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

Meet Digital Sisterhood Leader Elena Sonnino — She’s headed to #Blogalicious12!


Photo Credit: Elena Sonnino

Meet Digital Sisterhood Leader Elena Sonnino, founder of CiaoMom.com and JustBeEnough.com.  Elena is a mom, a teacher, a wife, a runner and triathlete, and a cancer survivor.  She is also a member of the Heart of Haiti Campaign’s Bloggers4Haiti and the American Cancer Society’s Blogger Advisory Council.

Fun Facts: Digital Sisterhood Network founder and Elena met during the Heart of Haiti event at Macy’s in December 2011. They serve as Heart of Haiti blogger ambassadors. Elena traveled to Haiti with a group of mom bloggers earlier this year. Click here to watch a video about her experiences.

In August, Elena and Ananda reconnected and shared memories of Susan Niebur a/k/a @whymommy, an amazing blogger, scientist, mom, and wife, at the American Cancer Society’s booth at the BlogHer 12′ Conference. They will spend time together at the American Cancer Society’s “Bowl for More Birthdays” event at the Blogalicious Weekend Conference on September 29, 2012, in Las Vegas, Nevada. If you are headed to Vegas, make sure you say hi to Elena and support the American Cancer Society.

1) How can people find you online?

2) Why did you start using social media?

I started using social media with Facebook when I was recently separated and was looking for ways to connect with others in 2007. In 2009, I started blogging when I realized that it was time to begin to tell the story of being a cancer survivor, divorcee, and mom.

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

My blogging has evolved from a hobby to a passion and has allowed me to leave education and teaching to pursue a full-time career in freelance writing, social media, and social action. I am incredibly lucky and honored to be involved in social action campaigns like More Birthdays, Bloggers4Haiti, and Shot@Life as well as having had the opportunity to share my voice as a cast member for the DC Listen to Your Mother. More importantly, social media has enabled me to believe in my voice and has led me down a path of new friendships where I learn and laugh with women in this space every day.

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 believe that social media has helped me carve out leadership roles as my confidence has increased and the belief that my voice matters.  I founded a collaborative site in 2011 (Just.Be.Enough.) and have been able to lead a team of women writers that contribute to the community each day. Additionally, I believe that I am an active leader in the social action arena inspiring others through my work with More Birthdays, Bloggers4Haiti, and Shot@Life that they can make a difference by just doing it.

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 love the idea of these roles.  Collaborator and facilitator would be two that I would add (although they might be redundant). I believe that to be a leader you need to be able to collaborate and work to foster independence and self-sufficiency in others.

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

Advocate, community builder, creator, educator, motivator, social do gooder, and influencer

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

My biggest lesson is that there are a lot of us in this space, some even doing similar things and sharing similar messaging. The important thing is not to see others as competitors, but to identify what our individual strengths are and then work collaboratively to strengthen the entire community.

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

I absolutely would like to start increasing my role as a public speaker. In the education space I was an expert in my field and spoke and facilitated workshops at the local and state level. I thrive when speaking to groups and engaging people in conversations that lead to new thinking.

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

Leticia Barr is the epitome of professionalism, mentor, and friend. Morra Aarons Mele is a mentor and an incredibly savvy woman. Christine Koh is a thought leader, community manager, influencer, and advocate. Sheila Dowd is an incredibly brilliant leader, business woman, and mentor. Cat Lincoln is an incredibly thoughtful leader, business woman, mentor, and friend. Chrysula Winegar is a fabulous connector, motivator, thought leader, and mentor.

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

  • Identify what you are truly passionate about and use that voice to be positive and impactful.
  • Collaborate instead of compete with others.
  • Remember that you are your brand. Staying positive and being generous with your voice and your knowledge will only strengthen the community as a whole.

Meet Digital Sisterhood Leader Brea Ellis


Photo Credit: Brea Ellis

Meet Digital Sisterhood Leader Brea Ellis,  a fourth generation native Washingtonian and founder of What I Wore: Tip to Toe, a personal style blog. Brea’s blog offers a glimpse into her life and closet. She is also an entrepreneur who offers her services as an Online Communications Consultant. She live tweets from events, sets up blogs, and much, much more!

Photo Credit: Fashion Night Out DC

Fun Facts: Digital Sisterhood Network founder Ananda Leeke and Brea have known each other since 1995. They met during the First Sunday meditation meetings for African American women hosted by Brea’s mother, Janis Ellis. Brea and Ananda reconnected during Fashion Night Out DC at Violet Boutique and spent the evening visiting boutiques in Adams Morgan. See the photo collages of their Fashion Night Out DC adventures below.

