Day #3 of the Digital Sisterhood Book 11 Day Countdown Campaign: DS Wisdom of Diverse Women

It’s Day #3 of the Digital Sisterhood Book 11 Day Countdown Campaign. Today’s blog post shares the meaning of digital sisterhood as seen through the eyes of various digital sisters who have inspired and influenced author Ananda Leeke.

Early on in her writing process, Ananda realized that her book, Digital Sisterhood: A Memoir of Fierce Living Online, was deeply rooted in the community of women she has come to know via the world wide web. That’s why she made sure to share digital sisterhood wisdom from a diverse group of women in the first pages of the book. Check out the diverse women’s wisdom below.

Photo Credit: Jacqui Chew

Photo Credit: Jacqui Chew

“Digital sisterhood is a state of mind. It is about empowerment and respecting diversity.” Jacqui Chew, founder of iFusion Marketing

Photo Credit: Ebony Utley

Photo Credit: Ebony Utley

“Digital sisterhood means that women feel like they have a safe space to say what they want to say.” Ebony Utley, Ph.D., Assistant Professor of Communication Studies at California State University, Long Beach, author, Ms. blogger, and 2012 Digital Sister of the Year

Photo Credit:

Photo Credit:

“Digital sisterhood allows us to connect with each other outside of our comfort zone.” Danica Kombol, founder of Beirut or Bust: Curious Travel Adventures and Random Thoughts blog, co-founder and managing partner of Everywhere, and 2012 Digital Sister of the Year

Photo Credit: Stacey Milbern

Photo Credit: Stacey Milbern

“Digital sisterhood is all I had. When I was blogging, I was writing to my sisters.” Stacey Milbern, founder of Crip Chick blog and 2011 Digital Sister of the Year

Photo Credit: Monica Coleman

Photo Credit: Monica Coleman

“Digital sisterhood is the kind of sisterhood that can be created without knowing somebody in person, but knowing them through media.  It is the sharing about sisterhood, and the creation and connection of sisterhood in digital media.” Reverend Monica A. Coleman, Ph.D., Associate Professor of Constructive Theology and African American Religions at Claremont School of Theology, author, founder of Beautiful Mind blog, and 2012 Digital Sister of the Year

Photo Credit: Willa Shalit

Photo Credit: Willa Shalit

“Digital sisterhood is females who are connected through energy rather than blood. And you know energy passes much greater distances and is much lighter, and much more powerful.” Willa Shalit, artist, author, founder of Fairwinds Trading, co-founder of Maiden Nation, and 2012 Digital Sister of the Year

Photo Credit: Julie Diaz Asper

Photo Credit: Julie Diaz Asper

“Digital sisterhood for a lot of folks is the first time that they can find new tribes locally. Digital sisterhood is taking sisterhood and magnifying it because now you can go and find all types of people who have similar interests, and build communities offline.” Julie Diaz-Asper, Chief Executive Officer and co-founder of GigGoin and Social Lens Research, and 2012 Digital Sister of the Year

Photo Credit: Karon Jolna

Photo Credit: Karon Jolna

“Digital sisterhood is a movement and it is an extension of the movements that came before it.”  Karon Jolna, Ph.D., Research Scholar at the University of California at Los Angeles’ Center for the Study of Women, and Program Director for Ms. in the Classroom


You can purchase Digital Sisterhood on

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

Meet Digital Sisterhood Leader Jacqui Chew

Photo Credit: Jacqui Chew


Meet Digital Sisterhood Leader Jacqui Chew, Founder and Principal Consultant at iFusion Marketing, Co-Organizer at TEDxPeachtree, Atlanta Press Club Board of Director, speaker, and contributing writer.

Fun Facts: Jacqui and Digital Sisterhood Network founder Ananda Leeke met during Spelman College’s Digital Doyennes event held in April 2011 in Atlanta. They served as panelists and sat next to each other. A month later, Ananda interviewed Jacqui about her career on Digital Sisterhood Radio’s Feminism Online Series. Click here to listen to the interview. 

