I’ve got a few IFTTT recipes on the go. IFTT is a useful service from linking up and pushing information around online services.

In the last week or so I’ve seen a couple of posts about the service, received an email and had an interesting incident so though it worth a post.

First I read this:

Kin Lane mentioned that IFTTT, a service entirely built on APIs, doesn’t have an API. That bothered Kin and the more I thought about it it bothered me. So I figured I’d start disentangling myself from IFTTT.

from: Shifting out of IFTTT – Bionic Teaching

I then had the problem illustrated by the screenshot at the side of the post. I have a recipe that posts my instagram photos to a blog. The blog then tweets them out and another recipe posts the images on to Flickr. This seemed to go a bit off the wall posted multiple times for a couple of photos and therefore my twitter timeline was filled with repeats.

I would rather this did not happen.

Next this:

Imagine if your sewer pipe started demanding that you make major changes in your diet.

Now imagine that it got a lawyer and started asking you to sign things.

from: My Heroic and Lazy Stand Against IFTTT (Pinboard Blog).

Pinboard is one of my favourite online services. I got an email from IFTTT saying that they would no longer be supporting pinboard unless pinboard made changes to their service.

All this got me thinking that there might be a way to do this without IFTTT. Most of my recipes are for pinboard, but I though to start with something that might be simpler.

Photo Flow

A while back I blogged Make you own SPLOT about a flow powered by IFTTT from instagram to blog to flickr. I like the system, but wonderd if I could DIY without IFTTT.

A while back I’d made a page to grab my instagram photos so I thought I could reuse that to create an RSS feed and then pull that into the photo blog using the FeedWordPress plugin. It was not too hard.

The feed is produced with php file and basically is this( I’ve taken out some caching code):

echo '<?xml version="1.0" encoding="UTF-8" ?> <rss version="2.0" xmlns:atom="http://www.w3.org/2005/Atom"> <channel>  <title>Insta john</title>  <description>some instagrams</description>  <link>https://www.instagram.com/troutcolor/</link> <atom:link href="http://johnjohnston.info/oddsandends/instarss/" rel="self" type="application/rss+xml" />';    
$url="https://api.instagram.com/v1/users/7835090/media/recent/?client_id_=CLIENT-ID-HERE&count=2"
$json =file_get_contents($url);
$jsonA=json_decode($json, TRUE);
foreach ($jsonA['data'] as $post) {
 echo '<item>';
    echo '<title>'.($post['caption']['text']).'</title>';
    echo'<description><![CDATA[ <img src="'.($post['images']['standard_resolution']['url']).'"> from <a href="'.$post['link'].'">instagram</a> ]]> </description>';
    echo '<link>'.$post['link'].'</link> <guid>'.$post['link'].'</guid>  </item>';
}
echo ' </channel> </rss>';

I’d guess this is not the prettiest piece of code but it produces a short (2 items) RSS feed that FeedWordPress can use.

I’ve also installed the FeedWordPress Advanced FiltersPlugin after reading about it here: Field Botany WordPress Site Breakdown – Bionic Teaching. This allows me to copy the image onto the WordPress site as opposed to keeping it in instagram. It also lets me add it as the featured image which works well with the theme on that blog. Until I am sure it is all working I am posting the photos as pending review, but if it all looks good after a few more pictures I’ll flick the switch and let it run.

There may be trouble ahead

I had just grabbed the code from my old page, including the info needed to connect to instagram’s api which I had set up before. So I checked out the Instagram API page where I read:

Any app created before Nov 17, 2015 will continue to function until June 2016. After June 2016, the app will automatically be moved to Sandbox Mode if it wasn’t approved through the review process.

from: Instagram Developer Documentation

Which sort of sounds like the API will be for more professional sorts than myself. I guess I’ll find out in June.

The other news was that IFTTT has backtracked allowing users to continue to use pinboard recipes without asking pinboard change its system. Hello Pinboard Customers, From Linden Tibbets, the CEO of IFTTT a blog post by Kin Lane, has the details. The post also repeats the waring that IFTTT, by not having an API itself IFTTT might not be something to depend on.

All of this change reminds me of how shaky a foundation we are building our online worlds on. This makes IndieWeb idea even more attractive.

Also on:

I’ve read a lot of interesting things on Medium over the last couple of years. It seemed to start as an online space to write longer-than tweet posts, and evolved.

I’ve never written more than a few comments and one test post on Medium before this. I’ve been excited about blogging in a Domain of One’s Own and the ideas around that and those coming from the IndieWeb. A lot of the IndieWeb technology goes a wee bit over my head but I’ve installed a bunch of plugins here and thing about it a bit.

One of the IndieWeb ideas is POSSE Publish (on your) Own Site, Syndicate Elsewhere. This site auto posts links to twitter and G+ as do many blogs. I can now send posts to Medium too.

Medium now have an API and there is a Medium/WordPress plugin which allows you to push blog posts to Medium. There are also Medium IFTTT recipes that will do the same thing from other blogging systems. I’ve installed the plugin here.

I don’t suppose I’ll send posts to Medium often, it seems a little too writerly for me, but it is fun to play with and think about a further extension of blogging.

