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If This, Then What?

Imagine that you could combine services (internet and otherwise) together like Lego blocks to create new, personalised services.

If This, Then That (ifttt) is a new service that allows you to do just that.

Through an intuitive interface ifttt puts the power of "Event Driven Programming" at your fingertips, letting you connect services with digital duct tape. Event driven programming can be simply broken into two stages - event selection/detection followed by event handling. ifttt terms these stages as triggers and tasks and provides a comprehensive list of services that you can target as a trigger or task, from Facebook and Twitter through to Google calendar events.

For example, it is possible to build a service that will send a text to your mobile phone (task) if the weather service has forecast rain for the following day (trigger). The mechanism for building such a service is so simple and straight-forward that no programming knowledge is required. Trigger and task construction follows a simple workflow of clicks. In some cases, it is necessary to provide some extra details in order to fine tune the trigger/task or to authorise ifttt to access your online account.

This is a really awesome idea that has been well executed and realised. The simplicity of how these new services can be glued together and the countless possible outcomes from the trigger/task combinations opens the power of the web to everyone.
I realize that ifttt only addresses a small subset of the ways in which you can be creative with digital information, but within that subset there are tons of opportunities to hook together existing services, devices and objects. 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.

Linden Tibbets, ifttt


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