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 Julia Coney


Photo Credit: Julia Coney

Photo Credit: Julia Coney

Meet Digital Sisterhood Leader Julia Coney, editor and founder of AllAboutThePretty.net, a niche lifestyle website that is dedicated to curated information on beauty, travel, food, and yoga. Julia was named 2012 Digital Sister of the Year – Lifestylista.

Fun Facts: Julia and Digital Sisterhood Network (DSN) founder Ananda Leeke were born on the same day in December, live in Washington, D.C., and love France, traveling, yoga, and Tranquil Space yoga studio. They followed each other on various social media platforms for several years before meeting in person at the DSN Fierce Living in Fashion Tweet Up held at Violet Boutique in 2011. Ananda enjoys reading about Julia’s beauty and lifestyle adventures (especially her Paris Beauty Bloggers Trip in October 2012) on AllAboutThePretty.net because they inspire her to  live a beautiful and bold life!

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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 allowed me to meet unique individuals, expand my business, and create a sense of community for myself.

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 have a diverse readership. I’ve met readers all over the world through my travels. I’m also able to keep in touch with new friends in far away places because of social media. I used social media on my writing assignment in Buenos Aires. I put a mention on Twitter, which was read by a friend, which was given to a food blogger, who invited me to dinner at a supper club in Buenos Aires. It was wonderful and never would have happened any other way.

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?

Wow. I think you knocked them all out of the park. But, I would also add connector.

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

I play the role of creator, curator, educator, influencer, and storyteller. My site is a story of my life and how I live.

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

Keep learning. It constantly changes and you must stay up on the changes.

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

I’m still working this part out.

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

My favorite social media women leaders include Sloane Davidson, Bevy Smith, Ananda Leeke, the Blogalicious ladies, Shameeka Ayers, and too many to name.

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

  • We can use social media to ignite the world of their own true power and personal brand.
  • We can connect with like-minded women, promote other women, and stay engaged in the social media world.
  • Also, don’t put anything out in the social media world that you would not want to be read on the front page of the New York Times.

Meet Digital Sisterhood Leader Christine Celise Johnson


Photo Credit: Christine Johnson

Photo Credit: Christine Johnson

Meet Digital Sisterhood Leader Christine Celise Johnson, founder of IamDtech. Christine was named 2012 Digital Sister of the Year – Empowerista.

Fun Facts: Digital Sisterhood Network founder Ananda Leeke met Christine a few years ago while hanging out in front of Busboys and Poets in Washington, DC. They exchanged contact information and began following each other on Facebook and Twitter. When Christine launched IamDtech, Ananda became an instant fan and supporter.

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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 engaging via social media very hesitantly sometime prior to 2008 by using MySpace at my sister’s encouragement. From there I discovered Facebook and found it to be an awesome way to nurture present relationships and develop others. It was the perfect platform to do what I do very naturally – communicate and share myself. But then I discovered Twitter and it rocked my universe! My world exploded and that became the most amazing media for me professionally.

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

Social media has extended my reach professionally in exponential ways. I have been able to rebuild my personal brand using social media as well as build my business. I hit the ground running with nothing more than a Twitter handle and a dream almost a year ago.

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?

It has helped me make connections and develop relationships with some key players in my industry. A well orchestrated tweet or follow can be life changing.

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?

Healers

The spiritual feminine runs amok via words of love, kindness, inspirational quotes, encouragement and verse.

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

I am a connector. I connect my Facebook Group members, Twitter followers, and friends with relevant and timely information via social media. I also create awareness around the topic of diversity in technology.

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

Don’t just post, tweet or otherwise for the heck of it. Provide relevant substance; unique content.

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

Yes, it’s a secret. (-:

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

Elianna Ramos @ERGeekGoddess is the quintessential digital sistah community builder.

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

  • Share relevant information related to a topic of interest. Become the go to for information
  • Blog, blog, and blog.
  • Utilize video as an avenue to provide commentary and introduce yourself to audiences.

