HOWTO: Send 'boosted' toots from Mastodon to Pinboard

IFTTT recipes

One of the wonderful things about the web is being able to automate certain actions. Something I find particularly useful with Twitter is being able to use IFTTT to automatically send anything I favourite that contains a link to my Pinboard bookmarks.

I’m experimenting with Mastodon this month, and so wanted something similar. I think I’ve found an imperfect, but usable, solution. The equivalent of ‘retweeting’ in Mastodon is ‘boosting’. When you boost something, this shows up on your timeline for other people to see — that’s the whole point of it.

As each user profile in Mastodon has its own Atom feed (like RSS) then you can use this to automatically run your Mastodon updates through IFTTT, and pull out any boosted toots. You can search for a particular string. In this case it’s ‘shared a status’. I’ve put together a three-step process on how to do this below.

A) Find your Atom feed

The location of the feed you require is in the format: instance/users/username.atom. That means mine is https://mastodon.cloud/users/dajbelshaw.atom.

B) Create an IFTTT applet

A straightforward process, if you follow these steps:

  1. Go to IFTTT, click on your username and in the drop-down select New Applet
  2. Click on this in the sentence that pops up (‘if this then that’)
  3. Search for RSS and select that option
  4. Select New feed item matches
  5. In the ‘Keyword or simple phrase (required)’ box enter shared a status and then in the ‘Feed URL (required)’ enter your Atom feed from Step A.
  6. Press Create trigger
  7. Click on that in the sentence that pops up (‘if this then that’)
  8. Search for Pinboard and select that option
  9. Select Add a public bookmark (if that’s what you want to do – your choice!)
  10. Leave the ‘URL (required)’ box alone, add/remove any tags you want in the ‘Tags’ box, and then delete everything in the ‘Description’ box and click ‘Add ingredient’. Select EntryContent and then press the Create action button.

C) Check it’s working

Go to Mastodon and boost someone’s toot, preferably containing a link. If you wait a while (these things are never instantaneous) you should see in your Pinboard bookmarks the details of the toot you just boosted!