How to archive your Facebook content

Every once in a while I’ll catch Elise complaining about how I post on Facebook too much. She used to go to to catch up with our lives and whatever desperate attempt at witticism I’d convey for all the world to see. She frequently reminds me about how we lost all of those precious documented memories of our trip to New York City in 2009 because I was posting said memories to Facebook from my iPhone (“In Chinatown looking at penis-shaped seafood”). I didn’t much have a leg to stand on, but I knew, in my heart of hearts, that I would, one day, be able to get those documented memories and archive them in some fashion.

On Facebook, I get an immediate audience and I use it for quick posts — something that doesn’t necessary warrant a full blog post; more of a thought or an observation, or more importantly to me, something that might make someone smile or LOL. I like to think that I’ve done a pretty good job of avoiding obscurities (“grrrr, I know she didn’t!'”) or pop culture and/or current event glib (“is watching Jersey Shore”). However, when it’s all said and done, whatever I might share lives on Facebook – to one day be sucked into the distant vacuum not unlike MySpace. I’m a huge advocate of owning your own content. Every once in a while, I’ll go back to the archives of to see what we were doing on Father’s Day Weekend of 2002 or to remind myself of why I loathe the Dell Corporation. I also want to be able to go back and read all of my Facebook posts one day. And on some future date, when my grandchildren are doing their research papers on me, they’ll need to be able to quickly find information about the Chinatown penis-shaped seafood experience of 2009.

Last night I went to Uncle Google and asked, “how can I export and save all of my old Facebook posts?” And he said:

  1. Login to your Facebook account
  2. Click on “Account” in the upper-right side of your screen
  3. Select “Account Settings” from the drop-down menu
  4. Click the “learn more” text link under the ‘Download Your Information’ section
  5. Type in your password and click the ‘Continue‘ button

Facebook will then email you a link that you can click on which will download a zipped folder that contains all of your profile information, photos, videos, notes, messages and wall posts — all in a nifty HTML format so you can read it like a website and click on links, photos, videos, etc.

So with all of that valuable information, I created It contains all of my Facebook posts dating back to December of 2007.

Worth noting is that this Facebook archive information contains Messages. While I don’t regularly check Facebook Messages, it did have email messages from folks that I don’t necessarily want the world to read or to get indexed by search engines. I added an http redirect to the messages.html file, so it will just redirect to my “Wall” page.

While it’s a manual archiving process, it’s still good to be able to have access to my old Facebook posts (online under my own domain and backed-up locally) should Facebook just up and go away one day.

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