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Jeff's blog post about digital sharecropping made me realize that my 800 answers on Stack Overflow contain some valuable content that I would like to repurpose. Can I download all my answers in machine-readable form? How?

If not, please consider this a feature request.

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There's no way of retrieving answers if the question is deleted. From now on it might be best to backup your answers somewhere before you submit them. – Sam Hasler Aug 15 '09 at 16:19
Jeff: sorry to ask for a feature that's already been implemented. I seem to spend my SO time answering questions instead of reading the blog... – Norman Ramsey Aug 19 '09 at 19:17
not a problem, it's a perfectly reasonable question! – Jeff Atwood Aug 20 '09 at 3:55
Bump. So how do I download my StackOverflow content? – Colonel Panic Oct 18 '12 at 21:45
up vote 5 down vote accepted

An alternative to using the SQL version of the data dump is to use the XML as provided directly in the data dump. Most platforms provide a streaming XML reader: all you've got to do is load posts.xml (IIRC - I don't have a dump handy), load it in a streaming manner and write out all the posts with the relevant owner ID to whatever file format you want. If you just want to write out the XML for the posts you own, you can just hold open a streaming XML writer and write the element - easy!

Depending on what you've got in terms of database connectivity etc, that may well be easier to do. Let me know if you want some C# code to do this.

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I'm much happier with direct XML; thanks. Followup question at…. BTW I haven't enough rep on meta to edit your answer, but since it's accepted maybe you could link the data dump directly? Thanks. – Norman Ramsey Aug 19 '09 at 19:38
Good suggestion, done. – Jon Skeet Aug 19 '09 at 20:30

You would have to use the data dump, and then you could do:

select * from posts where owneruserid = 41661

BAM, machine readable.

Of course, you can always get a preview using Ian Elliot's frakking awesome Sandbox.

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This is, of course, after you import it into some sort of SQL – Kyle Cronin Aug 15 '09 at 16:06
@Eric: I'm not an SQL guy, but the pointer to the data dump is just perfect. Followup question at…. – Norman Ramsey Aug 19 '09 at 19:37

Although I don't know how much use it would get, I do kind of like the idea of a potential "personal data dump" which would allow you get just a dump of all your own information, questions, answers, etc.

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