Day #10 of the Digital Sisterhood Book 11 Day Countdown Campaign: Read Chapter 13 Excerpt About Blogalicious


Beblogalicious.com logo

Beblogalicious.com logo

Happy Thursday!

It’s Day #10 of the Digital Sisterhood Book 11 Day Countdown Campaign. Today’s blog post features an excerpt from Chapter 13 of Ananda Leeke’s new book, Digital Sisterhood: A Memoir of Fierce Living Online. The title of Chapter 13 is Making It Personal with Blogalicious’ Passion. Enjoy!

Photo Credit: Stacey Ferguson

Photo Credit: Stacey Ferguson

Chapter Thirteen: Making It Personal with Blogalicious’ Passion

“Being Blogalicious means to be genuinely passionate about your relationships, your work and your passions, rooted in social media, and to live that passion.” Stacey Ferguson a/k/a Justice Fergie, Blogalicious co-founder and chief curator

 

Something spectacular in the world of social media happened on October 9-11, 2009, in Atlanta, Georgia. It was the Blogalicious Weekend, the inaugural conference created to celebrate diversity in the blogosphere. The conference attracted women bloggers of color and other interested women and men.

The W.O.W. Factor

The 2009 conference theme was “Your WOW Factor” which referred to the unique qualities that distinguish each woman blogger in the social media market. In a post conference article I wrote for my Examiner.com column, I transformed WOW into an acronym:

Women Owning Who they are through the content, connections, communities, and commerce they create as they share experiences, insights, opinions, humor, creativity, expertise, and information. In short, they represent 21st century sisterhood.”

The conference kicked off with a Friday night of fun that included a welcome cocktail reception sponsored by “So In Style” by Barbie and Pine Sol. During the reception, I had an opportunity to meet and chat with the Migdalia Rivera of Ms. Latina blog, Nirasha Jaganath of Mommy Niri, Yakini Etheridge of The Prissy Mommy Chronicles blog, Renee Ross of Cutie Booty Cakes blog, Thien Kim of I’m Not the Nanny blog, and PR professional Xina Eiland. Chatting with these women helped me quickly recognize that Blogalicious was more than a conference. It was a movement comprised of a bold new breed of brilliant and beautifully different women bloggers.

The next two days of the conference were spent attending sessions that discussed social media basics, taking your blog to the next level, the possibilities and pitfalls of being on the Internet, the art of small business blogging, marketing to women of color, hot social media trends, secrets to a successful blog, and blog-life balance. I was able to teach an office yoga session for social media users. The feedback I received from several attendees including Boni Candelario of CoachMUp.com encouraged me to approach Maria Bailey, founder of MomTV, about hosting a yoga class on her online network, during the conference. She welcomed my proposal and later approved it for launch a month after the conference.

Throughout the conference, I used my flip video camera to conduct interviews with women bloggers and speakers including my digital diva shero, Cheryl Mayberry McKissack, founder of NiaOnline.com. When I returned home, I posted the videos on my YouTube channel and shared them with the Blogalicious community on Facebook and Twitter. I also launched a Blogalicious interview series on my Sisterhood the Blog radio show that featured many of the conference attendees and speakers. These efforts helped me give back to and truly embrace the Blogalicious community as my own.

Ananda & Xina @ Blogalicious 2010 Open Mic Luncheon - Photo Credit: Carol Cain

Ananda & Xina @ Blogalicious 2010 Open Mic Luncheon – Photo Credit: Carol Cain

Making It Personal

During the opening reception, I spent a lot of time sipping cocktails and chatting with Xina. We learned we were both born in Michigan and currently living in the D.C. metropolitan area. Throughout the conference, we reconnected with each other and other women like “WhimsiGal” founder of Whimsicard, LLC from the D.C. area. When we returned home, we used Facebook, LinkedIn, and Twitter to stay in touch. We also discussed our Blogalicious experiences on my Sisterhood the Blog radio show.

And then it happened. We reached out by telephone and agreed to meet face-to-face in D.C. Our first meeting occurred on a Sunday afternoon at the U Street Café in December 2009. Xina, “WhimsiGal,” and I sat at a table for a few hours discussing our lives, life goals, ways we could support each other, and ideas for a local Blogalicious meet up. That one conversation paved the way for our Blogalicious D.C. community building efforts.

