a better feed

Our online lives has gotten really busy. Status update on facebook, witty observations on twitter, ideas on tumblr, food porn on instagram, funny videos on youtube, deep thoughts on wordpress (or MT like me), other people’s deep thoughts to read on feedly, organising our lives on evernote, and not forgetting calendar and email. So if I took a pic of my lunch with instagram, I might want to crosspost to flickr, facebook, twitter and my blog, then back it up to dropbox, send the links to evernote, and send my family an email so they can check it out. I don’t want to physically do all that, I need automation.

Happy to come across IFTTT, which stands for if this then that, and does the automation between web services via what they call recipes. Services like facebook and twitter are called channels and the recipes link 2 channels together. One of the most popular recipes links twitter with facebook:


I’m working through the 101 best recipes, that’s a nice weekend project.

The motivation for this interest in IFTTT came from a problem with my feed. Whenever I add a new post, I had set up networked blogs to create a corresponding post in fb. It’s not the most reliable or prompt service — I never know if a post will show up and when. Things got worse ever since flickr changed their embed method:


The link and titles are still there, but the thumbnail didn’t get pulled, even though there is an image associated with the post. A screenshot of the website shows up instead. This is not the first time it happened with flickr images, so time to ditch networked blogs. The IFTTT recipe goes:


Took a few tries to get the recipe right, detailed process and analysis in a separate technical section post.


The only slight complaint was the excerpt wasn’t included as an ingredient in the IFTTT recipe. May be an improvement for future.