Meet Digital Sisterhood Leader Carolina Pichardo, co-founder of YoungUrbanMoms.com, digital marketer by day, writer and community activist by night, and mom to Lulu always. Carolina recently attended the Top Bloguera Retreat sponsored by Latinos in Social Media (LATISM) in Washington, D.C. During the LATISM Retreat, she and her fellow Latina bloggers visited the White House and met with Cecilia Munoz, Assistant to President Obama and Director of Domestic Policy. Click here to read her blog post about the Retreat and White House visit.
Fun Facts: Carolina and Digital Sisterhood Network founder Ananda Leeke first connected during the BlogHer Closing Keynote session in 2010. They sat at the same table, exchanged business cards, and talked about what they learned from BlogHer conference sessions. Since then, Ananda has followed Carolina’s online adventures on Twitter and become a huge fan of Young Urban Moms.
1) How can people find you online?
- Web Site/Blog: http://youngurbanmoms.com
- Facebook: www.facebook.com/youngurbanmoms
- Twitter: http://twitter.com/youngurbanmoms and http://twitter.com/c_pichardo
2) Why did you start using social media?
I started using social media in the late 90s with MySpace and a few other sites for friends.
3) What has social media allowed you to do in your life (personal, professional, business, nonprofit, community)?
Social media has allowed YoungUrbanMoms.com to expand nationally and partner with young moms and organizations we wouldn’t have otherwise have known. Through it, we’ve been able to create and continue building upon the network and platform we’ve always dreamed of establishing.
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?
YoungUrbanMoms.com has been able to expand, and with it my ability to personally work with local young moms. In New York City, I’ve been able to create career and networking workshops for young moms and families, and run a column with the widely recognized publications, Manhattan Times and Bronx Free Press.
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?
I would add – although similar to some of the rest, but a bit more powerful in connotations – agent of change. We’ve become the face of a lot of the causes we represent. For example, although I’m not young and very far from the place I was when YoungUrbanMoms.com was launched, I will forever be that agent of change for young mothers and how this group is represented.
6) What types of leadership roles do you play in social media?
I always aim to influence and assist those starting out, especially the young moms that contribute to the site, but always feel like I’m learning myself. I’m more of a player and curator still at this point.
7) What lessons have you learned as a leader in the digital space?
There’s always more to learn. Always remain open to those new possibilities and opportunities. Also, go into social media with a set of values and stand firm by them.
8) Do you have plans to expand your leadership roles in the digital space? If so, what are they?
Yes, as of now I’ve been focusing on the site – YoungUrbanMoms.com, but feel like I need also begin branding myself alongside the brand. This way, I’ll be able to grow and expand as a person and leader, and the brand won’t be affected by these decisions.
9) Who are your favorite social media women leaders and why?
Angelica Perez of New Latina is an excellent example to follow. She’s a strong, firm, and intelligent voice and representation of Latina women in the digital space.
10) Share several ways women can use social media to define and express their personal leadership brand.
- Connect with organizations and brands that have an established history in your cause.
- Strategize how you post. For example, connecting Facebook to Twitter and vice versa. However, don’t always stick to certain social media rules. How honest and fun you’re having with your brand shows, and people will trust that.
- May sound crazy, but don’t just use social media. Find ways to connect with others through conferences, Skype, and something that shows more than your avatar.