IFTTT (If This Then That) – First Thoughts

I was listening to Know How on the TWiT network this morning and they were talking about this service called IFTTT that will “Make the Web Work For You”. The basic idea is that the site will take you various web services like Dropbox, Facebook, Instagram and a lot more (57 in all), and let you tie them together with logic statements.

For instance you can make a rule (called a recipe) that will upload every picture you take on Instagram and put it on Dropbox or Google Drive. This way you have a local backup copy of your pictures. One reason I don’t use Instagram at the moment is because there wasn’t an obvious way to do this.

One thing I was curious about was if I could take my blog posts and back them up automatically to Dropbox. Turns out WordPress is an app they support. There are a few pre-built recipes out there that will do this. Sadly I couldn’t get a lot of them to work as it would give a Dropbox error. I figured I’d try Google Drive, same problem. Turns out the recipe was constructed wrong. I had to create a new one to get this to work.

Potential Uses For IFTTT

I think this service is great for automation. There are few things easier to forget than to back things up. Automatic backing up of content and connecting to other services is something I look for when deciding whether to use a service. For instance, Instagram is not something I use a lot because even though it connects to Facebook and a few other social networks, it did not have any obvious way to keep those photos elsewhere, or to get access to the unaltered copies of them. I found out later that the Dropbox Camera Upload feature works pretty well for this as does the Google+ instant upload.

With IFTTT you can add the automation that these services lack once they get a channel. I really hope the website takes off. I plan on blogging more about what you can do with it from a Home/Small Business perspective here. I don’t see this as an Enterprise product, but if I find uses I’ll post them over at workendtech.com.



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