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 Julie Diaz Asper

Photo Credit: Julie Diaz Asper

Photo Credit: Julie Diaz Asper

Meet Digital Sisterhood Leader Julie Diaz Asper, co-founder of GigCoin and Social Lens Research. Julie was named 2012 Digital Sister of the Year – Empirista.

Fun Facts: Julie and Digital Sisterhood Network founder Ananda Leeke met during the She’s Geeky DC Unconference in 2009. They reconnected during the Latinos in Social Media (LATISM) DC conference later that year. Julie has been a guest on Digital Sisterhood Radio several times. They attended several social media events together hosted by Blogalicious, BlogHer, DC Web Women, and Digital Capital Week. They are also neighbors in D.C. Ananda loves hanging out with Julie and her family, and is a huge fan of Julie’s Cuban cuisine!


Digital Sisterhood Leadership Project (#DSLead) Interview:

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 connected me to people who I would never have met in my everyday life. It helped me build up new skills and start a business. I have been able to do a little good too via community organizations and on my own businesses.

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 teamed up with a great group of Latinas to organize and host LATISM DC in 2009. I have been able to complete and recruit for research studies (1,000+) via social media. It’s a powerful tool!

5) Social media has helped women become Digital Sisterhood Leaders, ambassadors of social expression who share what they are passionate about online.  In her upcoming book, Digital Sisterhood: A Memoir of Fierce Living Online (2013), Ananda Leeke, founder of the Digital Sisterhood Network, writes, “Without even knowing it, women have become Digital Sisterhood Leaders as they use their social media platforms to advocate causes; to build communities; to create apps, art, books, businesses, products, publications, services, tools, and webisodes; to curate content; to educate and inform; to give voice to their thoughts as subject matter experts, thought leaders, and brand ambassadors; to share information and experiences; to explore and experiment with new technologies as early adopters and trendsetters; to engage in social good; to influence others with their lifestyles and personal interests; to inspire and motivate; to mentor; to network; to tell their personal stories; and to promote and celebrate the expertise, gifts, and talents of others.  Based on my online and offline interactions, I have identified 12 key leadership roles they play: advocate, community builder, creator, curator, educator, influencer, mentor, motivator, promoter, social do gooder, storyteller, and thought leader.”

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


I think social media lets you experiment without a huge cost. You can test and iterate on social media in a way that is hard to do IRL (in real life). You can test out new messages, roles, and projects. It’s a huge lab to use and grow.

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

I like to play a bit. It’s evolving. I am trying to get out their with my opinion more and be a thought leader. I try to advocate and do some good.

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

It’s a process. You need to refresh what you are doing. Take a step back and think is this what I want to be known for? Be selective on what you work on and who you spend time with.

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

The Social Lens Research launch is a good opportunity for me to blog more and get out there to share what I have learned. I want to create more content, mostly around research and data.

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

I can’t play favorites. It’s a huge pool of amazing digital sisters out there. 🙂

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

  • Be thoughtful on what you create and share.
  • Find your tribe and build a community.
  • Create content to get to the next level.

Digital Sisterhood Month’s Guest Blogger Series – Julie Diaz Asper


Julie Diaz Asper

Meet Julie Diaz Asper

1) Write a six-word memoir to describe yourself.

Friendly, Joyful, Curious, Compassionate, Creative and Sensitive

2) Tell us about your blog.

I blog about social media and what I have learned from working with clients and bloggers at  I also like to feature companies and individuals doing creative and simple things that work. I launched the Gigcoin blog in November 2010 when I was in the process of launching the GigCoin platform. Gigcoin is an Elance type of platform geared up for blogger gigs (surveys, user testing, writing, videos, promotional support). We have robust social media profiles that help you to quickly identify which blogger might be a good fit for your gig. We believe it’s an efficient way to recruit bloggers.  You can post the gig and see who applies versus having to chase down each individual blogger. It’s takes less work and gives you a broader talent pool. You also save time on managing and paying for the work because it’s automated. From our work with smaller companies we felt that businesses needed more tactical, real world examples and simple tips on how to use social media so that is the focus of the GigCoin blog.

One of my favorite posts from the blog was a profile of Jimmy’Z Kitchen because I love their approach to social media. They spend a lot of time building passionate fans versus focusing on the numbers. I also got meet some great Miami folks via that post. Here is the post:

I’ve also started Sol y Pimienta, a Spanish language blog which is mostly a vblog. I love cooking and it’s a joy to work with my best friend Chef Laura in the kitchen. She cooks and I film and edit. My favorite recipe is the turkey one we did for Thanksgiving, which I actually made for the first time this Thanksgiving. It was good! Here is the post:

3) What is your definition of digital sisterhood?

Connecting with, supporting and promoting your fellow digital sisters in their quest for healthier, happier and more productive lives. From small gestures to significant help, we can all do our part to support a digital sister.

4) What is your favorite 2011 digital sisterhood moment or experience?

I have many, but a favorite is running into a digital sister randomly and having a spontaneous opportunity to talk, laugh and bond with each other. I love moments that are not planned or pre-meditated.  When it just happens. I had a recent moment with Ananda at the Macy’s Heart for Haiti event on December 1.

5) The 2011 theme of Digital Sisterhood Month is ‘Celebrate the 4 Fs of Women’s Health: Feelings, Food, Fitness & Fierce Living.”  How have you lived fiercely in 2011?

I have lost a lot of the fear I had when I started running my own business in 2010. I jumped and managed to survive. It builds character to do that!

6) How do you stay positive and maintain peace of mind?

I take time out for fun. I try to schedule the fun not just the work. I hang with my family and see my friends. Nothing makes me calmer than cooking for tons of people.

7) What are your favorite healthy foods?

I love greens like kale, collard greens and Chinese snow pea leaves. I like to stir fry my greens with ginger garlic and a little oil. It’s fast and good.

8) How do you stay fit?

I need to get back on the fitness track. I do best when I work in moving into everyday task – walk instead of drive, talk while walking versus at my desk and just move more. I love yoga but I need to make that more of a habit.

9) How are you planning to live fiercely in 2012?

No fear and lots of joy. Notice and enjoy the small stuff!

10) Where can we find you online?

Web Site/Blog: and


Facebook: and


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 –