Meet Digital Sisterhood Leader Kathryn Buford


Photo Credit: Kathryn Buford

Photo Credit: Kathryn Buford

Photo Credit: LiveUnchained.com

Photo Credit: LiveUnchained.com

Meet Digital Sisterhood Leader Kathryn Buford, Co-Founder and Chief Visionary Officer of Live Unchained. Kathryn is also a writer, digital media consultant, and sociology Ph.D. student at the University of Maryland, College Park.

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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 Twitter at the recommendation of my friend Michelle, Facebook (after a long hiatus) at the recommendation of my friend Ciara, and created a blog at the recommendation of my friend Abadeu. My friends were active on these outlets and they recommend I joined to promote my organization, my baby, Live Unchained.

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

Wow, I don’t think this is enough space 🙂 Personally, I have built some great relationships with artists, activists and experts across the country and world. Here, I’d like to give shout-outs to my friends Kristen Nicole (Texas) and Lucia Asue (Equatorial Guinea) who have been so supportive. And, our offline relationships first began with requests to feature them on Live Unchained. It’s help me realize that my organization can be everything I want it to be and more because I get to meet talented people from around the world who have great ideas to share. From a business perspective, it helps me to establish Live Unchained as a taste maker and international platform for women’s creative works across Africa and the diaspora. Also, Twitter, especially, helps me appreciate the beauty in brevity and not overthinking things.

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?

Well, actually, it has taught me that sometimes being a leader means letting other people lead. Thanks to the persistent advice of one of my advisors, I learned to accept that I am not superwoman and cannot be on Twitter, Facebook, Pinterest and writing regular phenomenal blog posts 24/7. So, I’ve decided to take on interns to help out with our social media presence. And, as I lead them, I plan to play to their strengths and encourage them to share their own ideas. I want our collective internship experience to be an exercise in communal leadership.

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 that’s a great list and I think what I’m about to say is reflected in those roles. To that I would add that women lead through demonstrations of humanity. By that I mean, I’ve seen a lot of women share vulnerable emotional sides of them through their blog posts and social media that they normally wouldn’t share otherwise. And, these aren’t melodramatic women that just want some attention. I respect that and it has encouraged me to be bolder about what I reveal in the hopes that it will resonate with other women as well. One of my greatest inspirations concerning this kind of leadership is Minna Salami of www.msafropolitan.com.

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

As a doctoral student, I think I’m leading by example, showing how scholars can use social media to pursue entrepreneurial endeavors and engage people outside of academia.

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

Well, I’ve published so many of these lessons as Twitter and Facebook posts, so I’ll quote my own self here.  I’ve learned: You can’t wait for other people to “get” what you’re doing before you start doing it. Just because you’re not getting the results you want, when you want, doesn’t mean you’re not doing anything right. You’re unchained when uncertainty stops stopping you. Three things an artist must protect are their time, energy and emotional well-being. Have fun, but never surf without protection

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

Yes. But, they’re still in the oven, so I’m not really to pull them out yet 🙂

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

Ananda Leeke, Jessica Solomon (@jesssolomon), Lulu Kitololo (@afrilove), Minna Salami (@msafropolitan), Kristen Nicole (@kristennicole2), Laverne Wyatt (@lavernewyatt), Daisy Giles (@daisygiles), Kesha Bruce (@keshabruce) and Ciara Calbert (@blogofciarac) are some of my favorite social media women leaders. What I love about these women is that they write from a place of sincerity and take themselves seriously as entrepreneurs.

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

As far as expressing your personal leadership brand, I’d say it’s important to not overhink it. Recognize what’s important to you and let a theme emerge. If you look back over your life, you’ll see a theme in terms of your recurring interests. When it comes to defining your personal brand, I’d say note your personal core values like honest, creativity and freedom. Then ask yourself what colors and symbols reflect those core values. These colors and symbols can be combined to help create a simple clear logo and color scheme for your online presence.

Meet Digital Sisterhood Leader Melissa Bugaj


Photo Credit: Melissa Bugaj

Photo Credit: Melissa Bugaj

 

Photo Credit: NightLightStories.net

Photo Credit: NightLightStories.net

 

Meet Digital Sisterhood Leader Melissa Bugaj, co-founder of NightLifeStories.net and According to Mags blog.

Fun Facts: Digital Sisterhood Network founder Ananda Leeke met Melissa during the Podcasting 101 session at the BlogHer 2012 Conference in New York City. After the session, they chatted about Melissa’s podcast series. Ananda became an instant fan!