The WordPress plugin attaches the Medium account to your profile, so if you have more than one person posting to a blog they all could posse to different medium accounts. There are settings for copyright and for posting links to the posts in different spaces. The API does not allow you, as of now, to update posts on Medium from your blog. There is a Meta Box on the WordPress post editor to set the status of Medium posts as you go.

medium-settings

 

Technical note: I had a bit of trouble getting  plugin to work as it uses php short echo tags and I had to do a bit of find-and-replace in the plugin files. I am not sure if that will effect many folk.

I read about this first not in medium but my RSS reader, followed through to these interesting links:

 

Update, multiple  Also published on Medium lines appear at the top of this post, I do not know why?

Also on:

Screen Shot 2015-03-10 at 09.38.01
Mobile Photos — From my phone via mail

 

Like anyone with any sense I read Alan Levine’s blog religiously. It has given me more ideas to think about and play around with than any other site on the Internet.

The other day I read Share Images By Email to SPLOT Collector (this post is now well down the post list as Alan blogs like a manic).

I was very interested in this, as I’d loved posterous until it was abandoned. One of the main things I liked about posterous was the posting by email facility. This allowed me to publish photos from my phone even with a terrible connection. I first noticed this on holiday in Galloway when I didn’t see a signal all week. I did keep my posterous updated with photos because the mail app on my phone magically seemed to be able to find a signal when I was asleep and send the photos over. I’d got it in the back of my mind to replicate this behavior with WordPress sometime, Alan’s post gave me the details of how to and the impetus to do it.

I’ve already got a reclaimhosting account for quickly setting up things to play with. It took me a quick 5 minutes to install wordPress, set the theme to the one Alan recommended (Fukasawa by Anders Norén), add the Jetpac plugin to handle mail, another plugin (Auto Thumbnailer) to automatically use images as featured images and add a css tweak. All following Alan’s instructions.

This had me covered for the main features of posterous, post via email and handling images in a pretty way.
As I wanted to post multiple images I also turned on the ‘Tiled Galleries’ and Image Galley Carousel provided by Jetpac and tweaked the CSS
a bit more for that. Another couple of minutes.

The system seems to be working just the way I wanted and yesterday I added a couple more features. Posterous had an interesting feature that allowed you to automatically forward whatever you posted to other services. I had a quick search for a WordPress plugin to do this but ended up at ifttt.com. There I found: Post WordPress Featured Image to Flickr. This just deals with the first image, but a quick test proves it works. I’ll probably explore posting all the images later.

While I was on ifttt I also notice Instagram photo to WordPress blog so have thrown this into my mix. I can now post to Instagram, have that picture added to the blog and also sent on its way to flickr.

Screen Shot 2015-03-10 at 10.22.52

Apart for the sheer fun of doing this, it also fit in quite well with the POSSIE, own your own space agenda.

Alan’s SPLOT | Smallest Possible Learning Open Tools project is fascinating.

Smallest/Simplest * Possible/Portable * Open/Online * Learning/Living * Tool/Technology

About | SPLOT

Update: forgot to add the link to the blog: Mobile Photos — From my phone via mail

Ifttt Audioboo Dropbox

Just discoverd a nice IFTTT Recipe: ifttt / Recuperating the mp3 files from an audioboo RSS feed, This recipe will collect the mp3 files of an audioboo RSS feed and put them into a dropbox folder, it allows you to name the folder from item on the feed. I set it up for the boos tagged edutalk that we gather and post to EDUtalk. I’ve now got a local backup mechanisim.

Cleaver stuff, I wish, and have feature requested, that IFTTT could get enclosures from RSS feeds, but this is a great workaround for backing up audioboos.

dropbox of boos

I am also wondering how this could be combined with Wappwolf.

A couple of weeks ago I watched Doug‘s video How I Use a MacBook Pro on of the ways he discussed was a very new (beta) service ifttt.

ifttt stand for If This Then That and I requested a beta invite that arrived a day of three later. I’ve now had a look over the site and set up my first task.

1st Ifttt

This is a simple one, if I tag a link on delicious with @comment it will be tweeted (Hopefully with commenting at: ). I post @comment tagged links to delicious with a keyboard short cut so the whole thing should be painless.

This is a really trivial use of ifttt, and I can see a lot of more powerful uses for the service. I like this sort of thing, the way posterous post stuff on to flickr, twitter and this blog for example.

We also do a little of the same sort of thing with edutalk.cc, auto posting audioboos tagged edutalk to the moderation queue.

In fact my first thoughs were that ifttt could replace my rather clunky system for doing this. Unfortunately, at the moment ifttt only supports posting text to your main posterous blog and as far as I could see will not post to the moderation queue. I was also looking at posting my shared google reader to a new posterous blog but as it is not my mail one this will not work yet.

I am saying yet as the service seems to be developing quickly. I did manage to create a task to post my google reader shared items onto my tumblr blog (I’d almost forgotten that one). I usually star/like stuff in google reader to check later but will now try to share ’em too to see how ifttt works out.

Finally I really love the interface of ifttt, very clean with huge text and icons. The process to create a new task is very simple with a fair bit of possible customisation:

ifttt action field

I am looking forward to seeing how ittt develops.

Update:I seem to have flooded ScotEduBlogs with my tumblr posts. I’d forgotten that it was listed there. Apologies. I’ve now removed the blog from SEB.