I’m not a huge fan of automating content across the web, but when it comes to tasks that make me more efficient and organized? Bring it on. That’s why I finally decided to check out ifttt (If This Then That) and put it to work. This nifty service allows you to create commands that trigger an event from one channel to another. (If X happens on channel Y, then do Z on channel A.)Here’s a quick overview of how to get started and a few things you can do with it:
1. Create an account and activate channels.
Got to ifttt.com and set up an account with username and password. Then, start activating your channels, identifying those you use, and supplying username and password to attach them to your ifttt dashboard.
2. Select some recipes.
There are hundreds of pre-created recipes for triggering actions to and from your channels. Take a look for inspiration on putting this service to use for you. One specific action I had in mind was the ability to send favorited tweets and their link to Instapaper, as a way of “bookmarking” things I’d like to read. Select your recipe, and then customize it as you wish with additional “addins” or summary:
Then, it will post to my Instapaper account for me to read later:
Other recipes I set up include one that archives my Facebook links in an Evernote notebook called “Facebook Archive” and another that will post links shared on the Kane Consulting Facebook Page to my personal LinkedIn network. Other users also have some great recipes for backing up photos (if I post a photo to Instagram, back up on Dropbox), which I plan to set up soon.
So, if we post a link on the Kane Consulting Facebook Fan Page like this:
Then, it will be published to my personal LinkedIn profile status update, like that:(Yes…this sort of goes against my automated content rule, but passes since I’m sharing KaneCo posts/links to with professional LinkedIn network, and, historically, I don’t do a great job about staying active in LinkedIn, so it serves me well.)
3. Create some recipes.
Of course, you can create your own recipes, too. For example, I’ve been manually posting my blog posts on KaneCo Conversations to an archive of posts on my Posterous page. Using ifttt, I can automate that process by setting any blog post matching my name from the KaneCo RSS feed to trigger the action of posting to my Posterous channel.
First, select the “If this” trigger. (I selected “RSS” and “New feed item matches”):
There are hundreds of possibilities for actions and outcomes, and, the fine folks at @IFTTT are quite receptive to feedback and working to add new channels. I know I’ve just begun!
What to take it to another level? Check out Sarah Evans’ “FAVE IFTTT: 7 social tasks that will blow your mind.”
Are you ready to check it out? Or, are you already using it? I’d love to hear what recipes you’ve selected or created.