Together, we were able to help Blogalicious co-founder Stacey Ferguson organize two D.C. meet ups in February and April 2010.  Xina played a major role in securing space and media coverage, promoting the events on Facebook and Twitter, identifying speakers and sponsors, developing the agenda, and obtaining in-kind donations for both events. I served as panel moderator for the April meet up.

In addition to supporting the Blogalicious D.C. community, we also made a commitment to support each other and our business goals as accountability partners and peer mentors. We launched our commitment with a breakfast meeting at Busboys and Poets, a popular D.C. hangout, in January 2010. Seated on comfy chairs with herbal tea and delicious breakfast items to keep us company, we shared our expertise. Xina became my PR coach. She convinced me to follow her instructions on branding for my books, artwork, yoga practice, speaking and sponsorship opportunities, and coaching services. I became her creativity coach and helped her develop a social media plan to support her intention to blog and learn more about social media tools.

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You can purchase Digital Sisterhood on Amazon.com.

If you are in Washington, D.C. on October 19, please plan to attend Ananda’s author talk and book reading from 3:00 p.m. to 5:00 p.m. at the Joan Hisaoka Healing Arts Gallery, 1632 U Street, NW (three blocks from the U Street/Cardozo Green Line Metro Station). Click here to register for the event. See you on October 19th!

Crowdfunding 101 Blog Series – Part Two: Ananda Leeke’s Crowdfunding Journey with Kickstarter


Happy Thursday Digital Sisters!

As promised, Digital Sisterhood Network (DSN) is continuing its Crowdfunding 101 Blog Series in preparation for the upcoming Blogalicious Weekend Conference panel discussion on CrowdFunding: The Financial Backing for Your Project Is at Your Fingertips! that will take place on Friday, October 4 from 5:30 p.m. to 6:30 p.m.

Part One of the Crowdfunding 101 Blog Series provided an overview of crowdfunding. Today’s  blog discusses Leeke’s crowdfunding journey with Kickstarter. It is based on excerpts from her upcoming book, Digital Sisterhood: A Memoir of Fierce Living Online.

Photo Credit: Kickstarter.com

Photo Credit: Kickstarter.com

Crowdfunding 101 Blog Series – Part Two: Ananda Leeke’s Crowdfunding Journey with Kickstarter

Ananda Leeke’s crowdfunding journey began with a challenge from her Ameriprise Financial financial advisor Judy Weathers during their first quarter meeting in 2010. They were reviewing Leeke’s self-publishing expenses for two books published in 2007 and 2009, and estimating the expenses for a third book. Weathers asked her if she could find investors or alternative funding for the book. At first, she thought Weathers was asking her to do the impossible, but a small voice inside convinced her to be open and pursue alternative funding.

Ananda Leeke and Judy Weathers at Ulah Bistro on U Street, NW in DC

Ananda Leeke and Judy Weathers at Ulah Bistro on U Street, NW in DC

Months passed without Leeke lifting a finger to identify alternative funding. Then, it happened. The light bulb went off during an episode of Digital Sisterhood Radio. She was moderating a panel of creative women in social media when Abiola Abrams, author and founder of AbiolaTV.com, referenced an Essence article that discussed the power of using Kickstarter to fund books and films. After the show, she visited Kickstarter.com and learned about several authors who used it to raise money for their books. Their success inspired her to take the plunge.

