Forum discussions are included when you make a backup using the Ning Archiver. Do you not see that option? It should show up as Discussions, as it show here.
I see "Discussions" in the Ning Network Archiver window, and used it...but on my desktop when I download the Discussions content, in the Discussions folder I only see media files that I have uploaded to the Forum (a PDF file, and a couple jpeg files)...and not the discussion thread.
Eric--I found a json file in the Discussions folder downloaded to my desktop that appears to have the Forum thread in it...but it's all in what appears to be html code. How do I convert that from a json file to something that looks like the original discussion thread?
Hi, Alan. We selected json as a format because it is the one that you can potentially do the most with. However, we aren't able to provide a structured export of what the pages would look like in a typical forum. We are able to provide associated media files, and we wanted to do that in addition to exporting data as json. Those can be viewed since they are, for example, a JPG that was uploaded as that same data in that same format at one time. But forum discussions are a collection of different types of data from many different points in time, so it's a little harder to export it in a similar way.
What it kind of boils down to is that there isn't an accepted standard for social networks, so it's hard to create a fully exportable/importable file format that will work anywhere. Actually, similar services (and there aren't that many out there) aren't going to be able to import this data without building an importer of their own. I've seen other services promise to make such an importer, but no one seems to have followed through with that promise.
May I ask what you're trying to do with the data? Maybe we can get you someone who has better advice than I do. Are you trying to create a record of a conversation or reproduce it somewhere else?
Eric--Thanks for the reply. We use the Blue Water Consulting site in Ning for marketing research discussion groups. The best way for us to then write a report for the client is to have a downloadable file of each Forum that we can load into something like MS Word.
I used to host a research site with Communispace and their Forum threads were easy to download. I also created a couple of customer communities for clients on the Joomla platform and we had it set up so we could very easily download Forum threads.
Very sorry for my very slow response to you. Not intentional!
Unfortunately, I don't think this is as easy as it might be for your purposes. There are a number of HTML stripper type programs that I think you could use for this purpose, although it's kind of a technical thing to deal with that will probably not be easy to use regularly. Also unfortunately, I am not very knowledgeable about scraping content in this way, but my hope is that someone here on Creators might have better advice. I'll feature this discussion and try to find someone who might be able to help.