Ananda Leeke is currently writing Digital Sisterhood: A Memoir of Fierce Living Online (2013), a memoir that begins with her first Internet experience as a law student using the LexisNexis research service at Howard University School of Law in 1986. It also discusses the first time Ananda witnessed the power of women and the Internet at the U.N. Fourth World Conference on Women held in Beijing, China in 1995. In addition, the book celebrates the power of Ananda’s “digital diva” sheroes such as:
- Theresa B. Leeke, her mother who installed a dial-up research service in her home and allowed Ananda to use it during her third year of law school at Howard in 1988 and throughout her graduate law studies program at Georgetown University Law Center in 1990 and 1991;
- Catherine Austin Fitts, Former President of Hamilton Securities Group, Inc. and current president of Solari, Inc., gave Ananda her first Internet career opportunity as a knowledge manager and intellectual property manager for Internet products and services at Hamilton from 1996 to 1997;
- Shireen Mitchell, Founder of Digital Sisters, Inc.;
- Aliza Sherman, Author and Founder of the first three web sites for women – Cybergrrl.com, Webgrrls.com, and Femina.com in 1995;
- Candance Carpenter, Co-Founder and former CEO of iVillage.com;
- Esther Dyson, Former Chairperson of the Electronic Frontier Foundation and the Internet Corporation for Assigned Names and Numbers (ICANN), Founder of EDventure, and author;
- Cheryl Mayberry McKissack, Founder of NiaOnline, President/CEO of Nia Enterprises, LLC., and author;
- Donna Byrd, Publisher of TheRoot.com and former CEO of BlackAmericaWeb; and
- Lynne Johnson, Former Senior Editor and Community Director of Fastcompany.com and Senior Vice President, Social Media for Advertising Research Foundation.
In 2008, she started using her blog, BAP Living Ning.com social networking site for women of African descent, Facebook groups, Twitter accounts, and Talkshoe.com radio shows to conduct research for her book. Since then, she has utilized her Flickr photo-sharing account, YouTube and Vimeo channels, and Cinchcast audio blog to document her interviews with women in social media at meet ups and conferences such as Blogging While Brown, She’s Geeky, Nonprofit 2.0, Social Justice Camp, Crisis Camp DC, Social Commerce Camp DC, DC Media Makers, Social Media Club of DC, Latinos in Social Media, BlogHer, and Blogalicious.
In 2010, Ananda began using Survey Monkey, interviewing women on BlogTalkRadio, and organizing monthly DC focus groups on women in social media via Eventbrite.com. She held the focus group meetings at the Martin Luther King, Jr. Memorial Library in Washington, DC. She also served as co-moderator for an open-mic luncheon discussion on women bloggers’ experiences and conducted a series of audio interviews with women in social about their digital sisterhood experiences at the Blogalicious Weekend conference in Miami, Florida. These experiences will be included in her research.
She used 2011 to write part of her book, to travel as a Macy’s Heart of Haiti blogger ambassador to Haiti, to discuss women in social media at Howard University and Spelman College, to speak at conferences such as BlogHer and the Feminist Majority/YWCA, to facilitate women’s writer workshops, to serve as a blogger ambassador for the Blogalicious Weekend Conference, to conduct interviews about digital sisterhood and feminism on Digital Sisterhood Radio, to give talks about digital sisterhood at the Social Justice Camp II and Ignite DC #8, to manage #DigitalSisterhood Wednesdays on Twitter, to coach and mentor the Digital Sisterhood Network’s blogger-in-residence, and to plan and host Digital Sisterhood Month 2011 events. She will finish writing her book in 2012 and publish it in 2013.