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.

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 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.

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 Claire-Dee Lim


Photo Credit: Claire Dee Lim

Meet Digital Sisterhood Leader Claire-Dee Lim, creator/writer of “THE POWER OBJECT” comedy webisode series, screenwriter of the family film “FIREHOUSE DOG,” and novelist of upcoming romantic comedy LOVE MATCH.

Fun Fact: Digital Sisterhood Network founder Ananda Leeke discovered Claire-Dee’s webisode series in 2011 and has been a huge fan ever since!

1) How can people find you online?

2) Why did you start using social media?

My social media experience began in the early 90s when I participated in usergroups, forums, and bulletin boards like The Well. At that time, communicating and exchanging ideas in a virtual space with like-minded people and friends from across the globe felt so pioneering and exciting. That’s why I started using social media back then. And I haven’t stopped.

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

Professionally, it has enabled me to promote and market my web series and connect with the vast community of writers and creators. I also enjoy the personal aspect. We used to think email made it so easy to stay in touch with far-flung friends and family. Social media has made it even easier.

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?

A big part of my social media interaction has been promoting projects and my interests. I can draw attention to the web series then engage with those who wish to connect. And that engagement is key to fulfilling a leadership role. I’ve received lots of questions about web series creation and writing as well as speaking opportunities. I’m now a voice in that community and it’s been a delight to share my knowledge and experience with others.

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?

Provocateur — I applaud those women who use their social media platforms to tackle challenging subjects, e.g., sex, religion, feminism, and encourage the discussion and debate. These flames need to be kept alive!

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

I’m a storyteller. Whether it’s writing and making movies or a web series or writing a novel, storytelling is where my passion lies. As it extends into social media, I offer support and guidance to the creative community and perspectives on filmmaking, writing and culture.

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

  • Be bold: Social media is such a vast ongoing universe, involving billions of bits of content, your voice needs to be strong and unique to be heard.
  • Be consistent: Regular interaction is crucial, meaning posting or creating content for your own site or engaging and supporting others in a meaningfully way.
  • Be open: Listen and learn from others’ experience. Great benefits are to be had here.
  • Be current: Technology is changing at such a rapid rate. Adapt and be willing to incorporate how these changes might affect your own social media interaction.

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

I’m in the process of doing what I suggested in answer 7. I’m soaking up everything I can about self-publishing and engaging in that community, so when it comes time to release my own novel, I’ll be prepared. As for the web series space, I’m rethinking plans for that. “THE POWER OBJECT” came out last year. Since that time, there have been dramatic changes. YouTube spent $100 million funding and creating partnership channels, A-list actors are creating web series and more and more people are turning to the web as their source of visual entertainment rather than traditional TV. While this is terrific, it’s now poses a challenge for the indie web creator like myself. The question again goes back to “How do I make my voice heard amidst the saturation?” I’m still figuring that one out.

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

I don’t have any particular favorites. However, I have to hand it to Arianna Huffington for skillfully using her brand to create an internet media empire. She’s a force of nature.

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

  • Be mindful of your brand.
  • Stay true to your unique voice.
  • Do it all with a sense of humor.

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.