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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 began using social media in 2008 when we started our podcast, Night Light Stories. I started a Facebook page and then followed with a Twitter page.

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

Social media has allowed me to connect with other people who share the same interests. It also has given me opportunities to learn more about podcasting and blogging. I’ve been able to utilize social media to view professionals in this area and learn from their expertise.

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 we have been producing the podcast for five years, we have helped others who are launching podcasts or thinking of starting one. We gave them tips on what we have learned through the years.  An example would be when we asked to interview the “Mommy Podcast” founders. We compared stories and shared our recording skills which helped to improve our podcasts. Everyone had something to share.

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?

Women are also trailblazers in social media. There are always new types of media or subjects to address. Women usually take a more sensitive subject and bring it into light with a little bit of sensitivity.

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

I am a storyteller, an educator, a creator, and an advocate for family time and providing positive learning to children.  We have built a community of listeners. I mentor my friends who are just starting out in the social media world. I promote myself and others who I find influential. You should always share other resources that are positive and useful. I think that by working together and supporting each other, that can help to build a strong sense of community.

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

I have learned that you are nothing without the support of others around you. Everyone out there has something to offer. You never know how you can help someone each day. Wen you do help someone, it makes you feel like you are contributing. You can’t do it all on your own and finding people who can share ideas is invaluable.

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

I would really like to be able to expand my leadership roles in the digital space. One thing I would like to do is apply to speak at conferences about podcasting or writing. I feel that after five years of experience of producing this podcast with my husband, we have some useful information and tips to share.

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

One of my favorite social media women leaders is Mur Lafferty, host of “I Should Be Writing” and the editor of Escape Pod (science fiction podcast). Mur is a writer who interviews other authors on her podcast in order to learn from them and share valuable writing and publishing tips with her listeners.

I also admire MommyCast founders Gretchen and Paige. They were one of the first groups of “mommy podcasters.” They interview the latest movies, products, and ideas for raising kids.

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

In the 21st century, women are providing a multi-model experience. This is a way to draw in a maximum amount listeners and readers. It will help make others to feel comfortable in communicating with you as a host if you are seen in writing, video, and audio.

Meet Digital Sisterhood Leader Jana Baldwin


Photo Credit: Jana Baldwin

Photo Credit: Jana Baldwin

Meet Digital Sisterhood Leader Jana Baldwin, founder of Northwest to Southeast blog.

 

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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 Facebook in 2005.

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

Social media has helped me connect with friends, gain employment, gain a graduate degree, communicate with community, and develop relationships with nonprofit organizations.

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?

At this point I am hoping to make a career utilizing social media.

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?

Provide relevant, specific information during emergencies.

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

Public Safety Chair in my neighborhood and Public Health Communications and Marketing expert.

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

Networking and writing.

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

My plans include improving my  website and building mobile apps.

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

One of my favorite social media women leaders is Tracey Webb, founder of BlackGivesBack.com. We have built a relationship by meeting online. As a result, I became a part of Tracey’s Black Benefactors organization. She has given me motivation and strength in a community that I need.

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

Women can share their expertise, opinions, and emergency information to define and express their personal leadership brand.

Meet Digital Sisterhood Leader Kristin Glasbergen


Photo Credit: Kristin Glasbergen

Photo Credit: Kristin Glasbergen

 

Meet Digital Sisterhood Leader Kristin Glasbergen, co-founder of HomemadeFrontier.com and founder of Kristin’s Glas.

Fun Facts: Kristin and Digital Sisterhood Network (DSN) founder Ananda Leeke met during the BlogHer 2011 Conference held in San Diego, California. They had some great conversations during the BlogHer breakfast and recorded an impromptu Cinchcast interview with Ananda’s smartphone. Since then, they reconnected at the BlogHer 2012 Conference in New York City and have followed each other on social media.

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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 Facebook in 2008 to keep in touch with friends in other parts of the country. I started using Twitter in 2009 to keep up with celebrities. I don’t follow many celebrities anymore.

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

It’s allowed me to build a network of friends that I don’t have in my area.  It’s also allowed me to learn and grow, as a person, as a writer and as a crafter.

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 and the opportunity to share topics that I am passionate about. A space to share that without judgement, which I don’t often have in my ‘real’ life.

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 Ananda covered it all.

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

I’m not sure I play a leadership role in social media. If I do I’m not actively doing so.

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

I’ve learned to think twice before I publish. I’ve learned to unfollow or unfriend anyone who is overly negative, social media is part of my life and I don’t want to invite negativity into my life. I’ve learned to turn my negative emotions into something that is constructive before sharing online.  I’ve learned to apologize and take responsibility when I put my foot in my mouth.

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

I would like to continue to build my presence.

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

I admire women who are at ease online, it doesn’t matter how many followers they have. I like quick wit and interact.

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

  • Support others doing similar things.
  • Listen and interact with people trying to do what you are.
  • Be yourself.

Meet Digital Sisterhood Leader Deborah Shane


Photo Credit: Deborah Shane

Photo Credit: Deborah Shane

Meet Digital Sisterhood Leader Deborah Shane, a Top 100 Small Business Champion, Career Transition Author, Personal Branding Strategist, Media Host, Writer, and Speaker.

Fun Facts: Digital Sisterhood Network (DSN) founder Ananda Leeke and Deborah met while serving on the Podcasting 101 Panel at the BlogHer 2012 Conference in New York City. While working with Deborah to prepare for the panel discussion, Ananda became a huge fan of her work!  

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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 was an early adopter with using  email. I started seriously using social media in 2007 when I launched my consultancy and training company to build my community and reach.

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

Build communication bridges, communities and conversations about the issues and professional areas I advocate for and am passionate about.

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 tapped and sought out for speaking, writing and community projects. I host a blog, but also write for several prominent blogs in my professional space, and host a weekly radio podcast that is now up to 94,000 downloads and pageviews, on BlogtalkRadio.

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 am seeing women in politics, government, medical, social issues, entertainment and philanthropy using social media to build reach and impact. We just heard and saw Martha Stewart, Katie Couric and Soledad OBrien at the Blogher 12 talk about their activities and how social media is a central driver of awareness.

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

I was named a Top 100 Small Business Champion for 2012 by SmallBizTrends.com!

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

Give, share, connect and receive and watch what happens! Niche communities of people are gathering, and finding each other to advance passion and causes!

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

I plan to continue to contribute and engage and know that more doors will open to serve and help.

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

There are so many great examples of women demonstrating leadership using social media. I am so grateful to see how it is advancing the impact women have today and will continue to have as the generations shift.

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

  • Blog and write about things you are passionate and knowledgeable about regularly.
  • Support and advocate for other people who you believe in, admire and want to emulate.
  • Connect and introduce great people to each other who have you in common and build your tribes!

Meet Digital Sisterhood Leader Tomika DePriest


Photo Credit: Tomika DePriest

Photo Credit: Tomika DePriest

Meet Digital Sisterhood Leader Tomika DePriest, Director of Communications at Spelman College.

Fun Facts: Digital Sisterhood Network (DSN) founder Ananda Leeke and Tomika are both from Michigan. They met during Digital Doyennes: Wisdom from the Women who Lead in Social Media and Digital Innovation, an event sponsored by Spelman College’s Digital Moving Image Salon and Women in Film and Television Atlanta in 2011. They reconnected during Spelman’s  Women of Color Leadership Conference in 2012. They continue to support each other online and offline. 

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Digital Sisterhood Leadership Project (#DSLead) Interview:

1) How can people find you online?

2) When did you start using social media?

I started using social media in 2006.

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

Social media has allowed me to make global connections, get real-time feedback, and engage others in a 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?

I’ve used social media to leverage my leadership role by placing management of these tools under the operation of the Office of Communications at Spelman College.

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?

Spelman College faculty use social media as a teaching and learning engagement tool. Writing blogs, Twitter chats and YouTube video are just some examples.

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

I serve as the Team leader for the launch of the Interactive Unit in Spelman’s Office of Communications, which includes Twitter, Facebook, Flickr, LinkedIn, a digital magazine titled Inside Spelman, a weekly e-mail newsletter titled Spelman Connection, and www.spelman.edu.

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

To always be a student of field, but to not try to be all things to all people. It’s most important to place stakes where the majority of your primary constituents reside.

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

I plan to continue working with the Spelman team to keep the college on the cutting edge of technology as it relates to engaging constituents in the digital sphere.

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

Patricia Cesaire, Director of Social Media Strategy at Black Enterprise (BE) is one of my favorite social media women leaders because of the way she uses the platform to position BE’s brand as a go-to source of commentary for business, technology, and tech news and information.

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

  • Use it to blog daily tips or thoughts on a particular topic.
  • Use it to host 20-minute Twitter or Facebook chats on a timely topic.
  • Use it to generate focus group- type feedback on concepts, designs or marketing ideas.

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 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.