ifttt.com is a new app that takes other apps, and let’s a non-programmer make useful mashups. It works simply enough. You choose a “trigger” which can be an kind of Internet unit – person, place, event, etc. Then you refine it, with hashtags and other filters,and then you choose an action that the trigger sets off,
…choose an action that you want a trigger to launch using a second channel. If your trigger is someone tagging you in a picture on Facebook, your action might be to have that picture automatically added to your local Dropbox folder. If your trigger is creating a new post on WordPress, your action might be to automatically tweet the post. Getting a new Twitter follower could trigger an automatic message to that person, welcoming him or her. An alert about stock hitting a specific level could generate an email to your Gmail account, an SMS to your smartphone, or a phone call.
You get to check over the wording and workflow in your trigger, and it ends up as a “recipe.” There are libraries of these recipes that you can share, use, and build on.
An easy way of thinking about this, is that ifttt.com is a hub for gathering information and using it from your part of the Internet. It does require you to allow it to access some of the apps you include in triggers and recipes, so you do need to think about security as you use it.
As time and attention are currency these days, finding tools that save you time, and allow you to free up some attention from tasks that can be routinized are valuable. Becoming a better organizer of information for others, is a key to bulding an audience for your work.
- The great Dropbox-Twitter-Facebook mashup arrives (infoworld.com)
- Essential IFTTT (IfThisThenThat) – Programming Workflows for Humans using the Web’s Social Glue (hanselman.com)