Fun Facts: Julie and Digital Sisterhood Network founder Ananda Leeke met during the She’s Geeky DC Unconference in 2009. They reconnected during the Latinos in Social Media (LATISM) DC conference later that year. Julie has been a guest on Digital Sisterhood Radio several times. They attended several social media events together hosted by Blogalicious, BlogHer, DC Web Women, and Digital Capital Week. They are also neighbors in D.C. Ananda loves hanging out with Julie and her family, and is a huge fan of Julie’s Cuban cuisine!
Digital Sisterhood Leadership Project (#DSLead) Interview:
1) How can people find you online?
- Web Site/Blog: http://gigcoin.com and www.sociallensresearch.com
- Facebook: www.facebook.com/gigcoin
- Twitter: http://twitter.com/juliediazasper, http://twitter.com/gigcoin, and http://twitter.com/sociallensres
2) Why did you start using social media?
I started using social media in 2008.
3) What has social media allowed you to do in your life (personal, professional, business, nonprofit, community)?
Social media has connected me to people who I would never have met in my everyday life. It helped me build up new skills and start a business. I have been able to do a little good too via community organizations and on my own businesses.
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 teamed up with a great group of Latinas to organize and host LATISM DC in 2009. I have been able to complete and recruit for research studies (1,000+) via social media. It’s a powerful tool!
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 social media lets you experiment without a huge cost. You can test and iterate on social media in a way that is hard to do IRL (in real life). You can test out new messages, roles, and projects. It’s a huge lab to use and grow.
6) What types of leadership roles do you play in social media?
I like to play a bit. It’s evolving. I am trying to get out their with my opinion more and be a thought leader. I try to advocate and do some good.
7) What lessons have you learned as a leader in the digital space?
It’s a process. You need to refresh what you are doing. Take a step back and think is this what I want to be known for? Be selective on what you work on and who you spend time with.
8) Do you have plans to expand your leadership roles in the digital space? If so, what are they?
The Social Lens Research launch is a good opportunity for me to blog more and get out there to share what I have learned. I want to create more content, mostly around research and data.
9) Who are your favorite social media women leaders and why?
I can’t play favorites. It’s a huge pool of amazing digital sisters out there. 🙂
10) Share three ways women can use social media to define and express their personal leadership brand.
- Be thoughtful on what you create and share.
- Find your tribe and build a community.
- Create content to get to the next level.