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frugal technology, simple living and guerrilla large-appliance repair
Mon, 31 Jul 2017

I am feeling good about my IFTTT applets

At the present moment, I am feeling good about my IFTTT applets.

How does IFTTT make money?

I was wondering how IFTTT makes money. They are certainly not shoving a subscription model down anybody's throat.

Quora user Aaron Disibio says that aside from all the investor money they have been getting, they have a paid Partner Platform.

This is a test of IFTTT blog entry posting.

This is a test of IFTTT blog entry posting.

I created two IFTTT applets for social and 'other' posts

I now have two IFTTT applets, one to post on Twitter ONLY from my blog's dedicated "social" directory (posting the post body instead of title and URL) and another to post to Twitter from everywhere BUT my "social" directory (posting the traditional title and URL).

The social posting applet was easy to create -- and I probably did this very thing when I was looking at IFTTT a couple of years ago when I started creating social posts in the /updates directory of my blog. It was the other applet -- the one that excluded a single subdirectory (or WordPress tag or category, both of which are represented as a subdirectory in RSS).

Dlvr.it made this easy. There is a field for it.

For IFTTT, I hacked together some quick TypeScript to filter out what I didn't want.

Is it working? I'm still testing the applets, and I'll have to add a bit more code and explanation before I make them public. I'm already thinking (in my brain) about how to boil them both into a single IFTTT applet, which is a lot more elegant than having two.

Now I remember: One of the reasons I chose dlvr.it over IFTTT when I first implemented these automatic social poposts in 2015 was that in-text links from dlvr.it displayed with their text, while the same links over IFTTT displaed with shortcode text, which can make the post unintelligible because the text that carries the link can be kind of important.

Update: My TypeScript/JavaScript isn't working.

Now I have IFTTT applets for social and 'normal' posts

I now have IFTTT applets for social and 'normal' posts, and I am testing them.

My IFTTT social-post applet works

I created an applet on IFTTT that takes a subdirectory of my blog feed (using RSS out of the blog) and generates a social post on Twitter.

By "social post," I mean something different from the usual automatic post to Twitter, Facebook, Google Plus or any other social-networking service.

The usual post features a title and a link back to the original item.

But a "social post" is just text. It's the "body" of the entry and neither includes nor needs a title or a link back to the original blog post. It can include links if they are part of the post body.

When I started doing this -- dedicating a subdirectory of my blog to social posts, I experimented with both IFTTT and dlvr.it, going with the latter (if I remember correctly) because while I was able to create my social post out of a dedicated subdirectory in both services, only in dlvr.it was I able to simultaneously post the rest of my non-social blog entries to Twitter without worrying about double-posting the social entries. In other words, I set up the "main" dlvr.it action to exclude my "social" directory (I use /updates).

Note: In WordPress, you can set this up using a dedicated category or tag, each of which can be fed to any of these services with RSS.

Now I look in dlvr.it, and I can't see what I did to "exclude" the social feed from my "main" feed. Maybe that code got purged and dlvr.it knows not to double post.

I'm still looking in on it.

Anyhow, my reason for moving away from dlvr.it is the service's new limit of 10 posts per social account per day. Especially when doing quick social-style updates, it's easy to go over 10 posts per day. And while I can't criticize dlvr.it for trying to monetize their service with a monthly fee that removes the 10 post limit and adds many other useful things, it's just too much money for a non-revenue-generating web site like mine.

IFTTT (aka If This Then That) can probably do what I'm "asking" it. I just have to figure it out.

This is a test of social posting via IFTTT

Now that dlvr.it is limiting posts per day per social account to 10, I am revisiting IFTTT for my automatic social posts.

dlvr.it limits free users to 10 posts per day

I don't log into my dlvr.it account very often, though I use it continuously to send the output of three blogs to (mostly) Twitter and (a little bit of) Facebook.

I needed to tweak one of my "routes" on dlvr.it, and I logged in this morning. I found out that as of June 1, 2017, dlvr.it is imposing a 10-post per day limit per social profile.

Dlvr.it users can avoid the limit and unlock the rest of the social-posting service's goodies by subscribing at the rate of .99 a month.

I like getting dlvr.it for free, though I understand that the service needs to make money. And for "commercial" users, .95 a month is nothing. Even the "Agency" rate of .99 a month is nothing if you're managing dozens of feeds and social accounts.

But for the casual amateur user like myself? Just like with the Washington Post, which coincidentally also charges .95 a month, I see tremendous value in the service but would be much more comfortable paying a month. What I'm saying is that my price point is , not , so these two services are currently not getting from me. They are getting ode.cgi.

We live in a world awash with /month pricing models, and if you're using 10 of these services, it really adds up. Maybe I'm super-stingy, but my price point is what it is, and I have the feeling I'm not alone. But also, I'm not running a business. But I get the feeling that a lot of these services could make it up in bulk by lowering the resistance to subscribing along with their price What I'm saying is that my price point is , not , so these two services are currently not getting from me. They are getting ode.cgi.

We live in a world awash with /month pricing models, and if you're using 10 of these services, it really adds up. Maybe I'm super-stingy, but my price point is what it is, and I have the feeling I'm not alone. But also, I'm not running a business. But I get the feeling that a lot of these services could make it up in bulk by lowering the resistance to subscribing along with their price.

Wed, 26 Jul 2017

Free book: The JavaScript Way

I just heard about "The JavaScript Way," a book by http://www.bpesquet.com/ that is https://github.com/bpesquet/thejsway/ and a minimum of https://leanpub.com/thejsway.

It bills itself as beginner-friendly yet written to ES2015 standards. I took a quick look, and so far I like it.

Tue, 18 Jul 2017

At least on Windows 10 in 2017, OpenShot is (mostly) useless

I knew that OpenShot was never the absolute "best" video editing application out there, but it was free, it mostly wworked and, more importantly, I knew how to use it.

I ran OpenShot in Fedora Linux for a few years and made dozens of servicable videos on it.

Going from Version 1 to Version 2 was supposed to open (pun not intended) a new era for OpenShot, but instead it made the program unusable. Once OpenShot crossed into 2.x territory, I had plenty of problems with dependencies in Linux, and now that I'm on Windows 10 and there is a version for that platform, it does install but can't seem to do anything complex or even export a simple video without crashing.

So I'm casting (pun not intended) for new video-editing solutions. On the table are KDEnlive for Linux and anything proprietary on Windows that my company will buy me.

Not on the table unless I get super desperate is Blender. It just looks too damn complicated to do just about anything with that application.

So what do you think I should go for? At this point, I'm looking at remaining on Windows, but I do have a Linux laptop that I can dedicate to video editing if it comes to that.

Update: I was able to output a video on my new laptop with OpenShot 2.3.1. I have 2.3.4 on my Windows 7 desktop. I hope updating on the laptop won't break the program.

Further update: The .mp4 produced by OpenShot wouldn't upload successfully to YouTube.