JW Newsroom Notification Using IFTTT

How to use IFTTT.com to receive RSS notifications from the JW Newsroom site.

RSS and IFTTT

RSS (Rich Site Summary or Real Simple Syndication) has been around for a long time. This article does not attempt to explain the ins and outs of RSS. Feel free to use to use another RSS reader if you so desire. This article will show the basics of using IFTTT.com (If this then that).

IFTTT is a rather useful site to help automate or notify many different web based items. I am using IFTTT instead of other RSS readers because it provides a consistent way to be notified of new articles on JW newsroom on iOS and Android. I use both platforms and found that RSS readers on iOS do not provide very good notifications.

Sign In To IFTTT

You can use OAUTH and sign in with Google or Facebook. There are pros and cons to OAUTH. For more information on how it works check out this site. Be forewarned that like all authentication protocols there are some security risks. And recently a few security issues were discovered, but these should be patched by now.

I prefer to use a new password for each site. IFTTT supports long secure passwords and it also supports 2FA (Two Factor Authentication). I recommend using both. Your password should be at least 16 characters in length with lots of entropy. You can use the website or just the app on iOS or Android to register and setup your new IFTTT applet. Once you have your IFTTT account setup log into the site and then continue with these instructions to setup the RSS notification applet.

Below are the links for the IFTTT app for iOS and Android.

Creating the RSS Notification Applet

You can modify an existing applet. But this document will detail the steps to create a new applet. I am using notifications. You can also send a SMS alert if you prefer. I will leave that to you to figure out. Follow the steps below.

Create a New Applet

In the upper right of the web page you will see your username and a drop down arrow. Click on that and then click "New Applet".

IFTTT New Applet
IFTTT New Applet

Select Your Service

First click on the blue "+ this". It is surrounded by the red box in the picture below. The red box won't exist on the website.

Click Blue Plus This
Click Blue Plus This

Select the RSS Service

The RSS Feed service should be on the top row. Or you can use the search box and search for it. It is the orange box in the picture below. Just click on it to proceed to the next step.

RSS Feed
RSS Feed

Choose a Trigger

The RSS Feed service has two different triggers. I just want to be notified every time there is a new feed item on JW Newsroom. The other option will allow you to add keywords to only search for specific news items. In the picture below the correct trigger is surrounded by a red box that won't appear on the website.

Choose Trigger
Choose Trigger

Complete Trigger with Feed URL

Now you need to add the JW Newsroom XML Feed URL. To do this go to the JW newsroom site and right click on the 'Subscribe' button. Or long press on iOS or Android. Then select "Copy Link Address" or something similar depending on which browser or platform you are using. Paste it into the Feed URL and then click "Create trigger". See the picture below. The current link is copied below. It is possible this link will change. And if you use a different language you will have a different link.

https://www.jw.org/en/news/rss/FullNewsRSS/feed.xml

Add Feed URL to Trigger
Add Feed URL to Trigger

Click On the Blue + That

Now that we have set our trigger. We need to create our action. Click on the blue "+ that". See the picture below. Again the red box won't exist on the website.

Click on Blue Plus That
Click on Blue Plus That

Choose Action Service

In the search box type in "notifications". This will reduce the services to one option. Click on the blue Notifications box to continue. See the picture below.

Choose Action Service
Choose Action Service

Choose Action

Now click on the blue "Send a notification from the IFTTT app". Please note that you need to install the IFTTT application on your electronic device to receive these notifications. And you must sign into the app before anything will work. At the time of this writing there was only one action to choose for the notification service. See the picture below.

Choose Action
Choose Action

Complete Action Fields

This step can be modified to choose your own desires. You can add or subtract ingredients by clicking on 'Add ingredient'. You can add plain text if you desire. The ingredients available for RSS feeds are listed below.

  • {{EntryTitle}} = The title of the entry in the RSS feed.
  • {{EntryUrl}} = The URL of the entry in the RSS feed.
  • {{EntryAuthor}} = The author of the content as seen on the RSS feed.
  • {{EntryContent}} = The content itself as is written in the RSS feed.
  • {{EntryImageURL}} = The thumbnail URL in the RSS feed.
  • {{EntryPublished}} = When the entry was published.
  • {{FeedTitle}} = The title of your RSS feed.
  • {{FeedURL}} = The URL of the source of the RSS feed.

I like to have 3 ingredients. I use "FeedTitle", "EntryTitle", and "EntryUrl". Edit it how you desire and then click "Create action". See the picture below.

Completed Action Fields
Completed Action Fields

Review and Finish

The default description is very long. I edit this to something short and easily identifiable. Feel free to use whatever you desire. Once you are done click "Finish". See the picture below.

Review and Finish
Review and Finish

Make sure you install the IFTTT app on your tablet or phone and sign into the application. Once that is done you will receive notifications for every new story from the JW newsroom site.

 

That is all there is to it. Enjoy!