I have been doing quite a few web automation work lately and everywhere I look, there’s always cases where curl is involved. It’s such a nice library. If you are trying to speed things up and let some software scripts handle that for you with PHP, then I would recommend you check out curl here. I would also like to recommend this useful book which contains awesome examples of web automation titled “Webbots, Spiders, and Screen Scrapers: A Guide to Developing Internet Agents with PHP/CURL”
iMacros is another nice tool for internet browsers (IE, Firefox, Chrome) which allows you to perform certain task repetitively. Want to get more hits for your youtube video? Now you know one way of doing that.
If you’re a web developer and want to do web automation testing, watir, selenium and simpletest might be something you want to look at.