Join Digital Sisterhood Network Founder Ananda Leeke at Press Publish Conference on March 28!


Press Publish Conference in Portland

Press Publish Conference in Portland

Greetings Digital Sisters

Digital Sisterhood Network founder Ananda Leeke is heading to Press Publish, WordPress’ first-ever conference featuring WordPress bloggers and the people behind WordPress.com, on March 27 and 28 in Portland, Oregon. While she’s at Press Publish, she’ll lead a session on “Blogging for Obama” that will give her an opportunity to share how she began blogging for personal reasons, evolved into a social media leader for the White House, and learned how to make the most of opportunities that have presented themselves as a result of her blogging adventures on March 28.

She’s also serve as a panelist for Michelle Langston’s session, “A Tale of Two Sites.” During this session, you’ll have a chance to look at her older AnandaLeeke.com web site and blog and learn how Michelle transformed them into a new and improved site that fully expresses her personality and online goals.

In addition to these sessions, you’ll be able to dive into a day of learning with presentations and tutorials led by an amazing group of speakers including Digital Sister of the Year Kathy Cano-Murillo, founder of the CrafyChica.com, on blogging 101, blogging on the go, going pro as a blogger, storytelling, turning your blog into a book or business, writing, WordPress design and plugins, and so much more. Click to see the schedule.

Oh yeah, you’ll get to attend a Friday evening mixer where you will meet your fellow bloggers, receive your attendee packet, and enjoy storytelling by Longreads, snacks, and libations.

Guess what? The generous and groovy Press Publish team is offering a special 40% discount to the conference! Click here and use the special coupon code SISTERHOOD40 to register. One last thing — your ticket purchase also gets you a 1-year subscription to the WordPress Premium upgrade, a $99 value, that you can use on any WordPress.com blog. A coupon code and instructions on how to redeem it will be included in your ticket confirmation email.

See you in Portland!

Day #7 of the Digital Sisterhood Book 11 Day Countdown Campaign: Read Chapter 9 Excerpt


Happy Monday!

It’s Day #7 of the Digital Sisterhood Book 11 Day Countdown Campaign. Today’s blog post features an excerpt from Chapter 9 of Ananda Leeke’s new book, Digital Sisterhood: A Memoir of Fierce Living Online. The title of Chapter 9 is Blogging Sets My Writer Spirit Free. It discusses how Ananda started blogging in 2005 and the lessons she learned.

Photo Credit: Leigh Mosley, www.leighmosley.com

Photo Credit: Leigh Mosley, http://www.leighmosley.com

Chapter Nine: Blogging Sets My Writer Spirit Free (Copyright 2013 by Madelyn C. Leeke)

“I love blogs, and I also love the concept behind blogs: the juicy meta of this idea that you can represent yourself, your ideas, your work, your thoughts, your art – a random or wild or skillful or free or calculated version of the nexus of artist – person – marketer – public private self in html for the world to jump into like a birdbath, squawking back about what they see.” Deb Rox, author of Five Ways to Blank Your Blog

My debut novel, Love’s Troubadours – Karma: Book One brought me to blogging. Wayne P. Henry, my book editor, suggested I try blogging as a way to overcome my writer’s block and to establish a regular writing practice. Wayne thought blogging on a regular basis would help me relax and surrender to the natural flow of my creative process. Desperate, I pushed past my own skepticism.

On February 1, 2005, I posted a poem on my author blog hosted by Blogger.com. In that moment, I knew exactly what Yoani Sanchez, author of Havana Real: One Woman Fights to Tell the Truth about Cuba Today, felt when she wrote, “I’ve only written a few lines, but now I am a blogger.” For the first two years, my blog served as a safe haven. I blogged about my writing journey, archived my research for my novel, and shared excerpts from my draft manuscript. Most of my research included articles, quotes, photos, YouTube videos, and links to blogs and web sites related to Love’s Troubadours’ characters and subject matters. They included Afro-Latinos, art, Black men and women, Buddhism, chess, fashion, feminism, historically Black colleges and universities, Haitian art and culture, home décor, Indian culture and history, London, music, museums, online dating, popular culture, spoken word poetry, travel, women’s issues, and yoga.

