Yahoo pipes has been around a number of years. I have only played a little with it up until last week. I discovered a new site called ifttt.com (If This Then That). IFTTT lets you perform various actions based on what data is detected in various online sources. Those sources can be RSS feeds, mail matching tags in your gmail etc. You can have it send you sms, email, google talk IM and various other alert actions.
We accidentally let the friendsintech.com domain name expire briefly. Fortunately I noticed it fast enough to get it renewed. So I wondered how could we detect when the site is not available. I am sure you have seen www.downforeveryoneorjustme.com for checking if web sites are really down or is it just a problem on your end. A great way to check site status.
So it made me wonder. Can I scrape downforeveryone for site status using a yahoo pipe and feed that to IFTTT for automatic alerting?
The answer is yes. The real work is all in the yahoo pipe. You can find the FiT pipe: HERE at Yahoo.
Now for the explanation:
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Area 1 is where you can customize the site you are monitoring. Be sure to change the contents of the URL and String fields in each box. The fetch page object actually gets the status page of the site we want to monitor.
- You can just copy the url from your web browser when you check your site on downforeveryone. Paste the same url into the top left string builder. This ties to the link field when we generate the RSS article entry later.
- Change the String Builder replacing your email and your name in parenthesis. This is needed for RSS feed validity in the author field.
- The last String Builder is simply how you want the site name to show in the rss article title.
Area 2 is where we scrape the status results page from downforeveryone. We cut the site status from between html title elements, push it into the needed RSS article description field. Last we build the RSS article title around that.
Area 3 is where we wrap the RSS article in a valid RSS feed. From there it simply goes to a filter to drop out the Up status and to output. Thus giving us an RSS article only when the site is down.
We do that because for some reason IFTTT doesn’t react as the unique RSS article ID and publish date change. (those come from the Date Builders on the top right) So over in IFTTT just paste the RSS Feed URL to your finished Yahoo Pipe into a New RSS Item trigger. Then send the type of alert of your choice.
Sure the alerts have a time delay when you combine the refresh periods of the Yahoo engine and IFTTT but you will still know your site is down. It seems to be about a 30-45 delay in my testing. But the solution is free and seriously geeky! Enjoy!