About me

My name is Simon (Szymon) Piatek and I am interested in the digital media, digital research methods and digital transformation. My main research focus is on the online representation of places, the production and consumption of user-generated content, and online mapping. I developed Hashtag Cloud Analysis – an innovative method for studying trends on Twitter which enables the analysis of hashtags behaviour and their always changing typology over time. My main contribution to the field of digital methods so far is my online tool – Trend-Catcher which allows the live analysis of Twitter trends. This is the first tool of this type that focuses purely on hashtag trends. The analysis is based on the differences in data ‘burstiness’.

Simon Piatek
Simon (Szymon) Piatek

I’ve been running my own digital and social media consultancy since 2009. During this time I helped to develop the online presence of numerous organisations and managed/created multiple digital media teams. I was responsible for building and running 10+ websites and numerous social media channels. I also gained significant traditional media exposure. I was interviewed on live television by the BBC, Al-Jazeera, ITV and NHK. I represented my past employers on numerous conferences and took part in many discussion panels. I also delivered more than two hundred lectures, presentations and workshops to audiences ranging from as little as 3 to as much as 120 students or academics.

In my free time, I write short stories and I am also interested in Quantified Self movement.

Professional experience

In 2018 I was hired by BMT, a leading international, multi-disciplinary management consultancy (1500 staff members globally), to lead their ambitious digital communication transformation programme. In my role, I help to drive internal and external engagement. I also provide digital media training to all staff, including Executives and Board members.

I developed BMT’s new digital communication strategy. It focuses on the following areas:

  • The transformation of all digital channels of communication (personalisation, digital personas, customer journeys, CRM and CMS integration, automation)
  • The introduction of employee advocacy platform to increase internal and external engagement (web and mobile)
  • The development of strategic communication and content policies (i.e.house style) to make sure we use the language of our customers and talk to them on platforms of their choice.
  • The creation of a motivated digital transformation team that helps to meet current and future business needs
  • The monitoring of digital space for brand infringements and negative publicity (crisis identification and crisis communication)

The Digital Communication strategy includes approximately 80 documents:

  • Top level strategy documents for Senior Leadership Team (e.g. Digital Comms Strategy, Ecosystem Map, Competitor Analysis)
  • Medium level documentation for Management teams (e.g. Social Media Usage Staff Policy, House Style or Content Governance Policy)
  • Tactical delivery guidelines (e.g. Social Media Guidelines, Video Templates)
  • Technical papers (e.g. Employee Advocacy Implementation)

In 2003 I co-founded and worked as an editor in Vaganzza Magazine in Warsaw, Poland. In 2006 I built Polish Radio London 24 (PRL24) and served as station’s director till 2008. During this time PRL24 was launched on DAB in London.

Academic Profile

I graduated from Kingston University with a BA in Media and Cultural Studies in 2010. Then I spent four years travelling in Asia and that’s where I got heavily involved in social media, especially hashtagging on Instagram and Twitter, which eventually resulted in my academic interest in hashtags.

In 2014 I completed Masters Degree in Social Research at Goldsmiths College, University of London. In my dissertation, I analysed European cities hashtags rankings on social media. Currently, I am in the last year of my PhD at Warwick University.

  • Ph.D. Candidate, University of Warwick, UK
  • MA in Social Research, Goldsmiths College, University of London, UK
  • BA in Media and Cultural Studies, Kingston University


My current research interests involve:

  • The analysis of change and continuity through hashtags
  • The development of a tool for analysing change and continuity through hashtags

Grants, Fellowships:

  • ESRC Doctoral Award, Warwick University, 2014 – 2017




Click here to see my teaching posts


  • Sep 2015 – Computer Programming for Social Scientists, CDRC Summer School, Leeds University
  • May 2015 – ESRC Advanced Training in ‘Digital Methods and Big Social Data – An introduction to Twitter Data Mining, Digital Social Network Analysis and Data Visualisation’, Warwick University
  • Nov 2014 – DTC Workshop: Analysing Data with Crowds, Oxford Internet Institute, Oxford University


  • Researchers’ Learning Journeys – diary circle. It is a group of around ten people learning and using research methods in the UK, such as doctoral and early career researchers. As a participant, I record, document and reflect on my research methods learning experiences as and when they occur across a 24 month period (2015-2017), in a password protected online blogging platform. This might include the courses I go on, the texts I read etc. I will also participate in three focus group interviews (at beginning, middle and end of the project).

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