Last week – on the day Twitter debuted on the stock market – I was given the opportunity to take part in a social media workshop with some of the Elsevier publishers. Of course, we’ve been using social media channels on Materials Today for several years; but my personal use of Twitter (the focus of the workshop) has been limited to only a small number of comments and passively absorbing the contributions of others. And so I took up the chance to find out more about how others were using the platform to communicate science, and hear how they had benefited.

Now, there's very little I can say about twitter and social media in general that hasn’t already been said much better, by those much more knowledgeable on the subject – and indeed regular contributor Laurie Winkless explored some of these topics in a recent article in Materials Today [L. Winkless, Mater. Today, 16 (2013) 2–3] – but what was clear from the workshop and subsequent discussions was that the rewards of social media are proportional to the effort put in, and those that enthusiastically engage in social networking reap substantial rewards. Colleagues revealed that they have not only managed to stay ahead of the news curve by finding out about the latest developments straight from the source, but have managed to build relationships with peers and establish ongoing collaborations that would likely not have materialized if it were not for this new media.

And so as 2013 comes to a close, my final Editorial of the year simply takes the form of a single new year's resolution; to get stuck in to social media, and to encourage those of you who share my hesitation to join me. With apparently so much to gain, let the experiment begin!

But before 2014, and back to more traditional media, this issue begins with Mark Miodownik from University College London revealing the story behind the creation of the Institute of Making, as a place to foster creative thinking and experimentation to solve complex, real world problems. In this month's first review, Sang Ouk Kim et al. look at the directed self-assembly of block copolymers for next generation nanolithography, highlighting recent progress in the development of the directed self-assembly process for practical utilization in semiconductor applications. Next, Jie Zheng and colleagues discuss the renal clearable inorganic nanoparticles and their strengths over conventional non-renal clearable NPs and small-molecule contrast agents in tumor targeting. Jaephil Cho and co-workers examine recent progress on nanostructured cathode materials for Li-ion batteries, with a specific focus on mobile electronics. And in our final review Susmita Bose, Sahar Vahabzadeh and Amit Bandyopadhyay review bone tissue engineering using 3D printing, looking at recent advances, current challenges and future directions. And opening and closing the issue, is the cover image and Uncovered article from Parasharam Shirage, describing a simple synthesis method for zinc oxide nanostructures.

Until next time enjoy this issue of @MaterialsToday.

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DOI: 10.1016/j.mattod.2013.11.020