Meet Digital Sisterhood Leader Elayne Fluker


Photo Credit: Elayne Fluker

Meet Digital Sisterhood Leader Elayne Fluker, founder of ChicRebellion.tv, the FIRST AND ONLY Internet TV network that develops, produces, distributes and syndicates original web series programming for women of color.

Fun Fact: Elayne and Digital Sisterhood Network founder Ananda Leeke recently met for the first time at the DigitalUnDivided.com’s #FOCUS100 Symposium in New York City. Prior to meeting in person, they followed each other on Twitter. Ananda also was already a big fan of ChicRebellion.tv.

1) How can people find you online?

2) Why did you start using social media?

I started using social media regularly in 2009. I could see that it was becoming an important way to stay connected.

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

Social media has allowed me to stay connected to friends, colleagues and associates around the world. Not only is it one of the best ways to keep your network informed about what you’re doing, it’s a key way to stay in the loop about what others are doing. It opens the door to endless opportunities, especially if you’re an entrepreneur who is open to partnerships with brands and individuals who have a good synergy with your company or project.

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 stay connected to other leaders and peers within my industry of media and beyond, especially the powerhouse women I know–and those I’ve come to know– through different social media platforms. It allows me to form and expand my own community of thought leaders and innovators who are important to me and to interact with them in a space that works for us all.

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?

Connector

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

Motivator, advocate, connector, and positive role model

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

Every thought, every word, communicated in social media matters. You never know who is watching, listening, and believing what you release into the social media universe, so it is important to take care in what you offer.

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

As the founder and CEO of ChicRebellion.tv, the first and only Internet TV network producing and airing original web series programming for women of color, I plan to continue creating a place within the digital space where women of color can go to see content that is a true reflection of who they are. As someone who has worked in media, both print and digital, for more than 15 years, finding a space for us has always been my passion. Now, it’s about CREATING that space–and because ChicRebellion.tv lives in the digital space, women from around the world have access.

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

Joan Morgan, Ava DuVernay and Shelby Knox are but a few. I am inspired and energized as a woman not only by their words, but by their works.

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

  • Be authentic.
  • Connect with women who inspire you.
  • Support more than you “promote.”

Meet Digital Sisterhood Leader Kathryn Finney


Photo Credit: Kathryn Finney

Meet Digital Sisterhood Leader Kathryn Finney, CEO of the TBF Group, LLC, founder of TheBudgetFashionista.com, author of How to Be a Budget Fashionista: The Ultimate Guide to
Looking Fabulous for Less, and Editor-At-Large at BlogHer.

Photo Credit: DigitalunDivided.com

This year, Kathryn launched DigitalunDivided, a company that develops programs, projects and forward thinking initiatives that bridge the digital divide. On October 5 and 6, DigitalunDivided will host the FOCUS100 Symposium and Pitch BootCamp, a two-day event that connects thought leaders, tech start ups founded or co-founded by Black women, brand managers, and innovators in New York City. Majora Carter, founder MCG Consulting and co-founder of Startup Box: South BronxClick, will serve as the Symposium keynote speaker. Click here to learn more about event.

The Digital Sisterhood Network (DSN) is a proud media sponsor for FOCUS100. DSN founder Ananda Leeke is a FOCUS100 Advisory Board Member.

FUN FACTS: Ananda and Kathryn met for the first time during the BlogHer 12 conference in New York City. During the conference, Kathryn organized, styled, and MC’ed the first-ever BlogHer Fashion Show featuring women bloggers and pretty pooches. The fashion show was one of Ananda’s favorite events. 

1) How can people find you online?

2) Why did you start using social media?

I kinda of stumbled into social media. I started using Twitter after speaking at SXSW in 2007. I was heading on a vacation to Europe and wanted a way to chat with The Budget Fashionista audience without having to lug around a laptop.

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

Social media has allowed me to chat with my audience directly. It’s also changed the way I access and consume information and news. I get a lot of my news via Twitter. In terms of Facebook, I use it to keep in contact with close friends and family and to share photos. It’s so much easier to upload photos to Facebook than to try and send them via email.

