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Johan BovĂ© đŸ‡ȘđŸ‡ș

You can keep your metrics, Twitter

3 min read

How knowing the number of followers I have makes me want to use it less

I seem to have been hovering around 404 followers for a couple of months now. Some tweets bring me a couple of new ones, other tweets seems to scare away followers. Not sure how to interpret that.

Following people based upon a single Tweet is a mistake and a sure-fire hit to get disappointed later. When I see someone posting something interesting or funny, I don't immediately decide to follow them. I always have a look at their timeline to see the general tone and topics they post about. There is hardly anyone who consistently posts interesting stuff. (There are some really clever people out there, so there are exceptions)

Anyway, I'm not using "social media" to post curated and carefully picked words to please every follower; I share it because I care about the content and/or the author and believe the message important enough to be passed along or promoted.

Some time ago somebody shared the thought that Twitter should offer an option to hide the follower and other counters from the User Interfaces. I agree that this option would actually benefit new joiners to not really know just how little followers they have.

I can understand that the number of followers, retweets and likes are easy to messure metrics to analyse the reach and the impact Twitter users have. But to most, I believe that knowing these numbers will actually demotivate and push those users away from the platform entirely.

That's one of the main reasons why I am totally for taking back control over your online presence and about hosting your own "social website". And thanks to the Known CMS project I could create a pretty neat social media hub within a limited amount of time and effort. It's all open source and currently maintained by Marcus Povey.

He's doing a lot of excellent work on the Known platform and posts about his ideas and implementations.

So I degressed from my original topic; I'll share more insights in how to set up your own Known site in a future post. It wasn't super-easy to set up the site, WordPress is a lot easier to start with, but Known was developed with the ideas of the Indieweb movement in mind.

So thanks to the IndieWeb, Twitter is not my main social media platform any longer. I own my content here and will continue to decide for myself what will be shared on that silo and what stays on my private social media Indieweb site.

We need the IndieWeb, so we can take back our online presence and feel back in control over social posting.

ps. I used Mastodon for a while, but couldn't get the feel right and didn't really enjoy using it. Having to decide on one or maintain multiple Mastodon instances, and set up in a way multiple social media accounts, was too much of a hassle. And unless your hosting your own Mastodon site, it's not really the :-)