Meet Digital Sisterhood Leader Deborah Shane


Photo Credit: Deborah Shane

Photo Credit: Deborah Shane

Meet Digital Sisterhood Leader Deborah Shane, a Top 100 Small Business Champion, Career Transition Author, Personal Branding Strategist, Media Host, Writer, and Speaker.

Fun Facts: Digital Sisterhood Network (DSN) founder Ananda Leeke and Deborah met while serving on the Podcasting 101 Panel at the BlogHer 2012 Conference in New York City. While working with Deborah to prepare for the panel discussion, Ananda became a huge fan of her work!  

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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 was an early adopter with using  email. I started seriously using social media in 2007 when I launched my consultancy and training company to build my community and reach.

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

Build communication bridges, communities and conversations about the issues and professional areas I advocate for and am passionate about.

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 am tapped and sought out for speaking, writing and community projects. I host a blog, but also write for several prominent blogs in my professional space, and host a weekly radio podcast that is now up to 94,000 downloads and pageviews, on BlogtalkRadio.

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 am seeing women in politics, government, medical, social issues, entertainment and philanthropy using social media to build reach and impact. We just heard and saw Martha Stewart, Katie Couric and Soledad OBrien at the Blogher 12 talk about their activities and how social media is a central driver of awareness.

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

I was named a Top 100 Small Business Champion for 2012 by SmallBizTrends.com!

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

Give, share, connect and receive and watch what happens! Niche communities of people are gathering, and finding each other to advance passion and causes!

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

I plan to continue to contribute and engage and know that more doors will open to serve and help.

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

There are so many great examples of women demonstrating leadership using social media. I am so grateful to see how it is advancing the impact women have today and will continue to have as the generations shift.

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

  • Blog and write about things you are passionate and knowledgeable about regularly.
  • Support and advocate for other people who you believe in, admire and want to emulate.
  • Connect and introduce great people to each other who have you in common and build your tribes!
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