When my daughter was small she was desperate to learn to ride a bicycle. But she was very nervous about falling off. So she would sit next to me and demand, over and over, “tell me how to ride a bike…” There is only so much theory that is useful before you have to actually get on and peddle!

My recent foray into twitter reminded me of this. You can’t understand it without getting in there and trying it out. This approach challenges me; in my work especially I like to gather information, make connections and craft a response. Not necessarily taking a lot of time over the process, but my preference is to give a considered view, not an off the cuff reaction.

How is it going? I’m finding twitter interesting. I’m not a frequent twitterer (or tweeter, or twit - I’m still learning the vocabulary!) and hashtags remain somewhat mysterious. I’ve responded when I meant to retweet and I still feel I’m making it up as I go along. I’m keeping my involvement contained. I have a (very) small group of followers, and I follow only a small number of people and organisations. Do I want to spend a lot of time there? No. But I’ve subscribed to a fabulous blog that I wouldn’t have come across otherwise. And I’m looking forward to using twitter at events to connect and communicate with other participants in new ways. Notwithstanding my L plates, a couple of my tweets have also been picked up by folk far outside my usual circles.

I mentioned to a colleague last week that I need to get brave in order to make the most of opportunities to do new things. Like engaging with Twitter or learning to ride a bike getting brave means not just thinking about it or listening to other’s experience, although both might be helpful. Getting brave means getting out there and doing it, risking falling off, and learning as I go.

What are you being brave about this year?