A while back I learned of a website which could link all kinds of other websites and services together in a clean, intuitive way. I used it for a few things, but hadn’t found a really fun use of it until now.
The site is IFTTT and stands for “If This Then That”.
Some of the sites you can use are Facebook, E-mail, Text Message, Twitter, Dropbox, Instagram, etc. Or you can use services like the weather forecast, Free Kindle books, new movie releases, and so on. Then, you create a “recipe” that ties those “channels” together. For instance, here are some popular recipes with channels in bold:
- When my Facebook profile picture changes, update my Twitter profile picture.
- If the weather forecast for tomorrow calls for rain, send me a text message.
- Whenever I post a picture to Instagram, save it to Dropbox too.
- When a new book is added to the Top 100 Free Kindle books, send me an e-mail.
These examples were all pulled from the most popular recipes. You can use one of those recipes (and modify it if you want) or you can create your own from scratch. There are thousands of possibilities with the 50 channels they have available.
So here’s the really cool new channel on IFTTT: ESPN’s coverage of the Olympics. Here are the two recipes I’m using:
Pretty fun, huh? So I get notified of any gold medal the US wins or whenever anyone sets a World Record.
Setting these recipes up literally takes just a few minutes. Simply sign up for free and try it out. Let me know what you think!
Lately I’ve seen a lot of people wondering about Twitter on their Facebook profiles. My first experience with Twitter last year didn’t impress me much, but the more I’ve used it lately, the more I like it. Since bullet points are such a hit on blogs, I’ll try to keep your focus…
What is twitter?
- Twitter is “microblogging” limited to 140 characters per post
- People are “followed” just as they’re “friend”ed on facebook
- “Follow”ing is one-way: I follow Shaq, but he doesn’t have to follow me
- Message someone by preceding their name with “@”
- the message is understood to be intended for that person
- still a public post that everyone can see
- e.g. tweet: “@jimgaffigan you’re a riot!”
- Directly message someone so no one else can read it (like an e-mail)
- e.g. tweet: “d @RyanSeacrest out!”
- Short URLs are common b/c most web site addresses > 140 chars
- e.g. http://bit.ly/SbqE8
- Any tweet can be starred and will be saved under your Favorites link
- You like someones tweet, so you “retweet” it by preceding it with “RT”
- your followers will see it
- give credit to the original author
- e.g. I tweeted: “RT @DaveHatter: “The pessimist complains about the wind. The optimist expects it to change. The leader adjusts the sails” – John Maxwell”
- Include a “#” before a term to label it under that “topic”
- good for grouping tweets allowing for better searches
- e.g. @espndev tweeted: “Nevertheless; The #Bengals Will Win The Super Bowl!”
- Twitter Search – great way to find out what’s going on
Plus, I think it’s not just the “tweet”ing that’s fun, it’s the 3rd party applications that interact with it which are neat too.
Third Party Application examples:
- WeFollow - organizes the most popular users into categories
- Cursebird - real-time feed of people cursing on Twitter (hilarious!)
- TweetDeck – most popular desktop app for Twitter (+Facebook)
- Twitter Fan Wiki – a pretty thorough list of apps
My suggestions for getting your tweet on:
- Just try it out!
- This is very public, so don’t post anything you’ll regret!
- Start slowly – following a ton of people may overwhelm or annoy you!
- Try it mobile – I use and really enjoy the free iPhone app TwitterFon
- Tweet cool places, foods, facts, etc and not your boring, daily activities
- Follow me and let me know what you think!