Meet Digital Sisterhood Leader Patricia Patton

Photo Credit: Patricia Patton


Meet Digital Sisterhood Leader Patricia Patton, founder of, language educator, arts activist, writer, world traveler and guide, and global citizen.

Fun Facts: Patricia and Digital Sisterhood Network founder Ananda Leeke met during the BlogHer Conference held in San Diego, California, and later reconnected at the Blogalicious Weekend Conference held in Maryland in 2011. Since then, Ananda has followed Patricia’s social media adventures on Twitter. She will be speaking at the Blogging into MidLife: The Tension Between the Online Spotlight and Offline Invisibility session on August 4, 2012, at the BlogHer Conference in New York City. 

1) How can people find you online?

2) Why did you start using social media?

I started seriously using social media in 2008.

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

Social media has helped me get over all hang ups I held about failing. Change comes rapidly in social media. So I have become quite proficient at  leaning into what is new, risking  temporary failures as part of the process of learning and growing. Professionally, I am an expert in this regard

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 (share some examples too)?

Social media has freed me from a box that was   too tight. I have always had multiple interests but was always encouraged to find just one thing. That advice never spoke to me. Online I cross imaginary boundaries. I have improved my interactions skills. I am free to write with the authority of having lived my own life on every topic from social good for example, based on having worked with an early social investment fund in the mid 90’s to vegan cooking.  I can share my knowledge/interests in everything from languages to gardening to travel to hip hop and contemporary culture.  I don’t have to make sense to a small immediate neighbors because the world is my neighborhood.

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?

Inter-generational link builders

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

Advocate, curator, social do gooder, storyteller, and mentor

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

I am the best example of a woman like me living in these times that I know. How I see the world is important to share with the world and to leave for the world to.

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

I want to create events, activities, and a global network to encourage the digital participation of baby boomer bloggers from communities of color.  I want to support those who oppose marginalization in the digital space.

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

Elisa Camahort Page is open, smart,generous and humble. Pam Perry, dynamic and a strong collaborator. Ananda Leeke is a quiet worker, always with a smile, true example of walking her talk. Alexis Pauline Gumbs is smart and young, and makes me think about life in a different way.

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

  • Participate in conversations that historically are closed to people like me.
  • Interview and talk to people whose stories are not told in the mainstream media.


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