HowTo: save FaceBook comments to excel using PowerBI

Ever wanted to save a bunch of FaceBook comments? Looking for a better way to find old posts that get buried in the timeline? Turns out that Microsoft PowerBI desktop (free download) and Excel (with PowerQuery COM Add-in) can help.

The Short Story:

  • Start a new Query and Get Data from FaceBook. Use ‘Me’ or the ‘ObjectID’ of a page as source. Leave the ‘Connection’ blank, we can drill into timeline or posts on the fly. (hint: ObjectID of a page is simply the last bit of the URL for the page)
  • Drill into the connections Record (the string ‘Record’ is a hyperlink that will expand to show available connections). Drill into either the posts or feed Table (if in doubt, start with posts).
  • If you get an error it is most likely an API limit that can be worked around by munging the source string in the M-language (Advanced Editor). Try something like:
  • Find the post you want (hint: filter ‘message’ column to get a nice alphabetical list of posts which is by far the best way to read mainstream media pages!). Expand the comments Table to reveal the comments you are after.
  • Expand the from column to get name of the commentor, and the object_link column to get other interesting information. (count of likes is always interesting).
  • Close and Load your query, create a simple report table to expose the fields you want in the order you want and either publish them to or export to a spreadsheet (this whole process can be done from within Excel using the PowerQuery COM add-in, which requires the right kind of Excel license from Microsoft).


PowerBI Desktop makes a great FaceBook browser (and it’s a free download for windows)

The Long Story:


Coming soon…

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Fang – Mike Seyfang


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Well, well, well

Guess who’s been playing ‘Citizen Analyst’ with Microsoft PowerBI and open data from the Government of South Australia?


How is this done? -> to share a powerBI report/visualisation to the web

  1. Fire up in web browser and login, find your report.
  2. In the report window, file Publish to WEB to generate iFrame embed code
  3. For blog (like this) iFrame is stripped out so grab a screenshot of your report and link an.img to the URL for your powerBI report

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Fang – Mike Seyfang


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Insult.gif by ShakesPeare


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Awesome earth visualisation: wind flow and more…

How cool is this?


More at:

Even more:

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Fang – Mike Seyfang


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Freight trains of disruptive innovation

Ha – just stumbled upon this old (2012) DRAFT post. Guess I should add a ‘Government’ section!

An attempt to characterise that light at the end of the tunnel so I can jump out of it’s way. Just in time.


Is the Academic Publishing Industry on the Verge of Disruption?

  • my blog post on uofa work
  • melissa terris youtube
  • iTunesU predictions (2008
  • pop sign
  • publications lists & inst repository
  • early OACA study
  • my UofA research institute experiments SSA
  • discover Open Notebook
  • notice OA publishing
  • eTeachers
  • minilegends
  • eduauweb2
  • oldaily
  • Web2.0 infection at

Music (reverse the order)

  • my first record (daddy cool)
  • my first cool listen (electric funeral, ball bearing bird, hotrod lincoln)
  • am radio
  • reel to reel
  • cassettes
  • CD
  • 4 track recording
  • online .mp3
  • atoms/bits guitar picks
  • iTunes songs (not albums)
  • nTrack recording
  • my son’s career aspirations
  • spotify


Prior to 1995

  • unix
  • office automation
  • e/mail
  • modems & bulletin boards
  • tcp/ip and the internet nntp://
  • www
  • FOSS
  • linux (ashman sagems cubicle poster)
  • web2.0 (RWW)
  • linux compete
  • podcasts
  • blogs
  • my first blog post
  • my first podcast

Fang – Mike Seyfang

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One Million views of my Flickr images

Back in November last year, my total Flickr photo views passed the magic one million mark!


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Fang – Mike Seyfang


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Twenty Fifteen – the year I lost my voice

2015 was a quiet year for me out in social media land. Gone were the days when geeks with RSS aggregators could be more popular than jocks with media teams. Social media had become mainstream and the noise from the ‘short head’ drowned out the beautiful stories from the ‘long tail’.

As the walled gardens of facebook and twitter grew ever more insular, the value of my online networks dwindled. RSS was no longer the glue that kept many small pieces loosely joined. My interest and activity online began to wane in 2014.

Two funny things happened in 2015:

  1. I started working as a public servant and made a conscious decision to stop blogging and tweeting out of fear of some policy breach or other by leaking sensitive public sector information.
  2. I discovered a group of public servants at who share my passion for improving the interactions between government and citizens through well designed digital services.

So having lost my voice online out of fear of doing the wrong thing, I decided to find it again in order to do the right thing. And I thought it would be interesting to review my online activity since I started blogging (for the purpose of podcasting) back in 2005.

Here is a table of the number of blog posts, facebook status updates and tweets per year:


And in pictures:


In a little more detail:


Let’s see what 2016 brings…

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Fang – Mike Seyfang


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