As I have made pretty clear in this blog, I strongly feel that the Web 2.0 world (including blogging tech, the blogosphere and Wikis) presents challenges for the PR profession, but also opens up important new opportunities.
Keeping with this theme, and focusing on the opportunities, I thought that I’d launch a new section of this blog called "Web 2.0 Hacks, Mashups and Utilities" for PR.
It will serve as a resource, pointing people to free online utilities for the PR profession. I will also take the more promising ones for a test drive, report on my experiences and describe news ones that I come up with. Hopefully, people will chime in with some of their own hacks that they devise or learn about.
Why should you care? Because these resources can help you be more effective and do a better job. Another reason is that, in putting these tools to work you will also at the same time improve your Web 2.0 literacy. Also, did I mention "Free?"
I start out with a review of Yahoo! Pipes, and will cover some of the PR applications that are out there for Pipes.
Yahoo! Pipes was announced with great fanfare several months ago, and received rave reviews. Its purpose is to give non-programmers a way to build their own information mashups, mixing and matching inputs and flexibly producing outputs from user definable Web resources. In this vein, it can be seen as providing some of the same benefits as a newsmastering solution such as MySyndicaat (see my post Tracking Buzzwords in the Wild ), however appears to be positioned to be more of a platform than a solution.
Here is Tim O’Reilly’s post from February, Yahoo!’s
new Pipes service is a milestone in the history of the internet, and an excerpt:
"It’s a service that generalizes the idea of the mashup, providing a drag and
drop editor that allows you to connect internet data sources, process them, and
redirect the output. Yahoo! describes it as "an interactive feed aggregator and
manipulator" that allows you to "create feeds that are more powerful, useful and
relevant." While it’s still a bit rough around the edges, it has enormous
promise in turning the web into a programmable environment for everyone."
And here is what Nick Bradbury had so say at around the same time in Yahoo! Pipes
is a Platform Play:
"Pipes enables the creation of custom RSS feeds tailored to specific interests.
Here’s a very simple example: you could create a "pipe" which asks for a zip
code, then generates a single feed containing information taken from a
collection of weather feeds, news feeds, events feeds and sports feeds
pertaining to that zip code. Or you could create a pipe which mixes news about a
big event with Flickr photos of the same event. Or how about one that combines
comments from the same person across multiple blogs?"
However, in the time since the noise about Yahoo! Pipes has died down somewhat So, does Yahoo! Pipes hold up to its promise for PR? What are the good applications that are out there? Stay tuned, and you will find out more out shortly.