Seven thousand tweets in 12 months.
Well, 7093 tweets, to be precise. Over the last 12 months, from , through , I've posted 7093 updates to Twitter.
(Side note: when Twitter finally released their "download your archive" feature, I discovered my first tweet was actually in March of 2010, not April, so continuing from my two previous "twelve months of Twitter" posts didn't make sense. July seems like a good opportunity to post an update, halfway into the year.)
Seven thousand tweets sounds like a lot, but it actually represents a pretty significant decrease in my Twitter usage –it's just barely half the total of 14055 tweets from the previous 12-month period (July 2011 to June 2012). February 2013 saw the lowest number of tweets since July 2010, when I'd first started really getting into Twitter, with January and June close behind.
That drop reflects an effort to improve my signal-to-noise ratio on Twitter. I'd been tweeting excessively and needed to restrain myself – not every fleeting thought that bounces into my skull needs to be shared. A number-crunching analysis doesn't give me the means to judge whether my subjective quality has improved, but I'd like to think it has. You tell me.
What and Who
The ratio of "original" tweets (by me, not replies or retweets) shifted a bit higher than the previous 12-month period, but not much. About 12% of my "original" tweets included a link – I've been trying to focus more on sharing interesting content instead of the Twitter norm of telling everyone what you had for breakfast.
The percentage of conversational replies has stayed above 50%, so it's not just me yapping into the void. There are actual people I'm talking with.
Speaking of conversations... the graph makes it pretty clear who I talk to the most. It's worth noting that @sawaboof has risen from a "runner-up" in my 2011 data to the top of the list; that'll happen when you start dating someone you met via Twitter. As with last year's report, all but one of these people live within 100 miles of me, even if we've not (yet) met face-to-face.
When and How
One thing that hasn't really changed much since last year's analysis is when I tweet. The bulk of my activity is still from late morning to early evening.
It's somewhat more interesting to see how the pattern changes from day to day througout the week. This GIF shows the aggregate tweets for each day (so, for example: all tweets from the last 12 months that were on Mondays, by hour), and the shift from weekends to weekdays is notable.
You can also see a clear shift in my preference of Twitter client. I used to rely heavily on Tweetdeck, which was a pretty solid desktop client and had a decent Chrome version. It did a great job of displaying the main timeline alongside your mentions, DMs, lists, and so on, so you had a good at-a-glance overview. Unfortunately it started having issues (I suspect this was related to its acquisition by Twitter), and Chrome started randomly causing my work computer to freeze, so in February I started using the Twitter.com web interface from Firefox as my primary client during the day. Usage of Tweetbot (which I highly recommend if you have an iPhone) has been pretty consistent.
(This graph excludes any client that didn't have at least a 1% share. Flickr was used for 0.3% of my tweets, as did the mobile Twitter website; only 0.2% of my tweets were texted in.)
I didn't run the data to check, but I would imagine there's a clear trend showing which clients get used the most over the course of the day. My guess: Tweetbot shows strongly during the early morning, giving way to Twitter.com during the workday, then shifting back to Tweetbot as night sets in.
What Have We Learned?
Overall, it feels like I'm doing better at producing less noise for people to filter out, and connecting with people more than talking at them. It's interesting just how much Twitter has taken over our lives, though maybe I'm just speaking for myself here. It feels weird to deliberately take a few days off of Twitter, to consciously refrain from posting at all, though I still feel compelled to at least check in to see what others are saying. It's like anything else – moderation is key, and that's something I'm still working on.