Automate your online tasks – Put the internet to work for you  !!

I wish I had a nickel every time I heard “This would the next big thing in the web” . But If -This-Then-That or simply IFTTT(pronounced as “LIFT” without the L), a new online tool created two students in Sanfrancisco, really shows the potential to be the next BIGG thing in the social web.

About Ifttt?

Ifttt is a service hosted at Ifttt.com, that lets you create connections between popular (and not-so-popular) web services in such a way you can automate your online tasks with the trigger of one and action of another. In the developers’ words, it is a digital duct tape which allows you to connect any two web services together.

Ifttt has been around for a while, with an exponentially increasing user base. It was launched in December 2010 as private beta, opened for public in September last year, and by april 2012, a staggering one million tasks have been created. The website had a facelift with revamped looks and feel last month, improving the user experience.

How does it work?

How Ifttt works is fairly easy to understand. You provide a condition, also known as a trigger and set the action that needs to be done when the condition is satisfied. That’s it. You have made yourselves a recipe (a delicious name for a this-then combination ).

The trigger and action are to be chosen from a list of available services. These are called channels. For setting up the task, you have to choose the “This” part of the recipe first. These varies from channels to channels. For example, “you’re tagged in a photo in facebook” and “you post a new tweet in twitter” are triggers in facebook and twitter channels respectively. Once you’ve “this”, then you have to add “That” in the similar way. “Send me a text message”, “create a status message in facebook” are examples of actions.

There are personal and shared recipes. Personal recipes are those comprising of trigger and action from your active channels, while shared recipes are those shared by other Ifttt users. (images from Ifttt)

shared recipesPersonal recipes

If the task to be created involves an online account, for instance “post a status message in your facebook timeline”, then you need to activate the respective channel by signing in to that network (here, facebook).

 Hands on : never miss a TheGeekDaily story

Here’s an example on how to create a task in Ifttt. Every time a new story is published in TheGeekDaily, you will get it in your inbox.

step 1. Click on ‘Create’ in the top right of dashboard

step 2. Click on ‘this’

step 3. Choose the ‘feed’ channel.

feed

step 4. Choose ‘New feed item’.

step 5. Input TheGeekDaily’s feed url in the provided field.

http://feeds.feedburner.com/TheGeekDaily

step 5.

That

step 6. Choose ‘Email’ as action channel.

Email

step 7. Select ‘Send me an Email’ as the action.

step 8. Replace ‘Entry content’ with ‘Entry Title’ and insert ‘Entry Url’ after that.  Then click ‘Create’.

Action field

step 8. Click on ‘Create Recipe’ and Ta-Da !

Now on, whenever a new post in published in TheGeekDaily, you will be instantly notified via E-Mail !!

If you don’t want to spend time following these steps, then you can just use this shared recipe. Click on the image below to get it.

Tech BU recipe

 The Epilogue

You can browse some exceptionally useful recipes shared by the IFTTT users Here.

In the words of its founders,  “Much like in the physical world when a 12 year old wants a lightsaber, cuts the handle off an old broom and shoves a bike grip on the other end, you can take two things in the digital world and combine them in ways the original creators never imagined.”

So what are you waiting for? Put the internet to work for you.  Also, don’t forget to share your recipes in the comments section.

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