Kickass Braindump & Musings

Everything I Want The World To Know (and some stuff I want to remember)

Using IFTTT and IoT to automate your personal life

Creating Your First Social IFTTT Recipe – A Twitter Responder

What Will I Do for $5?

Before investing too much time in this I’m assuming you have a twitter account, and an IFTTT account. If you don’t please get set up at www.twitter.com & www.ifttt.com

Lets login to www.ifttt.com and start by navigating to the browse page.

In the search box lets search for the keyword “IoZack Tutorial Twitter Responder”

Note: if you follow the rest of this tutorial to the T you’re going to join the IoZack Army =)

As I mentioned in the intro, there are 2 types of IFTTT recipes “IF” & “DO” (there is actually an app for each of type).

More often than not IF recipes are very convenient because they do run continually in the background, but the downside to that, is you dont get to decide when they run. For instance when your “If” starts with a twitter post, there is no garuntee that anyone will post something that matches your search criteria. Sure, if you choose apopular hashtag, youll always get new tweets, but what if you use a hshtag specific to you, or to your company? It might take days before the “If” conditon is met. IFTTT knows this, so when you create an “If” recipe you will have the option to be notified when it is triggered.

In this case we will be building an “If” recipe. If you haven’t yet connected your twitter account to your ifttt account, youll get the option to do that right now. As you scroll down the page youll be prompted to connect any of the channels (ingredients) that this recipie uses, that you haven’t already set up.

When you click on the connect button youll go through a common authentication page from twitter asking you if its cool that IFTTT acts on your behalf. We want to do this because were going to let twitter do some pretty cool stuff for us automatically, just by hooking it up to some IFTTT recipies. Even if you never hook up a recipie that would send a tweet, you still want to attach your account, because in this case we will be searching for tweets.

Once Your accounts are authorized the add button will become available. Click the add button and you will now have added your first twitter response.

Go ahead and send a tweet that contains the text #IoZack and lets see what happens… probably not much from your account because there is no telling when IFTTT is going to start running your recipe.

In the meantime we really dont want to have to wait on IFTTT to decide to turn the oven on, you should go download the “DO” app from the apple or android store depending on your device. While your at it, you may as well download the “IF” App too. You can find them both by heading to your app store, and searching for IFTTT.

Once you have the apps downloaded (or if you didnt go get them) go ahead and load up twitter, it doesnt matter if you use the Mobile App or te web page, for the next part they are both the same.

Right now, if you were to tweet the hashtag #IoZack any recipe thats been imported an unmodified should tweet “Thanks for taking the #IoZack Tutorial” – this includes my personal account @DevelopingZack. So if you want to verify that it works… when you tweet a message with #IoZack, go check out the @DevelopingZack page and watch for the response.

You may even get tweeted back to from one of my more advanced courses, so if your tweet gets a direct response, dont be shocked, but more importantly dont be confused.

Now lets get on to modifying the recipe.

If you happened to navigate away, head back to “My Recipies”, and then click on IoZack Responder Tutorial.

In this case both the “If” trigger and the “Then” action both involve Twitter. Now you should be presented with a form that lets you modify what IFTTT will search twitter for, and how it will respond when it finds a tweet using the search.

The first area is the trigger. When using the Twitter service for your “IF” condition, the trigger is activated when a new tweet is found matching the cirteria. In the case of the Twitter service the trigger action is looking for some text that we can input into the search box. IFTTT will ask twitter – Do you have any tweets that contain this text? And if the answer is yes, Twitter will send those tweets back to IFTTT.
The Action in this case is to send a tweet in response. If you click into the “Tweet Text” box you can modify what your account will tweet as a response to the tweets that match your search criteria.

We wont get into the Ingredient’s list until a later tutorial, but if you hover over the top right corner of the Tweet Text TextArea you should see a new button with the icon of a beaker. Clicking the beaker brings up all kind of options that can be added to the recipe, and is where we can include parts of the Triiger, when crafting its response.

Now that we’ve seen how to ask twitter for something specific, and how to respond to it… you’re well on your way to becoming a master of automating your social life!

 

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