I blogged before about RSS becoming the universal acid or lingua franca of web 2.0. Yahoo have just released the beta of their pipes, which is a way of remixing feeds and creating mash-ups without getting too dirty in the programming. With his talent for understatement Tim O'Reilly says it is "a milestone in the history of the internet."
Tony Hirst has had a go creating a pipe for the openlearn content, and seems to like using them.
I'm not quite as convinced that they are a) as easy to use as people think (what techies think is easy is not the same as the rest of us) and b) they will have quite the impact suggested. However, I do think they mark another step in the RSS march to domination, and that is what will be interesting. When RSS is the standard format for all content, then aggregating it, sharing it and reusing it become standard practice. If one thinks of all content like this then the idea of creating static stuff locked away in a VLE seems at odds with the rest of the world, and rather uninspiring.
With my learning design hat on, I also wondered whether the pipes interface might be combined with something like LAMS to produce a powerful means of mixing content and activity.