I don’t blog much these days about new web services or tools that I discover (if you are interested in what I find in terms of cool tools then you can connect with me on Diigo where most of the good web tool discoveries I make end up), but this service Rodd Lucier popped onto my radar screen is one that deserves a mention.
The service called If This Then That, a useful little utility that allows you to automate simple tasks from a number of different web services using the simple conditional statement if this happens, then do that. What IFTTT does is allows you to create simple web tasks mixing different web services that follow that flow.
For example, I was able to quickly set up a simple task that posts links I tweet to my Delicious account. IFTTT checks my Twitter account every 15 minutes. If it finds a tweet with a link in it, then it posts that link to my Delicious account (and, by the way there is already a great service that handles this type of task already, but this was a proof of concept task for me with IFTTT).
IFTTT supports a number of web services, including, Twitter, Gmail, Delicious, Dropbox, Evernote, Facebook, Flickr – basically all the major services are here – and allows you to set up time and date specific actions; a simple cron for web services, without having to know cron commands.
I like this service a lot. IFTTT takes a powerful computer programming concept (the “if-then” conditional statement) and gives us something that is incredibly useful and easy for non-programmers to use to automate web tasks, as opposed to say Yahoo Pipes which held a lot of promise in simplifying programming concepts enough to let the lay person build some powerful tools. I love and use Yahoo Pipes quite a bit, but in my experience Pipes requires a fairly sophisticated grasp of programming to be useful for most people. IFTTT simplifies the process of creating useful tasks considerably over Pipes, and I expect I will be using it quite often in the future.
Nice find, Rodd!
If This Then That Automates Simple Web Tasks by Clint Lalonde is licensed under a Creative Commons Attribution 4.0 International License.