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 experience more organic forms of communications with a larger audience. For example, I’m mostly known for my work in the fashion and style space, but, as the CEO of a online media company, I have a variety of interests. Social media allowed me to reach out to other women in tech and build relationships that have helped me to launch the FOCUS100 symposium.

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 would also say we play the “connector” role. Whether it be connecting two people who have shared interests or connecting our readers with breaking news and knowledge.

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

I try to provide information that is useful to our audience as well as remain accessible and a connector.

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

I have learned to always, always, be yourself. This is a marathon, not a race we’re in and the only way you will be able to sustain yourself is by being true to yourself.

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

I am actively working on DigitalunDivided and the FOCUS100 Symposium, which is a two-day conference focused on helping 100 tech companies founded/co-founded by Black women receive angel investors, venture funding, and/or acquisition by the end of 2015.

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

There’s so many that it is truly hard to name just a few. Women are truly THE force behind the social world, both online and offline. Seven of the 10 most followed people on Twitter are women.

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

  • First, register for an account.
  • Second, ask yourself “who am I?”.
  • Third, Engage, Engage, Engage.

DigitalunDivided.com’s #FOCUS100 Symposium and Pitch Bootcamp


Photo Credit: DigitalunDivided.com

Calling all Black women in tech!

Learn more about DigitalunDivided.com’s  #FOCUS100 Symposium and Pitch Bootcamp on October 5 and 6 in New York City.  #FOCUS100 will connect tech startups founded or co-founded by black women with industry thought leaders, brand managers, and innovators. The event consists of a half-day pre-event pitch bootcamp, followed by a full-day symposium featuring panels, mentorship sessions and a pitch competition with top angel investors and VCs. Visit  for more information.

Click here to register NOW & Receive 40% off! The early bird code expires August 1, 2012. Be sure to use the code SAVETHEDATE.

The Budget Fashionista Kathryn Finney is the brainchild behind DigitalunDivided.com and #FOCUS100.

Digital Sisterhood Network is serving as a media partner for the event.  Ananda Leeke is serving on #FOCUS100 Advisory Board.

Meet Digital Sisterhood Leader Nichelle Stephens


Photo Credit: Nichelle Stephens

Meet Digital Sisterhood Leader Nichelle Stephens, Community Evangelist for DigitalunDivided.com, a company that develops programs, projects, and forward thinking initiatives that bridge the digital divide including the FOCUS100 Symposium and Pitch BootCamp (will be held in October 2012). Nichelle is the co-founder of Cupcakes Take The Cake, the most popular blog about cupcakes (click here to watch a video of her talking about cupcakes), and the founder of new lifestyle blog, CoolBlkPpl (launched in May 2012). In addition, she serves as an editor, event producer, publicist, and social media strategist. CNN, The Today Show, Martha Stewart, and The Food Network have featured her.

FUN FACTS: Digital Sisterhood Network founder Ananda Leeke met Nichelle during the Blogging While Brown Conference held in Washington, D.C. During the conference, she introduced the blogging community to the NAACP Image Award winning Pepsi We Inspire, a branded lifestyle blog and community for African American women. She also spoke about the business of blogging. 

1) How can people find you online?

2) Why did you start using social media?

I was on Friendster and MySpace back in 2005. I joined Facebook and Twitter in 2006, but didn’t really start using it until 2007.

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

Social media helped me get freelance social media gigs, speaking opportunities at conferences and universities, new friends, and quick answers to questions.

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 became the editor of Pepsi We Inspire via social media which led me to interact with a community of Black women. I am also the event organizer for my blog, Cupcakes Take The Cake, and I plan monthly offline events for the meetup group. I have set up Twitter chats to answer questions about baking.

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?

Social media women leaders support each other, motivate others, brag and praise others’ successes, and share useful information.

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

I connect people, promote others, and share good links.

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

Someone is always listening.

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

I aim to do more paid public speaking.

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

Jamilah Lemeiux @jamilahlemeiux is a straight talker.  Tayari Jones @tayari is generous with information for writers.

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

  • Share good information and links.
  • Listen before jumping into conversation.
  • Be your best you.