The more I blogged, the freer I felt in my writing practice. After a few weeks of blogging, my goal of developing a consistent writing practice began to manifest. I was able to use parts of my blog posts as dialogue or background in my novel. In addition, I developed a weekly ritual of reading other blogs such as Cathy Delaleu’s Lyrically I am Yours, a Haitian-influenced art and poetry blog; and Natalie Lue’s Baggage Reclaim, a London-based dating and relationship blog. Each time I visited these blogs, I learned how other bloggers shared their life experiences and interests. They used stories, diary entries, essays, prayers, poetry, photos, podcasts and videos to communicate their authentic voices. I also learned how they interacted with their blog readers through the discussions held in their comment sections.

My blogging life expanded in 2006 when I joined Myspace, a popular social networking site used by a lot of musicians and creative professionals at the time. I used my Myspace blog to cross-post my author blog posts. I also started following people who shared the same interests in art, books, films, music, popular culture, self-care, and spoken word. I read their status updates and blogs, watched their videos, and left comments on their pages. Several people like author and filmmaker Abiola Abrams and Yasmin Coleman, founder of A Place of Our Own Books and Book Club, started following me back and commenting on my page. We developed a social networking relationship that caused them to visit my author blog and leave comments on a regular basis. They also shared my blog links with their network.

After I published Love’s Troubadours in August 2007, I was able to tap into my author blog and Myspace audience for author interviews and support with my online book party and virtual book tour. Joining Black Author Showcase, a social networking site for African American authors, literary professionals, book clubs, and readers that was established by Diane Williams, Stanford Battle, and Rey O. Harris, gave me valuable information on how to use social media as an author. It broadened my book’s audience, exposed me to writing and publishing resources, and introduced me to new social networking sites. I also cross-posted my author blogs, became friends with many members and left comments on their pages, participated in the discussion forums, and shared helpful information and lessons learned from my author journey. As a result of my active participation, I was selected as Member of the Month and was interviewed on Black Author Showcase’s Talkshoe.com radio show in February 2008.

Later that year, I began using my author blog as an online journal for my second book, That Which Awakens Me: A Creative Woman’s Poetic Memoir of Self-Discovery. Many of my blog posts that featured artwork, poetry, reflections, and stories were included in the book. I also started attending blogging conferences like Blogging While Brown, the first international conference for bloggers of color. This experience deepened my understanding of social media, strengthened my online relationships with fellow bloggers, inspired me to explore podcasting and video blogging, and created a network of support for my book launch.

By the time I published That Which Awakens Me in 2009, my blogging life had helped me to:

  • Identify and sustain my passion for writing books.
  • Maintain a regular writing practice.
  • Overcome writer’s block.
  • Communicate and stay connected to my audience which included readers, workshop participants, and creativity coaching clients.
  • Create and experiment with content for my books.
  • Give back to others by sharing helpful information.
  • Promote and market my books and services as a writer, speaker, coach, and workshop facilitator.
  • Generate content that could be used in author talks and interviews.
  • Obtain interviews and positive media coverage in print and new media.
  • Learn about and stay updated on social media and the ways authors use the tools to promote their work and services.

My podcasting and video blogging became the centerpiece of my digital life after That Which Awakens Me was published. Although I maintained my author and yoga blogs on a weekly basis, I increased the time I spent communicating with my audience on Facebook, LinkedIn, Ning.com social networking sites, and Twitter. I also began experimenting with several podcasts, live streaming shows on Stickham.com and UStream.tv, and videos about my author journey, creativity coaching, yoga practice, and passion for entrepreneurism, green living, women in social media, and spirituality.

