02/11/15 19:00:10

Replacing Slogger with IFTTT

This year I’ve been experimenting with an alternative to Slogger that, I think, looks more promising for the time being: IFTTT. IFTTT can pull from a lot of sources, providing enough metadata. Where IFTTT falls short because there’s no integration yet, or no API exists, we can fall back to RSS feeds.

That said, my current solution built on IFTTT is nowhere near perfect. What my version lacks is some sort of viewing capability. I merely record the most meaningful data in a somewhat standardized way.

Sidenote: If you are looking for an app that records all your activties from a couple of the most common social networks, then I would recommend to give Momento a shot. It’s been rocking social activity recording ever since it was released in 2011. An alternative would be ThinkUp, but you have to run this on your own server.

Also, have a look at Saga. The app is clumsy and ugly, but it does log quite nicely. It also integrates with Moves, and it has an IFTTT channel from which you can create new diary entries.

Where an Integration Is Available

When IFTTT has an integration, we can just use that integration to record everything to text file. The template is esentially like this:

some content
maybe some more metadata

I’ve done this for:


When the API is down, so is this solution. IFTTT is pretty dumb about its integrations. Meaning that when it can’t reach a service, it doesn’t try to “catch up”, i.e. it doesn’t fill in the holes in between. The YouTube API is really finicky. I don’t know why exactly, but for whatever reason, Google changes that particular API constantly, making clients break almost every month. IFTTT works very unreliably with it. Just saying.

I also had similar issues with RSS feeds. IMDb doesn’t care too much about their check-ins. The Watchlist is more important to them. Both have an RSS feed, but only one seems to be actively maintained.1
Same thing goes for GoodReads. RSS, yes, but doesn’t work so well with IFTTT. I presume though, that in this case, it is IFTTT’s fault, since I checked with curl and got an XML file back.

Anyway, I hope this helps some folks. It’s not perfect, nor is it beautiful. I hope I have a much better version for you soon, but we’re still trying to come up with it.

  1. Hint: It’s not check-ins.