Chris Ryan sent me a link today showing off something he had created in Yahoo Pipes. Basically, he took the DEN Illinois feed, ran it through babelfish, and got a new RSS feed translated into Spanish. Just the very thing for your class blog, particularly when you parents don’t speak English. He was thinking about taking it a step further. You could quickly and easily create a custom feed for every language that is spoken by families in your class.
I’ve dabbled in Yahoo Pipes before, but had some trouble with it the first time around. This time I had a lot more success. In a nutshell, Yahoo Pipes is visual interface for ripping, mixing, and mashing feeds together. You can include queries, scripts, and all kinds of interesting parameters, and the end result is going to be a new feed to your specs.
I also created a Pipe combining all of the current DEN blogs into a single RSS feed. Didn’t take long at all to do and will be pretty simple to keep updated. Much easier than what I had been using before. Hardest part about it was doing all the cutting and pasting! Since so many state blogs had recently posted the same article about the deadlines for the institutes coming up, I had it filter out blog posts with the exact same title. That way the feed won’t be bogged down by 13 posts of the exact same content (unless the title has been changed of course).
This is a great way to combine an entire class’s worth of student blogs into a single feed. Or think about mashing up a Flickr feed, del.icio.us bookmarks, and YouTube channel along with the class blog to create a multimedia feed encompassing your class’s presence throughout the web! Your class DOES have a presence on all of those, right? 🙂
Regardless, if you feel like taking RSS to the next level, do some exploring in Yahoo Pipes!