26 - A nice afternoon with SMARTI ETN

Hi crew,

I hope that you are all doing great.
First of all, today, I would like to thank you all for the fantastic achievement that this blog reached last week: 10,000 views from all over the world!!! How cool is that??!! It is just awesome and you are awesome that you keep visiting and reading my blog. Thanks a lot for that.

But lets focus on today's topic. Today I am going to share with you another of my great experiences.

A few weeks ago, I have been invited by Dr. Davide Lo Presti and Dr. Ana Jiménez del Barco Carrión, respectively Coordinator and Project Managers of SMARTI ETN, to share with their fellows my experience about the use of social media and blog for communicating Science.
Honestly, in my experience, I never had the possibility of lecturing to a proper classroom and I thought that this was another massive opportunity, which I could not miss. I was honoured and excited about being invited for sharing my own perspectives with other researchers, and in fact, I accepted straightaway.
Again, thank you Davide and Ana for offering me this huge opportunity.
Similarly to TRUSS ITN, SMARTI ETN is a new training network (Marie Skłodowska-Curie Action) funded by the EU under the Horizon 2020 programme which aim is to develop, test and deploy new methodologies for Sustainable Multi-functional Automated and Resilient Transport Infrastructures. Please guys, visit the SMARTI ETN website if you are looking for more information about the project.
As it happened within TRUSS ITN, over their three years projects researchers of SMARTI ETN have to attend training weeks in which they meet experts from all around the globe that introduce them to specific project related topics or give them tips to improve some of their soft-skills. The talk that I have been invited to was for the SMARTI ETN training week on “Communication Skills” that has been held at the University of Nottingham between the 22nd and 28th May 2018.

How was it?
Super cool crew! A fantastic experience for me and I hope that the SMARTI ETN fellows enjoyed as well.

Here there are a few pictures:

Fig. 1 - That is me during the talk with SMARTI ETN fellows.

Fig. 2 - And here we are all together at the end of my talk.

I tried my best aiming at giving them all possible tips that I would have really appreciated I could have at the beginning of my PhD studies when I started my own blog.

You know, using social media for communicating science is a relatively new topic. Social media themselves are not that old (not just yet) and make the most out of them is not an easy task as it looks. Just imagine that recently the EU released official guidelines for the use of social media for people in the loop of MSCA and other EU funded projects. And so are doing most of companies. That is to direct their employees on the use of social media for professional purposes. Your company may have a guideline as well.
Crew, please, if you think that the EU guidelines can be useful for you, here it is a direct link for downloading them:
That may help you out with a detailed list of suggestions and rules to follow to make the most out of social media and blog for communicating your ideas (perhaps Science) and reach your audience targets.

What did I say to the SMARTI ETN fellows?

Well, I tried to give them suggestions and tips which I think may be useful for those who start using social media and blogs for professional purposes as communicating science is for a researcher.
Of course, I told them to have fun. Social media are primarily for entertainment and should not represent the main activity of a researcher. So, when one day you really got enough of working on your research, you feel that you are not focused 100% and you may want to have a break, well, that is the right moment for checking social media or writing a post for your blog. Once or twice a month. Surely, you can do it. And I am sure that you will enjoy.
However, be careful when you try to communicate science through social media and blogs. Target your audience in the ways, time and forms that they like. Remember, for example, that different social media should be used to target different audiences and that you should communicate with them using different languages. For instance, Facebook is good for communicating with your friends while LinkedIn should be used for exhibit your interests, achievements and goals from a professional perspective.
Remember that social media are very powerful tools and that their communicative power should not be underestimated. Keep in mind that, whatever you write, will always be available to the public and will give to the audience an image of your personality, of your project and about your work. Sure, your friends on Facebook know who you are, but people that you connect with on LinkedIn or Twitter may not. Try to give them a nice picture of yourself, of your research and of your project. Of course crew, try to give the best possible picture of yourself. You may want to find partners for collaboration on your current project or for future developments of your work.

Remember: your name, your project, your ideas are your brand and, basically, you are advertising it on your blog and through social media. Keep that in mind crew.

This is in summary what I tried to say to the SMARTI ETN fellows, but still, these suggestions remain valid also for you all. If you are thinking to start your own blog, or about posting about your research project on social media, think about what I just told you. It may be useful.
So, what are you waiting for? Have a try and start your own blog to share your passion and promote your projects! And, of course, if you have any problem, please do not hesitate to contact me (perrottafederico2@gmail.com) or just post it and share your experience on your blog. It may be useful for others in your same situation.

I saw that some SMARTI ETN fellows started writing on their own blogs, so I look forward to reading your blogs as well crew.

I hope you enjoyed the read, and as usual, if you want to know more about the next steps of my project, you know crew: just stay tuned!




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