I have wanted to learn how to do mashups for a while, but it always looked like some complex programming was involved. So I was really glad to attend a presentation by Jody Condit Fagan, who made it seem so easy. She illustrated Yahoo Pipes and said that it’s for NON-TECHIES. And indeed all it takes is the ability to drag and drop various elements on to a workspace, then join them and click "Run Pipes". (Well, it can be a little more complicated if you want to get fancy!) Ignoring Murphy’s First Law of Online Demonstrations (The more important the demo, the more likely the connection will fail!), Jody created a mashup of several RSS feeds from some libraries, sorted them, and annotated them to show which library they came from. Jody’s presentation is available on the CIL Wiki. She also provided a handout and a "homework assignment".
All of Jody’s examples involved RSS feeds, so I asked her how to do a simple Google map with addresses plotted on it. She said that Google Maps can be used with Yahoo Pipes, and afterwards, a helpful attendee showed me that if you go to Google Code, you will find a tutorial on how to do it. I’m looking forward to trying it out!
Columnist, Information Today and CIL 2008 Blog Coordinator