It’s been nine years since I entered the blogosphere. My author and yoga blogs have been incorporated into one blog that captures my adventures as a creative professional, yoga teacher, and Internet geek. With the support of an editorial calendar, I write about yoga-inspired topics on Yoga Mondays; social media and technology on Internet Tuesdays; and the arts and creativity on Creativity Thursdays. My passion for fashion, food, fun, and my D.C. lifestyle is expressed on my Tumblr blog, Ananda@16thandU: Lifestylista in Love with DC. With this blog, I don’t adhere to a blogging schedule. I do it when I have something to say which means there are times when it goes weeks without an update.

Facebook, Google+, LinkedIn, Pinterest, and Twitter are essential to my blogging life. They serve as my go-to source for audience engagement, content distribution, information sharing, and networking. I also my email lists, niche communities like BlogHer and SheWrites.com, and StumbleUpon, a web search engine that identifies and recommends content to its users, to share my blogs’ content.

I’m still a diehard fan of podcasting, live streaming, and video. Digital photography and photo-sharing sites like Flickr, Instagram, and Pinterest have become my new favorites. I enjoy sharing photos from these sites in my blog posts, tweets, and Facebook status updates.

 

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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!

AARP Decide.Create.Share Campaign Interview with Digital Sister Sylvia Wong Lewis


Photo Credit: Sylvia Wong Lewis

Photo Credit: Sylvia Wong Lewis

Digital Sisterhood Network (DSN) recently had a chance to conduct a “Live Your Best” interview with Sylvia Wong Lewis (SWL), CEO and Founder of Narrative Network, a boutique PR business in New York City. Lewis serves as a Commissioner for the New York State Department of State and the New York Ethnic Community Examiner for Examiner.com. Her Narrative Network blog discuss art, culture, food, genealogy, gardening, lifestyle, music, and New York City neighborhoods. Her beautiful photography illustrates many of her blogs and posts on Facebook, Instagram, LinkedIn, Pinterest, and Twitter. This year, the proud Smith College alumna received a Telly Bronze Award for creative excellence for her documentary production of “From Shanghai to Harlem,” an American migration and immigration story that portrays her mixed Chinese and Black family by exploring slavery, freedom, music, love, identity, and diversity. She also received the AVA Digital Award’s Gold Award for creativity and video editing in documentary production.

DSN’s interview features a discussion about Lewis’ participation in AARP’s Decide. Create. Share. Initiative’s 40 Day Pledge campaign. The Initiative is designed to help women do three things: 1) Decide what kind of future they want for themselves. 2) Create a long-term plan that will help them address their health, financial, legal, and home issues and achieve their goals. 3) Share their long-term plan with the important people in their lives. The 40 Day Pledge offers women an opportunity to make a commitment to complete a Living Longer, Living Smarter plan for their future. It covers four critical areas of women’s lives— home and community, health, finances, and wishes. For more information, follow AARP Decide.Create.Share. on Facebook, Pinterest, and Twitter.

Photo Credit: Sylvia Lewis

Photo Credit: Sylvia Lewis

DSN: What does living your best life mean to you?

SWL: Safeguarding my mind-body-soul connections. Also, it means focusing on five elements: 1) emotional health; 2) social health and friendships; 3) physical health – exercise; 4) career – doing/discovering fulfilling creative work; and 5) financial – managing investments and generating income. These elements are connected to “My Soul-Caribbean Rules” (Ways to Live Your Best Life).

