Monday, 23 July 2012

Making life a little simpler...

I don't see many people mentioning this, but it's something I came across a while ago and it is brilliant.

'It' being the website ifttt

Some of the channels available on ifttt.com
Okay, so brilliant is a nerdy kind of brilliance but nevertheless for helping to make connections between bits of yourself on the web, it's fabulous. The basic premise is built on the idea of recipes. You combine tasks to create recipes. And the tasks are attached to various services - called channels - from Twitter to Facebook, SMS to email.

You then use the formula...

'if this then that'

(if this then that = ifttt - geddit?)

... to combine those tasks to get it to do brilliant stuff.

For example, whenever I post something to this blog, I want it to appear on Twitter. I just set up a recipe that says 'when there's a new entry on the RSS feed... put out a Tweet that looks like that' and away it goes. I want to know when it's going to rain... I create a recipe that says 'when this website says it's going to rain tomorrow in my region... send me a text message to remind me to take a brolly'. Favourite a Tweet and the link automatically gets saved to your Diigo account etc... save something on Diigo with a particular tag and a Tweet broadcasts it or it appears on your Facebook page. Want to backup your Instagram photos to Dropbox then ifttt can do that automatically. When someone tweets our computing department to say there's a problem with a system my team looks after, it automatically sends me a text message. Got the idea?  

Blogging is a bit like an ifttt recipe - if I see something I want to share then I'm going to blog about it - only ifttt automates the bit in the middle! It's the combining of services and tasks which makes this just a genius little site. Oh, and you don't even have to do the combining yourself... people also publish 'recipes' which you can reuse / tweak.

'if this then that' - a little combination of words I never knew I needed until I started using them!

What other sites or tools do you know about that make managing your online life just a little bit easier?

Sarah

4 comments:

  1. Amusingly I just got an email about this blog post from IFTTT :-) It's a great thing!

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  2. Now that Twitter has stopped working with LinkedIn you can use IFTTT to post your Tweets to LinkedIn, even selective Tweets by using #in as before :-)

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  3. Yup - IFTTT is brilliant for just that sorta thing, isn't it!

    @Jo - haha! Gotta love IFTTT! :o)

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  4. It's tools like IFTTT that are totally great at helping deal with the large number of places that we can potentially get/post information from.

    I've worked at linking up various accounts (Twitter/Diigo/blogs) for the posting of new information (tweets for created bookmarks/posts etc) but yet to delve into re-directing/amalgamating the flow of others' information in a meaningful way. Any tips on this, or perhaps advantages to using IFTTT over Zite/RSS feed much appreciated. Will post back if I discover any 'recipes' that seem particularly useful.

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