Here’s what happened: she created two Kickstarter campaigns for her self-publishing package and photography fees to support her Digital Sisterhood book. Using video was a must for her. So she recorded an eight-minute video with her laptop’s web cam that was very simple and shared her reasons for writing the book and using Kickstarter. She included the same information in the description section of her campaign page. She also offered seven pledge options ($1, $5, $10, $20, $50, $100, and $200) with rewards that included:

  • $1 Pledge: Donors names will be published in the book as supporters.
  • $5 Pledge: Donors will receive everything mentioned above and access to the behind-the-scenes video & audio updates that will document the creation of the book.
  • $10 Pledge: Donors will receive everything mentioned above and access to a live author chat on UStream.tv during the book writing and publishing process.
  • $20 Pledge: Donors will receive everything mentioned above, a personal thank-you note with book logo and signed by author, and an invitation to participate in the online book release party via UStream.tv.
  • $50 Pledge: Donors will receive everything mentioned above, an invitation to vote on the book cover design, and a Digital Sisterhood mug.
  • $100 Pledge: Donors will receive everything mentioned above and an autographed copy of the book.
  • $200 Pledge: Donors will receive everything mentioned above and a private one-hour author chat via Skype or telephone with the author.

With the support of her generous donors (backers is the Kickstarter term), her first campaign raised $1,159 in 2010. Her second campaign raised $701 in 2011. She also received donations via PayPal and from friends who gave cash and check donations.

Leeke’s funding goals were very conservative. She wanted to make sure she received every dollar she raised because Kickstarter only offers fixed funding, an all-or-nothing approach. That means if you don’t reach your funding goal, you don’t receive any of the money you raised.

The biggest challenges she faced with her campaigns were writing a book while she was conducting two fundraisers and underestimating the time it would actually take to publish the book. Her underestimation caused a three-year delay in her delivery of rewards to her donors (she is in the process of delivering rewards over the next two months). To maintain communication with her donors, Leeke posted regular updates about her writing process in 2011 and part of 2012. She slacked off in 2013. Fortunately, her donors have not complained. They are a great group of people who have a lot of compassion and patience. They taught her that crowdfunding is rooted in generosity. For that, she is truly grateful.

As a result of her experience, Leeke believes crowdfunding is rooted in:

  • Passion for a cause, project, or venture;
  • The experience of connection, relationship building, and social capital within a community;
  • The power of asking;
  • The act of generosity; and
  • The practice of gratitude.

Stop DSN’s blog tomorrow for Part Three of the series. It will offer a checklist and guidelines on how to conduct a successful crowdfunding campaign.

Congresswoman Michelle Lujan Grisham Discusses Importance of Women Caregivers at the Blogalicious Tech Summit


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AARP Blogger Kitchen Cabinet #CareSupport campaign

During the Blogalicious Tech Summit that was held on April 18, 2013, at the Microsoft Innovation and Policy Center in Washington, D.C., Congresswoman Michelle Lujan Grisham of New Mexico discussed the importance of making sure women caregivers have the resources they need to provide the best care possible to their loved ones. Congresswoman Grisham personalized her comments when she shared several stories about serving as her mother’s primary caregiver. Her stories reminded me of how important it is to provide women caregivers with online resources and tools they can use to support their self-care and loved ones.

Congresswoman Michelle Lujan Grisham, (D-NM) at Blogalicious Tech Summit held on 4/18/13 at the Microsoft Innovation and Policy Center

Congresswoman Michelle Lujan Grisham, (D-NM) at Blogalicious Tech Summit held on 4/18/13 at the Microsoft Innovation and Policy Center

If you are a caregiver or have family members, friends, or colleagues who serves as caregivers, please encourage them to visit AARP’s Caregiving Resource Center. The web site has great articles and tips that caregivers can use to support their wellness journey as they care for their loved ones. See several links below.

FYI – You can now access AARP’s Caregiving Resource Center on your iPad!

AARP is a nonprofit organization that helps people who are 50 and over turn their goals and dreams into real possibilities, strengthens communities, and fights for the issues that matter most to families such as healthcare, employment security,  and retirement planning.

Photo Credit: AARP.org

Photo Credit: AARP.org

Disclaimer: This blog post was written in support of Digital Sisterhood Network’s Leadership, Lifestyle and Living Well initiative and participation in AARP’s #CareSupport Campaign.

Meet Digital Sisterhood Leader Jewel Figueras


Photo Credit: Jewel Figueras

Photo Credit: Jewel Figueras

Meet Digital Sisterhood Leader Jewel Figueras. Jewel was named 2012 Digital Sister of the Year – Lifestylista.

