I started leaning against the wall of the Internet nightclub a few years ago, lurking and listening, never quite having the guts to venture out on to the dance floor. Occasionally I’d tweet the odd link to something I’d found interesting, but refrained from putting my own thoughts out there for public consumption. Tapping my foot whilst standing at the bar.
For a while I stopped doing even that. Twitter gave me great benefit allowing me to keep up to date with pioneers in the Government Digital Service and the knowledge management gurus who were helping shape my thinking. But I grew disgruntled with a work environment that blocked social media sites and led me to spend hours online at home, working ‘in my own time’.
But early 2015 saw me return to Twitter with renewed vigour, knowing that the workplace firewalls were about to be relaxed. I started responding to interesting comment and content; being more open with my own thinking; and interacting with folk on a more engaged personal level. Shuffling both feet a bit, albeit still at the edge of the room.
Over time I realised the interesting stuff almost always came from following a link back to a blog post. The people who were influencing me all blogged, and had done for years. I found them inspiring, although their confidence on the dance floor was scary. But every time I talked with any of them the advice was always the same – just dive in and try. “Dance like there’s no one watching” is a cliché, because it has a germ of truth in it.
This is me, stepping out on to the dance floor.