IFTTT : Automated Dad-Alerters

I decided that I would like to keep my dad a little more informed as to my whereabouts. Thus, I utilized IFTTT’s texting and GPS tracking channels to create my recipe:

If I enter or leave the Residence on Fifth, then send my dad a text message letting him know that I am entering or leaving my dorm. 

Now, I decided that I shouldn’t stop there. I also decided to automate our shared interest of astronomy and human space flight with two additional recipes:

If the International Space Station flies over my family’s house, then text my dad letting him know that the ISS is overhead. 

If nasa.gov posts an image to their Image of the Day Gallery, then text the image URL to my dad.

IFTTT is allowing me to partially automate my interaction with my dad, and, given enough recipes, I could do the same for my entire family/social circle. I think of social interaction itself as an API between conscious entities, and with the advent of social networking applications, the operation of this API can be easily automated. Such automation qualifies as art, especially in the scope of Jer Thorpe’s article. API art also turns Jim Campbell’s Formula for Computer Art on its head, as it facilitates multi-input, multi-output, decentralized operation.

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