comments | ../learninglab/joss

  9. Joss Winn says:

    I just posted this, which shows The Wire embedded in WordPress using feed2js:


    Jim, I’ve written/praised the extra feed links plugin here:


    (spamming your comment thread with my own blog posts 😉

  10. Brian says:

    How do I find the words to say what I want to say?

    OK, I think I got it — HOOOOO BOY!

  11. I just have to throw a comment into the pool to say how fucking awesome this Wire is. Wow. The ability for everyone to clone a Pipe, customize the feeds however they need, and then embed the output into any web page. Fucking genius. Well done. I look forward to ripping offborrowing this idea in the near future.

  12. man, using a google doc as input? that’s sick. now if only the Pipes editing interface was a little less ungeek unfriendly, we could unleash this en masse. Very cool stuff.

  13. Reverend says:

    @D’Arcy and @Brian,

    Ahhhhh, the eduglu faithful chime in!

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