Fun Facts: Jewel and Digital Sisterhood Network founder Ananda Leeke met for the first time during the Blogalicious Weekend Conference in Miami Beach, Florida in 2010. After one conversation, Ananda became a fan of Jewel’s kindness, generosity, humor, joie de vivre, and fabulous style. They reconnected during a Digital Sisterhood Radio interview about Blogalicious and while Jewel was visiting her family in the Washington, D.C. area.
Digital Sisterhood Leadership Project (#DSLead) Interview:
1) How can people find you online?
- Web Site/Blog: www.JewelsFabLife.com
- Facebook: www.facebook.com/jewelsfablife
- Twitter: http://twitter.com/jewelfigueras
2) Why did you start using social media?
I’ve used social media since the early 90s, because I was curious about the “new” World Wide Web. I quickly found America Online and then other services like Prodigy, Eudora, etc.
3) What has social media allowed you to do in your life (personal, professional, business, nonprofit, community)?
Social media has afforded me a lifestyle that I never dreamed of–complete with entrepreneurship, travel, exposure, and meeting tons of great people.
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 helped me become an on-air “Social Media Expert” for a local news station. I’ve also been named to the Advisory Board of Hispanicize. I’ve spoken at numerous events and have become a leader in the South Florida Social Media community.
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: A Memoir of Fierce Living Online (2013), 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 agree with all of these roles.
6) What lessons have you learned as a leader in the digital space?
I’ve learned to trust myself and intuition. I’ve learned that there is value in the knowledge that I have. I’ve learned that anyone can become a leader in the digital space. It’s the great equalizer.
7) Do you have plans to expand your leadership roles in the digital space? If so, what are they?
I have learned to not make plans in the digital space but rather to simply walk the path–letting it lead me.
8) Who are your favorite social media women leaders and why?
My favorite social media leaders include Jennifer James because of her work in both the profit and nonprofit worlds.
9) Share three ways women can use social media to define and express their personal leadership brand.
Women can express their brand by always speaking and writing in their authentic voice. They can use their social media platforms to address their personal passions.