Tagged: ifttt

Capturing your FlipBoard Magazine posts

FlipboardIconAs I’ve written about previously, although I’m not directly on Twitter at the moment, I am still curating information using FlipBoard Magazines and currently “publishing it” weekly as the Weekly RiczWest, which is basically a static page on WordPress with some links to my FlipBoard magazines that is available as a menu item at the top and is also tweeted using IFTTT (If This Then That).

DailyRiczWest-7oct13This is not really a satisfactory solution as I’d actually like to produce a “custom” magazine which contains only the content of the past week, which is the same idea I had with the Daily RiczWest. For all my gripes against Twitter, at least they make their content available via IFTTT (it wasn’t for a while, but now it’s back). Unfortunately, FlipBoard seems to be rather a closed system. This has obviously offended the “hacker” (and I mean that in a good way, not the common debased usage) so I’m looking to open it up and continue work on the core concept of taking a set of “highlighted posts” (by Flipboard Magazines, Twitter Favourites, …) and put them in to a custom stream and newspaper.

The first step is to free the information from FlipBoard to a neutral format that can be worked with. As usual, “the web” can help rescue us. FlipBoard have (marginally) “opened up” their magazines by giving them a URL which is updated and viewable by others on a browser. This gives us just enough room to actually capture the information, but how?

There are essentially three problems here:

  1. Sense changes to the web page
  2. Capture those changes
  3. Save them somewhere

3 will be solved by our old friend DropBox along with IFTTT for the high level orchestration, but it really could be anything.

For 1, before I found out I could only get my magazines “externally” from FlipBoard I was hoping they would have them exposed as RSS – unfortunately not :-( It’s a good idea though, so this lead to me searching for some way to convert web pages to RSS feeds. Luckily, there are a number of possible solutions, but I’ve chosen page2rss which is very easy to use (i.e. just give it the URL and it “does” the rest).

For 2, you simply set up an IFTTT Recipe that is triggered by your RSS feed and saves the ‘changes’ in the Web Page from 1

FlipBoard to DropBox 1

FlipBoard to DropBox 2

Once you have this set up you’ll get way too much information in your file as it seems to be a JSON Object – I’ve given a stripped down example below

"title":"Z Motherboards For Mini-ITX Builds - Reviews - Tom’s Hardware",
"excerptText":"Pre­vi­ous<p>The Mini-ITX Mar­ket Is Small, But Growing...<p>
ASRock ZE-ITX<p>ZE-ITX Software<p>ZE-ITX Firmware<p>Asus ZI-Deluxe<p>
ZI-Deluxe Software<p>ZI-Deluxe Firmware<p>EVGA Z Stinger<p>Z Stinger Software<p>Z …",
"authorDisplayName":"Thomas Soderstrom",

as in the next post I’ll be looking at parsing this for enough information to produce a WeeklyRiczWest newspaper. I’m hoping that we may even be able to use some of FlipBoards summary extraction features…

DailyRiczWest v0.9

Ralph MemorialIf you’ve been reading this blog for a while, you’ll recognise the title as ages ago I did a post DailyRiczWest – behind the scenes v0.1. That was quite a while and a bit has changed so I thought I’d do a quick update for people.

This program will take the concept of a personal paper like paper.li and spotify to it’s ultimate conclusion (well, for me at least ;). Instead of some “automated filter” picking things for you, the DRW works off any twitter items that I’ve favourited from any application (e.g. Flipboard, Tweetbot etc…). One advantage of this is that I can just tweet key items and pop everything else in a digest form. Here’s a link to an example of what was produced for yesterday.

DailyRiczWest-7oct13How does it work? Easy – it’s based upon an If This Then That recipe called Favourites to Dropbox for DailyRiczWest which just adds information on anything that you favourite to a file ifttt/favourites.txt in your Dropbox (assuming you have a “Public” folder).

There’s then a perl program and some templates which munge this in to an HTML digest of the previous days favourites. Eventually, I’d like to pull the content to the links summarized in to the digest but that’s a ways off. Being an agile kinda guy though, I’m doing this socially and releasing early and often.

Eventually I’d like to make this an easy to set up and stand alone project, but that’s a long ways off (as this is just a play project for me) but if you can wrap your head around how this works and set it up then let me know. If you have some problems, then feel free to ask…