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 Maggie Arden


Photo Credit: Maggie Arden

Photo Credit: Maggie Arden

Meet Digital Sisterhood Leader Maggie Arden, founder of Southern Yankee Speaks blog.

Fun Facts: Digital Sisterhood Network founder Ananda Leeke discovered Maggie’s fantastic blog posts while visiting the Feminism 2.0 web site. She later invited Maggie to participate in Digital Sisterhood Radio’s Feminism Online Project Series in 2011. Click here to listen to a recording of their conversation.

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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 have kept in touch with family and friends, expand my professional circle, and promote and raise money for issues I can about from women’s issues, to the environment to health issues.  I also am able to keep up with organizations I support and spread the word about their work.

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

I have kept in touch with family and friends, expand my professional circle, and promote and raise money for issues I can about from women’s issues, to the environment to health issues.  I also am able to keep up with organizations I support and spread the word about their work.

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 find organizations to get involved with, which have led to leadership positions.  My work at Fem2.0, and my role there has allowed me to take the lead on various projects, and act as a representative of the organization at in person events in my area, as well as helping me develop as a professional and board member.

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 list of roles in incredible, and incorporates much of what I see women doing online.  I also see women as innovators in how social media is being used for advocacy, community buildings and story telling.  Women have also found new ways to connect a physical group through social media.

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

My goal is to always be advocating or promoting an issue of importance to me.  I also act as a curator and story teller through my writing and work to bring other women’s writing to my online network.

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

Starting out it was a little scary to throw up a tweet with my thoughts and opinions for the world to see.  My thoughts are my thoughts and they can’t be wrong.  They can be changed by others just like I can change someone else’s.  For as much as you end up teaching others, it’s important to try to learn as well.  Follow people you disagree with – it will help you form your opinions and a strong response – even if you never share it with them.

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

I am working to find new and different blogs to write for, and expand my knowledge and writing to other issues and areas I am passionate about.

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

Melissa Harris Perry has done an amazing job using Twitter to start a discussion on feminism, race and gender, and encouraging and including her students in the process and showing them a worthwhile use of new media. Joan Bamberger has taken on the mommy-blogger stereotype and shown how women (and moms specifically) are and can affect change in politics. Lisa Maatz does an amazing job educating and advocating for women’s issues  online, as well as on the Hill.

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

  • Pick your issues, promote, education and discuss them through social media and share the results of the discussion.
  • Show a little of yourself.  When presenting a professional persona it can be hard to lighten up and share a personal side, but it helps people connect and better understand you.
  • Don’t be shy. Without interaction we don’t connect and the social aspect is lost.  Everyone is an expert in something and in everything else we are all students.  Social Media is a great way to share your expertise and learn the rest from others.

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 Kristina Doss


Photo Credit: Camille O. Martin-Jones

Photo Credit: Camille O. Martin-Jones

Meet Digital Sisterhood Leader Kristina Doss, founder of My Traveling Troop blog, a U.S. Navy wife, mom, and journalist. Kristina’s work has appeared in The Wall Street Journal, Dow Jones Newswires, Dow Jones Daily Bankruptcy Review, Inside U.S. Trade and The Washington Times.

Fun Facts: Digital Sisterhood Network (DSN) founder Ananda Leeke and Kristina met during the BlogHer Conference held in San Diego, California in 2011. Ananda interviewed Kristina on her Cinchcast podcast about her BlogHer experiences. They also discussed Kristina’s experience as a military wife and mom. Since then, they have supported each other online.

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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 about six years ago when I finally signed up to use Facebook to connect with family and friends scattered around the globe. Eventually, I decided to keep them informed about my military family’s journey moving, living, and traveling around the world through the blog My Traveling Troop.

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

When I finally took the plunge and launched my blog, I got to write about topics I was passionate about — moving, living and traveling around the world. Not only do I write about these issues on the blog, but for other websites and publications as well. The best gift social media has given me, however, is the opportunity to help other military families who also face the ups and downs of life on the go.

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?

For the first time in my life, I am my own boss and that feels wonderful! I determine the topics that I write about and how often I write. If I need to focus on being a mom and wife, I have the flexibility to do so. Also, the blog has given me an opportunity to see what it’s like being a business woman. I alone interact with companies looking to advertise on the blog and publications seeking to hire me for work.

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 women in social media have played the role of ground breaker. I’ve seen a number of websites and related projects, for example, that offer services no one else does because the women saw and understood the need for them. Or, they write about topics that no one else was brave enough to share before.

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

I think my leadership role falls under the categories of educator and community builder. Through my writing, I try to share the experiences and lessons my military family learns by moving, living and traveling around the world. I also gather and feature other military families who have similar experiences as well. Together, we’re helping members of our community get through and even enjoy life on the move.

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

I learned how to use my social-media savvy to help and guide people.

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

Since moving to Singapore, I realized that there are people outside of the military community who also move, live and travel around the world. Some move because of jobs, while others move because they want to experience different cultures. Or, perhaps they are still looking for a place to call “home.” While there are differences in what brings us to a destination, I think we can all benefit from hearing each other’s experiences and tips. I wouldn’t be surprised if My Traveling Troop eventually expands to include all of these voices.

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

There are so many! I truly admire military wives. First of all, they are the true leaders of the household. They are the ones holding down the fort while their loved ones are away. And it’s amazing that many take the time to chronicle their journey online. By sharing their stories, they help others realize that they are not alone regardless of where they are in the world. Some chronicle love and loss. Others share what it’s like raising kids — sometimes by themselves. And others write about pursuing their dreams and passions despite the constant moving. They are truly inspiring.