  • Be self-sufficient: Be healthy, exercise, and get fresh air and sunshine. Know how to cook rice and beans. Know how to fish, catch, and prepare a chicken. Be able to entertain yourself — play a musical instrument, sing, write poetry, tell stories, dance, or act. Keep a survival kit including a jug of water, cash, flashlight, matches etc. Be prepared for a blackout, flood, or earthquake. Don’t run out of food—it’s bad luck. Be spiritual and inspired—which means in-spirit.
  • Hone People Skills: Don’t look at or answer your cell phone during meetings or with friends. Cleanliness is next to Godliness. Be neat. Develop conversation skills, small talk, eye contact, and body language. Don’t gossip or tattle. Don’t say anything if it’s not nice. Save personal questions for later. Always be early—never late for appointments.
  • Keep Your Wits About Yourself (environment/location, sense of direction): Get the lay of the land, so you don’t get lost! Be happy and have fun. Laugh out loud. Cry. Be passionate.
  • Finances: Don’t go on welfare or be a welfare witch! Be thrifty. Do without until you can afford it. Never borrow or loan money to your relatives. If you can spare money, give it freely. Don’t hire your friends or relatives or rent to them either. Be kind. Be generous. Practice hospitality. If you can put up someone or provide a warm meal, do it.  Always have three jobs or multiple sources of income — journalist, consultant, chef, gardener, tour guide and executive assistant—are among my jobs. Always keep a money stash that no one knows about! Surround yourself with people who are smarter, more successful than you; and be with people who share the same or similar values.

DSN: How did you give yourself permission to live your best life?

SWL: When something bad happens, then we realize that we need to re-focus. I believe that happened to me at key points in my life (career changes, death of parents and a sibling, child’s illness, divorce, homelessness, domestic violence, job changes, working too many jobs, getting a raise/promotions, moving to five different cities, fame. and fortune, etc.).

At 60 plus years old, I have re-calibrated my life many times–my relationships, my health regimen, and lifestyle, how I spend my free time, and finances. But change was not easy. I was not always ready to listen or act on my inner voice’s urgings or intuition. I experienced everything–much joy and happiness and heartaches and disappointments too in my life. I resisted my inner voice in regard to safeguarding my mind, body, and soul connection for years. Then one day, I stopped! Maybe that’s the Pisces in me—capable of extremes!!!

Once I uncluttered my life, I was able to tap into my own true wisdom, talents, values, and culture. I began to reclaim my voice and find my way to living my best life—the life that everyone is destined and entitled to live. Self,care was my first priority. Several years ago, I knew that I had been neglecting myself especially emotionally, spiritually, physically, and financially. I was on speed-dial, automatic pilot and a treadmill.

Clarity came to me aboard an airplane. The flight attendant demonstrated how to put the oxygen on myself first, and then to attend to others. Then Suze Orman and Oprah segments re-played in my head: “No, don’t take your hard-earned money to buy that family member another car…Don’t allow that person to talk to you like that or mistreat you like that anymore.”

Reality checks: I realized that some of my so-called loved ones and beloved colleagues did not have my best interest at heart—only their own self-interest! I had to own up to being an enabler in some cases, causing my own problems in other cases and even sabotaging myself.

So remember, if anyone calls you selfish or tries to make you feel bad about your self-care practices, pulling yourself out of debt, getting your health checked, eating health food, dancing, singing, or chanting – DELETE them, immediately!

I went back and forth inside my head for years before making changes that I knew I should make. Actually, when I decided to change my life, my timing and circumstance were totally wrong. But, I was finally ready. Among the best things I did for myself was seek counseling about changing my life. My college roommate, Karen, who is a therapist, advised me to do just that. At first, I was resistant: “Black people don’t do therapy,” I thought to myself. But, I trusted my friend’s judgment. I lucked up and found a feminist therapist who combined grief and empowerment therapy.

I had a lot to do: manage my deceased parent’s affairs, finalize a divorce, arrange custody and visitation for my special needs child, find a new job, and a place to live. I was starting a new life all over again. It was an exciting and scary time. I made these changes and many more when I was about 40 years old. So, if you are near 40—watch out!

Almost immediately, my life became better and happier in every way possible. My new uncluttered life attracted positive people, activities, and opportunities. I started a new business, a new job, and purchased a new home. I was beginning to live my best life. I found my new husband when and where I least expected. By then, I was on my road to recovery—recovering my life back!

Today, I find happiness in very simple ways like sharing a cup of tea with a new friend, sitting in the sunshine, the aroma of freshly cut grass, hearing laughter, eating a peach, looking at art, or walking in the rain. Checking my small garden and cooking a family recipe has its own moments of joy.

