Hooking Reading up to App.net using IFTTT
Now that App.net offers free accounts, anyone can participate in the ad-free social network, and people are pouring in.
This also means it’s no big deal to have multiple accounts. So naturally, I wanted to spin up an instance of my Reading account over there. While there’s no App.net hook built into Reading yet, it’s still amazingly easy to set up. Here’s how to do it.
You have to use IFTTT (If This Then That), the Internet’s Rube Goldberg machine, which is totally fun and not scary at all. IFTTT hooks into App.net so other apps don’t have to. Anything with a feed can be fed in that way, and Reading makes it about as easy as it gets.
So first, sign up for IFTTT.
Step 1. Create a recipe
IFTTT triggers work in recipes. From a vast range of your favorite web services (except Twitter because they’re mean), you pick a this and a that. When your this happens, it triggers your that. That’s that.
So first, pick your this, which in this case is an RSS feed.
Step 2. Choose a trigger
You’re setting up the simplest feed trigger possible, which is to go off every time there’s a new item in the feed.
Step 3. Fill in your feed
Enter the URL for your Reading feed, which is:
Step 4. Pick App.net as your “That”
Next, pick your that, which is App.net. You can only connect one account from each service to IFTTT, so if you’re creating a separate App.net account for Reading, you’ll have to use that one. (You can always create a second IFTTT account if you need to.)
Step 5. Choose an action
The only App.net action is ‘Post an update,’ which is what you want, so choose that.
Step 6. Complete action fields
This is the scary-looking part, but don’t worry. You don’t have to change anything unless you want to. By default, it will take the entry title and the URL, which is probably all you want.
But if you want to fiddle, this tool lets you pick different elements of what comes out of your RSS feed to customize the posts. You can even add your own standard text. But as you can see, it looks pretty nice on App.net as-is with its roomy, 256-character posts.
Step 7. Type in a description and click the big, blue button
That’s it! Just come up with a description like “Send Reading to App.net,” so you can see what this recipe is in your menu, and you’re off to the races.
Just so you know, polling is a wee bit slower on IFTTT than you’re used to if you use Reading’s Twitter hooks. Your posts won’t show up instantaneously. But it only takes a minute or two.
You can also now follow @reading on App.net, so make sure to do that.