Make your own Applets for activism

Whatever cause you champion, there are certain things you need in order to be an effective change-maker. One of them is the right information, at the right time, in a medium that works for you — and that’s a need IFTTT is uniquely able to fulfill.

To showcase how we can help, we created our new Applets for activism collection. We built Applets for a variety of issues, but we knew it would be impossible for us to hit every topic our users might be interested in. So today, we’re teaching you how to build your own activism Applets. Let’s go!

1. Find a feed.

Start with the organization or publication you’re interested in, and try searching their name and “feed” or “RSS.” What you’re looking for is a way to tap into the information they’re sharing, in the form of a feed URL. It will typically end in “.rss”, “/feed”, or “.xml”. For example, the ACLU feed URL is https://www.aclu.org/taxonomy/channel-term/1/feed.

If you find a feed and you’re not sure if it’s valid, you can check it here.

If the organization or cause you're interested in doesn't have a feed, check out their Twitter handles: Applets can help you digest their social media updates in the same way you would an RSS. 

2. Turn your feed into an Applet trigger.

Once you’ve got your feed URL, head over to IFTTT to make your Applet. For “this” you’ll want to choose the RSS Feed service.

 

3. Choose what you want to do with the information.

Next you’ll choose your “that” — your action service. When there’s new information, how do you want to find out? Here’s some to consider:

Email. This is a good choice if you live out of your inbox and want a way to easily forward information.


Email Digest. If a feed updates frequently, this is a simple way to collect it and receive it all in a single digest that’s not so overwhelming. You can choose to get a daily or a weekly digest, at the time of your choice.


Gmail. This is similar to email, but with an important distinction: you can have the information sent to up to 5 email addresses. Perfect for when you have a small group or mailing list you want to keep informed (note that if you want to receive the email, you will have to include your email as one of the 5).

Notification. This will send you an alert and a link to the full content as a push notification on your phone. Choose this if you like to be in the know as soon as possible.


Store it. There could be information that you don’t need right away, but you want to come back to later. Choose a service such as Google DrivePocket, or Evernote to build an archive that you can dip into at any point. This is especially helpful for sources like Twitter that you may not want to check every day, or any place where information could be deleted and you’d like to have a record.


Share it. Part of being an activist is being an advocate. Help spread the word by automatically sharing information from an organization’s feed. You can choose a service like Slack or Telegram to share it with a defined group, or you can share more broadly on social media via Twitter or Facebook.


4. Repeat!

If you’d like to get notified in several ways, you can use the same feed to make multiple Applets. And of course, there’s no limit to how many feeds you can plug into IFTTT. If an organization you support doesn’t have a public feed, let them know they’re missing out on a way to build awareness and organize their supporters — you can even point them to this blog post.

If you’re still looking for inspiration, remember to check out the collection. We’re excited to see what you create — let us know how you’re using Applets to stay informed and engaged on Twitter or Facebook.