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Gini Dietrich

If This, Then That (IFTTT) Lets You Automate the Internet

By: Gini Dietrich | September 27, 2012 | 
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Alright. We’re going to let our nerds flag fly today.

Yesterday, when I wrote about IFTTT and how Twitter is locking them out of their API, lots of you said, “What the heck is this tool?”

I was super excited to hear this because I thought I was behind the eight ball on it and couldn’t talk about it.

But you did not disappoint and now I get to show you this waaaaaaay cool tool!

What is IFTTT?

IFTTT stands for “if this, then that.” It allows you to create, what they call, recipes to “put the Internet to work for you.”

If you use different social networks, RSS readers, writing tools, or the cloud, IFTTT allows you to automate some of the things that make you more efficient.

For instance, I live in the Windy City. It’s pretty important I know how hard the wind is blowing before I go out for a bike ride. If it’s more than 30 miles an hour, I know I’m going to either get knocked off my bike (which will hurt) or I will be riding into a headwind and it will be like climbing up to the top of Pike’s Peak.

So I have a recipe that texts me when the wind is blowing more than 20 mph and it also tells me from which direction. This morning, I received a text that said, “The wind blows! 24 mph from the Northeast!”

Barrett Rossie commented yesterday that he has a recipe set up to alert him when someone new follows him on Twitter, but not just that…it also puts them in a list so he can check them out.

Create Recipes

There are endless recipes you can create and you don’t have to be a social media geek to use it. For instance, Mr. D (who is a technology Luddite and the bane of my existence) has a recipe to tell him the ratings of the weekend’s released movies.

Other recipes you can create:

  • When Netflix releases its new movies and shows each week, you can have it email you, text you, or save to the cloud
  • When a celebrity posts a new picture on Instagram, you can be alerted immediately
  • If you favorite a tweet or a blog post or article, it can be pushed to Evernote, Dropbox, or Pocket (formerly known as Read it Later)
  • Every time you change or add photos to Facebook, it will automatically save to a Dropbox folder for you so you have an archive of them
  • Same thing with your Instagram photos
  • If you want to know if it’s going to rain or snow, have a text sent to you
  • If you like a particular magazine (Wired, for instance), you can have the photos from their Instagram feed sent directly to you
  • When Spotify releases new albums, you can have it email you
  • Using WeMo, you can email to let it know when it should turn on or off lights at home

Get it Today!

As you can see, this isn’t just for the super, uber nerds like me (or, as Howie Goldfarb calls me, a “closet techie”).

Right now it has nine active channels with nearly 300 different recipe combinations. As the site grows, it has the opportunity to add another 46 channels, opening the recipes to thousands of cool things you can do.

But I must warn you: Block out at least 30 minutes to get on there. You’ll be sucked in. Quickly.

About Gini Dietrich


Gini Dietrich is the founder and CEO of Arment Dietrich, a Chicago-based integrated marketing communications firm. She is the lead blogger here at Spin Sucks and is the founder of Spin Sucks Pro. She is the co-author of Marketing in the Round and co-host of Inside PR. Her second book, Spin Sucks, is available now.

89 comments
TimGeoghegan
TimGeoghegan

@mcleod sometimes to the point of being annoying! It's a great tool but recipes can get out of hand.

AndrewWarner
AndrewWarner

@tonykarrer I love that service. I also use @zapier for business stuff

Ejimak
Ejimak

@MartinaMcGowan @ginidietrich Hi Martina. Heard IFTTT had lost its twitter channel :( Is it still under? Hope you're good. :)

aggyhall
aggyhall

MT @WomenWhoTech IFTTT Lets You Automate the Internet http://t.co/CapRzykf >> how frustrating Twitter is locking them out of API

ryananderson
ryananderson

@geoffliving Except the Twitter part of the Internet… which, sadly, is all I used it for.

Tinu
Tinu

Favorite web shortcut  thingee. :) 

Latest blog post: Tweets

RebeccaTodd
RebeccaTodd

I logged in the other day after your post and had to walk away. I LOVE formulas. This could be endlessly fascinating.  Also- Mr. D is the bane of your existence? Poor Mr. D! 

barrettrossie
barrettrossie

Oooh, oooh.... Not when someone follows me, that NEVER happens! It's when someone MENTIONS me, which they do constantly, just to mock me! 

 

Thanks for this info @ginidietrich . I knew this thing was addictive after a minute. So (sorry I haven't read through all the comments...) does anyone know if IFTTT is really at risk from Twitter policy, or is it safe for now? 

Shaunsational
Shaunsational

You wouldn't happen to know the recipe for the new movies works would you? ;)

JonFMoss
JonFMoss

@neicolec @ginidietrich @Soulati except twitter

KateFinley
KateFinley

I'm going to be experimenting with this tonight. I started researching it after reading your post about Twitter limiting developers. Must play with this and make it work for me. Thanks for the 411, Gini!

MSchechter
MSchechter

You wont hit rock bottom until you start using Brett Terpstra's Slogger to archive all everything into Day One. That's when you KNOW you've gone off the techie deep end :)

bdorman264
bdorman264

Very geeky indeed, but in a cool way, huh? 

Carmelo
Carmelo

Sigh. I have nothing to add.

Levi Wardell
Levi Wardell

Damn you for giving me another toy to play with. There goes my day.

Latest blog post: Sales

KristenDaukas
KristenDaukas

Love me some IFTTT.. I've created a few different recipes that have been SUPER helpful in keeping me on top of things. It's grown so much over the past year or so with the things that you can do with it and the possibility of recipes is seemingly endless. Now if I could only get it to work on my house.. 

polleydan
polleydan

Love IFTTT. Some of my favs: Posting my new Storifys or Wordpress blog posts to Buffer, creating a Twitter list of hashtag participants, adding photos to Flickr if uploaded on Facebook page.

Lisa Gerber
Lisa Gerber

It didn't occur to me to create a powder alert for when it snows. I wonder if I can have it automatically check my calendar and move appointments that morning! Now THAT would be genius. 

Anthony_Rodriguez
Anthony_Rodriguez

I've known about IFTTT for a while now but have never used it. What I didn't know is that you could use it for so many things. You may have just pushed me over the edge to using it. :)

Eleanor Pierce
Eleanor Pierce

This looks amazing. Sounds like cost could be involved though? Or is it free? If someone tells me the F word is involved, I nay have to figure it out ....

Howie Goldfarb
Howie Goldfarb

A Youtube video of you riding in 30mph winds with one of those tall orange safety flags on the back of your bike would go viral for sure. I just set up a recipe to alert me for your video!

Justjeffpls
Justjeffpls

@ginidietrich Kinda interesting 2 know!

tonykarrer
tonykarrer

@andrewwarner I've not tried zapier. Looks cool, thanks for the pointer.

MartinaMcGowan
MartinaMcGowan

@Ejimak @ginidietrich I think it was twitters choice to discontinue their participqation in the recipes at IFTTT.

barrettrossie
barrettrossie

 Of course, that email went to my junk box. 

ginidietrich
ginidietrich moderator

 @barrettrossie This is what they emailed last night:

 

We wanted to give you a heads-up that all Twitter Triggers, along with the Personal and Shared Recipes using them, have now been removed. Recipes using Twitter Actions, including those that post new tweets via IFTTT, will continue to work just fine.  We look forward to building new features for the Twitter Channel. 

Latest blog post: #FollowFriday: Kate Finley

Shaunsational
Shaunsational

i mean... know how it works, which trigger they used

neicolec
neicolec

@ginidietrich Dang, Gini! Quit swearing at me.

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