ifttt and twitter – rumours of death exaggerated

My friend’s Dad once, apparently, said:

You can’t fit six people in that car, even with your stripy trousers on

I doubt it ever really happened but it stuck and it became a catchphrase amongst us, a hyperlocal meme for the kids of the Prins Estate. He was right, of course, you couldn’t get six people in that car (regardless of your sartorial turn out) because it lacked the requisite amount of seat belts and it would be unsafe to do so. Or was he? It turned out you could – the car was physically able to contain six teenagers and many pairs of patterned pantaloons. And so we did it. Don’t judge, it was the 90s, social values were different then.

Nowadays people say to me:

Yeah you can’t use Twitter and IFTTT anymore

Which is a far less amusing catchphrase, and serves as something of a metaphor for the changes in my life over the past seventeen years. And just like the advice we were given then, it’s partly true but I ain’t going to let it stop me.

There are major changes in the way IFTTT can work with Twitter, that is true. The thing is there are loads of things you can still do that might be useful so stop asking if there are enough seat belts and start asking how much fun it will be to all squash up in the back and sing Oasis songs.

One of the things I was told would not work uh uh no no how was using IFTTT to collect an archive of tweets. Yeah, that works. In the research centre we collect tweets tagged #bcmcr  and save them into a Google Drive spreadsheet. Here’s the recipe, it still works. It works because I use RSS as a trigger, not the Twitter channels that used to exist in IFTTT (which are, per the rumours, dead). Remember kids: Google Reader is dying, but RSS lives!

Autotweets, another popular IFTTT use case, are still possible and again can be based on RSS triggers.  Today m’learned friend Jon Bounds put together a neat little activist recipe that does just that.

So, pop on your stripy trousers, turn up the car stereo, keep calm and carry on using Twitter and IFTTT.

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Jon Hickman

Hi, I'm Jon. I teach and research digital culture, social media and new media practice at Birmingham City University. Find out more about me with this lovely CV: http://uk.linkedin.com/in/jonhickman Find out about my work at the Birmingham Centre for Media & Cultural Research: http://interactivecultures.org