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05 - train talks




screenshot of an online article from Metro. Title reads (in Dutch): ‘Studente gaat met treinpassagiers praten om verlegenheid te overwinnen’.
logo from traintalks. locomotive icon with text at the side ‘train talks’. Slogan reads: ‘how I’m training myself to be more social’.

During my bachelor in communication management I had to go by train. My daily commute from Diksmuide - Kortrijk was paired with: overcrowded wagons, shouting high school students, torn Metro newspapers, bad morning breath from strangers, one transfer and a total time of about 55 minutes. So I decided to combine two of my daily struggles and get the best out of both; talking to strangers on the train, in search of their stories.

Even though I - eventually - liked talking to strangers on the train, one of the most important parts of our assignment was the SEO. We learned that, in order to have a good Google index, you need to be 'linked'. Linking to your own page, linking from other websites.. it all helps for the indexiging by Google and to be on top of the Google Search page. So I decided to contact our national railway company (NMBS) and tell them about my blog/ story and ask them to share my idea on their platform. Soon they shared it on their Facebookpage and it received a lot of reaction/ attention. Afterwards my story and blog were noticed by Het Nieuwsblad (interview + newspaper article), Radio 2 WVL (radio interview) & Metro (interview + online article).

background information

For the class 'skills' (communication management) we were asked to create a blog. So I created a blog about daring to overcome my 'social anxiety' and talk to strangers during my daily commute. The important part during this assignment was learning to write blogs (copy writing: professional/ personal) and the SEO behind having a blog. The topic of the blog was all about "How I’m training myself to be more social".

picture of a newspaper article. On the image a train is racing by and Gwen (a girl) is puting her hair behind her ear while smiling. The title reads (in Dutch): ‘Babbelen op trein tegen verlegenheid’. The article continues but isn’t fully on the picture.