Problems worthy of attack prove their worth by hitting back. —Piet Hein

Sunday, 16 December 2012


IFTTT, pronounced "ift", and which stands for "if this then that", is a great service for wiring bits of the internet together. The idea is that you create rules for performing actions, based on triggers.

If this [trigger] occurs then perform that [action].

There are lots of triggers and actions, provided by channels. For example, the Weather Channel provides a trigger which fires at sunset. And the Google Talk Channel provides an action to send a chat message. I combined the trigger and action into a recipe called "Did you put the chickens to bed?" which will remind me (and Eliane) to close the chicken shed in the evening.

I love the simplicity of the whole thing. I quickly added a recipe to send a weekly SMS to remind me to put the rubbish out. And one to send an email to Lottie when there is a full moon. Emilia created a recipe to send her an email when a friend of hers posts something on his blog. I fear the recipe that tells me when it has started raining will be deleted soon due to email overload.

When you start thinking in this way, the more interesting uses invariably involve the the physical world in some way. I want to have a recipe that says "if we're running out of coffee beans then order some more", or "if I'm on Skype light up a lamp outside my office so the kids know not to come in" (this one is close with the blink(1) device), or even "it's actually dark now and you still haven't closed the chicken shed door".

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