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IFTTT, aka the nerdy tip of the day


Hey, there. I know I have mentioned If This Then That (IFTTT) here before, but I’ve been poking around their website today, activating a few new channels, and it made me want to mention it again.

IFTTT is a really powerful tool that you can use to connect unrelated events on the internet. For example, say you want to be notified with an SMS on your mobile phone every time I post something new here. IFTTT can do that for you with something they refer to as a “recipe.” Like so:

IFTTT Recipe: Text me when there's a new Polka Dot Cottage post. connects feed to sms

Would you like to try it? Just press the “use” button above to activate it. (If you don’t see a “use” button, you can click here.)

So let me explain how this works. There are two parts to every recipe: the IF THIS (or the “trigger”) and the THEN THAT (or the “action”): IF something happens, THEN do something. In this case, IF there is a new post at Polka Dot Cottage THEN text me.

I use IFTTT, and have 20+ personal recipes set up. I use it to cross-post new Project 365 photos from Flickr to Facebook and Twitter. I use it to text me tomorrow’s weather every night. I use it to add new posts from my favorite blogs to Pocket so I can read them later. When somebody tags me in a Facebook photo, an IFTTT recipe saves the image to Dropbox so I can have a copy.

There’s a new Android app, so now I have a recipe to turn down my ringtone when I walk in the front door, and another recipe to turn up the volume when I leave home. (There is also an iPhone app for you apple people…) You don’t need a smartphone, though. I used IFTTT’s website for a year without one, and I still prefer the web interface to the app’s.

On my IFTTT wish list? a Fitbit channel. I’d love to be able to buzz my bracelet if I haven’t moved enough by lunch time, for example.

If you’re interested in playing around with this stuff, you’ll need an IFTTT account, and from there, you activate the channels you want to use. So, if you wanted to use the recipe I shared up there, you’d need to activate the feed channel, and the SMS channel. Then you’d be good to go.

(IFTTT is free, and nobody has asked me to talk about it. I am just a satisfied customer and I wanted to pass on the nerdy love.)

On another note, you may have noticed no Morning Coffee post yesterday. My weekend got busy. But I do have two interviews completed, so I’ll take the time to get them formatted and posted on the next two Mondays!

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