So, my advice about living one’s best life has to do with safeguarding your mind, body, and soul; honoring your cultural traditions; and listening to your inner voice. If you take care of those areas, you will notice a new level of satisfaction. Your affairs will simply fall into place with ease.

DSN: What inspired you to do the AARP 40-day pledge?

SWL: I was interested in AARP’s Decide. Create. Share initiative because I wanted to see if I had all of my bases covered. Together with my husband, we completed all of the checklists. We still must work on the ”Last Wishes” item. But, we were pleased to learn that we have taken all the steps plus some, to plan our future.

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Disclaimer: This blog post was written in support of Digital Sisterhood Network’s Leadership, Lifestyle and Living Well initiative and participation in AARP’s Decide. Create. Share. Initiative.

Meet Digital Sisterhood Leader Christy Little Jones


Photo Credit: Christy Little Jones

Photo Credit: Christy Little Jones

Meet Digital Sisterhood Leader Christy Little Jones, M.S., is the Head Coach of My Relationship Revolution, a coaching and resource center that inspires more intentional interactions within the key relationships that impact your life. Christy is featured in the March issue of Real Simple magazine. Her story about forgiving her husband is AMAZING. Be sure to pick up a copy of the magazine and read it! She and her husband will be chatting about relationships at the “What’s Love Got To Do WIth It!” event on Sunday, February 17 from 5:00 p.m. to 7:00 p.m. at Busboys and Poets in Shirlington, Virginia. Click here to register for the event.

 

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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 launched my business in November 2011 and used social media to build a following and connect with my tribe.

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

It has given me the platform to inspire action and influence change in the lives of men and women around the world. Essentially, it’s helping me to make a difference in 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?

Social media has helped me to share my strengths and experience to women who need it most. In particular, relationships. The most important relationships that we hold as women – in marriage, friendships and as mothers.

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?

Supporter, accountability partner, coach, and encourager

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

I help remind women of their God-given strength, power and influence. I am the leader who affirms, supports and lovingly pushes women to step into their magnificence with confidence and authenticity. I am a coach and a cheerleader, helping women to become fearless!

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

It’s mandatory to be authentic as you build your tribe as well as consistent.  Your followers need to be able to trust you.

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

I would like to expand my leadership role by bringing awareness to digital space about my global platform – Child Sex Trafficking. Together we can bring about change, but not without knowledge and commitment to the cause first.

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

Some of my favorite social media women leaders include Ananda Leeke and Fabienne Frederickson. Ananda encourages and include other women entrepreneurs in her success. She also creates a sisterhood among women. I love Fabienne’s strength, passion, and commitment to making your business thrive.

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

Women can use social media to define and express their personal leadership brand through video, developing relationships via Facebook and Twitter, and publishing an e-zine or newsletter.

Meet Digital Sisterhood Leader Melissa Bugaj


Photo Credit: Melissa Bugaj

Photo Credit: Melissa Bugaj

 

Photo Credit: NightLightStories.net

Photo Credit: NightLightStories.net

 

Meet Digital Sisterhood Leader Melissa Bugaj, co-founder of NightLifeStories.net and According to Mags blog.

Fun Facts: Digital Sisterhood Network founder Ananda Leeke met Melissa during the Podcasting 101 session at the BlogHer 2012 Conference in New York City. After the session, they chatted about Melissa’s podcast series. Ananda became an instant fan!

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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 began using social media in 2008 when we started our podcast, Night Light Stories. I started a Facebook page and then followed with a Twitter page.

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

Social media has allowed me to connect with other people who share the same interests. It also has given me opportunities to learn more about podcasting and blogging. I’ve been able to utilize social media to view professionals in this area and learn from their expertise.

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?

Since we have been producing the podcast for five years, we have helped others who are launching podcasts or thinking of starting one. We gave them tips on what we have learned through the years.  An example would be when we asked to interview the “Mommy Podcast” founders. We compared stories and shared our recording skills which helped to improve our podcasts. Everyone had something to share.

