Tag Archives: pipes

Yahoo Pipes: Major Upgrade to the Twitter Reply Sniffer

With all of the many problems Twitter has been experiencing lately, the tools that people use for Twitter have also been unreliable. The Twitter Reply Sniffer has been mostly broken for a couple of weeks due to the unreliability of Tweetscan. I spent some time playing with Summize and Twittersearch, but I found that both provided slightly different results. Both occasionally miss tweets, but they didn’t seem to be consistently missing the same tweets. I also decided that relying on a single service for this pipe was a bad idea, so I wanted to use multiple services to improve future reliability.

Today, I am releasing a major upgrade to the Twitter Reply Sniffer pipe to reduce the dependency on any single service. I have been testing it out in a copy for about a week, and I’ve been happy with the performance. If you are already using the Twitter Reply Sniffer pipe, it should just automagically start working for you in the next few hours, since I moved my changes from my copy back into the production release.


  1. Go to the Twitter Reply Sniffer
  2. Enter your Twitter username and click “run pipe”
  3. Grab the RSS feed output

I want to thank Justin Kistner at Metafluence for creating the first rev of this pipe. He came up with the idea to do this and found the services that made it possible. I cloned his original version and have been making minor tweaks along the way that seem to have taken on a life of their own as things like this frequently do.

Here’s a brief history of the evolution of the Twitter Reply Sniffer Pipe:

Please let me know if you see any issues or bugs by leaving me a comment on this post.

Related Fast Wonder Blog posts:

Identi.ca Reply Sniffer

It looks like a few of us are starting to play with Identi.ca. It’s just like Twitter, but without the community and without any real tools to support it 🙂

Anyway, there doesn’t seem to be a good way to track @replies. I’ve put together a quick Yahoo pipe that will catch at least some of your replies. This is highly experimental (pre-alpha stage maybe). Welcome to the Identi.ca Reply Sniffer Pipe.

I’ll try to make some improvements to it over the next couple of days, but in the meantime, feel free to leave me suggestions in the comments on this post.


  1. Go to the Identi.ca Reply Sniffer Pipe
  2. Enter your username and click “run pipe”
  3. Grab the RSS feed output

Related Fast Wonder Blog posts:

New Legion of Tech Widget and Pipe

I thought it would be cool to track all of the various Legion of Tech activities. I started with a Yahoo Pipe that pulls together blog posts, Twitter conversations, and Flickr images that mention legionoftech, startupalooza, igniteportland, and barcampportland. I also used the rss feed from this pipe in a nice little sidebar widget. You can see a copy of this widget in the sidebar of this blog.

Legion of Tech Pipe Usage:

Use the Widget:

Embed this code in your blog:

<object classid=”clsid:d27cdb6e-ae6d-11cf-96b8-444553540000″ codebase=”http://fpdownload.macromedia.com/pub/shockwave/cabs/flash/swflash.cab#version=9,0,0,0″ width=”240″ height=”421″ id=”sBADltts1AiEEpQ5V”><param name=”wmode” value=”transparent” /><param name=”align” value=”middle” /><param name=”allowFullScreen” value=”true” /><param name=”allowScriptAccess” value=”always” /><param name=”quality” value=”high” /><param name=”movie” value=”http://farm.sproutbuilder.com/10792/load/BADltts1AiEEpQ5V.swf” /><embed type=”application/x-shockwave-flash” pluginspage=”http://www.macromedia.com/go/getflashplayer” src=”http://farm.sproutbuilder.com/10792/load/BADltts1AiEEpQ5V.swf” width=”240″ height=”421″ wmode=”transparent” align=”middle” allowFullScreen=”true” allowScriptAccess=”always” quality=”high”></embed></object>

Advanced Tracking Usage:

You can also use this pipe to track any other keywords from blog posts, Twitter, and Flickr with a custom csv file

  • Create a custom csv file with a new line for each keyword you want to track and put it somewhere that can be accessed via a url. Make sure there are no blank lines in your csv.
  • Go to the Legion of Tech tracker
  • Enter the url of your csv file and run the pipe
  • Grab the rss feed output

Feel free to leave me any feedback or suggestions to improve the pipe or the widget.

