Meet Digital Sisterhood Leader Lauren Fleming, founder of QueerieBradshaw.com and Creativity Squared, LLC, lawyer, speaker, and writer. Lauren recently spoke at the annual BlogHer conference. She spoke about the business of blogging during the Pathfinder Day’s Morning Fundamentals Workshop: My Blog as Business and as a panelist for The Personal: Erotica Out in the Open session.
Fun Fact: Digital Sisterhood Network founder Ananda Leeke attended Lauren’s BlogHer 12′ session on The Personal: Erotica Out in the Open and became an instant fan!
1) How can people find you online?
- Web Site/Blog: http://QueerieBradshaw.com and www.laurenmariefleming.com
- Twitter: http://twitter.com/queeriebradshaw and http://twitter.com/laurenmf
2) Why did you start using social media?
I started using social media back in the Friendster days, before you could just sign up, you had to have a friend already on there recommend you. I went through MySpace and Live Journal and everything since. I started using social media and keep using it for the same reason: I want to connect with my friends from all over the world.
3) What has social media allowed you to do in your life (personal, professional, business, nonprofit, community)?
Social media has enabled me to connect with the readers and writers of my site. It’s also helped me keep in touch with friends I otherwise wouldn’t still know.
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?
Through social media, mostly Twitter, I’ve made a name for myself as an expert in sex, sexuality, gender, and gender identity. In that capacity, I’ve been able to mentor other writers, both younger and older than me, through the difficult and often stigmatized world of writing about such taboo topics.
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: Fierce Living Online for 25 Years (Fall 2012), 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 you hit them all.
6) What types of leadership roles do you play in social media?
I often lead conversations that normally wouldn’t be had.
7) What lessons have you learned as a leader in the digital space?
Keep doing it. It feels exhausting and like a time warp, but keep it up. People are listening.
8) Do you have plans to expand your leadership roles in the digital space? If so, what are they?
I plan to turn my blog into a book and do a whole online book tour.
9) Who are your favorite social media women leaders and why?
My favorite social media women leaders include everyone over at Women’s Media Center. They’re so very helpful. And BlogHer bloggers as well. They really inspire me to dig deeper and be my more authentic self.
10) Share several ways women can use social media to define and express their personal leadership brand.
- Know who you are before you go into it.
- Know who you are every time you post.
- Know when to leave.
- Don’t let online be your only life.