Meet Digital Sisterhood Leader Suzanne Turner


Photo Credit: Suzanne Turner

Photo Credit: Suzanne Turner

Meet Digital Sisterhood Leader Suzanne Turner, founder of Turner Strategies, Inc. and Feminism 2.0 (Fem 2.0). Suzanne was named 2012 Digital Sister of the Year – Evangelista.

Fun Facts: Digital Sisterhood Network founder Ananda Leeke met Suzanne while sitting in the audience during the Fem 2.0 conference’s closing session in 2009. They struck up a conversation about the power of women. A few days later, Ananda wrote a poem about her conference experience and sent it to Suzanne and her Fem 2.0 team. They posted it on the Fem 2.0 web site (one of Ananda’s favorite online destinations). The positive feedback Ananda received from the Fem 2.0 community inspired her to develop a digital project that celebrates women online. Since then, they have reconnected and spent time chatting during the Blogalicious Weekend Conference and TEDxAdamsMorganWomen event.

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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 embraced every new tool as soon as it came out, since waaaaay back in the 1990s. I love to drive the conversation and listen to others on many important issues. Plus it’s fun to reconnect and stay connected with all sorts of people.

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

Social media has allowed me to create and participate in amazing communities – both personal and professional. It has allowed me to make new friends, keep old ones, and create alliances with new partners-in-crime in social change.

4) In her 2011 Digital Women: from geeks to mainstream presentation that was given at the WIFT International Women Conference for Digital Women, Dr. Taly Weiss, a social psychologist and CEO/Founder of Trendspotting, concluded that “women are dominant digital users – they breathe and live digital.”  Dr. Weiss’ conclusion echoes BlogHer’s 2011 Social Media Matters Study findings.  They include 87 million women (18 to 76 years old) are now online, 69 million women use social media weekly, 80 million women use social media monthly, and 55 million women read blogs monthly. These facts illustrate the power and presence women have in the digital space. Now that’s Digital Sisterhood!

How has social media helped you carve out leadership roles as you interact online and offline?

Social media has helped me transform old ways of doing social change into new, vibrant more dynamic and interactive programs. As a co-founder of Feminism 2.0, I helped to introduce the women’s advocacy community to social media (many powerful websites and amazing bloggers were already active, but the offline organizations had not yet caught up).

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?

They use their social media venues to extend their reach and influence in their own unique voices.

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

  • Specialist in particular types of information
  • Agent of social change
  • Mom
  • Friend
  • Agitator

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

Patience and generosity are key to online success. Give other people credit as much as you possibly can.

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

Yes, I am becoming much more active in online community building for social issues.

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

  • Soraya Chemaly, an amazing blogger and new voice
  • Shireen Mitchell, who knows everything and everyone
  • Gloria Pan, an extremely creative thinker who is always behind the scenes
  • Kristin Rowe Finkbeiner, the dynamo behind the success of MomsRising
  • Violet Tsagkas, editor of Fem2pt0
  • Sarah Burris – living her life outloud on her blog and using her skills to help unions
  • Elana Levin, amazing on and offline organizer
  • Rachel Perrone, who speaks social media as well as any other language

There are too many others to name.

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

  • Speak up about things that are important to you.
  • Speak from the heart.
  • Be generous in everything — especially with link love. Tweet love, resources, and time.

Meet Digital Sisterhood Leader Monica A. Coleman


Photo Credit: Monica A. Coleman

Photo Credit: Monica A. Coleman

Meet Digital Sisterhood Leader Monica A. Coleman, author, founder of Beautiful Mind blog, minister, and professor. Monica was named 2012 Digital Sister of the Year – Enchantista.

Fun Facts: Monica and Digital Sisterhood Network founder Ananda Leeke were introduced via Facebook by their mutual friend, Professor Shayne Lee. Once Ananda started following Monica on Twitter and reading her blog, she became an instant fan. Monica was featured as a guest on Digital Sisterhood Radio’s Feminism Online Project series in 2011.

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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 think I joined Facebook in 2007 and it went from there . . .

