I really like Urbanspoon as a service for keeping track of restaurants I’ve been to and ones I want to track. Variety is one of the things I like when it comes to dining.
One of the cool features the site offers is a news feed, where you can see what restaurants your friends have voted up or town, new photos of places you’ve shown an interest in, and new reviews of places you’ve shown an interest in. You can even grab an RSS feed of the alerts by clicking this link near the bottom right of your profile page:
Then clicking the Spoonfeed icon:
Unfortunately, this can get pretty noisy once you’ve voted on a bunch of restaurants. For example, here’s a small sampling of the notices I’ve recently received about new photos being uploaded to the service to restaurants I’ve shown an interest in.
It’s turned into a fire hose for me.
So, Yahoo Pipes to the rescue.
I took the RSS feed mentioned above and filtered out the types of alerts that don’t interest me. These are photos, when friends add new friends, and reviews from magazines. So now it’s distilled down to the up and down votes my Urbanspoon connections give to the restaurants they’ve visited. This gives me ideas on places that may be worth checking out (or avoiding) and it shows me what they thought of places I’ve already been to. Small nuggets of information I find valuable.
If this interests you as well, you can take your own Spoonfeed RSS URL over here to filter it down to the same specs, or clone it and tweak it to your own preferences.