About a year ago I first stumbled across IFTTT (If this then that). What IFTTT does is basically in the name. If one thing happens it triggers something else. Each ‘thing’ is a channel which you have to log in and authorise. Once authorised, you can set up ‘recipes’ which allow interactions between your various apps, channels & social streams.
Up until now I’ve only used it for things like sending my Tweets to Facebook or putting my Instagram photos into my Dropbox. But when I couldn’t decide what colour to overlay over my black and white headshot for LinkedIn & Twitter (and wanted to reflect the easter egg on my website) I turned to IFTTT.
It all stemmed from being unable to set my Twitter profile as a gif (fair enough, this isn’t Tumblr) So I looked to IFTTT and learned you can set your Twitter profile photo to an image specified in a url when triggered by an event.
I put my headshot through Photoshop a number of times outputting the same image with a different colour overlay and then uploaded them to a directory on my website. I then created a PHP script which, when run, writes a random image from the photos directory to a file which is then picked up by IFTTT and set as my profile photo. This was all fine and dandy until I realised that IFTTT can’t run HTTP queries… So, back to the drawing board.
Unable to crack out my PHP skills, I found a workaround using just IFTTT to change my photo to a specified colour in my photos directory at different times past the hour. This is better than what I was going for anyway!
Now my photo changes colour every 15 minutes and then flashes yellow when I get a new follower. Success!