Digital Sisterhood Leadership Project Profile – Mary L. Tabor


Photo Credit: Mary L. Tabor

Meet Digital Sisterhood Leader Mary L. Tabor.

1) How can people find you online?

2) Why did you start using social media?

I began using social media when my life cratered. My husband of 21 years Oh-so-Great-Garbo said, “I need to live alone.” While I wept, separated and took a visiting writer position at Mizzou, I began to recover by blogging and before I knew it the blog of the life I was living–the good, the bad and the foolish–was picked up by a publisher and became the memoir (Re)Making Love.

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

My memoir was picked up by Outer Banks Publishing Group and they will publish my novel Who by Fire in the fall. While I was writing the blog that became the memoir (Re)Making Love, I stayed afloat on the sea of my readers’ belief. I couldn’t have gotten through without all those readers on six continents. Through all these social media sites, I’ve connected with fabulous folks all over the world and many of them have done guest essays on my blog.

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 on many sites that deal with love, separation and creativity: Sharewik.com, TheFoodinista.com, BetterAfter50.com, DrinkingDiaries.com, the Lit ezine Drunken Boat, CatchingCourage.com, SunnyRoomStudio.com and more! And I’ve been profiled in Real Simple Magazine. I was asked to write a column on love and the arts for The Communities at The Washington Times where I have profiled artists, written about film and where I continue to write the lyric essay.

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?

Passing on the belief in the goodness of others.

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

That’s for others to say. I can only hope I am doing good in the world.

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

That generosity is the key, that not expecting a quid pro quo defines that.

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

When I discover, I dip in. That’s how I found Pinterest where I am just learning.

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

Heather John Fogarty known as TheFoodinista. She branches out from her interest in all chic and actually reads. Her interview with me that can be found on my website was one of the first and her questions were original and probing. Fab interviewer with experience at major mags including Gourmet and Bon Appetite. I adore Felice Shapiro who founded BetterAfter50.com and Leah and Caren who founded DrinkingDiaries.com. Amazing women all!

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

Be on the journey of discovery and you will find that E.M. Forster’s epigraph to the novel Howard’s End are key words to live by: “Only connect…”

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