Ifttt, while a funny domain name, stands for “If This, Then That,” and that’s the simple beauty of this free web solution. I haven’t been this geeked up about a solution since Quicksilver (which I’ve written about here before). Basically, what Quicksilver brings to the desktop (beautiful scripted efficiency), Ifttt brings to the Web.
I’ve bemoaned publicly that my social networks need a social network. With Ifttt, it’s possible to say, “If I post to Facebook, Tweet a link to that Facebook post,” but this only scratches the sufrace of what can be done with Ifttt. Let’s say you live in LA (which I do) and every weather system that drops more than a couple drops triggers a Stormwatch (which it does) and you want to be notified whenever it’s going to rain tomorrow… You can do that! Using the Weather Channel‘s API, Ifttt can check if it’s raining and call your cell if it’s going to rain.
This is all accomplished through a beautifully simple interface. After creating your profile, you are given the ability to create tasks. You are presented with the sentence “If this, then that.” Clicking this brings up a list of APIs that the system knows, ranging from RSS readers to YouTube, to the aforementioned Weather Channel. Once you click a service, you are prompted to activate it, then you are given the options the API allows (“New Video Uploaded” for YouTube, or “New Tweet By You With Hashtag” for Twitter, e.g.). Selecting a specific service allows you to fill in the options – I wanted to have SMS messages tagged #story saved to a specific Evernote notebook, so I entered the tag there.
Once you’ve set up the “this,” you can move on to the “that.” In the case of my story ideas, I selected Evernote and was able to specify which notebook the messages would land in. Just confirm the service, and away you go! I’ve already logged a couple of ideas and was pleased to see them show up where they should. I’m also archiving my Foursquare checkins to en Evernote notebook so I can go back and revisit them.
Once you’ve set up a task, you don’t need to think about it anymore. I’ve set up a task where all Diigo links are saved to Evernote with an image to jog my memory of what that link is and am happy to report that it does exactly what I hope it would dol
As the access to data grows, it’s not hard to imagine how this service could be set up to DM you on Twitter when payments come due, or save a collection of links about your favorite sports team any time they make a personnel move would be possible. Actually, it’s not hard to imagine a million ways in which Ifttt could be useful in turning the entirety of the Web into something useful, usable, and compelling.
Go get some.