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?

Women are also trailblazers in social media. There are always new types of media or subjects to address. Women usually take a more sensitive subject and bring it into light with a little bit of sensitivity.

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

I am a storyteller, an educator, a creator, and an advocate for family time and providing positive learning to children.  We have built a community of listeners. I mentor my friends who are just starting out in the social media world. I promote myself and others who I find influential. You should always share other resources that are positive and useful. I think that by working together and supporting each other, that can help to build a strong sense of community.

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

I have learned that you are nothing without the support of others around you. Everyone out there has something to offer. You never know how you can help someone each day. Wen you do help someone, it makes you feel like you are contributing. You can’t do it all on your own and finding people who can share ideas is invaluable.

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

I would really like to be able to expand my leadership roles in the digital space. One thing I would like to do is apply to speak at conferences about podcasting or writing. I feel that after five years of experience of producing this podcast with my husband, we have some useful information and tips to share.

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

One of my favorite social media women leaders is Mur Lafferty, host of “I Should Be Writing” and the editor of Escape Pod (science fiction podcast). Mur is a writer who interviews other authors on her podcast in order to learn from them and share valuable writing and publishing tips with her listeners.

I also admire MommyCast founders Gretchen and Paige. They were one of the first groups of “mommy podcasters.” They interview the latest movies, products, and ideas for raising kids.

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

In the 21st century, women are providing a multi-model experience. This is a way to draw in a maximum amount listeners and readers. It will help make others to feel comfortable in communicating with you as a host if you are seen in writing, video, and audio.

Meet Digital Sisterhood Leader Jana Baldwin


Photo Credit: Jana Baldwin

Photo Credit: Jana Baldwin

Meet Digital Sisterhood Leader Jana Baldwin, founder of Northwest to Southeast blog.

 

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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 started using Facebook in 2005.

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

Social media has helped me connect with friends, gain employment, gain a graduate degree, communicate with community, and develop relationships with nonprofit organizations.

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?

At this point I am hoping to make a career utilizing social media.

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?

Provide relevant, specific information during emergencies.

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

Public Safety Chair in my neighborhood and Public Health Communications and Marketing expert.

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

Networking and writing.

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

My plans include improving my  website and building mobile apps.

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

One of my favorite social media women leaders is Tracey Webb, founder of BlackGivesBack.com. We have built a relationship by meeting online. As a result, I became a part of Tracey’s Black Benefactors organization. She has given me motivation and strength in a community that I need.

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

Women can share their expertise, opinions, and emergency information to define and express their personal leadership brand.

Meet Digital Sisterhood Leader Kristin Glasbergen


Photo Credit: Kristin Glasbergen

Photo Credit: Kristin Glasbergen

 

Meet Digital Sisterhood Leader Kristin Glasbergen, co-founder of HomemadeFrontier.com and founder of Kristin’s Glas.

Fun Facts: Kristin and Digital Sisterhood Network (DSN) founder Ananda Leeke met during the BlogHer 2011 Conference held in San Diego, California. They had some great conversations during the BlogHer breakfast and recorded an impromptu Cinchcast interview with Ananda’s smartphone. Since then, they reconnected at the BlogHer 2012 Conference in New York City and have followed each other on social media.

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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 started using Facebook in 2008 to keep in touch with friends in other parts of the country. I started using Twitter in 2009 to keep up with celebrities. I don’t follow many celebrities anymore.

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

It’s allowed me to build a network of friends that I don’t have in my area.  It’s also allowed me to learn and grow, as a person, as a writer and as a crafter.

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 and the opportunity to share topics that I am passionate about. A space to share that without judgement, which I don’t often have in my ‘real’ life.

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 Ananda covered it all.

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

I’m not sure I play a leadership role in social media. If I do I’m not actively doing so.

