Neil Turner's Blog

Blogging about technology and randomness since 2002

The awesomeness of ifttt

Spiny Fish

ifttt, a site that has been in private beta testing since December last year, finally went public this week. To put it simply, it allows you to take data from one web service and post it to another. So, for example, you could add a photo to a check-in on Foursquare, and tell ifttt to place a copy of the photo in your DropBox, using this recipe. Or you could share an item in Google Reader and have ifttt tweet it to your Twitter followers, using this recipe.

It’s a bit like Yahoo! Pipes, which let you use various inputs and outputs to transform data, but it’s much simpler and has built-in support for a whole host of services. If you’re not an advanced user, then you can use one of the many pre-defined recipes but you can also set up your own rules. I’m currently using a recipe to post shared items on Google Reader to del.icio.us, which works well – the note I add in Google is used as the description on del.icio.us and it even adds tags based on the title of the RSS feed that the item comes from.

Amongst the services supported are Twitter, Facebook, DropBox, Evernote, Foursquare, del.icio.us, Tumblr, Instapaper, Google Calendar, Gmail, Posterous, Flickr, YouTube, WordPress (self-hosted and wordpress.com), last.fm, Craigslist and Instagram. You can also use email, SMS, or any RSS or Atom feed, or the current date/time. You can even use the current weather conditions. So you could have ifttt send you an SMS message with the current forecast, or tweet you a warning if the pollen count for your area will be high.

Where possible, ifttt uses OAuth to authenticate with the third-party services, so your passwords won’t get stored unless it is necessary.

The possibilities are practically endless with ifttt and I’m looking forward to having fun with some of the other recipes available.

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