Tweeps, and in particular scientists, love discussing why they use twitter. They also usually discuss it… on twitter of course ! Trying to convince people already on twitter to use twitter is an interesting recursive situation, but people not on the network are very often dubious about the benefits. One of the question I got asked quite often is the following: can you give me some practical examples of things that happened because you were on twitter ?
Earlier this week, I was invited to a PhD viva at the college de France. The work (biomineralization of bone) was loosely related to my direct research interests (freezing and self-assembly) but brilliant, and I really enjoyed that day. The jury was eclectic and we had a good scientific discussion. While enjoying the post-viva champagne at the top of the roof -the view over Paris is truly outstanding.
I’ll take a position there any day, not even asking for an office, the terrace will be fine – I learned about the reason I was there on this day. When some of the work was published in Nature Materials last year, I tweeted about it, like I do when I see papers which I find of interest, and that tweet showed up on the altmetrics page of the paper. That’s how they realized I could be interested in participating to the jury.
That case was just one more example of things that happened to me through twitter. For the sake of giving simple, practical examples of similar situations, here is a quick summary of what I would call my twitter achievements:
– invited to a PhD viva.
– co-authored a review paper with authors I’ve never met in real life. The paper is on the verge of being accepted in a prestigious journal (fingers crossed).
– shared a few beers and nice meals in Paris with a few CNRS colleagues which I met on twitter.
– wrote an op-ed in Le Monde (online edition) to discuss science communication in France and the use of social media.
– wrote an article in Rue89 (a mainstream media in France, online only) on open access, following a comment I tweeted about one of their papers.
So there you go. Simple examples. Share yours in the comments.