IFTTT, or If This Then That, is an online service that enables easy automation of systems that might not normally interconnect. For example, you can have an RSS feed from a website automatically send an email, or marking a video on YouTube to watch later save it in another service. There are tons of objects you can interact with that aren’t even computer-based like the weather forecast, tracking a package, or information from your smartphone like location.
These interactions, which trigger with self-explanatory logic of ‘if _______, then ________’, allow you to fill in the blanks and create your own recipes. One recipe that I’m using involves automatically posting new 404TS articles to a designated subreddit, /r/404techsupport. Posting to Reddit just provides another means for people to subscribe and interact with your website’s community.
The general steps are going to go:
- Create an account on Reddit.
- Create a new subreddit.
- Create an account on IFTTT.
- Create a new IFTTT recipe to pull from your site’s RSS feed to post to your subreddit.
If you already have an account you want to use, you’re all set. If you’d like to make an account specifically designated to posting to your subreddit, register the new account with Reddit.
Once you have your account, creating the subreddit is a breeze. You just fill out the form to give it a name, title, description, and other surrounding text. This will create the subreddit and automatically make your account a moderator for it. You should review all of the settings for the subreddit to make sure it aligns with your goals.
Next, you’ll create an account with IFTTT. If you already have one you want to use, you’re all set. If you’d like to make an account specifically designated to posting from your site, register the new account with IFTTT.
Creating an IFTTT recipe is also really easy. You’ll be given ‘if this then that’ with this underlined. Click ‘this’ and you’ll be given a list of trigger channels to choose from. Choose ‘Feed’ and then choose ‘New feed item’. This means the next step will trigger each time the feed updates. You could also choose to do a ‘new feed item matches’ if you want to filter it so not all new posts get posted. You will then type in the URL to your RSS feed and create the trigger.
Once the trigger is setup, you’ll be given ‘if this then that’ with that underlined. Click ‘that’ and you’ll be given a list of action channels to choose from. Choose Reddit and choose ‘Submit a new link’.
By default, EntryTitle and EntryURL will be filled out for the Title and Link URL fields, respectively. This is the information IFTTT will pull from the RSS feed and pass over to the Reddit submission. You must also choose the subreddit to post to, which would be the one you created in step 2.
To finalize your recipe, the last step is to create and activate. That means it will start monitoring the RSS feed you provided and post new items to the subreddit you specified.
If things don’t work right away, you can use the IFTTT logs to try and determine why it’s not posting. To post to Reddit automatically, your account will need to achieve a certain level of karma. Otherwise, there are CAPTCHAs presented that will stop IFTTT from automatically posting. You’ll need to use your account for a bit and submit/comment to build up that karma. Once you reach a certain level, your IFTTT recipe will be ready to run on its own.
That easily you have a Reddit community that will automatically get a new submission every time you post an article on your site, which may build your followers or provide a more convenient way for your existing fans to subscribe to your latest content.