IFTTT Combines Social Media, Mobile and Internet of Things for Government

Feb 12, 2015

The newest addition to the federal government’s social media utility belt may also be one of its most powerful, as IFTTT (as in “If This Then That”) combines 166 channels like Twitter, Android and iOS Location and RSS into “recipes” that can integrate government social media, data, location-based services and the Internet of Things.

The service, now one of nearly 80 social media platforms with federal-friendly Terms of Service, will both empower federal managers to operate more effectively and open its Developer platform to fuel everything from open archives to wearable devices with government APIs.

So what does “If This Then That” mean and how does it work? If one action is taken on one channel, such as a Facebook, you can automatically trigger another action in another channel, like SMS.

For example, looking at immediate benefits to managing federal social media, we can create a recipe where every Facebook post we send is auto-archived in a document for records management.

Taking the recipe further, you can create triggers where every single social media or blog post sent from any of your approved platforms are auto-archived in a shared Google Calendar that creates an open archive and visual records management system that ensures centralized accountability for any number of satellite offices and agencies.

And in the age of cyber-vandalism, you can set alerts that warn you when certain unwanted words are posted — something we’ll add to “Readiness, Recovery Response: Cyber-Vandalism Toolkit.”

That’s just the beginning.

Through the Developer Platform we can create our own public service channels, fueling recipes that connect government data into other channels.

Agencies have already brainstormed these possibilities for the near future:

  • Location-based information and resources to your phone, tablet or watch for borders, national parks (more so, veteran hospitals, or other places of interest
  • Alerts on mobile and wearable devices, social media or shared documents for emergency management, product recalls, travel safety and weather
  • Targeted, automated posting for business and career opportunities

What public service channels and recipes would you like to see added to this platform? We’re in our initial discussions on what the first federal channel could look like, and your idea could help lead the way.

Also, take a look at IFTTT and let us know your ideas for the best recipes federal managers need to know to measurably improve their services and deliver them more cost effectively, and we’ll share them in an upcoming post.