Related Fast Wonder Blog posts:

FriendFeed Stats and Analysis

Internet Duct Tape recently posted an interesting analysis of a bunch of different FriendFeed stats broken down into 5 trends. I won’t cover them all here, but there were a few points that I found particularly interesting.

Twitter accounts for almost half of all items on FriendFeed, and 90% of the items come from the top 8 services (Twitter, Blog, Google Reader, del.icio.us, Digg, Tumblr, YouTube, StumbleUpon). Anecdotally, I’ve noticed this trend within my own feeds. In fact, the Twitter traffic was so overwhelming that I decided to filter it out entirely with a FriendFeed Minus Twitter pipe.

I was also surprised and sad to see that Ma.gnolia was in the bottom 1% of services used. I like it so much more than del.icio.us, and it seems to also get a lot of usage from my friends. We must be atypical when compared to the broader group.

It also looks like FriendFeed is addressing some of the comment issues, starting with the ability to send an @ response directly to Twitter when someone comments on a Twitter item in FriendFeed. Now, if they would only find a way to do it with other services, like blogs. It would be great if a comment on a blog post in FriendFeed would also find its way back as a comment on the blog post. Ideally, I would love to see FriendFeed find better ways of dealing with comments so that I don’t need to use the FriendFeed Comment Finder pipe that I created to make it easier to find comments in FriendFeed.

While I think that FriendFeed is cool, I find that I have a hard time using it. So much of the information is duplicated for me. I already have feeds of people’s blogs, Ma.gnolia links, etc. I do find interesting things that I have missed in my regular feeds, but I haven’t quite decided if it is worth the time invested.

Related Fast Wonder Blog posts:

Yahoo Pipes and RSS Hacks

I’ve been having a lot of fun with Yahoo Pipes lately (some would say slightly obsessed with using them) to hack up RSS feeds and tweak them to be more useful for me and others. Justin told me it would be a good idea to pull them all together in one page to make it easier for people to find them, so I created the Yahoo Pipes and RSS Hacks page. You can find it conveniently located in the Fast Wonder Blog menu bar, and I’ll try to keep it up to date with new Yahoo Pipes.

Solution to Missed FriendFeed Comments: FriendFeed Comment Finder

A bunch of people have been talking about how FriendFeed allows people to comment on content within FriendFeed. This means that we have to log into friend feed every day and scour for comments, which remain fragmented from the source of the content. I can’t fix the fragmentation, but I think I have part of a solution (implemented as a Yahoo Pipe, of course).

The FriendFeed Comment Finder attempts to find content with comments or that people have marked as “liked”.

Important Caveats:

  • Consider this highly experimental right now. Suggestions are welcome!
  • FriendFeed has really convoluted feed structures, and this pipe is implemented in a crappy way right now.
  • The feeds from FriendFeed seem really truncated with only the few most recent entries appearing. If you are using something like NetNewsWire, you should set persistence for x days, and not until they disappear from feed.
  • I also suspect it might be missing a few comments, but haven’t been able to isolate this from the above problem. If you can find a pattern, please let me know.

To use the FriendFeed Comment Finder, enter your FriendFeed username, click “run pipe”, and then grab the RSS feed from “More Options”. Note that I think it is only picking up recent comments.

Related Fast Wonder Blog Posts:

FriendFeed Minus Twitter

I am apparently obsessed with Yahoo Pipes (again). Aaron Hockley just wished for a way to get a FriendFeed, but without all of the annoying Twitter posts that overwhelm the feed. At that point Todd Kenefsky walked by and said, “I bet you could do that with a Yahoo Pipe.” Obsession resumed … bedtime postponed.

