Here's an example of creating a feed of your Flickr contacts' favorite photos using RSSBus, which makes complex feed parsing/manipulation tasks easy. In my next post after this one I'll talk about how you can use RSSBus caching so that you can control which items are returned in the actual feed (for those with large numbers of contacts or favorited photos). For example, if this feed results in 400 photos for you, successive requests for the feed will not continue to return 400 photos - but only the new ones, saving bandwidth and making your feedreader work faster. Anyway, here it is:
First, here is a feed of my Flickr Contacts' Favorite photos.
Second, here is my explanation of why it is a big deal. Yesterday I saw this post from Jeremy Zawodny on the Yahoo Developer Network blog about a Yahoo Pipe that generates a feed of Flickr contacts' favorite photos. Jeremy says it's the "coolest Pipe I've seen for a while now".
I agree, this is a great pipe. The problem is - take a look at the compexity of this pipe (pictured to the right). Its a maze, a big mess.
But...it is a useful maze, so how can I simplify it? RSSBus.
RSSBus didn't contain any FlickrOps yesterday (except one yahooFlickrSearch operation that returns a feed of Flickr search results), but now it does. I could have accomplished my goal feed using RSSBus' xmlOps to consume and parse the Flickr services. But instead, I used RSSBus' open connector interface to create my own FlickrOps connector. In just a few minutes I added a brand new connector to the growing list, which I have shared on RSSBus.com.
At this point, it literally took me about 1 minute to create a new 7 line RSSBus script that produces the desired RSS feed. The script simply gets a username (it defaults to my Flickr username) and then pipes together calls to the flickrContacts and flickrFavorites operations that are defined in my new RSSBus connector:
You can try the finished product out for yourself, here is the url. I added some extras like a customized feed title and description, and links back to Flickr inside the rss description. To customize this feed to your own contacts, just provide your own username in the querystring. For example, here is what it would look like for Alto Maltes (the creator of the pipe). Finally, here is the source of the script so that you can download it and run it on your own RSSBus installation.