Innovation That Matters

Application enables users to creatively automate online tasks

Work & Lifestyle

In today’s time-pressured world, people are constantly looking for ways to speed up their daily tasks. Hoping to help towards that end, we recently came across ifttt — an application that allows users to exercise their creativity in automating certain online activities. Set up by Linden Tibbets and currently in Beta, ifttt (short for “if this then that”) is essentially “event-driven programming for the masses”, which “enables anyone to be creative in their digital environments”, says Tibbets. Currently being run in San Francisco with Jesse Tane, the project was inspired by the everyday creativity people demonstrate when interacting with their environment. For example, a hammer can be re-purposed as a doorstop, or a pencil can be used to tie up hair. ifttt hopes to automate digital tasks so that they can trigger a function for which they were not originally designed. This is made possible through a “trigger” and “action” model. For example, a trigger could be “If I’m tagged in a photo on Facebook”. When this occurs, it will automatically execute an action, such as “create a tweet on twitter”. Tibbets gives another example: “For instance, you can use Google reader starred items to share images on your Tumblr blog, or customize how and which photos from your Flickr stream show up on your Facebook wall.” These trigger/action systems are called tasks, which can be turned on and off, with a maximum of ten being turned on at once. ifttt ultimately relies on the creativity of its users to effectively automate their online activities. However, by making this a simple and intuitive process, ifttt has the potential to make a significant impact. One to try out early! Spotted by: Allison Hastings

Email: @ifttt


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