Etsy is not yet an official channel on IFTTT (but is so ready), so I’m using my Etsy favorites RSS feed as a trigger. As for Wikipedia, for a long time now i’ve felt compelled to save articles I learn from and like in a Delicious account for lack of something better and the time to build it, as a sort of record of random learning, and Delicious is a channel available on ifttt.
Other channels I would love to see on ifttt: Simplenote (I broke up with the ifttt-supported Evernote for Simplenote earlier this year and have never looked back; they have a backroom API), Findings (API on GitHub), Pinterest and Quora (no official APIs yet) (what’s up, Palo Alto?).
This all arose from extended rumination on sharing, and what motivates people to share things they like online. There is a good Quora thread on why people share; every answer is worth reading. Deena Varshavskaya’s is the broadest and most succinct:
Sharing is a basic unit of socializing. Humans are social animals and socializing is at the foundation of who we are. When people approve, appreciate or relate to something we do or say, we feel good. This can be explained in evolutionary terms. Social validation means reduced risk and uncertainty. Life is all about managing risk and one way to reduce risk is to do things the same way as other people do it (i.e., a lot of people are statistically less likely to be wrong than a single person).
Sharing various aspects of ourselves gives us a chance to get validation (validation = reduced uncertainty) in our life choices.
Validation is really at the heart of it, and systems that facilitate validation—alerting you when someone out there likes something you posted—keep you motivated to continue sharing.
There’s also this slightly crazy presentation on discovery from a few years ago that I return to regularly and still find valuable. Basically, enabling discovery is about allowing people to:
- Discover new, valuable information
- Get discovered by others
- Discover more about themselves
Which is another way of saying discovery is about facilitating social validation.
The New Delicious tagline is “Discover Yourself!” Services that can get you hooked on doing that can help other people discover things that they never would have thought to search for—like everything I’ve ever favorited on Etsy, SoundCloud, Flickr, YouTube and Twitter.