It was a little surprising to see that Yahoo will no longer be supporting Yahoo Pipes, one of the early web content aggregation technologies. I mentioned Yahoo Pipes in a post a couple of years ago when I was discussing some of the issues surrounding the relatively new self-publishing and web curation tools and trends.
What I didn’t mention in that post however, is how large a role web aggregation concepts have played in many of my most strategic communications and SEO initiatives. Yahoo Pipes was one of the aggregation technologies I looked at when I was leading industry analyst, media and social media relations for the global launch of Kantara, a member-driven organization formed in 2009 by leaders in the identity industry to help foster the harmonization of the many identity standards and protocols in use at the time.
I incorporated aggregation into communications activities because I wanted a dynamic way to showcase launch and ongoing traditional and social media coverage on the Kantara web site and as a means to create new and long-term coverage opportunities by visibly tying the organization to trends taking place in the identity industry.
A portal serving as Kantara’s original “Connect” page featured links to the organization’s newly launched social sites, and included aggregated feeds developed based on key words and trends important to Kantara’s mission and branding goals.
I trained communications teams from across Kantara’s founding membership roster – including public relations and social media reps from BT, CA, Intel, Novell, NTT and Oracle – on how to leverage the portal for message placement and demonstrated how aggregation could help influence a wide range of search results.
The Kantara portal was extremely instrumental in helping to establish an active social media community for the organization and – for nearly five years – provided a great view of some of the important conversations taking place in the identity industry.
Of course, branding requirements change over time and so do communications platforms and technologies. I’ve seen many social networks, outlets and tools evolve over the last decade. During this time I’ve also seen the launch of many new social apps and web initiatives.
Some of these initiatives have garnered a great deal of initial attention, a large and loyal fan base and a significant number of early adopters. But many initiatives also lose a degree of relevance and users when a new technology comes along that seemingly does the job easier, faster or more effectively.
Perhaps Yahoo Pipes has fallen into this cycle given there are more options for incorporating aggregation concepts into strategic communications programs today. Or maybe Yahoo is giving another piece of the Internet pie to Google as some media outlets covering the Yahoo Pipes news have suggested.
Either way, Yahoo Pipes has played an important role in web content aggregation and has been extremely influential in helping to shape many of today’s aggregation-based applications. I’ll discuss some of these applications and technologies in future posts. – Russ DeVeau