Meet Digital Sisterhood Leader Issa Mas – #BlogHer12 Voices of the Year Speaker

Meet Digital Sisterhood Leader Issa Mas, a single parent life coach, an advocate for single mothers, the founder of Your Single Parenting and Single Mama NYC, a published essayist, a NY Daily News featured blogger, and a writer of children’s books for her son. She is also a native New Yorker!

Fun Facts: Issa and Digital Sisterhood Network founder Ananda Leeke met during the Blogalicious Weekend Conference in 20101 They sat at the same table and became digital sisters. Click here to listen to Ananda’s 2011 podcast interview with Issa.  She recently attended the BlogHer 12′ Conference and was featured as one of the Voices of the Year. She read her blog post about mealtimes with her abuela (grandmother) and rocked the mic! Click here to read more about her BlogHer experience. 

1) How can people find you online?

2) Why did you start using social media?

I started using social media as a way to drive traffic to my websites and articles I’ve published elsewhere, but then it turned into an amazing way to connect with, and support, single parents everywhere.

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

Social media has helped editors find me via Twitter. They have contracted me to write for their publications. Social media has helped me establish genuine friendships with people I have spent time with in real life. I have contributed to the mental and emotional well-being of many more single mothers than I could have without social media.

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 went from a single mom with a unique take on single parenthood (It is to be celebrated, not lamented!), to being considered an “expert” in positive single parenting.

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 think there is no end to the extent to which women can affect change using social media.  Social media serves to amplify the skill sets already present, as well as giving women the opportunity to try out new roles.

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

My roles include Single Parenting Expert and Freelance Writer. These roles allow me to support and provide guidance to the single parenting community.  I also serve as an advocate of mental health awareness.

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

I’ve learned how to share insights in a way that speaks of “we”, not “you should”.

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

I am in the beginning stages of starting a nonprofit organization that will focus on the mental health of single parents.  Social media will undoubtedly be extremely helpful in extending the reach of that organization once it is up and running.

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

I don’t really have any. I tend to connect with “real” people who open themselves up and allow for a certain level of public vulnerability.

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

  • Use social media to authentically connect with people who share your circumstances, ideals, or challenges.
  • Bring value to others while promoting their brands.
  • Utilize social media to grow into new, as yet undiscovered roles of advocacy and leadership.

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