Today is the 20th anniversary of XMPP, also known as Jabber. I don't remember much about how I first heard about Jabber, but it was likely through the Slashdot post. I've been running my own personal XMPP server for a while (I believe I started with ejabberd, though now it runs prosody), and I've written some XMPP-related software.
Nowadays, I work full-time on Matrix, which you could say is a competitor to XMPP. However, I think that both projects would benefit from co-operation, and I think that a little friendly competition is helpful. At the end of the day though, I'm hoping that an open, decentralized, secure communications protocol will become commonplace, whether it be XMPP or Matrix, rather than having the majority of people on multiple proprietary walled gardens. However, with XMPP and Matrix both having features for interoperability with other networks (through transports in XMPP, and through Application Services in Matrix), I think that it's likely that we'll end up with XMPP and Matrix co-existing in a federation.
So congratulations to the XMPP community on the past 20 years, and I hope that the XMPP and Matrix communities can work together to make our shared dream a reality.