Fun Facts: Digital Sisterhood Network founder Ananda Leeke and Ronnie first met at the Blogalicious Weekend Conference in 2009. That’s where Ananda learned about the fantastic films Ronnie creates with her husband, Lamar. She’s been a fan ever since. Her favorite Tyler New Media film is the “Be Blogalicious” The Movie released in 2011. Ronnie and Lamar will be speaking at the Box Tops for Education Townhall on September 29, 2012, at the Blogalicious Weekend Conference in Las Vegas, Nevada. Check them out if you are headed to Vegas!
1) How can people find you online?
- Web Site/Blog: http://blackandmarriedwithkids.com
- Facebook: www.facebook.com/happilyeverafterthemovie
- Twitter: http://twitter.com/ronnietyler and http://twitter.com/blackandmarried
2) Why did you start using social media?
3) What has social media allowed you to do in your life (personal, professional, business, nonprofit, community)?
Social media has really exceeded any and all expectations that I had. We started out blogging about a topic that we were passionate about and we’ve actually found a purpose which is to promote strong relationships and marriages in the African American community. Our blogging has turned into a movement and a business for us. It has changed our careers and also our family life.
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?
Social media has definitely translated into many public speaking and consulting opportunities for me in two areas. I speak frequently at marriage conferences and seminars about the work that we do on the site. I also speak at social media conferences about what I have learned over the years in building our site and brand to what it is today. Today, I am a business owner, a public speaker, a film producer, and a director. Wow! I never would have thought in a million years that I would have those titles in my portfolio.
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 you pretty much have it covered in your list. Social media can be used to fulfill pretty much any role you want to play.
6) What types of leadership roles do you play in social media?
Social media has allowed me to become an influencer, motivator, social do gooder, and community builder. I really think that we have built a community of people who care about the state of relationships in our community. And any chance that we get to use social media to give back to people, we take it!!
7) What lessons have you learned as a leader in the digital space?
If you stay consistent and put in the work, it will pay off. Money should not be your focus when you are first starting. You have to be able to do what you are doing, even when there is no money coming in. You have to have a passion for it first. Your passion will help you get through the tough times when it seems like you are not making a difference.
8) Do you have plans to expand your leadership roles in the digital space? If so, what are they?
We are always focusing on how to take our brand to the next level. We are working on several brand partnerships this year and expanding our film and video division.
9) Who are your favorite social media women leaders and why?
Stacey Ferguson, co-founder of the Blogalicious Weekend Conference, is definitely a pioneer in the social media space. I respect everything Ana Flores, co-founder of Spanglishbaby.com, is doing and how she was able to take blogging to the next level.
10) Share several ways women can use social media to define and express their personal leadership brand.
The beauty of social media is that it can be as big or as small as you want it. Whatever your brand or passion is you will be able to use social media to directly reach the people and the audience that you need to reach.