if this then that

Stunningly brilliant, utterly simple, totally powerful.

I realized that the key to unlocking the creative potential of our existing digital tools might be to build a service that simplifies and consolidates the way those tools can be connected.

Even with the recent increase in technical understanding and the divergence of functional applications, the useful properties of software will forever remain abstract when compared to a physical object. This is where ifttt can help. By providing a simple logical structure, if this then that, along with two fundamental properties that fit into that structure, called triggers and actions, ifttt enables anyone to be creative in their digital environments. Essentially it’s event-driven programming for the masses.

However, ifttt isn’t a programming language or app building tool, but rather a much simpler solution. Digital duct tape if you will, allowing you to connect any two services together. You can leave the hard work of creating the individual tools to the engineers and designers. Much like in the physical world when a 12 year old wants a lightsaber, cuts the handle off an old broom and shoves a bike grip on the other end, you can take two things in the digital world and combine them in ways the original creators never imagined.

If you’ve used macros, Apple Automator or even Notes @commands, you will get why this is such a cool tool.  It’s free and already has a big community writing ‘recipies’ that you can use before writing your own.

I think I’m in love

Stuart McIntyre is a Senior Strategist at Fostering Community Limited. He curates a number of product-focused news sites, is a lapsed podcaster, founded the Social Connections user group and regularly speaks at conferences and events. This blog represents his own slightly-eccentric and usually-controversial opinions!