Unclutter unwanted content in your RSS reader with Yahoo! Pipes

We understand that not everyone loves our A Year Ago posts, but a good chunk (an 80 percent chunk) click on the links in these posts and explore the older content. Instead of continuing to annoy our readers who dislike the posts, though, I decided to create a custom Unclutterer feed using Yahoo! Pipes that doesn’t include the A Year Ago posts.

So, if you hate the A Year Ago posts in your RSS reader, subscribe to this new feed instead.

Here’s how we did it, and how you can use Yahoo! Pipes to filter unwanted content from other sites:

Start by going to Yahoo! Pipes and click on the “Create a pipe” link at the top of the page.

You’ll be taken to a login page where you can enter your Yahoo! username and password or create an account if you don’t already have one. Once you’re logged in, you’ll see a grid with links on the left side of the screen and a pop-up window that says “Welcome to the pipes editor” in the middle of the page.

At this point, you can either select “Build your first pipe” to watch an instructional video, or select the X in the red box to close the window.

Your next step is to click on the plus sign adjacent to “Fetch Feed” under the Sources headline:

In the pop-up window that appears, type http://feeds.feedburner.com/unclutterer (or whatever RSS feed you wish to filter). Be sure not to hit enter after you type the link:

Return to the left side bar and click the arrow next to the word “Operators” so that a drop down menu appears. Then, click on the plus sign next to the word “Filter”:

In the pop-up box that appears, choose the action that you want to take place. In the case of A Year Ago posts, I selected “Block” “any” “item.category” and “is” and then entered A Year Ago in the content box (or whatever information you wish to sort on for the feed you’re working with):

Next, connect the boxes. To do this, select the bottom dot on the Feed box and link it to the top dot on the Filter box. Then, select the bottom dot on the Filter box and link it to the top dot on the Pipe Output box.

Press “Save” at the top of the screen to see your filtered link.

As a reminder, we already created a feed for you so that you don’t have to go through this process if you want an A Year Ago-free Unclutterer RSS feed. Just subscribe to this.

15 Comments for “Unclutter unwanted content in your RSS reader with Yahoo! Pipes”

  1. posted by Lise on

    I just wanted to say I DO like the “A Year Ago” posts, because I wasn’t reading a year ago, and I like to see what I missed. Even if they’re articles I’ve managed to find while browsing the site, I appreciate the reminder that they’re there.

  2. posted by alphasqix on



  3. posted by Stephanie on

    You Rock! Talk about walkin’ the talk! Thank you.

  4. posted by Aeon J. Skoble on

    No, I LIKE the “one year ago” — I’ve only been reading a couple months, and I’ve found lots of great advice in the “one year ago” posts. How hard is it to scroll down a bit?

  5. posted by Alison on

    I like the A Year Ago posts, but I’m a pretty recent immigrant to Unclutterer. I can see where others might find them annoying. Still, nice of you to provide a way for people to avoid content they would rather not see. Even though I won’t be taking advantage of it, I appreciate the effort.

  6. posted by Nathan Bowers on

    Another good filter is “scrub Xeni’s posts from BoingBoing” ๐Ÿ˜‰

    I use Yahoo Pipes to merge shared items from Google Reader and Delicious bookmarks so I can publish them to my blog sidebar in one click. Pipes even filters the posts for uniqueness. You can read about how to do this here: http://nathanbowers.com/techno.....hoo-pipes/

  7. posted by GTD Wannabe on

    I’ll admit to already using pipes to remove those “a year ago” posts from your feed. (I’ve been reading more than a year, so I figure it’s okay ;)).

    Pipes are a great idea. I have a handful of feeds that I read after filtering “stuff” out of. I know it doesn’t take long to just click through undesirable topics, but I found that I was getting irritated every time I saw a post I knew I wasn’t going to read. Using pipes lets me unclutter my feeds and make my reading more enjoyable.

    And just so you don’t feel bad, I only filter out the “a year ago” posts from Unclutterer. On the other hand, Lifehacker is reduced by a good dozen titles ๐Ÿ˜‰

  8. posted by Denise on

    I’m one of your older readers, age wise I mean.I appreciate the one year ago segment because I need to revisit things several time before they click.As for the pipe thing,maybe in a year or so. Thanks for helping this old farmer get it together.

  9. posted by Niels on

    Thanks for this great tip!

  10. posted by T on

    AideRSS is a good way to filter noise too.

  11. posted by Emma on

    I like the year ago articles and I often click on them. One thing I do find a little annoying is that we can’t comment on them!

  12. posted by PlantingOaks on

    Thanks for the option & the how-to! I like the idea of the ‘one year ago’ items, because, like the old tv slogan, ‘if you haven’t read it, it’s new to you’.
    But since I did read it a year ago, I’ll be taking advantage of the filter to unclutter this and other feeds.

    I’m particularly keen to ‘break up’ some of the higher volume sites into categories, so I don’t have to read everything all at once. Great tip.

  13. posted by loriborealis on

    Since I can’t comment there and THIS post is about ‘year ago’ posts – I just read the post about decluttering your purse.

    SHEESH some of those comments were brutal! One person even wrote “you can BE SO sexist” (to Erin, A WOMAN) cos she included things like pantyhose! The comment was that people who struggle with their identity might look at a list and take it as the end all be all. Hmmm — I’m of the mindset that 99% of people, identity crisis or not, aren’t that stupid and can decide for themselves from ANY list what they want or need. It really IS just a simple list – nothing more or less. I mean honestly people.

    Sorry. Had to get that out.

  14. posted by Matthew Cornell on

    I struggled with Pipes for a while, then gave up. Much obliged.

  15. posted by Bob Dobolina on

    I like the ‘A Year Ago’ posts, as I recently discovered your site, and think that even old posts become new again if you never got around to doing them.

    But I DO like what Pipes offers, and will be using it to filter other RSS feeds from other sites. ๐Ÿ™‚

    Thank you Unclutterer!!!

Comments are closed.