NOTE: Reposted from Author Ananda Leeke blog – October 21, 2010
Last year Xina Eiland and I met during the Blogalicious 2009 opening night reception in Atlanta. While sipping cocktails and recording video interviews, we learned we were both born in Michigan and currently reside in the Washington, DC metropolitan area. Throughout the conference, we reconnected with each other and other women like“WhimsiGal,” founder of Whimsicard, LLC from the DC area. When we returned home, we used social media tools like Twitter, Facebook, and LinkedIn to stay in touch. We also discussed our Blogalicious experiences on my TalkShow.com program called Sisterhood the Blog Radio.
And then it happened. We reached out by telephone and agreed to meet in person. Our first meeting occurred on a Sunday afternoon at the U Street Café in DC. Xina, “WhimsiGal,” and I sat at a table for a few hours discussing our lives, 2010 goals, ways we could support each other, and ideas for a local Blogalicious meet up. That one conversation paved the way for our Blogalicious DC community building efforts.
Together, we were able to help Blogalicious founders Stacey Ferguson, Nadia Jones, and Nyasha Smith organize two meet ups in February and April for DC area women. Xina played a major role in securing space and media coverage, promoting the events on Facebook and Twitter, identifying speakers and sponsors, developing the agenda, and obtaining in-kind donations for both events. I served as panel moderator for the April meet up.
In addition to supporting the Blogalicious DC community, we also made a professional commitment to support each other and our 2010 business goals. We launched our commitment with a face-to-face breakfast meeting at Busboys and Poets, a popular DC hangout, on January 2. Seated on comfy chairs with herbal tea and delicious breakfast items to keep us company, we shared our expertise. Xina became my public relations coach and convinced me to follow her instructions on how to better package myself, books, art, yoga practice, and coaching services. I became her creativity coach and helped her develop a social media plan to support her intention to blog and learn more about social media tools. Since then, we have met monthly to assess our progress and seek feedback. We also attended several DC social media meet ups, participated in the Blogging While Brown’s White House Visit and weekend conference, hung out at the Red Pump Project and Blogalicious’ Say RED: Cocktails and Conversations event, and live blogged with the Blogalicious DC B-Link members during President Obama’s education reform speech at the National Urban League’s Centennial Conference.
What a year we are having! And it’s not even over yet! I think the greatest blessing has come from the way we constantly encourage each other to step up our game and pursue new opportunities. We also share information, insights, and introductions to people in our network that can support our efforts. We laugh, learn, and listen to each other when we achieve and struggle. Our Blogalicious bond has created a digital sisterhood that exists in real time!
Digital sisterhood is one of the many gifts you will receive when you attend a Blogalicious conference or event. It’s contagious. Some say it’s magical. And it happens without you even knowing it. That’s the beauty of Blogalicious. Through the celebration of Blogalicious’ diversity, women own who they are through the content, connections, communities, and commerce they create as they share experiences, insights, opinions, humor, creativity, expertise, and information. Our Blogalicious digital sisterhood lays the foundation for building local digital sisterhood communities.
Xina and I were initially scheduled to host a community dinner discussion on digital sisterhood at Blogalicious 2010. There was a change of events that opened the door to an even greater blessing. I love how the universe works. It always gets better. So here’s what happened! The Blogalicious founders Justices Ny, Fergie, and Jonesie offered us an opportunity to moderate the open-mic luncheon sponsored by McDonalds on October 8. What an honor!
Xina and I had an amazing time moderating the soulful discussion. We witnessed the power of digital sisterhood in the stories told by women who were Blogalicious newbies and alumni. They opened their hearts and spoke with such passion, clarity, candor, and humor. It was a beautiful experience filled with wisdom, laughter, lessons learned, and a plethora of blogging experiences that revealed how women discovered their authentic selves online and offline. Check out the photos taken by NYCityMama Carol Cain below. FYI – Carol is the official Blogalicious photographer. She did an amazing job documenting Blogalicious 2009 and 2010! Thanks Carol for your gift of digital sisterhood photography and love!
- Takeyah Young sharing her blogging story @ open-mic luncheon – Photo Credit: Carol Cain