I just had to oblige. Use this FriendFeed Minus Twitter Yahoo Pipe to get a nice little RSS feed of your FriendFeed without the million Tweets. Simply grab the RSS feed from your “friends” page, enter it into the box on the pipe, and grab the rss feed output 🙂

Related Fast Wonder Blog posts:

Yahoo Pipes Twitter Reply Sniffer: More Improvements

The switch last week from TerraMinds (the service appears to be dead) to TweetScan for the Yahoo Pipes Twitter Reply Sniffer had a couple of unintended side effects. For people with twitter account names that are also common words, the new sniffer delivered way too many false positives. I realized that TweetScan completely ignored the “@” sign, which I didn’t think was a big deal at the time. With a Twitter account like @geekygirldawn, I didn’t notice any issues; however @verso noticed. I was also having a hard time pulling the date out of the TweetScan RSS feed last week for some reason. It was obvious today, which means that they added the date to their feed, or I completely missed it last week when I was tweaking the pipe. Either are good possibilities, since I made the tweaks to the pipe in about 5 minutes while talking to a couple of Legion of Tech board members and waiting for the board meeting to start.

This new and improved Twitter Reply Sniffer explicitly includes only references to your twitter account name that are preceded by the “@” sign. For any of you who liked seeing every reference to your twitter account name, you can easily clone the pipe and remove the filter for @accountname.

I’ve also added a time stamp to the end of every title so that you can easily see exactly when each person replied. If you don’t like the time stamp, you can also clone the pipe and remove the loop right before the pipe output module.

Thanks to Ms. Fishbones for suggesting the improvements and for pointing out the typo in my blog post about the new version of the reply sniffer from last week!

I also wanted to thank Justin Kistner at Metafluence for creating the first rev of this pipe. He came up with the idea to do this and found the services that made it possible. I cloned his original version and have been making minor tweaks along the way that seem to have taken on a life of their own as things like this frequently do.

Here is the new version of the Twitter Reply Sniffer. I think that your rss reader should automagically pick up the changes if you were already using the old Twitter Reply Sniffer.

Related Fast Wonder Blog posts:

    Yahoo Pipes: Track Twitter Replies with RSS Part Deux

    A while back, I modified Justin’s Twitter Reply Sniffer to add a little more functionality. The reply sniffer is really useful to help find Twitter @ replies directed toward you from everyone (whether you follow them or not). This is incredibly helpful for me in a couple of ways. First, it finds replies that I missed from people I follow. Second, I just can’t keep up with the noise if I follow everyone who follows me; however, I think that the conversations are one of the most important aspects of Twitter, and the reply sniffer helps me participate in those conversations.

    My issue with the original reply sniffer is that it was based on TerraMinds.com, which was down all day yesterday, so I decided to modify it to use a similar service, TweetScan. Here is the link to the new and improved Twitter Reply Sniffer pipe.

    Related Fast Wonder Blog posts:

    Don't Miss Any Important sxsw Tweets this week!

    I was a little bored sitting in the airport at 5am, so I thought that it would be fun to use Yahoo Pipes to help make sure that I didn’t miss any important sxsw tweets during my trip. I thought that other people might be interested in using it, too, so I built my Twitter Filter for sxsw using a user input field. You just enter your “with friends” Twitter feed URL, grab the RSS feed output, and put the feed in your favorite mobile RSS reader. Now you can make sure you don’t miss anything!

    How it works:

    • You enter your Twitter “with friends” feed (it defaults to mine).
    • It searches the feed for these 2 keywords “sxsw” and “austin”
    • It outputs only the tweets with one of those keywords

    Keep in mind that you can clone this pipe and add some extra keywords. Good candidates might be “party” or “werewolf” 🙂

    For those sxsw’ers on Twitter, a bunch of us are writing similar filters, so you might want to make sure you include the text or hash tag “sxsw” in your Tweets.

    Related Fast Wonder blog posts: