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!

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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 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?

Experimenter

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.

Meet Digital Sisterhood Leader Carolina Pichardo


Photo Credit: Carolina Pichardo

Photo Credit: Young Urban Moms

Meet Digital Sisterhood Leader Carolina Pichardo, co-founder of YoungUrbanMoms.com, digital  marketer by day, writer and community activist by night, and mom to Lulu  always. Carolina recently attended the Top Bloguera Retreat sponsored by Latinos in Social Media (LATISM) in Washington, D.C. During the LATISM Retreat, she and her fellow Latina bloggers visited the White House  and met with Cecilia Munoz, Assistant to President Obama and Director of Domestic Policy. Click here to read her blog post about the Retreat and White House visit.

Fun Facts: Carolina and Digital Sisterhood Network founder Ananda Leeke first connected during the BlogHer Closing Keynote session in 2010. They sat at the same table, exchanged business cards, and talked about what they learned from BlogHer conference sessions. Since then, Ananda has followed Carolina’s online adventures on Twitter and become a huge fan of Young Urban Moms.

1) How can people find you online?

2) Why did you start using social media?

I started using social media in the late 90s with MySpace and a few other sites for friends.

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

Social media has allowed YoungUrbanMoms.com to expand nationally and partner with young moms and organizations we wouldn’t have otherwise have known. Through it, we’ve been able to create and continue building upon the network and platform we’ve always dreamed of establishing.

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?

YoungUrbanMoms.com has been able to expand, and with it my ability to personally work with local young moms. In New York City, I’ve been able to create career and networking workshops for young moms and families, and run a column with the widely recognized publications, Manhattan Times and Bronx Free Press.

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 add – although similar to some of the rest, but a bit more powerful in connotations – agent of change. We’ve become the face of a lot of the causes we represent. For example, although I’m not young and very far from the place I was when YoungUrbanMoms.com was launched, I will forever be that agent of change for young mothers and how this group is represented.

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

I always aim to influence and assist those starting out, especially the young moms that contribute to the site, but always feel like I’m learning myself. I’m more of a player and curator still at this point.

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

There’s always more to learn. Always remain open to those new possibilities and opportunities. Also, go into social media with a set of values and stand firm by them.

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

Yes, as of now I’ve been focusing on the site – YoungUrbanMoms.com, but feel like I need also begin branding myself alongside the brand. This way, I’ll be able to grow and expand as a person and leader, and the brand won’t be affected by these decisions.

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

Angelica Perez of New Latina is an excellent example to follow. She’s a strong, firm, and intelligent voice and representation of Latina women in the digital space.

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

  • Connect with organizations and brands that have an established history in your cause.
  • Strategize how you post. For example, connecting Facebook to Twitter and vice versa. However, don’t always stick to certain social media rules. How honest and fun you’re having with your brand shows, and people will trust that.
  • May sound crazy, but don’t just use social media. Find ways to connect with others through conferences, Skype, and something that shows more than your avatar.

Meet Digital Sisterhood Leader Laura Tellado


Photo Credit: Laura Tellado

 

Meet Digital Sisterhood Leader Laura Tellado, a journalist, social media consultant, activist for Spina Bifida awareness, and founder of Holdin’ Out for a Hero blog.

Fun Facts: Digital Sisterhood Network founder Ananda Leeke discovered Laura through her Facebook page postings about her work with Latinos in Social Media. In December 2011, Laura appeared on Digital Sisterhood Radio and participated in a panel discussion on how women transform health challenges into life opportunities with social media. Click here to listen to the show.  

1) How can people find you online?

2) Why did you start using social media?

I began using social media as early as high school, but really got serious about it after I decided to use blogging as a platform to raise much-needed awareness about Spina Bifida, the number one cause of paralysis in children in America, and a condition I was born with.  It was then that I really started using Facebook, Twitter, and other platforms for a cause which I truly believe is greater than me or any one person.

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

It has allowed me to connect with the best of the best– whether in business, medical, legal, artistic, and philanthropic paradigms, I have been blessed to make friends and build lasting relationships with people I’ve often only known online. It has offered me a higher purpose– to use technology to give a platform to a little-known cause (Spina Bifida), and to also engage with the Latino community in a way that I never did, despite growing up in Central Florida.  It has also given me the tools I require to become a leader of communities, such as LATISM Central Florida, and has provided me with the opportunity to become a social media consultant for a medical research company doing a study on Spina Bifida (@EBGenetico on Twitter, and EB Genético on Facebook).  Many people are often skeptical that social media has too much negative influence on society and on young generations, but my experiences are hard evidence that, when used to encourage and promote positive change and community involvement in different areas, social media truly is a force to be reckoned with– for GOOD.

