Over the past couple of weeks I have been exploring how to use IFTTT.com, especially in the context of Google+…
This is a huge application, so I want to introduce some of the basic principles that could make life easier, increase your social reach and major even transform how you think about organising yourself online. Here is the explanation from their website.
What is IFTTT.com?
Imagine it like the ‘glue’ that combines many different services; the attached cube is also a good illustration of how things can ‘click together’ (to mix up many metaphors). Briefly, IFTTT.com enables you to take a trigger and apply a rule that creates an action:
If this (happens) then that (happens) i.e. you set up a rule which is triggered – hard for me to explain it in any other way so let me explain the process…
Using ‘recipes’, which are just like the recipes with which are familiar, you formulate/specify the trigger and the desired response.
A few basis examples (with sample recipes from the site cited as well):
- If you receive an email from XY oz Z (this) you receive a text to your phone (that).
This can also be done for Gmail.
- Allows for an automatic post from any uploaded Youtube video to your WordPress blog.
- On sunrise wish me good morning with weather info.
- RSS Feed to Blogger
(This could be very useful for people on Google+, see below…)
The possibilities are endless.
You can create your own recipes from scratch or you can use other people’s recipes as a base, which is a great way of getting going until your ‘culinary skills’ are up to scratch.
What about Google+?
But, I hear you cry, there is no Google+ badge in the list!?
No problem! Here is what you do…
Note: this applies to both Google+ Profiles and Google+ Pages.
- Use Feedburner.com to create an RSS feed (or use WordPress’ built-in RSS feed) – very simple to do, just drop your Profile or Page details from the top bar i.e. including your unique numbers/or vanity URL, into the box.
- This creates an RSS feed that can be used within IFTTT, so copy the details.
- Set up a rule from the RSS feed icon and apply what you want to happen e.g. once you have a recipe set up you could use a #hashtag or a keyword and this will then be the trigger for action.
Quick example using the community of Google page,+Commoogle:
a) I burn the feed following the instructions above for that page
b) I create or use a recipe that states that when I use a #commoogle it will automatically the post to e.g. a Google Drive doc, a Blogger post, Linkedin, Facebook etc
c) I test that it works – it will show up in IFTTT that it has been triggered and then one can go and check if the post has arrived where you sent it.
This is a very basic explanation of an incredible site. Have a play with it yourself and think through what outcomes you would like to have for the content you produce, what you receive into your life through various channels, what problems this could solve/enhance you life etc. It is a little mind bending to start but doesn’t take long to see how it all works.
I look forward to seeing this evolve over time, we may even see the +1 button linked. This in turn could give another reason for people to create recipes and help people to come up with solutions i.e. it is feeding data of utility into the online system.
In the meantime it is there to be explored and I will continue to use recipes as my base as otherwise I think I would be stuck with my ‘cheese on toast’ capabilities in the kitchen when what is on offered is a private chef.
Thanks to +Jason Joseph for giving me the heads up on this first. http://jasonjosephstudio.com/