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

  • Stay true to who you are and you will never stray from your “personal leadership brand.”
  • Find ways to help people in your online community.
  • Get off of the computer and meet people you are trying to help. You will learn a lot that way about them, yourself and how to focus your online efforts.

Ananda Leeke’s Talk on Social Media Leadership Coming to BlogHer 2013 in July!


Photo Credit: BlogHer.com

Photo Credit: BlogHer.com

Happy Digital Sisterhood Wednesday!

I am really excited to share that I will be giving a talk on social media leadership at the BlogHer conference on July 26. What Type of Social Media Leader Are You? is the title  of my presentation. The presentation will give me an opportunity to share my thoughts on social media women’s leadership and to introduce the Digital Sisterhood Leadership Project to a larger audience. I am so grateful to the BlogHer team for giving me a platform to share my leadership thoughts and work.

The BlogHer 13′ conference will mark my fifth year of participation. BLOGHER-WOW! It’s gonna rock! So get ready Chicago!

Remember to tweet your digital sisters a hello message today in celebration of #DigitalSisterhood Wednesday on Twitter!

Enjoy your day!

Ananda

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. 

DSN_LLL150

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 Nicole Cutts


Photo Credit: Nicole Cutts

Photo Credit: Nicole Cutts

Meet Digital Sisterhood Leader Nicole Cutts, founder of Cutts Consulting, Vision Quest Retreats and Women-Owned Business Wednesdays on Facebook.

Fun Facts: Digital Sisterhood Network (DSN) founder Ananda Leeke and Nicole met via Women for Change’s online community created by Niambi Jarvis, founder of Hiyaah Power. They met in person during a Fabulous Women Business Owners DC meeting in 2010. They reconnected over breakfast with Marie Isabel Laurion at Teaism. Their breakfast meeting led to a podcast and Digital Sisterhood Radio interview that promoted Vision Quest Retreats’ Taking your Dreams from Design to Destiny: The Next Level Conference. Nicole invited Ananda to speak at the Conference. Since then, they have supported each other online and offline.

DSN_LLL150

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 to network for my business; Vision Quest Retreats, and as a platform to share my content. I also knew I could learn a lot from the women on the web.

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

It’s allowed me to connect with so many people but especially women who I would not have otherwise known. It’s also allowed me a place to host forums and build a community to bring women together since this is what I love to do. It really has opened avenues for me to amazing people and I love this since I work at home by 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?

Hosting my Vision Quest Retreats and Women Owned Business Wednesdays forums has allowed me another space in which to facilitate discussions that uplift and inspire women to live their visions of success and to be able to better navigate the heroine’s journey. The online forums augment what I also do in “real life” when I have live events. The social media platforms also give women access to what we do at live events who can’t otherwise participate.

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 you covered it!

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

Maybe I’m being egotistical but I think I play all of these roles to some extent; advocate, community builder, creator, curator, educator, influencer, mentor, motivator, promoter, social do gooder, storyteller, and thought leader.

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

  • Build it and they will come.
  • You can find important members of your tribe in the digital space.
  • Even though it’s digital it still takes time to build.

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

I introduced a new character to the digital space. She’s a sort of comic heroine figure who captures the spirit of social media. I’m going to let her fly with whatever ideas come to her. I introduced her at my May 18, 2012 event called Reclaiming the Goddess that was held at International Visions Gallery in Washington, D.C.

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

  • Ananda Leeke – because of her determination and beautiful spirit
  • Stacey Ferguson – for her great ideas and ability to get powerful women together

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

  • Post content that represents their brand.
  • Use the power to connect and support others.
  • Be consistent and responsive to people.

Meet Digital Sisterhood Leader Latoicha Phillips Givens


Photo Credit: Latoicha Givens

Photo Credit: Latoicha Givens

Meet Digital Sisterhood Leader Latoicha Phillips Givens, founder of Luxetips.com, a lifestyle online magazine dedicated to providing women all over the world “luxetips” in beauty, fashion, travel, automobiles, and kids items. Latoicha is also an attorney and founding partner of the firm, Phillips Givens LLC. Her practice includes representation of start-ups, small, and mid-sized businesses in intellectual property matters. She was named 2012 Digital Sister of the Year – Lifestylista.

Fun Facts: Digital Sisterhood Network (DSN) founder Ananda Leeke met Latoicha at the first Blogalicious Weekend Conference held in Atlanta, Georgia in 2009. Ananda attended Latoicha’s session on“Possibilities and Pitfalls of Having YOU on the Net.”  A few months later, Latoicha appeared as a guest on Digital Sisterhood Radio. Since then, they have reconnected at the BlogHer conferences and at the Digitini  event sponsored by Everywhere in Atlanta.

DSN_LLL150

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 2007.

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

It has allowed me to gain greater exposure as an intellectual property attorney specializing in legal issues in social media. It has also allowed me to meet extraordinary people and expand my network nation and worldwide.

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 platform to showcase my intellectual property law practice through my blog, social media accounts and speaking engagements at social media conferences.

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 have become role models, business leaders, and motivators to other women by using social media tools.

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

I play the role of an educator, helper, and a resource for people who need help in navigating legal issues in social media.

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

I have learned to be successful in social media through engagement with others; always creating and sharing good content; and paying it forward by helping others become successful in the social media space.

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

I have plans to continue to do more speaking engagements and webinars to educate individuals on the legal pitfalls of social media.

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

Renee J. Ross: Renee is a wonderful success story. She has been able to build a huge social media network in a short period of time. She is now a consultant and a leading mommy blogger in social media circles.

Angela Benton: Angela is a leader and innovator in creating content from an African American perspective. She has used her success to now help minorities gain visibility and investors in Silicon Valley.

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

  • Put out great content.
  • Help others by sharing their content.
  • Develop your craft and become an expert in their field.