Yahoo Pipes RSS Mashup

Are you Brainstorming to “Feed” Content Ideas to your Blog?

by Ed Gately on November 2, 2009 · 3 comments

in Blogging Tips,Wordpress Blogging,Wordpress General Tips

There is no reason for me to beat the dead horse about how important content is for your site.  If you are running a blog it’s really obvious, how do we brainstorm for new content ideas?  Especially if you are running a quality niche blog, it can be really easy to run out of “hot” topics for your niche.

There are hundreds if not thousands of websites out there with writers posting content and ideas about everything under the sun.  Naturally, if you start searching the internet for a list of websites to keep on your bookmarks list, and then try to keep up with them every day you’ll end up just blowing all your time on reading instead of writing.

Luckily most websites these days syndicate their content with RSS Feeds.

I use Google’s Reader to keep track of several websites.  It comes in really handy to visit one website and see the content of many websites all in one spot.

Did you know you can customize your WordPress Admin with aggregated content about your topic for idea surfing?

Feed Reader in WP Admin

Feed Reader in WP Admin

When you log into your WP Admin you’ve probably noticed a couple boxes, one called “WordPress Development Blog” and the other “Other WordPress News”.

I’ve found that many people don’t realize that if you mouse over the title bars a little “Customize” link shows up.

Clicking on this link will give you settings screen so you can change the Feed you want to display here as well as the title.

Feed Settings in WP Admin

Feed Settings in WP Admin

You can set the number of items you’d like to display as well as a few other settings such as displaying content.

So if you are managing a blog, maybe you don’t really need to see WordPress Development information every time you log in.

Instead let’s make it a little more valuable.

First though, let’s consider.  Maybe we don’t want to be limited to only two feeds. Maybe we are looking at this as a method to not only keep in touch with the competition, but to also feed us as many ideas about our own content as possible.

So to do this we’ll need some way to create a RSS Mashup of sorts.

Head on over to Yahoo Pipes.  This service is really excellent for combining RSS Feeds, and they in turn provide you with another RSS Feed of all the feeds combined.

I tried another site called xFruits, but I couldn’t even get their accounts to work.  I tried 2 different accounts over the course of a week and it would never work.

So once I created a Yahoo ID, I was able to log into their Pipes Utility.  I was pretty impressed with what you could do with this tool.

Yahoo Pipes

Yahoo Pipes

Take a look at the picture to see how I created a mashup of two feeds, and sorted the content by published date.

After I saved the Pipe, I just clicked over to view it and then selected the “Get as RSS”.  I plugged in my new Mashup feed in the WP Admin.

Now every time I log into my WP Admin I see all the content from these feeds.  Sometimes I see articles I disagree with, sometimes I see content ideas that I could expand on in more detail.  Sometimes reading through the titles I’ll get hit with a completely unique idea.

Either way it’s a very beneficial tool.  I’d love to hear from some readers about if this is beneficial, or any other “tricks” you might have found.

Related posts:

  1. Redirecting Feed to Feedburner with htaccess
  2. Blog Content Brainstorming
  3. Do you get stumped writing new blog content?
  4. WordPress Plugin Review – Post Ideas
About The Author: Hi, I'm Ed Gately and I write Wordpress Master to help bloggers get started in building a successful online blog using Wordpress. Prior to writing on this blog I spent over 16 years working in Corporate IT and have been spreading my wings on the web for 3 years. To learn more about this website and me visit About Wordpress Master.

{ 2 comments… read them below or add one }

Flava Flave November 2, 2009 at 7:51 am

You are the blog guru. I bow before his holiness.


Sharon December 19, 2009 at 3:34 pm

thanks, your advice really did help. it’s great to have people like you, who teach others, something great and valuable everyday.

keep it up. i’ve bookmarked you!


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