If this, then that…

I love machines.

I’m not talking about electronic gadgets like laptops, mobile phones and vacuuming robots (although, I like those things too.)  I’m talking about machines constructed with gears, cogs, springs and fly wheels.  There is a certain beauty in machines that are constructed in this way.  Mechanical watches are fascinating collections of cogs, gears and springs that run for days on the energy of a single spring and tell you what phase the moon happens to be in at any given moment.

My love of all things mechanical translates to the digital world in a similar way.

I get excited when I see web-based tools that allow me to build single purpose apps that are simple on the surface and complex under the hood.  On the web, I never need to see the cogs.  The website If This, Then That does this in a very clever and simple way.

If This Then That allows you to connect many of the social sites you use on a regular basis with the web tools you use on a regular basis. It is built around the concept of choosing a “trigger” and then executing an “action” when the triggering event occurs (hence, the name of the site “if this, then that”).

For example, when someone tags a photo of you on Facebook (trigger), save that photo to your Dropbox account (action).  Or when APPL stock drops below $300 (trigger) send a text message to my phone (action).  If it’s supposed to rain tomorrow (trigger) send me an email reminder to pack an umbrella (action). You get the idea…

If This Then That has a collection of pre-made “recipes” that people have already created to get you started.  There are also some nice write-ups of the service on Webmonkey and Scott Hanselman’s blog.

Now, go make something fun.

Flickr photo from Sergei Golyshev
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3 Responses to If this, then that…

  1. epiphenita says:

    I will construct a row of miniature air-conditioned shed-condos for vacuuming robots if they would come live at my house. Complete with doggie doors for easy access cleaning.

  2. Dave says:

    Enita, that sounds like a brilliant plan to attract robot workers. A robotic 401k would solidify your bargaining strategy (robots like financial stability).

    JR, gracias, sir.

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