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Today, I Am Tweeting for Ten Years

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Ten years ago, I started using Twitter for micro-blogging. It was an experiment, mainly to find out why people are using this media and see how my opinion changes when using it. At first, I was quite sceptic.

After couple of months, I wrote my first thoughts on Twitter (German). From my current experience, I do think that I grasped the main points of this new media quite good.

Until my first Twitter anniversary I have found 69 followers. And on my second Twitter anniversary, I already had 166 followers. Twitter was part of my daily routine. I learned to appreciate news I could not get otherwise. However, it came with a price: more and more time I had to spend following my time-line. In the first half of 2017 I got rid of roughly a third of the people I was following. That eased my pain a bit. After all: What Twitter is to somebody is still only defined by the set of accounts that are followed.

In 2017, I decided to take a break from Twitter: not using Twitter for the lent. To my surprise, it had not that high impact on my daily life. I continued using Twitter afterwards with the lesson learned that my Twitter dependence was not in an unhealthy state yet. I just missed out some things in the meantime.

However, according to the idea that decentralization will be an absolute must for the future development of the Internet and a rising number of questionable business decisions by Twitter, I started to use Mastodon in parallel. All my tweets are posted to Mastodon and vice-versa with toots to Twitter.

If there would not be the inevitable effect that a new service - even if superior to a previous one - doesn't have the same amount of users, preventing the new one to gain popularity, I'd be using Mastodon only. I sympathize with the concept.

After using third party apps to access Twitter I switched over to Twitter.com in the web browser exclusively because this way I got the latest features. However, with Twitter starting to add advertisements and manipulating and filtering my time-line using secret and not welcomed algorithms similar to Facebook, I switched back to a third party Android app which provide me my usual strict time-line, not promoting or filtering any tweet.

Currently, I've got 746 followers on Twitter and 325 on Mastodon. Even considering this imbalance on follower numbers, the subjective level of interaction with peers seems to be the same on Mastodon and Twitter.

Let's see, how decentralization and the Twitter lock-in-effect are evolving in the upcoming years.

Date Tweets Following Followers Notes
2009-09-08 0 0 0 And it began.
2010-09-08 ? 72 69 first anniversary
2012-09-08 6542 125 253 3 year anniversary
2013-09-08 9713 134 313 4 year anniversary
2014-09-07 12831 150 363 5 year anniversary
2015-09-08 16849 161 478 6 year anniversary
2017-09-08 23932 128 641 8 year anniversary
2018-09-01 28035 129 694 9 year anniversary
2019-09-08 31222 133 746 10 year anniversary

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