How To: Automate Your Blog Backups With IFTTT and Google Drive

I was surfing through the recipes on If This Then That this weekend and when I realized that it could connect to Blogger and Wordpress, it suddenly hit me: I could use If This Then That (IFTTT) to automagically back up my blog posts every day.

[Aside: If you don't remember what IFTTT is, it's basically the easiest way to associate two systems and automate tasks. You can find all sorts of pre-cooked recipes, and make up your own as required. For example, check out my post from a little while ago about my absolutely favourite IFTTT recipe: SMS in the event that the CDC declares a zombie apocalypse. Nope, not all recipes have to be useful some can be just damned fun.]

Sure, you can export your blog to an XML file with the options built right into your blogging platform. But just try to go back and read it. Ugly. Full of code, it's not easy to sift through. I wanted a realistic-looking replica of my blog, that I could reference in the future for presentations or my own research, somewhere searchable and in a format that would be pleasing to the eye.

Enter Google Drive. By backing up my posts to GDrive, I figured I could get a copy that would closely replicate the original layout and design. But how would I get it in there to begin with?

Enter IFTTT. I created the following recipe: upon Blogger posting to my blog, IFTTT would trigger an event to save that post to Google Drive. I was able to specify the fields I wanted it to capture and the order in which they would appear. I chose to have the title, followed by the post, the link to the first image, the metadata tags, the URL of the post and the date posted. Instant visual record of the day's post, automatically saved to a specific folder in GDrive. Every day there's a post. Automagically.

If Blogger then Drive image

Now since this is IFTTT, you can re-use my recipe if you want to do the same. And even better, you can modify it to suit your needs: change Blogger to WordPress, change GDrive to Evernote or Boxcar or DropBox, or whatever service you prefer. Want fewer fields? Delete the ones you don't need. Hack my recipe and then share it on the site for other people to use and hack. It's a pay-it-forward approach to task automation.

Damn, I love technology.

If you have a favourite recipe, please share! Leave a link in the comments.