IFTTT You Must

Remind me to be awesome.

By Kevin RR Williams

SOCIAL MEDIA Modesty prevents her from displaying it but Amy has a beautiful backend. It's a gem to behold. In fact it's Perl. With that carefully tucked away, most people admire her front-side interface. In case you missed the memo, Amy is our online anatomy poster store.

Recently, Amy attracted an awesome friend named IFTTT (pronounced like past tense of "IF"). When I first heard of him I wondered if she was trying to say, "Biff" — a name often awarded based on physical stature. It's easy to make that assumption since IFTTT is a powerful partner for Amy.

Get With The Program Even If You Aren't A Programmer

Those familiar with computer programming realize "if-then" is a basic construct for Boolean expressions. Did I lose everyone else? Maintaining a simple premise, IFTTT.com is a new website that allows users to link up various social media services, stock changes and RSS feeds with communication methods like email, SMS, tweeting or phone calling. Build IFTTT "recipes" with a simple point-and-click-interface to edit "this" and "that" in the statement, "ifthisthenthat."

One example is a recipe that sends a text reminder to an allergy sufferer in the U.S. to take an antihistamine IF the pollen count rises. IFTTT can link to weather conditions as a trigger. At a certain time on specified days you can change your Twitter profile or avatar. A Pinterest addition can trigger a tweet, Facebook update or a text message.

Still intimidated with ifthisthenthat? Search and browse through many examples uploaded by other users at IFTTT.com. If you routinely ride a bike to work, a weather forcast can trigger a calendar event to drive. When you're tagged in a photo Facebook, it can be sent to your DropBox account. Clear instructions are usually provided so you can customize recipes. It's a good way to test IFTTT while thinking of new ideas.

Test The Limits IFTTT You Dare

During the week of October 22, 2012, Amy will be featuring multiple discounts. Some will require promo codes posted on Twitter. Others will be generated during checkout within specific hours. Amy will rely on IFTTT to alert Twitter followers of the day-to-day changes. As a chaperon during this courtship, follow ClinicalPosters on Twitter for at least this week to see firsthand IFTTT awesomeness. Provide feedback below that will help us determine if this budding romance will lead to a permanent partnership.

Likely you are imagining ways that you may benefit from the strength of IFTTT — automating tasks without hiring a programmer. Visit the site and start clicking if you must. Like Amy, perhaps you'll discover just how awesome IFTTT can be.

* Perl is a computer language used by Web developers on UNIX operating systems.

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