Notes & Thoughts

Filtered Content is Dead. Long Live Filtered Content.

Yahoo! Pipes is shutting down later this month, leaving a huge number of users without the ability to mix and filter content sources. Remember RSS? It's still out there, and it’s still unruly. With Pipes nearing end of life, people are about to get a reminder of just how unruly it can be.

In 2006, prior to the introduction of Yahoo! Pipes, the Electric Pulp team created a service called Feed Rinse. It's no stretch to say that Feed Rinse blazed the path into feed filtering and news relevancy. It may have even blazed the path for Pipes. ReadWriteWeb and many other tech journalists covered Feed Rinse multiple times, calling it the best of class app for filtering, even when compared against Pipes.

What Even is Feed Filtering?

Feed Rinse is a web app that lets you add content sources (RSS/XML or website URLs) and then apply rules via a web interface to limit posts to the kind of information you’re interested in.

Maybe you only want posts that mention your brand. Maybe you want to subscribe to a very active publication but want to block topics you aren’t interested in. Feed filtering lets you do this by giving you a ‘rinsed’ feed that you’re able to read in whichever application you prefer.

As nerdy as it may seem, hundreds of thousands of filters have been set up with Feed Rinse. All that filtering requires server resources, and those resources come at a price. Like many other Web 2.0 services, we had decided to make Feed Rinse free. And that decision nearly killed it.

Nine and a half years have passed since Feed Rinse first launched. We've kept it available as a free service, but we haven't scaled it to meet demand. As the number of users continued to increase, the server response began to lag. That's even a bit of an understatement.

With Yahoo! closing the doors on Pipes, we're getting an increased number of requests to splash some water on Feed Rinse. We've decided to do just that.

Feed Rinse 2.0 is Coming

This time around, Feed Rinse will be given the attention it deserves. We'll continue offering a free account, but we'll be offering paid account options as well. This will help us cover the necessary server expense and attend more to its needs.

If you’re interested in the service, sign up to be notified when we unveil the rebooted service. In the meantime, Feed Rinse 1.0 will continue to operate. We’ve even resized the current server to better handle the current traffic.

We’ll have more soon. We're looking to have the new version of the app available in October.

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