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

Personally, it allows me to keep in contact with family and friends across the years and miles. I’ve moved a lot and it helps me to feel connected with people I care about. Professionally, I’ve been able to connect with people I may never meet in person even as we have shared interests. We can share information; I learn a lot from the people I follow on Twitter. When I have marketing decisions to make for my business, I’ll ask my tweeps and Facebook fans and get really great responses. Also, social media spreads the work and writing I do into arenas I would not ordinarily be a part of. The work in social media has not only helped recruit students to my institution (where I teach), but has directly increased my consulting work, writing, features in other media, and speaking engagements. People will literally say, “I read your blog/ follow you on twitter/ watched video on your website . . . and thought you would be great for X or Y.”

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?

My blog on faith and depression has been a real blessing for me and a ministry. I’ve received emails from people in India and Haiti who read my blog and say that particular entries really encouraged them – even in a context so different from my own. My most recent book was titled from an email I received from someone in an inpatient care center who read my blog and said that it helped her to feel like she is not alone. The book is entitled Not Alone: Reflections on Faith and Depression. As I’ve pushed myself to share more of my experiences and struggles, I’ve found many people – men and women (but it seems to be primarily women) who relate, but have not heard their experiences given voice as they should be.

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?

The 12 roles listed here seem fairly thorough.

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

Advocate and educator

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

Social media breaks down barriers that I find in face-to-face encounters such that I connect with people I might meet or choose to befriend in other settings. Thus I’d say that social media activity can really broaden our worlds. Some topics are easier to talk about and learn about online – with a level of anonymity. My work is in sexual and domestic violence and mental health advocacy. There are still stigmas in these areas and being online often gives people spaces to learn about and grow and express in ways that are more comfortable for sensitive topics.

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

My plans include publicizing my recent book primarily online – through Twitter and Facebook campaigns, a virtual book tour, and a book trailer video. I hope to do more classes online – marketed almost completely through social media.

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

  • Melissa Harris-Perry is just a media maven for her website,Twitter, Facebook, and MSNBC.
  • The Crunk Feminist Collective  work together as a collective, and are bold, passionate and vulnerable about a variety of topics related to black feminism.
  • Najeeba Syeed-Miller is committed to interreligious dialogue and brings a lot of insight to her tweets and Facebook status updates.
  • Thema Bryant-Davis has this great Twitter therapy with insightful and pithy truisms that are real inspiration. She also has an online radio program that advocates women’s health.

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

  • Blogging about their commitments – thereby serving as advocates who educate.
  • Twitter is great for growing a circle of friends and followers – expanding one’s market.
  • Through webinars, teleconferences, online classes, blogs, online radio etc. women can establish themselves as experts in their fields and gain a global following that is simply not possible in person.

Meet Digital Sisterhood Leader Kathy Korman Frey


Photo Credit: The Hot Mommas Project

Photo Credit: The Hot Mommas Project

Meet Digital Sisterhood Leader Kathy Korman Frey, founder of The Hot Mommas Project. Kathy was named 2012 Digital Sister of the Year – Empowerista.

Fun Facts: Digital Sisterhood Network founder Ananda Leeke met Kathy during a Fabulous Women Business Owners DC’s meeting in December 2010. Kathy served as a the guest speaker for the meeting and discussed the importance of mentoring in women’s lives. She also introduced The Hot Mommas Project, a free online database of case studies written by women entrepreneurs that focus on real-life scenarios and solutions. The Project is housed at the Center for Entrepreneurial Excellence at the George Washington University School of Business, where she serves as Entrepreneur in Residence and teaches Women’s Entrepreneurial Leadership.

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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 for personal use, blogging to get on a writing schedule and experiment, and Twitter at the behest of Guy Kawasaki. That was the real jump in where I saw social media as a currency for influence and action. My experimenting from before – and general interest in tech – came together. I hire many interns, but am often the most techy even though I could be their mom. It’s a true interest, which is key. If it’s a chore, that’s not a great starting point.

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

Social media has allowed me to spread the wealth. In every sphere, people want to talk to me about social media. I come from a traditional business background and, thus, am the “token social media person” wherever I go. I am a part-time faculty member at George Washington University. The Dean wanted our department chair to use Twitter. He had me come in, give him some pointers, and always has me retweet him. I also got my former professor Rosabeth Kanter on Twitter. She’s brilliant.

Social media has allowed me to create wealth. I actually got on Twitter as an experiment, expecting nothing. I’ve gotten speaking engagements, sold several hundred tickets to events, and made connections that led to my writing for Maria Shriver. These are just a few examples.

Social media women are special. They say yes. All hands on deck. They’re in. When starting the Hot Mommas Project – now the world’s largest collection of online role models for women and girls – I sent an email to my personal database of about 3,000 or so. How many folks wrote cases? Maybe two. Everyone that first year, and since then, has come from social media.

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?

Aside from the above, I was specifically approached to serve on a board to head up their social media efforts. This was an aging services organization and, normally, I am the token business person. The board members had come to take notice of my social media leadership, specifically, and I have a Harvard MBA and teach in a business school! Just to give you a sense of how much import they place on social media. They wanted THAT information from me versus my business skills. It was awesome. In terms of leadership online, that is an interesting question. I don’t really think about it until someone comes up to me at a conference and says “Take a picture of me with @ChiefHotMomma!” I kind of laugh, though, because I am enthralled with the amazing women I meet online and am always thinking “What’s your story, hmmmm, I bet another woman or girl would LOVE to learn about you.”

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 like to see women at the tops of lists. If I had my druthers, for instance, there would be women on the boards of major social media companies. Let’s start there and work down. The venture capital firms and angels investing…like @Springboard and Golden Seed to start. Yes. Then women as inventors of applications (apps)and tech. Good. See inspirational science, technology, engineering, and math (STEM) stories on the HotMommasProject.com case Library or enroll in ACTiVATE. Women, everywhere, get your tech on. Use it. read about it. blog. Try to make money from the blogging and tweeting. Or, just have fun. But, no matter what, introduce your kids – and especially girls – to tech and #STEM early.  @idTechCamps. Check the National Girls Collaborative Project…a clearinghouse of STEM programs for girls. Go!

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

I try to inspire other women. Not just mommas (which is a funny slang term to get attention – it works!)… Hot Mommas = Dynamic women of ALL ages.

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

  • Develop a voice or regimen and stick with it.
  • Don’t be cheesy. Don’t be a taker.
  • It’s a good natural overflow for social people. It’s also a good outlet for introverts. The melting pot.
  • Many people view social media as a currency.
  • It’s in print, make your mom proud.

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

We’d like to do an app. We’re also getting into Google+ which we see as an inevitability and trying to stake claims in video and Amazon via key words through ebooks. Also, getting some of our content up via ClickBank may be more appropriate for us than a blog which we’ve never done the best job with.

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

Tinu Abayomi-Paul @tinu – current editor of WomenGrowBusiness.com, Shonali Burke @shonali – past editor of WomenGrowBusiness.com, Jill Foster @jillfoster – founding editor of WomenGrowBusiness.com, Jenny Lawson @thebloggess – too funny for words, Ann Handley @marketingprofs widely known as social media goddess, Elisa All -@elisatalk an amazing entrepreneur who sold her company to Disney Digital, Rieva Lesonsky @rieva – a former editor of Entrepreneur magazine – she rocks, and my former professor Rosabeth Kanter @rosabethkanter – super brilliant.

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

  • Be the best at something. If your profile says “best at this” or “global leader at x” the social media brand is just an extension of that excellence.
  • Find your voice ratio. Is it 70% info links, 20% interaction, 10% humor? Whatever it is, find it, tweak it, work it. Reinventing the wheel and aimless wandering is tiring, and is impossible to communicate to a team. (Even if you don’t have one now, always be thinking “repeatable process” for scale in future.)
  • Lead. Sounds simple, but, are you? Contribute to your field, your topic, with your words and actions. The rest will take care of itself.

Meet Digital Sisterhood Leader Stephanie Piche


Photo Credit: WebSeriesNetwork.com

Photo Credit: WebSeriesNetwork.com

Meet Digital Sisterhood Leader Stephanie Piche, founder of Mingle Media TV Network. Stephanie was named 2012 Digital Sister of the Year – Creativista.