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?

As a die-hard advocate for the Spina Bifida cause, as well as a supporter of many other civil rights causes, social media has been so instrumental in connecting me with leaders (both celebrities and unsung leaders) in different niches. I was interacting online with leaders and followers of the #LATISM community on Twitter and Facebook months before I met several of them at BlogHer ’10. I will always treasure the memory of recognizing familiar faces I had only seen as avatars and hugging these people in real life for the first time.  I never dreamed several years ago, that I would be such a respected member of several communities both online and off– and that I would even be invited to speak at conferences on topics that I’m truly passionate about.  Topics I usually speak about include how to create a community of followers and engage with them for the good of a cause. These are opportunities that I never imagined I’d have when I was in college, struggling to figure out what I’d specialize in.  Social media has also challenged me to find solutions to problems on my own– and it’s also taught me that I need to be humble and accept help when what I know isn’t working. Learning that your knowledge isn’t the be-all, end-all of the problems you will face is an important step in the process. There will always be people who are more knowledgable than you are in certain areas, and I’ve often needed to realize that there’s nothing wrong with that. In fact, learning where to get help and when to ask for it is to me, the hallmark of a true leader.

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 the sky’s the limit when it comes to the roles women can play in social media. Of course, I’ve focused chiefly on the roles of educator, advocate, and social do gooder because they are the roles I sought to adopt when I first started Holdin’ Out for a Hero.  But I have been continually amazed at how women have embraced and redefined the role of entrepreneur using online tools and platforms. Women are literally building business empires from the ground up online, and as women are also the chief influencers driving consumerism from their own households, they have that key insight about what consumers are looking for as an added bonus. Businesses and non-profits alike should take note that, if they want to remain in business and become household names, they need to tap into a previously underestimated resource– the power of women’s intuition. We will be the influencers leading the charge in all the areas that matter.

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

I consider myself to be an advocate and activist, not just for the Spina Bifida cause, but for health care issues, and Latino issues, and other “minority” causes.  In the near future, I also hope to adopt the role of brand ambassador for companies whose values are in line with my own.  I’m also a supporter of my friends and acquaintances who are seeking a platform, whether it’s sharing a link to something good and useful they are doing, or giving them some pointers on how to effectively engage people.

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

I think a big part of being a good leader is also being a good follower, because to be an effective leader, you have to understand why people are following what you do. I feel I’ve spent a vast majority of my life being a follower of other people because I believe in what they do, and it’s important to not lose sight of that. When you support what another person is doing, you are empowering them to become a leader. It’s not just about “Oh, I’m in charge here.” It’s about being a team player and supporting people even when they are doing things differently than you do.  You also need to have bulletproof integrity. You can’t allow someone to force you into compromising your values, by sharing an article or post about something that you don’t fully endorse or believe in. So, it’s about finding that balance where you can agree to disagree with your peers online, but you won’t do something that is in blatant contradiction to what your followers know and respect you for.  That being said, it’s not only okay to sometimes share the torch with the people whose messages you believe in– it’s vital to your credibility as a leader in the digital space. If you are territorial about your platform and don’t want to share it or encourage discussion, you come off as insecure about your own message. Be generous with others– but maintain the integrity of what you believe in.

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

I definitely have plans to expand my leadership roles in the digital space. There’s a new Web site in the works, but I’m a little superstitious so I won’t go into too much detail. I will say that I hope this new site, this new venture, will be embraced by the Digital Sisterhood community, as it is all about empowering social media engagers and redefining some already-stale roles the online space.  When it’s ready to launch, I hope I can turn to my friends at Digital Sisterhood for support!

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

I will have to name some of my LATISM hermanas, because if it were not for them, I truly wouldn’t even be doing this right now!  Ana Roca-Castro and Elianne Ramos are two social firecrackers who I love dearly as my sisters. They embraced me and took me under their wings when I was not yet known or recognized in the social media realm and blogosphere. Their lessons and conversations with them have provided me with so many resources, and I have them to thank for so many positive experiences during the past nearly three years of my life.  I must also acknowledge Kety Esquivel, one of my earliest online role models. She harnesses so much power with both the Latino and female communities.  Elisa Camahort page of BlogHer is one that I’ve been honored to meet in person. She is a social media force for the ages, and the community she has helped created is one that pays it forward, in providing support and platforms to women bloggers.  Really, there are just too many to name, and my leaving some out does not mean they haven’t greatly impacted my life. These are just some of my favorites, and among the first I connected with.

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

  • Allow others to become part of a community, and don’t let it be just you on your soapbox. Your brand is only as strong as your followers, and you need to give them the power to evangelize for you, too.
  • Don’t let your desire to remain consistent overpower your need to evolve. We ALL need to go through the process of evolution multiple times throughout our lives. Know that it is an organic process, and that it is a necessary one. Once you know who you are as a brand, it makes it easier for people to follow and tout you. Let your social media profiles reflect the desire to GROW and EVOLVE. People will respect you for that.
  • Do try to be consistent with your branding to an extent. Your Facebook fan pages and Twitter accounts should be a reflection for what you stand for in your branding. Share articles, videos, or other content that reflect your message(s). Don’t be afraid to be YOURSELF. You are your most important brand.

Meet Digital Sisterhood Leader Ana Lydia Ochoa-Monaco


Photo Credit: Ana Lydia Ochoa-Monaco

 

Meet Digital Sisterhood Leader Ana Lydia Ochoa-Monaco, founder of Latina Lifestyle Bloggers and CEO of padma media and marketing. Congratulations to Ana and her Latina Lifestyle Bloggers team on hosting the Latina Lifestyle Bloggers National Conference and Blogger Junket in April. Click here to watch a video of Ana discussing the April conference events.

 

Photo Credit: Latina Lifestyle Bloggers Logo

 

1) How can people find you online?

2) Why did you start using social media?

I started using social media, or “online relations” in the mid 1990’s, with the early on-set of bulletin boards and later chat rooms.

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

I built a separate business based on social media: The Latino & Latina Lifestyle Bloggers Collective in 2011.  On a personal level, I have met and connected with several people who I am fortunate to call my friends.

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

The “golden rules” apply online, as they do offline.  At the end of the day, business is not done with typewritten words at the other side of the computer screen. It’s done with real people.

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

Absolutely! Plans are underway to grow the Latina & Latino Lifestyle Bloggers Collective.

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

I don’t have a favorite, but I do admire women and men who are ethical, honest, and handle their online persona with the utmost respect for themselves and others.

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

  • Use it as a way to embrace others, not to spearhead hate or personal attacks.
  • Treat everyone you meet online as an influencer, regardless of their klout score or other influence measurement tool.
  • Be real.

 

Digital Sisterhood Leadership Project Profile – Rachel Matos


 

Photo Credit: Rachel Matos

Meet Digital Sisterhood Leader Rachel Matos.

1) How can people find you online?

2) Why did you start using social media?

I started using social media two or three years ago to promote my work as an actress and arts educator.  I’m no longer acting because I now have a job in social media, which I love.

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

It has given me work. I developed many friendships. I’m part of extraordinary communities with like-minded people. I realized that my all my work experiences can be used for a bigger purpose and cause.

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?

Since working with Latina Bloggers Connect (which started as a Twitter conversation with Ana Flores that lead to a job), I have been able to take on leadership roles as an Account Executive. This position has helped me make smart business decisions about my own blog and brand.  It has also opened other doors to write about arts and culture, which makes me a leader in using social media to promote the arts — especially as a Latina woman.

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?

They help other women out. I love that! For example, a few weeks ago several mothers initiated an online diaper drive.

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

I help provide technology help to Latina women who are growing their businesses as a part of my work with Latina Bloggers Connect (LBC). I also inform LBC followers about the different bloggers in our roster. We encourage growth and community.  For The Art Muse blog and web site, I want to inspire women to grab a camera, take pictures, go to art shows, make a collage, and enjoy the simpler things in life. Art can be fun, beautiful, and found in many things around us.

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

Watch what you say. There is nothing more annoying than passive aggressive tweets and being negative online. It looks bad. Save your gripes for offline.

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

I do! Right now, I’m on the journey and it’s growing organically. I have not set a goal because every week, the blog seems to pass a hurdle in the race without me thinking too much about it. I just work at it every day. Where it takes me, we shall see. I’m content knowing that I’ve inspired several bloggers to buy a camera and start shooting. The quality of their pictures and posts has given them more work. That feels good!

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

Carol Cain and Ana Flores.  But I also love Garance Dore, Shini Park, and many others.

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

  • Engage and bring your brand to life with conversation.
  • Link to your work.
  • Link to the work of other people who fall in line with your brand.