This is a guest post by Rachel Walls on her experience of hosting an #ECRchat and how you can get involved.
Last summer I hosted my first #ECRChat on the topic of changing track in your research and/or career. This was a great opportunity to introduce myself (and my place of work, @ImperialPDC) to early career researchers and research developers across the world. It also gave me the chance to gain insight into an issue I wasn’t so familiar with and pose the questions I was keen to ask to a diverse range of people.
If you want to host an #ECRChat then it really is quite straightforward. You don’t even need to come up with a topic: the #ECRChat team will help you put a poll on their WordPress site so that chat participants can chose.
Here are the simple steps to being an #ECRChat host.
Before the chat:
- Check out the #ECRChat blog and upcoming dates for chats (see calendar).
- Read the list of ideas or think about your own topics you would like to suggest.
- Get in touch with ECR Chat and tell them you would like to be a host, suggesting dates you are available and whether you have a topic in mind and/or want to hold a poll.
- Once you’ve agreed a date and chosen a topic, or had the results of the poll, think of 4 or 5 clear and concise questions to pose to the #ECRchat participants.
- Consider your own experiences of the chosen topic as you might want to be ready to share them as part of the discussion (but no pressure, you don’t have to!)
- Advertise your upcoming chat on twitter and by any other means!
On the day of the chat:
- Be ready, a few minutes before the time of the chat, on Tweetchat or another programme that enables you to follow #ECRchat tweets easily
- When the clock strikes #ECRchat time, say hello and introduce yourself and the topic
- Welcome others and ask them to introduce themselves
- Pose your first question. Label your questions Q1, Q2 and so on
- Engage with those who respond if you can type quick enough!
- You might type further prompts, summarise or retweet people’s comments, but don’t worry if you don’t have time – it is most important to be yourself and enjoy the chat
- Keep an eye on the clock; judge when to move on to your next question
- If you don’t get through all your questions it is not the end of the world
- Just before the hour is over, tweet that the chat is coming to the end and thank people for participating
- Say goodbye!
After the chat:
- Follow all the new interesting people you have ‘met’
- Go to Storify and save the tweets from your chat (best to do this sooner rather than later as they are only available for a week)
- Write a summary of your chat for the #ECRchat blog
- If you need assistance with this contact the #ECRchat team