Fun Facts: Stephanie and Digital Sisterhood Network founder Ananda Leeke first met on MomTV in 2009. Stephanie created and launched MomTV’s online web chat community. She also trained and supported Ananda while she hosted her first online yoga class for social media users on MomTV. When Stephanie launched Mingle Media TV Network in 2010, Ananda became an instant fan!

DSN_LLL150

Digital Sisterhood Leadership Project (#DSLead) Interview:

1) How can people find you online?

2) Why did you start using social media?

I’m a geek – and used Instant messaging with ICQ and AOL back in the early 90’s to stay connected to co-workers initially.

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

Build my brand, make a business for myself, build community, and stay connected to my “tribe.”

4) In her 2011 Digital Women: from geeks to mainstream presentation that was given at the WIFT International Women Conference for Digital Women, Dr. Taly Weiss, a social psychologist and CEO/Founder of Trendspotting, concluded that “women are dominant digital users – they breathe and live digital.”  Dr. Weiss’ conclusion echoes BlogHer’s 2011 Social Media Matters Study findings.  They include 87 million women (18 to 76 years old) are now online, 69 million women use social media weekly, 80 million women use social media monthly, and 55 million women read blogs monthly. These facts illustrate the power and presence women have in the digital space. Now that’s Digital Sisterhood!

How has social media helped you carve out leadership roles as you interact online and offline?

I believe that more people who know who you are online and then meet you in person become better friends and colleagues. Social networking helps you build your name and you solidify that in person.

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?

Support system

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

Advocate, community builder, creator, curator, educator, influencer, mentor, motivator, promoter, social do gooder, storyteller, and thought leader (AND mother, friend and support system)

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

If you are FAKE – people will find out and you will lose.

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

Yes – that is under wraps for now – but it will be coming soon for public sharing. 🙂

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

  • Joy Rose – promotion of women throughout all of history
  • Ananda Leeke – support and balance of women
  • Leah Segedie – healthy lifestyle for women and their families

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

  • Advocate off line not just online. You are more powerful when you have more channels who know you.
  • Give back. Don’t just ask people to help you – seek out those you can support.
  • Stop and help other women who aren’t digital to see the benefits. There are still a lot of women who are not using social media to connect and expand.

Meet Digital Sisterhood Leader Jewel Figueras


Photo Credit: Jewel Figueras

Photo Credit: Jewel Figueras

Meet Digital Sisterhood Leader Jewel Figueras. Jewel was named 2012 Digital Sister of the Year – Lifestylista.

Fun Facts: Jewel and Digital Sisterhood Network founder Ananda Leeke met for the first time during the Blogalicious Weekend Conference in Miami Beach, Florida in 2010. After one conversation, Ananda became a fan of Jewel’s kindness, generosity, humor, joie de vivre, and fabulous style. They reconnected during a Digital Sisterhood Radio interview about Blogalicious and while Jewel was visiting her family in the Washington, D.C. area. 

DSN_LLL150

Digital Sisterhood Leadership Project (#DSLead) Interview:

1) How can people find you online?

2) Why did you start using social media?

I’ve used social media since the early 90s, because I was curious about the “new” World Wide Web. I quickly found America Online and then other services like Prodigy, Eudora, etc.

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

Social media has afforded me a lifestyle that I never dreamed of–complete with entrepreneurship, travel, exposure, and meeting tons of great people.

4) In her 2011 Digital Women: from geeks to mainstream presentation that was given at the WIFT International Women Conference for Digital Women, Dr. Taly Weiss, a social psychologist and CEO/Founder of Trendspotting, concluded that “women are dominant digital users – they breathe and live digital.”  Dr. Weiss’ conclusion echoes BlogHer’s 2011 Social Media Matters Study findings.  They include 87 million women (18 to 76 years old) are now online, 69 million women use social media weekly, 80 million women use social media monthly, and 55 million women read blogs monthly. These facts illustrate the power and presence women have in the digital space. Now that’s Digital Sisterhood!