Fun Facts: Jewel and Digital Sisterhood Network founder Ananda Leeke met for the first time during the Blogalicious Weekend Conference in Miami Beach, Florida in 2010. After one conversation, Ananda became a fan of Jewel’s kindness, generosity, humor, joie de vivre, and fabulous style. They reconnected during a Digital Sisterhood Radio interview about Blogalicious and while Jewel was visiting her family in the Washington, D.C. area. 

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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’ve used social media since the early 90s, because I was curious about the “new” World Wide Web. I quickly found America Online and then other services like Prodigy, Eudora, etc.

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

Social media has afforded me a lifestyle that I never dreamed of–complete with entrepreneurship, travel, exposure, and meeting tons of great people.

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 become an on-air “Social Media Expert” for a local news station. I’ve also been named to the Advisory Board of Hispanicize. I’ve spoken at numerous events and have become a leader in the South Florida Social Media community.

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 agree with all of these roles.

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

I’ve learned to trust myself and intuition. I’ve learned that there is value in the knowledge that I have. I’ve learned that anyone can become a leader in the digital space. It’s the great equalizer.

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

I have learned to not make plans in the digital space but rather to simply walk the path–letting it lead me.

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

My favorite social media leaders include Jennifer James because of her work in both the profit and nonprofit worlds.

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

Women can express their brand by always speaking and writing in their authentic voice. They can use their social media platforms to address their personal passions.

#DSMonth Day 13 Recap: Digital Sisterhood Radio Interview with Justice Fergie Lifestyle Media Founder Stacey Ferguson


Stacey Ferguson and Ananda Leeke at Brunchalicious event at BlogHer 12 in NYC

Stacey Ferguson and Ananda Leeke at Brunchalicious event at BlogHer 12 in NYC

Day 13 of Digital Sisterhood Month featured a Digital Sisterhood Radio interview with Stacey Ferguson, Justice Fergie Lifestyle Media, Personal Brand Strategist, Digital Content & Events Producer, Tech Lawyer, and BeBlogalicious.com Chief Curator. Click here to listen to her interview.

Digital Sisterhood Network is headed to Blogalicious Weekend Conference in Vegas!


Happy #DigitalSisterhood Wednesday!

This week is gonna be fabulous! Why? It’s time for the annual Blogalicious Weekend Conference.

More great news … Digital Sisterhood Network (DSN) is serving as a Blogalicious media sponsor. Also, DSN founder Ananda Leeke is speaking at the Blog Community Jam Session on September 28 at 2:00 p.m.

Be sure to follow @anandaleeke and @digitalsisterhd on Twitter for live #Blogalicious12 tweets.

 

Meet Digital Sister Leader Jennifer James — She’s headed to #Blogalicious12!


Photo Credit: Jennifer James

Meet Digital Sister Leader Jennifer James, founder of the Mom Bloggers Club, the first social network for mom bloggers, and Mom Bloggers for Social Good, a global coalition of mom bloggers representing 16 countries who use social media and blogging to advance information to their networks about pressing global issues.

Fun Facts: Digital Sisterhood Network founder Ananda Leeke and Jennifer first met at the Blogalicious Weekend Conference held in Atlanta in 2009. Later that year, Jennifer shared her Blogalicious experiences and discussed her work with the Mom Bloggers Club on Ananda’s Digital Sisterhood Radio. Click here to listen to the episode. Since then, Jennifer and Ananda have reconnected and chatted at the Blogalicious Weekend Conference in 2010. They both supported and attended the Heart of Haiti campaign’s 2011 event at Macy’s in Washington, D.C. Jennifer will be participating as a panelist for the Blog Community Jam Session on September 28, 2012, at the Blogalicious Weekend Conference in Las Vegas, Nevada. Check her out if you are headed to Vegas!

1) How can people find you online?

2) Why did you start using social media?

I started using Twitter way back in 2007. I was an early adopter of social media and have continued to use it in new ways ever since.

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

Social media has literally allowed me to create a business of myself and has taken me all over the world.

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 you are able to create who you are, what you do, and how you will get there. Everything has to be authentic and honest, of course, but you can kick down doors that otherwise you might not be able to get through. Through social media I have been able to connect with people I would otherwise have to get on a plane to meet in New York City or Los Angeles. It is the great equalizer.

