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Basically the ultimate goal is to search my old posts for something rather obscure (it was something like '1 + 2 + 3') If I had a giant webpage it would be very easy to do a quick search. Indeed I have done that by downloading my personal facebook archive. Unfortunately, facebook changes so quickly that information on their pages, and esp stackexchange is outdated.

What I have tried:

Downloading

1) Facebook archive of data:

https://www.facebook.com/help/131112897028467/

No longer does this include wall posts. Nor does the 'enhanced archive' download either.

2) Firefox FBarchive plugin

https://addons.mozilla.org/en-US/firefox/addon/archivefacebook/

As far as I can tell both Firefox and Facebook have changed so much that this plugin no longer works. I don't even get the option to 'capture'.

Search

3) Searching facebook directly:

I could go to my 'activity log' to see all my posts, but these are fetched dynamically (by ajax?) and since I don't see all the posts, I can't do a browser text search. You might think that the 'search' bar actually searches your posts, but I see no way to do this. There is a Graph Search option, but this is in beta.

4) Third party app:

Id rather not trust my data to a 3rd party webapp if possible, but as far as I know there aren't even any great webapps that grab all your content either. Though the API, as far as I can tell, does support it.

5) Start scrollin'

As far as I know the only way is to scroll all the way to the bottom of your first post to make all the calls necessary to the server to load all the content. That really isn't a viable solution for me.

Any suggestions?

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1 Answer 1

I realize that this question is old, but the answer is very important, and I have written an exhaustive piece about the subject. http://www.imaginaryplanet.net/weblogs/idiotprogrammer/2013/10/why-facebook-is-no-longer-relevant-to-content-creators-or-readers/

Facebook used to let you download a personal archive, but in 2013, they reduced the amount of items which appears in this personal archive. See my post for details.

Facebook recently implemented an Activity Log which lets you view your own contributions in an easier manner and to search around by date. But you still have to do a lot of scrolling and waiting for things to load.

My preferred solution at the time of this writing is to use Google Plus instead of Facebook and then use an IFTTT recipe to export my posts to Facebook. Google is committed to Data Liberation http://www.dataliberation.org/ so their export policy is pretty good. Unfortunately when you export G+ posts, each individual post is a separate file, so you would have to use grep on all files in a directory to file the phrase you would need.

By the way, I wouldn't be surprised if eventually Facebook figures out a better search solution.

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