How has social media helped you carve out leadership roles as you interact online and offline?

Social media has helped me become an on-air “Social Media Expert” for a local news station. I’ve also been named to the Advisory Board of Hispanicize. I’ve spoken at numerous events and have become a leader in the South Florida Social Media community.

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

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

I agree with all of these roles.

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

I’ve learned to trust myself and intuition. I’ve learned that there is value in the knowledge that I have. I’ve learned that anyone can become a leader in the digital space. It’s the great equalizer.

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

I have learned to not make plans in the digital space but rather to simply walk the path–letting it lead me.

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

My favorite social media leaders include Jennifer James because of her work in both the profit and nonprofit worlds.

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

Women can express their brand by always speaking and writing in their authentic voice. They can use their social media platforms to address their personal passions.

Meet Digital Sisterhood Leader Elayne Fluker


Photo Credit: Elayne Fluker

Meet Digital Sisterhood Leader Elayne Fluker, founder of ChicRebellion.tv, the FIRST AND ONLY Internet TV network that develops, produces, distributes and syndicates original web series programming for women of color.

Fun Fact: Elayne and Digital Sisterhood Network founder Ananda Leeke recently met for the first time at the DigitalUnDivided.com’s #FOCUS100 Symposium in New York City. Prior to meeting in person, they followed each other on Twitter. Ananda also was already a big fan of ChicRebellion.tv.

1) How can people find you online?

2) Why did you start using social media?

I started using social media regularly in 2009. I could see that it was becoming an important way to stay connected.

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

Social media has allowed me to stay connected to friends, colleagues and associates around the world. Not only is it one of the best ways to keep your network informed about what you’re doing, it’s a key way to stay in the loop about what others are doing. It opens the door to endless opportunities, especially if you’re an entrepreneur who is open to partnerships with brands and individuals who have a good synergy with your company or project.

4) In her 2011 Digital Women: from geeks to mainstream presentation that was given at the WIFT International Women Conference for Digital Women, Dr. Taly Weiss, a social psychologist and CEO/Founder of Trendspotting, concluded that “women are dominant digital users – they breathe and live digital.” Dr. Weiss’ conclusion echoes BlogHer’s 2011 Social Media Matters Study findings. They include 87 million women (18 to 76 years old) are now online, 69 million women use social media weekly, 80 million women use social media monthly, and 55 million women read blogs monthly. These facts illustrate the power and presence women have in the digital space. Now that’s Digital Sisterhood!

How has social media helped you carve out leadership roles as you interact online and offline?

Social media has allowed me to stay connected to other leaders and peers within my industry of media and beyond, especially the powerhouse women I know–and those I’ve come to know– through different social media platforms. It allows me to form and expand my own community of thought leaders and innovators who are important to me and to interact with them in a space that works for us all.

5) Social media has helped women become Digital Sisterhood Leaders, ambassadors of social expression who share what they are passionate about online. In her upcoming book, Digital Sisterhood: Fierce Living Online for 25 Years (Fall 2012), Ananda Leeke, founder of the Digital Sisterhood Network, writes, “Without even knowing it, women have become Digital Sisterhood Leaders as they use their social media platforms to advocate causes; to build communities; to create apps, art, books, businesses, products, publications, services, tools, and webisodes; to curate content; to educate and inform; to give voice to their thoughts as subject matter experts, thought leaders, and brand ambassadors; to share information and experiences; to explore and experiment with new technologies as early adopters and trendsetters; to engage in social good; to influence others with their lifestyles and personal interests; to inspire and motivate; to mentor; to network; to tell their personal stories; and to promote and celebrate the expertise, gifts, and talents of others. Based on my online and offline interactions, I have identified 12 key leadership roles they play: advocate, community builder, creator, curator, educator, influencer, mentor, motivator, promoter, social do gooder, storyteller, and thought leader.”

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

Connector

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

Motivator, advocate, connector, and positive role model

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

Every thought, every word, communicated in social media matters. You never know who is watching, listening, and believing what you release into the social media universe, so it is important to take care in what you offer.