Brea inspired Ananda to relaunch her Tumblr blog as lifestyle blog, Ananda@16andUStreet: Lifestylista in Love with DC (soft launch on September 18). Guess what else? These ladies have decided to create an event partnership for two fashion, beauty and lifestyle-inspired events for Digital Sisterhood Month in December and several events in 2013. Look for more news in the coming weeks!

Fashion Night Out DC 2012 with Brea and Ananda in Adams Morgan

Fashion Night Out DC 2012 at Violet Boutique in Adams Morgan – Ananda and Kaarin

1) How can people find you online?

2) Why did you start using social media?

I started using social media (blogging) in 2008 because I was living far from home in San Francisco and had just started a new job at Monster.com. My mom called and asked “How Was Your Day” (the name of my first blog on Tumblr) and wanted to know WHAT I WORE: tip to toe! (name of my current blog on Blogger.com) on my first day of work. I snapped a photo and emailed it to her but she couldn’t figure out how to open an attachment. So I continued snapping my outfits all week and posted them on a blog.

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

I’m currently employed as the Director of Social Media/Digital Media Analyst for a local Labor Union based in the Washington, D.C. metro area. Blogging has allowed me to make some amazing like-minded fashion friends here in D.C.

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 am excited about leading the upcoming “Fashion Crawls” where I will partner with the Digital Sisterhood Network to lead Fashiontonians on a shopping tour of Washington, D.C.

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 and their fashion often start the online conversation. Women are almost always the brand ambassadors just as they are typically the decision makers when it comes to household purchases. Sales people know if you get the women, you get the sale.

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

I am the connector; bringing together brands with potential customers and like-minded individuals with one another. I love to make “Twitroductions.”

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

I have learned to share, but do so with a purpose and a conscience…not everything you think is relevant to others or appropriate to share. Know your medium and your audience and you’ll never go wrong.

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

Yes, I am excited to expand my leadership role by hosting salons where Digital Sisters can come together and share IRL (In Real Life).

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

I love Bevy Smith (@bevysmith) for her ability to be a connector extraordinaire! I also love Whitney Stringer (@WhitneyStringer) for her supportive and humble attitude towards PR…and her amazing events!

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

  • Know your audience.
  • Know your medium (Facebook, Twitter, and blog)
  • Stay true to your voice.

Meet Digital Sisterhood Leader Simone Jacobson


Photo Credit: Simone Jacobson with her fellow actresses as they prepare for the performance of Kelly Zen-Yie Tsai’s play, Say You Heard My Echo, via Google Hangout.

 

Meet Digital Sisterhood Leader Simone Jacobson, blogger, co-founder of Smart Chicks Network, poet, writer, and curator, events coordinator, and social media manager at Busboys and Poets.

Fun Fact: Digital Sisterhood Network (DSN) founder Ananda Leeke met Simone when she participated in the DSN’s DC Women in Social Media Focus Group series featuring creative social media women at Martin Luther King, Jr. Memorial Library in Washington, D.C in August 2010. Ananda became an instant fan of Simone’s amazing work!

 

1) How can people find you online?

2) Why did you start using social media?

I started using social media in my early teens. I remember sitting in front of the computer screen watching AOL chat load with my best friend. It used to be a truly social experience then. My dad, my friends, and my sister would always be involved. We’d all kind of participate together, like watching a movie or something. It was new and we were exploring it together.

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

In my personal life, social media has allowed me to stay connected to friends and family all across the globe, from Morocco to Burma and France. But, I was a letter writer back when people still sent snail mail, so I’ve always been committed to staying connected to the people I love.

As a professional tool, social media has been most useful to me in connecting to what I’d consider “community celebrities” or mid-level thinkers and doers in their respective fields. That is to say, not the level of famous that requires an intermediary, but hard-working and talented enough that they might have missed an e-mail from me, but perhaps responded to a Facebook mention or tweet. I definitely expanded my network of hip-hop scholars via social media, and many of them are digital sisters and brothers, though I’ve never met some in person.

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 allowed me to refine my writing skills. I’ve written for TheRoot.com, The Pink Line Project, The Couch Sessions, and The Lantern Review online. These platforms were influential in my development as an arts critic, a journalist, and in my creative writing practice, as well. I recently launched a new space for conversations about gender and the role our self-identification as male, female, or “neither” in daily living: http://sim1ontharun.wordpress.com/2012/07/14/dancing-as-gender-performance.