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?

Women are huge creators and generators of social media content and yet whenever I go to tech conferences women are rarely there. It’s insane. We understand the medium the most and yet have the least to say about it or don’t have the opportunity to talk more about how social media is a leadership tool.

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

I like to think I am a leader in the mom blogging space since I’ve been involved with the community since 2004. I hold a leadership role in that respect.

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

You always have to be authentic and stay consistent.

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

I  have plans to use social media in a more collective way for good. I have already started doing that with @socialgoodmoms, but I have even greater plans for the future.

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

I can’t name just a few. There are so many it’s hard to choose from.

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

Women need to be consistent in their social media approach. That is, women need to keep their handles the same across social media platforms. They also need to touch them every day with at least one update. Always be authentic and personable and never think you’re too big (based on numbers) to talk to everyone.

Meet Digital Sister Leader Krystal Grant — She’s headed to #Blogalicious12!


Photo Credit: Krystal Grant

Meet Digital Sister Leader Krystal Grant, a South Carolina born and bred woman who wears the hats of wife, mother, sister, daughter, English teacher, writer, radio host, and founder of Krystal Grant’s Guide to Life blog. Krystal is currently serving as the Managing Editor of MyBlogalicious.com.

Fun Facts: Digital Sisterhood Network founder Ananda Leeke and Krystal first met at the Blogalicious Weekend Conference held in Miami in 2010. Krystal and Ananda reconnected while sipping wine in the Wine Sisterhood Suite at the Blogalicious Weekend Conference in 2011. Krystal will be speaking about finding your niche as a blogger during the MyBlogalicious Poolside Chats on September 28, 2012, at the Blogalicious Weekend Conference in Las Vegas, Nevada. Check her out if you are headed to Vegas!

1) How can people find you online?

2) Why did you start using social media?

I started using social media in 2008. I originally started my blog to get the attention of a publishing company in hopes of acquiring a book deal.

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

Social media has connected me with so many wonderfully talented people that I may not have had an opportunity to meet otherwise.

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 given me a voice. My blog has allowed me to share ideas that I would not have had the confidence to share prior to my blog. Now, I have pride in the fact that people are listening to what I say and often times I am responsible for shaping their opinions on a variety of 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?

Women create content on daily basis. Not only do we influence others by giving motivating personal stories about our triumphs, but we promote brands and encourage interactions.

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

As James Andrews has said on many occasions…we are content creators. Social media enthusiasts, like myself, are change agents. We influence our audience to think about things in a new way. We give them fresh perspectives, new insight.

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

I’ve learned that I create my own rules.

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

The social media platforms change each day and I’m learning to change with them. I’m currently working on my web series Krystal Grant Stomps The Yard. This is a documentary that highlights historically black colleges and universities in order to promote the profound impact they have on our community.

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

Marie Forleo — How can you not love her. Marie has the best video blogs ever created. She always has remarkable advice for women entrepreneurs.

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

Women use their stories to inspire other women who may be experiencing similar situations. Women also promote bonds between people who may not have a chance to meet face to face.

Meet Digital Sisterhood Leader Ronnie Tyler — She’s headed to #Blogalicious12!


Photo Credit: Ronnie Tyler

Meet Digital Sisterhood Leader Ronnie Tyler, co-founder of BlackAndMarriedWithKids.com and Tyler New Media. Ronnie is also a mother, wife, speaker, and film producer.

Fun Facts: Digital Sisterhood Network founder Ananda Leeke and Ronnie first met at the Blogalicious Weekend Conference in 2009. That’s where Ananda learned about the fantastic films Ronnie creates with her husband, Lamar. She’s been a fan ever since. Her favorite Tyler New Media film is the “Be Blogalicious” The Movie released in 2011. Ronnie and Lamar will be speaking at the Box Tops for Education Townhall on September 29, 2012, at the Blogalicious Weekend Conference in Las Vegas, Nevada. Check them out if you are headed to Vegas! 

1) How can people find you online?

2) Why did you start using social media?