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

I’ve learned to think twice before I publish. I’ve learned to unfollow or unfriend anyone who is overly negative, social media is part of my life and I don’t want to invite negativity into my life. I’ve learned to turn my negative emotions into something that is constructive before sharing online.  I’ve learned to apologize and take responsibility when I put my foot in my mouth.

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

I would like to continue to build my presence.

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

I admire women who are at ease online, it doesn’t matter how many followers they have. I like quick wit and interact.

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

  • Support others doing similar things.
  • Listen and interact with people trying to do what you are.
  • Be yourself.

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 8 Recap: Photos and Videos from #DSStyleSalon


Check out photos from the Digital Sisterhood Month’s Salon Series on “DC Style: Past, Present, and Future” that was held on December 8, 2012, at the Tenley-Friendship DC Public Library.

Brea Ellis & Rosemary Reed Miller

Brea Ellis & Rosemary Reed Miller

The Salon Series on “DC Style: Past, Present, and Future” featured a discussion on DC style during the past 30 years, a fashion and style blogger town hall on the present trends in DC style, and a conversation with DC designers on the future of DC style.

Blogger Town Hall Speakers Krystin Hargrove,  Monica Byrd, and Deb Vaughan

Blogger Town Hall Speakers Krystin Hargrove, Monica Byrd, and Deb Vaughan

Brea Ellis and DC designers Philissa Williams and Katherine Martinez

Brea Ellis and DC designers Philissa Williams and Katherine Martinez

The speakers included:

#DSStyleSalon audience

#DSStyleSalon audience

Philissa Williams and her mom & Ananda Leeke

Philissa Williams and her mom & Ananda Leeke

Brea Ellis, a fourth generation Washingtonian and the founder of What I Wore: tip to toe, a personal style blog, and Digital Sisterhood Network founder Ananda Leeke served as moderators. Click here to read Brea’s blog recap about the Salon Series.

Photos and Videos (for videos — turn the volume up on your computer, lap top, tablet or digital device up — low audio recordings)

  • Click here to see the event photos on Flickr.
  • Watch video of Brea Ellis and Rosemary Reed Miller – Part One.
  • Watch video of Brea Ellis and Rosemary Reed Miller – Part Two.
  • Watch video of Brea Ellis and Rosemary Reed Miller – Part Three.
  • Watch video of Krystin Hargrove.
  • Watch video of Monica Byrd.
  • Watch video of Deb Vaughan.

Meet Digital Sister Leader Ericka Tinsley — She’s headed to #Blogalicious12!


Photo Credit: Ericka Tinsley

Meet Digital Sister Leader Ericka Tinsley, Chief Blogger of The Swarthy Suite and founder of the Fro-Fi Collective and Chocolate Chat Atlanta.

Fun Facts: Digital Sisterhood Network founder Ananda Leeke and Ericka first met at the Blogalicious Weekend Conference held in Miami in 2010. In 2011, Ericka and Ananda reconnected at Spelman College’s  Digital Doyennes: Wisdom from the Women who Lead in Social Media and Digital Innovation in Atlanta. This year they spent time together at Everywhere’s Digitini event in Atlanta. Ericka will be speaking about community building through collaboration 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 using social media when I launched a t-shirt business online people with natural hair.

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

Social media has helped me meet cool people, participate in social campaigns, travel to conferences, and work with companies and brands.

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 have been able to co-create a business and social media networking event called Chocolate Chat: www.chocolatechatatlanta.com.

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?

Brand ambassadors and video bloggers

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

Blogger, video blogger, speaker, teacher, accessibility assistant for social media for people with disabilities, and tweet-up coordinator

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

We have a voice that people listen to and follow. So be very careful how you influence your viewers.

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

Yes. Teaching social media online.

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

  • Blogalicious co-founder Stacey Ferguson and the Blogalicious community of women
  • Danica Kombol, co-founder and managing partner of Everywhere
  • Ananda Leeke

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

Establish a niche and audience as a nonprofit organization to teach women and men all over the world.