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 definitely lead important conversations in the digital space. Think Arianna Huffington or Dream Hampton. Think of the comical “Texts from Hillary” or Philippa Hughes of The Pinkline Project in DC. Think the co-founders of Hyphen Magazine (http://www.hyphenmagazine.com) or Ruby Verdiano (http://rubyveridiano.com). These women are their own brands. It’s inspiring to see how self-promotion via social media can be leveraged for the greater good, including the benefit of the woman herself, working hard, writing and curating content online. I think a lot of people take for granted how much work it takes to run a successful and active digital space.

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

I think my biggest “leadership role” in social media is as the steward and co-founder of the Smart Chicks Network (SCN). This network is a resource-sharing platform for intelligent, ambitious and generous women in the DC area, and includes postings about jobs and other announcements. SCN has allowed members to get jobs, connect with other similarly minded individuals, and even helped beautiful women (who are not stereotypically wafer-thin models) gain experience modeling for a new kind of forward-looking publication due out this fall, NeonV Magazine (http://www.neonvmag.com).

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

Words matter. Protect yourself, but know that the Internet is very porous and you can only control your own voice. In some cases, there are no “take backs” once you put it out there. The economy of language is a gift (as proven by the ubiquitousness of Twitter), so learn it well!

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

Not at the moment. My new blog, he said // she said // they said, is a relatively humble project, but one I’m enjoying immensely: http://sim1ontharun.wordpress.com/about.

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

I named a few above, but really, YOU! Ananda, you are so dedicated to the digital sisterhood and I’m so happy I met you online and off. You rock!

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

  • Control your image as much as possible. See a video of a performance you were in that you don’t like? Ask to have it taken down. Do a Google search of yourself every now and again. Is there an image on someone else’s Facebook page you want removed? Don’t ever hesitate to ask or “untag”. Protect yourself, but again, you can only control your own output at the end of the day.
  • Articulate your goals and mission, personally and professionally, as succinctly as possible. The way people use the Internets is mostly sporadic and unfocused. Think like an editor or a headlines writer. Would you read about you based on the first 3-5 words you see?
  • Be humble, kind and truthful, yet unafraid to celebrate your successes. I know that may seem contradictory, but consider the purpose of each word you put out into the universe. If you’re trying to get a job, use your LinkedIn profile to shine and don’t hold back. But, if you’re a panelist and they ask you for a SHORT bio, don’t be wordy! Most of all, be a leader because you feel compelled to be one. Don’t be a brand, have one. Who you choose to be should never be defined by perceptions of who you are, especially not by folks online. The Internet can be a cozy wall to hide behind, as well as a wonderful resource and connectivity tool, so don’t take any of it personally.
  • And ladies, if I may offer one final piece of advice, you gotta have a sense of humor about it all at the end of the day.

Meet Digital Sisterhood Leader Lauren Fleming


Photo Credit: Lauren Fleming

 

Meet Digital Sisterhood Leader Lauren Fleming, founder of QueerieBradshaw.com and Creativity Squared, LLC, lawyer, speaker,  and writer.  Lauren recently spoke at the annual BlogHer conference. She spoke about the business of blogging during the Pathfinder Day’s Morning Fundamentals Workshop: My Blog as Business and as a panelist for The Personal: Erotica Out in the Open session.

Fun Fact: Digital Sisterhood Network founder Ananda Leeke attended Lauren’s BlogHer 12′ session on The Personal: Erotica Out in the Open and became an instant fan!

 

1) How can people find you online?

2) Why did you start using social media?

I started using social media back in the Friendster days, before you could just sign up, you had to have a friend already on there recommend you. I went through MySpace and Live Journal and everything since. I started using social media and keep using it for the same reason: I want to connect with my friends from all over the world.

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

Social media has enabled me to connect with the readers and writers of my site. It’s also helped me keep in touch with friends I otherwise wouldn’t still know.

4) In her 2011 Digital Women: from geeks to mainstream presentation that was given at the WIFT International Women Conference for Digital Women, Dr. Taly Weiss, a social psychologist and CEO/Founder of Trendspotting, concluded that “women are dominant digital users – they breathe and live digital.” Dr. Weiss’ conclusion echoes BlogHer’s 2011 Social Media Matters Study findings. They include 87 million women (18 to 76 years old) are now online, 69 million women use social media weekly, 80 million women use social media monthly, and 55 million women read blogs monthly. These facts illustrate the power and presence women have in the digital space. Now that’s Digital Sisterhood!

