There’s a relatively new and very cool Internet tool called If this, then that, or as they like to refer to themselves, just ifttt. My guess is you haven’t heard about it and I’m excited to introduce you to a world of event-driven, automated tasks.
The beta service was introduced last December and ifttt was made open to all last month.
You can glean a lot about the service and people behind it by their “learn more” page URL: ifttt.com/wtf (thus the title of this post). Love it!
Here’s the scoop:
Let’s say you’re interested in saving the tweets you favorite on Instapaper or Delicious. You can automate that.
Maybe you’d like to capture any Facebook photos you’re tagged in by sending them to Dropbox? Done!
How about receiving an email or text message if the local forecast calls for rain or snow? Would that be helpful?
Perhaps you’d like all your Foursquare check-ins to be logged in a Google Calendar? It could help you keep track of where you’ve been, and if you print your calendar each month to accompany your saved receipts, it would come in handy if the IRS comes calling.
This is all possible, and so much more, using ifttt. In about a half-hour’s time I connected to 29 different channels and now have 3,034 possible automated task combinations. How cool is that?
The New Web
The whole concept of, “if this happens on that site, then do this,” is really great. It’s moving us toward a more seamless Internet and social experience.
You can automate tasks on sites like Facebook, LinkedIn, YouTube, Twitter, Flickr, Foursquare, Evernote, Tumblr, Posterous, Google Reader and more.
You can convert all links that go through ifttt to use your Bitly account, so you can keep track of your links and view stats.
When you get started you’ll have to authorize ifttt to access your accounts. Then you can let your imagination and creativity run wild adding tasks and connecting channels.
At first, the easiest way to create a task is to use existing recipes, which you can sort by what’s hot, new and popular. The recipes are useful tasks already saved by other users. You can also filter recipes. So, for example, you could filter by Facebook to see all the saved tasks that just have to do with that platform.
I love how ifttt connects with phones and text messaging. How’s this for a task?
Rescue me from a meeting: Send a text message to ifttt with a specific hashtag (like #help) and the system will dial your phone number (mobile, landline, you name it). Your phone rings and you politely excuse yourself from the meeting to take the call.
I’m warning you now, there are so many channels to connect and different fun, creative task options that it’s easy to get sucked-in to the world of ifttt.
But don’t worry, if someone asks what you’re doing, you can just tell them you’re doing Internet research for work. And if you get caught in a long drawn-out conversation when all you really want to do is play around with more channels, tasks and recipes, you can use the task that calls your phone so you can excuse yourself from the conversation.
Feel free in the comments below to share your creativity with others by letting us know what tasks you’re able to create.