In the final week before App.net shut down, I whipped up a few scripts to download every post on the platform via the API. After that finished, I also attempted to download small versions of many of the photos, but ran out of time. This data has been sitting on one of my servers for the last 3 years.
Why did I bother? At a high level, see my post from 2012 called Permanence. I also hoped to build a tool that would let anyone export their personal archive, or even migrate it to a blogging platform like Micro.blog.
I took some time this weekend to make the posts available. It’s the bare minimum to find a list of posts for your username, then download them. There’s no HTML interface; the data is meant for apps or scripts to access.
Here’s the structure of the main URLs:
- adn.micro.blog/users/m/manton.txt — a list of my posts (first letter of username is used in the path)
- adn.micro.blog/posts/2012/08/11/20063.json — post ID 20063 on August 11th, 2012
There are also a very limited number of photos:
- adn.micro.blog/photos/2017/01/01/12345/1.jpg — for a hypothetical post ID 12345 on January 1st, the first photo if available (2.jpg for the second photo)
I’m still on the fence about integrating this as an import feature for Micro.blog. Right now, I don’t plan to. When Micro.blog first launched, we had a Twitter import feature, and I ended up disabling it because almost everyone who imported thousands of tweets into their blog regretted it.
At the very least, importing tweets or App.net posts requires some curation. It should be done thoughtfully, not with a single click.
If you use this data for anything, let me know! I tentatively plan to host these indefinitely, but I’m still looking for ways to simplify it, and may try again to move the archive to S3 in the future.
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