How has social media helped you carve out leadership roles as you interact online and offline?

Through social media, mostly Twitter, I’ve made a name for myself as an expert in sex, sexuality, gender, and gender identity. In that capacity, I’ve been able to mentor other writers, both younger and older than me, through the difficult and often stigmatized world of writing about such taboo topics.

5) Social media has helped women become Digital Sisterhood Leaders, ambassadors of social expression who share what they are passionate about online. In her upcoming book, Digital Sisterhood: Fierce Living Online for 25 Years (Fall 2012), Ananda Leeke, founder of the Digital Sisterhood Network, writes, “Without even knowing it, women have become Digital Sisterhood Leaders as they use their social media platforms to advocate causes; to build communities; to create apps, art, books, businesses, products, publications, services, tools, and webisodes; to curate content; to educate and inform; to give voice to their thoughts as subject matter experts, thought leaders, and brand ambassadors; to share information and experiences; to explore and experiment with new technologies as early adopters and trendsetters; to engage in social good; to influence others with their lifestyles and personal interests; to inspire and motivate; to mentor; to network; to tell their personal stories; and to promote and celebrate the expertise, gifts, and talents of others. Based on my online and offline interactions, I have identified 12 key leadership roles they play: advocate, community builder, creator, curator, educator, influencer, mentor, motivator, promoter, social do gooder, storyteller, and thought leader.”

What other types of leadership roles do women play in social media?

I think you hit them all.

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

I often lead conversations that normally wouldn’t be had.

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

Keep doing it. It feels exhausting and like a time warp, but keep it up. People are listening.

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

I plan to turn my blog into a book and do a whole online book tour.

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

My favorite social media women leaders include everyone over at Women’s Media Center. They’re so very helpful. And BlogHer bloggers as well. They really inspire me to dig deeper and be my more authentic self.

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

  • Know who you are before you go into it.
  • Know who you are every time you post.
  • Know when to leave.
  • Don’t let online be your only life.

Meet Digital Sisiterhood Leader Erika Pryor


Photo Credit: Erika Pryor

 

Meet Digital Sisiterhood Leader Erika Pryor, a digital communications consultant and host of Digital 411, an Internet radio show featured on TalktainmentRadio.com.

 

1) How can people find you online?

2) Why did you start using social media?

I started using social media in 2008.

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

Social media has helped me connect with individuals throughout the world, find new business opportunities, build a personal and professional brand, experience new events, be identified as a thought leader is social media, and create an Internet radio program.

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 carve out leadership roles through blogging and community development for various local and national websites.

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?

The other types of leadership roles that women play in social media and digital marketing include bloggers and writers on various topics related to business and technology, influencers, and promoters.

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

Influencer, educator, motivator, promoter, and thought leader

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

Be honest and transparent. Identify what your goals are. Ask for help or assistance via social media.

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

Yes. I have plans to do more blog writing and publish an e-book and white papers.

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

Heather Whaling and Chalene Johnson — I like their business discussions and motivational advice.

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

  • Tweet.
  • Create a Facebook page.
  • Blog.

Meet Digital Sisterhood Leader Dwana De La Cerna – A #BlogHer12 Attendee


Photo Credit: Dwana De La Cerna

 

Meet Digital Sisterhood Leader Dwana De La Cerna, the founder of HouseonAHill.org, the managing editor of  TheChicagoMoms.com, and the assistant editor of Chicagonista.com.

Fun Facts: Dwana and Digital Sisterhood Network founder Ananda Leeke met during the BlogHer Conference in 2009. Click here to watch Dwana’s video interview with Ananda. They recently reconnected during BlogHer 12′ in New York City.

 

1) How can people find you online?

2) Why did you start using social media?

I started using social media in 2006.

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

Social media has allowed me to establish a blog, serve as the managing editor of ChicagoMoms.com, participate in panels such as the Marketing2Women, and serve an influencer for General Motors.

4) 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 have powerful voices. They serve as contributors and support systems!

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

I commandeer the Twittersphere, promote good products, and help my social media pals!

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

Share often. Don’t hold back. Take risks.

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

Not sure, but am following my path.

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

There are so many. My list is so long. It includes Ananda Leeke, Tory Johnson, MJ Tam, Connie Burke, Ann Evanston, and Genma Holmes.

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

  • Participate.
  • Become involved in campaigns.
  • Take initiative.