Meet Digital Sisterhood Leader Kristina Doss, founder of My Traveling Troop blog, a U.S. Navy wife, mom, and journalist. Kristina’s work has appeared in The Wall Street Journal, Dow Jones Newswires, Dow Jones Daily Bankruptcy Review, Inside U.S. Trade and The Washington Times.
Fun Facts: Digital Sisterhood Network (DSN) founder Ananda Leeke and Kristina met during the BlogHer Conference held in San Diego, California in 2011. Ananda interviewed Kristina on her Cinchcast podcast about her BlogHer experiences. They also discussed Kristina’s experience as a military wife and mom. Since then, they have supported each other online.
Digital Sisterhood Leadership Project (#DSLead) Interview
1) How can people find you online?
- Web Site/Blog: http://www.mytravelingtroop.com
- Facebook: www.facebook.com/pages/My-Traveling-Troop/135478626552686?sk=wall
- Twitter: http://twitter.com/travelingtroop
2) Why did you start using social media?
I started using social media about six years ago when I finally signed up to use Facebook to connect with family and friends scattered around the globe. Eventually, I decided to keep them informed about my military family’s journey moving, living, and traveling around the world through the blog My Traveling Troop.
3) What has social media allowed you to do in your life (personal, professional, business, nonprofit, community)?
When I finally took the plunge and launched my blog, I got to write about topics I was passionate about — moving, living and traveling around the world. Not only do I write about these issues on the blog, but for other websites and publications as well. The best gift social media has given me, however, is the opportunity to help other military families who also face the ups and downs of life on the go.
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?
For the first time in my life, I am my own boss and that feels wonderful! I determine the topics that I write about and how often I write. If I need to focus on being a mom and wife, I have the flexibility to do so. Also, the blog has given me an opportunity to see what it’s like being a business woman. I alone interact with companies looking to advertise on the blog and publications seeking to hire me for work.
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 think women in social media have played the role of ground breaker. I’ve seen a number of websites and related projects, for example, that offer services no one else does because the women saw and understood the need for them. Or, they write about topics that no one else was brave enough to share before.
6) What types of leadership roles do you play in social media?
I think my leadership role falls under the categories of educator and community builder. Through my writing, I try to share the experiences and lessons my military family learns by moving, living and traveling around the world. I also gather and feature other military families who have similar experiences as well. Together, we’re helping members of our community get through and even enjoy life on the move.
7) What lessons have you learned as a leader in the digital space?
I learned how to use my social-media savvy to help and guide people.
8) Do you have plans to expand your leadership roles in the digital space? If so, what are they?
Since moving to Singapore, I realized that there are people outside of the military community who also move, live and travel around the world. Some move because of jobs, while others move because they want to experience different cultures. Or, perhaps they are still looking for a place to call “home.” While there are differences in what brings us to a destination, I think we can all benefit from hearing each other’s experiences and tips. I wouldn’t be surprised if My Traveling Troop eventually expands to include all of these voices.
9) Who are your favorite social media women leaders and why?
There are so many! I truly admire military wives. First of all, they are the true leaders of the household. They are the ones holding down the fort while their loved ones are away. And it’s amazing that many take the time to chronicle their journey online. By sharing their stories, they help others realize that they are not alone regardless of where they are in the world. Some chronicle love and loss. Others share what it’s like raising kids — sometimes by themselves. And others write about pursuing their dreams and passions despite the constant moving. They are truly inspiring.
10) Share three ways women can use social media to define and express their personal leadership brand.
- Stay true to who you are and you will never stray from your “personal leadership brand.”
- Find ways to help people in your online community.
- Get off of the computer and meet people you are trying to help. You will learn a lot that way about them, yourself and how to focus your online efforts.