1) How can people find you online?

2) Why did you start using social media?

I started using RSS feeds and exploring UGC tools in 2006 as part of my work for a client and their customers who happen to be media companies.

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

Social media has allowed me to find my voice and a way to express my point of view. Growing up in Singapore where girls were taught to be seen and not heard, it has always been challenging in my adult life to have the self-confidence to express my point of view. Twitter and blogging have helped me do that.

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?

The use of social media has helped me connect with my inner entrepreneur. It has helped me channel my passion for supporting technology entrepreneurship through my latest project, “The Art of The Launch,” which is the world’s first marketing hackathon. The hackathon seeks to connect creative professionals with founders to create viable product launch plans in one day.

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 covered it all.

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

Influencer, mentor, promoter, and community builder

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

All the rules of human interaction in real life apply to the virtual world.

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

They are works in progress.

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

My favorites are Amber Nashlund — for her courage in coming out about clinical depression and Erika Napoletano for her wit.



Please vote for Digital Sisterhood’s SXSW 2012 Panel Proposal from August 15-September 2

Photo Credit: SXSW Logo from

Digital Sisterhood Network submitted a panel proposal for SXSW 2012 Interactive Conference (March 9-13 on Austin, Texas) in July.  See the description below.   The SXSW Panel Picker opens for voting today at 3:00 pm ET.  Please click here to vote on our panel.  You will need to create an account to participate.  The voting deadline is September 2.  We appreciate your support!

1) Panel Title:  Digital Sisterhood for Women Entrepreneurs

2) Panel Description:  Ananda Leeke, founder of the Digital Sisterhood Network, describes this community as the currency women use to create relationship wealth through the connections they make, conversations they have, communities they build, causes they support, collaborative partnerships they establish, and commerce they engage in with women they meet online and offline.  While the faces of technology rockstars and social media gurus don’t typically reflect what you’d expect to find in digital sisterhood, this panel will explore the thriving, relationship wealth-based community that has grown up.  A diverse group of panelists will explore how women entrepreneurs cultivate and strengthen digital sisterhood in their entrepreneurial efforts; what happens when women tap into the power of digital sisterhood in their businesses; and how they use digital sisterhood as a business model.

3) Moderator and Panelists:

Moderator – Ananda Leeke, Founder of Digital Sisterhood Network –


Recap: Ananda Leeke Discusses Digital Sisterhood @Digital Doyennes Event on 4/12 in Atlanta

Digital Doyennes Panel: Angela, Ericka, Gina, Jacqui & Ananda

Photo Credit: Spelman College's Digital Moving Image Salon

Photo Credit: WIFTA Atlanta

On April 12, 2011, Digital Sisterhood Network founder Ananda Leeke served as a panelist for the Digital Doyennes: Wisdom from the Women who Lead in Social Media and Digital Innovation event held at the Twelve Hotel in Atlanta, Georgia. Ananda talked about her first Internet experiences in 1986 as a first year law student at Howard University School of Law and in 1995 at the UN Fourth World Conference on Women, digital sisterhood, her recent trip to Haiti as the Heart of Haiti Blogger Ambassador, Blogalicious Weekend Conference, how she uses to raise money for her upcoming book, and her social media lessons learned as an author and artistSpelman College’s Digital Moving Image Salon and Women in Film & Television Atlanta organized and hosted the event.  Everywhere, a social media marketing firm, served as a sponsor.

Dr. Ayoka Chenzira, Ph.D., flimmaker/founder/ director of Spelman College's Digital Moving Image Salon

Lauren Brown Jarvis & Ananda

Spelman College senior Lauren Brown Jarvis (founder of Digital Doyennes) produced the event and served as the moderator. The panel included Ananda and the following dynamic digital divas:

1) Angela Benton Conyers, CEO of Black Web Media,

2) Jacqui Chew, Principal of iFusion Marketing,

3) Erica Hartfield, Digital Producer, Everywhere, and

4) Gina McCauley, Founder of What About Our Daughters, Michelle Obama Watch, and the Blogging While Brown Conference.

