Meet Digital Sisterhood Leader Suzanne Turner


Photo Credit: Suzanne Turner

Photo Credit: Suzanne Turner

Meet Digital Sisterhood Leader Suzanne Turner, founder of Turner Strategies, Inc. and Feminism 2.0 (Fem 2.0). Suzanne was named 2012 Digital Sister of the Year – Evangelista.

Fun Facts: Digital Sisterhood Network founder Ananda Leeke met Suzanne while sitting in the audience during the Fem 2.0 conference’s closing session in 2009. They struck up a conversation about the power of women. A few days later, Ananda wrote a poem about her conference experience and sent it to Suzanne and her Fem 2.0 team. They posted it on the Fem 2.0 web site (one of Ananda’s favorite online destinations). The positive feedback Ananda received from the Fem 2.0 community inspired her to develop a digital project that celebrates women online. Since then, they have reconnected and spent time chatting during the Blogalicious Weekend Conference and TEDxAdamsMorganWomen event.

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Digital Sisterhood Leadership Project (#DSLead) Interview:

1) How can people find you online?

2) Why did you start using social media?

I embraced every new tool as soon as it came out, since waaaaay back in the 1990s. I love to drive the conversation and listen to others on many important issues. Plus it’s fun to reconnect and stay connected with all sorts of people.

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

Social media has allowed me to create and participate in amazing communities – both personal and professional. It has allowed me to make new friends, keep old ones, and create alliances with new partners-in-crime in social change.

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 transform old ways of doing social change into new, vibrant more dynamic and interactive programs. As a co-founder of Feminism 2.0, I helped to introduce the women’s advocacy community to social media (many powerful websites and amazing bloggers were already active, but the offline organizations had not yet caught up).

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?

They use their social media venues to extend their reach and influence in their own unique voices.

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

  • Specialist in particular types of information
  • Agent of social change
  • Mom
  • Friend
  • Agitator

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

Patience and generosity are key to online success. Give other people credit as much as you possibly can.

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

Yes, I am becoming much more active in online community building for social issues.

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

  • Soraya Chemaly, an amazing blogger and new voice
  • Shireen Mitchell, who knows everything and everyone
  • Gloria Pan, an extremely creative thinker who is always behind the scenes
  • Kristin Rowe Finkbeiner, the dynamo behind the success of MomsRising
  • Violet Tsagkas, editor of Fem2pt0
  • Sarah Burris – living her life outloud on her blog and using her skills to help unions
  • Elana Levin, amazing on and offline organizer
  • Rachel Perrone, who speaks social media as well as any other language

There are too many others to name.

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

  • Speak up about things that are important to you.
  • Speak from the heart.
  • Be generous in everything — especially with link love. Tweet love, resources, and time.
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