I started using social media in December of 2007 when I started BlackAndMarriedWithKids.com with my husband, Lamar.

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

Social media has really exceeded any and all expectations that I had.  We started out blogging about a topic that we were passionate about and we’ve actually found a purpose which is to promote strong relationships and marriages in the African American community.  Our blogging has turned into a movement and a business for us.  It has changed our careers and also our family life.

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 definitely translated into many public speaking and consulting opportunities for me in two areas. I speak frequently at marriage conferences and seminars about the work that we do on the site.  I also speak at social media conferences about what I have learned over the years in building our site and brand to what it is today.  Today, I am a business owner, a public speaker, a film producer, and a director.  Wow! I never would have thought in a million years that I would have those titles in my portfolio.

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 pretty much have it covered in your list. Social media can be used to fulfill pretty much any role you want to play.

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

Social media has allowed me to become an influencer, motivator, social do gooder, and community builder.  I really think that we have built a community of people who care about the state of relationships in our community.  And any chance that we get to use social media to give back to people, we take it!!

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

If you stay consistent and put in the work, it will pay off. Money should not be your focus when you are first starting. You have to be able to do what you are doing, even when there is no money coming in. You have to have a passion for it first. Your passion will help you get through the tough times when it seems like you are not making a difference.

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

We are always focusing on how to take our brand to the next level.  We are working on several brand partnerships this year and expanding our film and video division.

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

Stacey Ferguson, co-founder of the Blogalicious Weekend Conference, is definitely a pioneer in the social media space. I respect everything Ana Flores, co-founder of Spanglishbaby.com, is doing and how she was able to take blogging to the next level.

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

The beauty of social media is that it can be as big or as small as you want it.  Whatever your brand or passion is you will be able to use social media to directly reach the people and the audience that you need to reach.

Meet Digital Sisterhood Leader Christie Glascoe Crowder — She’s headed to #Blogalicious12!


Photo Credit: Christie Glascoe Crowder

Meet Digital Sisterhood Leader Christie Glascoe Crowder, author of Your Big Sister’s Guide to Surviving College, blogger, lifecaster, social media consultant, and speaker. Through writing, speaking, and consulting, Christie helps others discover their true passions and entrepreneurial spirit. She also hosts The ChatterBox Show on BlogTalkRadio.

Fun Facts: Digital Sisterhood Network founder Ananda Leeke and Christie met during a Blogalicious beauty event held during the BlogHer Conference in 2009. They reconnected at the Blogalicious Weekend Conference in 2009 and 2010. Christie will be speaking about Pinterest and Google+ tools on September 30, 2012, at the Blogalicious Weekend Conference in Las Vegas, Nevada. Check her out if you are headed to Vegas!  

1) How can people find you online?

2) Why did you start using social media?

I started blogging in 2006 after I wrote my first book, Your Big Sister’s Guide to Surviving College. I started chronicling my journey through life as a first-time published author and new mom.

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

Social media has given me an outlet for expression and a sense of community that I’ve never felt before both personally and professionally. Professionally speaking it allowed me to do things I thought were only dreams like having my own radio show.

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’m not sure if I can say I’ve carved out a “leadership role,” but I feel that social media has allowed me to be a connector.  Through my blog and online shows I’ve connected many people to other like-minded people, connected people with new breakthroughs in technology, and connected people with their inner selves.

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 pretty much covered all of the ones I would have said.

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

I would say I am an advocate, creator, curator, influencer, motivator, and storyteller.

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

While you may have mentors and role models…people you admire and want to “be like” in this digital space, always BE YOURSELF. Take your place in the sun and not in the shadow of another. Find your own “place.”  The Internet (so far) is infinite…there’s room for everyone.

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

I’m always in “forward motion,” but not always with a plan.  I’m on my surfboard and will ride wherever the wave of creativity takes me.

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

  • Aliza Sherman is just an all around digital pioneer. Her wisdom in this space is unmatched.
  • Stacey Ferguson , one of the co-founders of Blogalicious…enough said….
  • Shameeka Ayers, the queen of social branding in my opinion
  • Ananda Leeke … for the digital sisterhood