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Automate the Internet with If This Then That

   November 10th, 2011

ifttt logo - Put the internet to work for youThis has been in my "to blog" folder for awhile. I haven't gotten a chance to use it yet, but wanted to share it because I think it's neat.

The website http://ifttt.com, which stands for "If This Then That," allows you to makes things happen online as a result of something else happening. The If/Then is a reference to logical causality, and in this case basically means,"if this one thing happens on the internet, then do this other thing automatically."

They explain it very well on their "About" page (I put "About" in quotes because their actual URL made me laugh and is so much better than "/about").

Anyway, there already are some tools that offer consequence-action services (like Google Alerts, getting an email if someone comments on your flickr photos, using Twitterfeed to automatically tweet blog posts, etc). But this one seems the most versatile, because it isn't service-dependent, it does more than just notifications, and it lets you manage all your notifications from one service.

I'm hoping to use it to automate some of what the library does online (as seen in our Online Marketing Flowchart). There are lots of triggers and actions available, and it seems limited only by your imagination. But of course, like with any online tool, the more you use it, the bigger impact you'll feel if it suddenly goes away - which never stopped me before.

Also, like LibraryElf, this is a tool I think patrons can use on an individual basis - I say this because it offers notifications by text, phone, and email, and triggers can be calendar events, feeds, and more.




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2 Responses to “Automate the Internet with If This Then That”

  1. Carol Eyman Says:

    I’d be interested to know what exactly you end up using ifttt for–what tasks you end up automating.

  2. Brian Herzog Says:

    @Carol: honestly, me too – that’s one problem with all the possibilities of the internet: sometimes, there’s just too much to play with it all. Hopefully I’ll get some time soon to experiment with ifttt, but usually, I won’t get a chance until a situation presents itself for which ifttt is the perfect solution. So at least I know it’s there, and I’ll be ready – and I’ll certainly post about it.