Monthly Archives: September 2013

What is IFTTT?

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I’m going to be referencing IFTTT in future blog posts so I wanted to post an overview of it first.  Here it goes…

If This Then That.  That’s where the IFTTT name comes from.   It’s basically a super simplified web based workflow engine that connects all kinds of web services.  You create ‘recipes’ that use channels to do actions on certain triggering events.  (Best. Ever. ‘about’ url for this site btw…  https://ifttt.com/wtf)
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Here are a few simple examples that I have been using for a while:
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The Facebook channel has triggers such as:
  • New status message by you
  • new link post by you
  • new photo upload by you
  • you are tagged in a photo
  • your profile changes

Actions that can be used on this channel include:

  • create a status message
  • create a link post
  • upload a photo form url
The Dropbox channel has triggers
  • new file in your public folder
  • new photo in your public folder

Actions available here are:

  • add file from url
  • create a text file
  • append to a text file
This specific recipe I’ve been using (that i found via a popular recipe list) Uses the Facebook trigger of ‘new photo upload by you’ and then fires the action ‘add file from url’ on dropbox.   In other words, every time I upload a photo to Facebook it’s saved to dropbox.   Handy huh?    I have a similar recipe for whenever someone tags me in a picture.
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Another fun recipe i use connects weather info and a text message.
They have a weather data channel (from Yahoo! Weather, confusingly not actually The Weather Channel)
This one has a ton of triggers:
  • Today’s weather report
  • Tomorrow’s weather report
  • Current temperature drops below
  • Current temperature rises above
  • Current condition changes to
  • Tomorrow’s high rises above
  • Tomorrow’s forecast calls for
  • Sunrise
  • Sunset
  • Windspeed rises above
  • Current pollen count rises above
  • Current humidity level rises above
  • Current UV index rises above
No actions are available on this channel which makes sense.  You would only want to USE data from Yahoo! Weather, not do anything directly on their web service.
This recipe I’m using uses ‘Tomorrow’s forecast calls for’ rain (options of rain, snow, cloudy, clear), and uses the IFTTT SMS channel for text messages to let me know.  I also have a similar one for snow and current windspeed over 25mph (Colorado can get windy!)
I also use a service called Pushover to deliver alerts to more devices than just SMS, but that’s a topic for another post probably.
There’s a super quick overview of IFTTT.   I use it for a ton of DIY projects I do.  If you didn’t know about it, I hope you check it out!
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