Digital Doyennes Panel

Additional Information:

  • The event was live streamed on If you missed it, click here to watch it (104 minutes).
  • Ananda had an opportunity to interview several of Atlanta’s social media savvy professionals.  Listen to the audio blogs below.
  • Check out some of the event photos below.  Click here to see more photos.

Digital Doyennes audience

Digital Doyennes audience

The Twitterverse was on fire during the event.  Check out some of the great tweets below.

  • Your blog is your rocket launcher. #digidoy
  • Best way to build followers – be real and find your passion. #digidoy
  • Relationships are important. Meeting face-to-face is powerful. #digidoy
  • The creator of the technology must leave space for human interaction…
  • Don’t pick fights online. – Ananda Leeke
  • Everyone is not going to like your work.
  • You can’t eliminate hacking but you can prevent it. #digidoy
  • Don’t sign up for applications you are not sure of. #digidoy
  • Create what you want to see. #digidoy
  • What you say online cannot be deleted
  • Have a passion for what you are doing!
  • My words are my rocks… My blog is my slingshot! – Gina McCauley
  • Engage with your audience organically.
  • Understand the social graphics of your stakeholders.
  • Determine what you want to do and who you need to connect to. – Jacqui Chew
  • Through blogging, you can tell a story. #digidoy
  • Blogging helps to connect people all over the world. #digidoy
  • Social media can do social good. #digidoy
  • Just b/cuz someone likes your thoughts does not make them your friend!
  • Did you know about this trend: “25% of twitters population is African American” via @ABenton during #digidoy
  • African Americans have the ability to dominate the digital movement! #digidoy
  • “Think of as your yellow pages for twitter applications.” via @jacquichew #digid
  • Most inspiring aspect of #digidoy, seeing other ppl who are passionate a/b a lot of areas. I don’t feel so crazy being a jill of many trades
  • “LinkedIn is your Chamber of Commerce, Facebook is a family reunion, twitter is a cocktail party.” @jacquichew
  • “Facebook is the front porch; twitter is the cornerstore. You don’t invite people from the corner to your porch”
  • Fave social media apps from #digidoy – seesmic, cotweet, google analytics, & google website enhancer,, backtype, clicksee & twitiq
  • The universe is generous online and offline. @anandaleeke
  • @heyheylbj say “I think twitter needs Jesus”
  • Everything you do online won’t go away, and even if you delete it, it’s still around.
  • Social media should be more connection than promotion per @gem2001
  • Most inspiring aspect of #digidoy, seeing other ppl who are passionate a/b a lot of areas. I don’t feel so crazy being a jill of many trades
  • @HelloLT says I’m glad I volunteered @jaheed to be @anandaleeke‘s unofficial videographer at #digidoy! He’s doing a great job!
  • How 2 prevent hacking – don’t sign up 4 application u don’t know #digidoy
  • Best way to build followers – be real and find your passion. #digidoy

Ananda with the Everywhere team

Ananda’s audio blog interviews with Atlanta-based social media savvy professionals:

Jaheed Givensand Ananda

1) Interview with Jaheed Givens

Ananda and Akilah Richards

Ananda & Ericka a/k/a Swarthy Daisy

2) Interview with Akilah Richards of Execumama and  Ericka of Swarthy Daisy

Ananda & Danielle Jackson of the Little Pink Book

3) Interview with Danielle Jackson of The Little Pink Book

Lauren B. Jarvis, Lauren Thomas & Ananda

4) Interview with Lauren Thomas of Digital Aftershock

Event Photos

Ananda & Andrea Amir

Ananda & her attorney Lauren Medlock Smith

Lauren Medlock Smith

Ananda & 2010 Digital Sister of the Year Shameeka Ayers a/k/a The Broke Socialite

Ananda & Tomika DePriest, Executive Director Office of Communications@Spelman College