37signals Campfire Data Liberation

As an administrator of a 37signals account, I’ve wanted to get my hands on all the data from their services numerous times. Well, now we are moving from 37signals to Google Apps and I NEED to get my data out. Why are we moving? Numerous reasons.

  • We use Fogbugz, Trello, and Google Calendar. These 3 tools essentially render Basecamp useless.
  • Campfire is a distant second to Hipchat for team collaboration.
  • Highrise isn’t something we need for our business.
  • Backpack in the hands of end users has been by far one of the most confusing and frustrating services we’ve ever used. A standard Mediawiki install was the first attempt we made for this kind of service. Next was Confluence (gah). Finally, Backpack. Now we’re using Google sites and Google docs. None of these are perfect, but at least Google works.

Regardless of our reasoning. Let’s start by getting data out of Campfire. For whatever mysterious reasons, 37signals doesn’t have a feature to export any data from Campfire. Contacting their customer support is usually a dead end, they won’t help. It surprising they would prefer that you hammer their servers like my example below instead of simply providing a “zip all my campfire history” link and running the zip offline.

Do not fear, there is a simple solution. It involves three things.

  1. Administrator access to your 37signals Campfire account
  2. wget.exe
  3. cookie.txt export for Chrome

Continue reading