Digital Sisterhood Leadership Project Profile – Heather Mann


Photo Credit: Heather Mann

Meet Digital Sisterhood Leader Heather Mann.

1) How can people find you online?

2) Why did you start using social media?

I started using social media as soon as I learned about the internet in 1995 – back then there were chatrooms and bulletin boards, and instant relay chatting (IRC).

3) What has social media allowed you to do in your life (personal, professional, business, nonprofit, community)?

I have used social media to make friends. Social media allows me to share my life daily with good friends who I would otherwise not have the opportunity to meet. I also get to toot my horn every day on my blog, sharing craft projects I make. Additionally, because of the success of my blog, I have had the opportunity to help in my local school, which is a whole different level of satisfaction – being able to share my love of crafting with kids.

4) In her 2011 Digital Women: from geeks to mainstream presentation that was given at the WIFT International Women Conference for Digital Women, Dr. Taly Weiss, a social psychologist and CEO/Founder of Trendspotting, concluded that “women are dominant digital users – they breathe and live digital.”  Dr. Weiss’ conclusion echoes BlogHer’s 2011 Social Media Matters Study findings.  They include 87 million women (18 to 76 years old) are now online, 69 million women use social media weekly, 80 million women use social media monthly, and 55 million women read blogs monthly. These facts illustrate the power and presence women have in the digital space. Now that’s Digital Sisterhood!

How has social media helped you carve out leadership roles as you interact online and offline?

I’ve been able to mentor at least 100 budding bloggers via a weekly Twitter chat I host (#crafterminds on Mondays at 4:00 p.m. ET), as well as a blog I’ve established for the express purpose of mentoring bloggers in my niche (http://crafterminds.com). I also mentor bloggers on a daily basis via a private Facebook group. I’ve been invited to participate in panels (BlogHer 2011), and guest-post on blogs. I also connect brands with bloggers with my social media agency Blueprint Social (http://theblueprintsocial.com).

5) Social media has helped women become Digital Sisterhood Leaders, ambassadors of social expression who share what they are passionate about online.  In her upcoming book, Digital Sisterhood: Fierce Living Online for 25 Years (Fall 2012), Ananda Leeke, founder of the Digital Sisterhood Network, writes, “Without even knowing it, women have become Digital Sisterhood Leaders as they use their social media platforms to advocate causes; to build communities; to create apps, art, books, businesses, products, publications, services, tools, and webisodes; to curate content; to educate and inform; to give voice to their thoughts as subject matter experts, thought leaders, and brand ambassadors; to share information and experiences; to explore and experiment with new technologies as early adopters and trendsetters; to engage in social good; to influence others with their lifestyles and personal interests; to inspire and motivate; to mentor; to network; to tell their personal stories; and to promote and celebrate the expertise, gifts, and talents of others.  Based on my online and offline interactions, I have identified 12 key leadership roles they play: advocate, community builder, creator, curator, educator, influencer, mentor, motivator, promoter, social do gooder, storyteller, and thought leader.”

What other types of leadership roles do women play in social media?

The list above covers the various roles.

6) What types of leadership roles do you play in social media?

I consider myself to be a tastemaker, trend-spotter, mentor, encourager, and example to bloggers who are still developing their voice and style.

7) What lessons have you learned as a leader in the digital space?

Take your position as a leader seriously, don’t throw flippant advice out there.

8) Do you have plans to expand your leadership roles in the digital space? If so, what are they?

No

9) Who are your favorite social media women leaders and why?

I admire Sister Diane (http://craftypod.com) for always thinking deeply about social media space, sharing her thoughtful commentary on trends and happenings in social media, and helping bloggers think about the issues they face with emerging trends in social media.

10) Share three ways women can use social media to define and express their personal leadership brand.

With social media, you carve out your own space. You define everything about your own blog, your style, and your brand. Regardless of if you have 15 followers or 5 million, you build your blog from the ground up in the way you want to, and touch your followers in a powerful way.

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