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"Computers are my best friends. When I help people find each other without knowing they used a computer, my best friends and I revel in our little secret!"    -Langel

 

 

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Shopify blog to Feedburner to Yahoo Pipes

Saturday, March 12th 2011 3:07pm

A long time ago I had the idea to amalgamate all the different blog feeds that fall under the Firteen banner. A couple weeks back, I slapped together firteenMedia, a website that will slowly morph into the main hub for all Firteen activity. Without much effort using yahoo Pipes, I created an amalgamation of RSS feeds, sorted them by date, and then dynamically loaded them into the new website using jQuery like so —

var output;
$.getJSON("http://pipes.yahoo.com/pipes/pipe.run?_id=20dda4d7cfb4a692ad14f41c89b45f8c&_render=json", function(data) {
var feedBox = $('#feedBox');
$.each(data.value.items, function( i, item) {
output = '<a href="'+item.link+'">'+item.title+'</a><br>';
output += '<p>'+item.description+'</p>';
feedBox.append('<div>'+output+'</div>');
});
});

Today, I opted to add the Firteen Distro blog feed. Firteen Distro is an online store hosted by Shopify. I've had it running for a year, it's a pretty nice setup with a monthly cost and I haven't done too many sales, but without a certain level of focus things don't fruit, right? Anyways, they give you a blog for your store and it has a feed, but it only comes in the Atom variety and all my other feeds are RSS. Both of these two feed standards contain the same basic information in an XML style document, but they also give important data different labels which makes sorting in Yahoo Pipes a big pain in the arse.

At first I 'Renamed' the field 'item.summary.content' to 'description' which gets the blog post's text properly converted. Unfortunately, getting 'published' (Atom's publish date) converted to 'pubDate' is not as easy; they are formatted completely different. I looked all over Pipes for an Atom-to-RSS converter. Didn't find one. So, next, I added another webservice . . .

Once you have feedburner handling your feed, you can convert it to any feed protocol you want. Hit the 'Optimize' tab and towards the bottom of the side menu is 'Convert Format Burner'. On the page it also says something about SmartFeed, just know that SmartFeed by itself will not get an RSS conversion into Pipes.

Above is an image of my current Pipes configuration. I have to admit, I love playing with tentacles. =D But now I have a new set of problems. Pipes might not be designed to do exactly what I want, it feels like it's meant to do a lot more in a different direction than my pet project. Right now, I'm scratching my head, trying to figure out how I attach a blog's title and URL to each post for use on the firteenMedia hub. I might need to scrap the Pipes altogether and use php's built-in XML class instead.

posted by Langel

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