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

As the founder and CEO of ChicRebellion.tv, the first and only Internet TV network producing and airing original web series programming for women of color, I plan to continue creating a place within the digital space where women of color can go to see content that is a true reflection of who they are. As someone who has worked in media, both print and digital, for more than 15 years, finding a space for us has always been my passion. Now, it’s about CREATING that space–and because ChicRebellion.tv lives in the digital space, women from around the world have access.

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

Joan Morgan, Ava DuVernay and Shelby Knox are but a few. I am inspired and energized as a woman not only by their words, but by their works.

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

  • Be authentic.
  • Connect with women who inspire you.
  • Support more than you “promote.”

Meet Digital Sister Leader Ericka Tinsley — She’s headed to #Blogalicious12!


Photo Credit: Ericka Tinsley

Meet Digital Sister Leader Ericka Tinsley, Chief Blogger of The Swarthy Suite and founder of the Fro-Fi Collective and Chocolate Chat Atlanta.

Fun Facts: Digital Sisterhood Network founder Ananda Leeke and Ericka first met at the Blogalicious Weekend Conference held in Miami in 2010. In 2011, Ericka and Ananda reconnected at Spelman College’s  Digital Doyennes: Wisdom from the Women who Lead in Social Media and Digital Innovation in Atlanta. This year they spent time together at Everywhere’s Digitini event in Atlanta. Ericka will be speaking about community building through collaboration on September 30, 2012, at the Blogalicious Weekend Conference in Las Vegas, Nevada. Check her out if you are headed to Vegas!

1) How can people find you online?

2) Why did you start using social media?

I started using social media when I launched a t-shirt business online people with natural hair.

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

Social media has helped me meet cool people, participate in social campaigns, travel to conferences, and work with companies and brands.

4) In her 2011 Digital Women: from geeks to mainstream presentation that was given at the WIFT International Women Conference for Digital Women, Dr. Taly Weiss, a social psychologist and CEO/Founder of Trendspotting, concluded that “women are dominant digital users – they breathe and live digital.” Dr. Weiss’ conclusion echoes BlogHer’s 2011 Social Media Matters Study findings. They include 87 million women (18 to 76 years old) are now online, 69 million women use social media weekly, 80 million women use social media monthly, and 55 million women read blogs monthly. These facts illustrate the power and presence women have in the digital space. Now that’s Digital Sisterhood!

How has social media helped you carve out leadership roles as you interact online and offline?

I have been able to co-create a business and social media networking event called Chocolate Chat: www.chocolatechatatlanta.com.

5) Social media has helped women become Digital Sisterhood Leaders, ambassadors of social expression who share what they are passionate about online. In her upcoming book, Digital Sisterhood: Fierce Living Online for 25 Years (Fall 2012), Ananda Leeke, founder of the Digital Sisterhood Network, writes, “Without even knowing it, women have become Digital Sisterhood Leaders as they use their social media platforms to advocate causes; to build communities; to create apps, art, books, businesses, products, publications, services, tools, and webisodes; to curate content; to educate and inform; to give voice to their thoughts as subject matter experts, thought leaders, and brand ambassadors; to share information and experiences; to explore and experiment with new technologies as early adopters and trendsetters; to engage in social good; to influence others with their lifestyles and personal interests; to inspire and motivate; to mentor; to network; to tell their personal stories; and to promote and celebrate the expertise, gifts, and talents of others. Based on my online and offline interactions, I have identified 12 key leadership roles they play: advocate, community builder, creator, curator, educator, influencer, mentor, motivator, promoter, social do gooder, storyteller, and thought leader.”

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

Brand ambassadors and video bloggers

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

Blogger, video blogger, speaker, teacher, accessibility assistant for social media for people with disabilities, and tweet-up coordinator

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

We have a voice that people listen to and follow. So be very careful how you influence your viewers.

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

Yes. Teaching social media online.

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

  • Blogalicious co-founder Stacey Ferguson and the Blogalicious community of women
  • Danica Kombol, co-founder and managing partner of Everywhere
  • Ananda Leeke

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

Establish a niche and audience as a nonprofit organization to teach women and men all over the world.