Prior to the Summit, I had the honor of serving as an content advisor for the agenda and presenters. Working with Stacey was pure joy! Why? Because she is extremely passionate about and committed to making sure the Blogalicious community is informed and has access to information, opportunities, thought leaders, and tools. The final agenda topics and presenters that Stacey and her team developed represented a gold mine of expertise.
Many of presenters like Social Lens Research founding partner Julie Diaz-Asper, TechSavvymama.com founder Leticia Barr, and ScapsofMyGeekLife.com founder Michele McGraw were women I met during previous Blogalicious conferences.
Several like Blerdology CEO Kat Calvin, DiversiTech founder Christine Johnson, and Blerdology CMO Amanda Spamm were women I met at social media and tech events in D.C.
A few like MOJO Mediaworks, LLC founder Allissa Richardson and 1776 co-founder Donna Harris were women I connected with on Twitter and other social media sites.
Two women were new discoveries for me: The Social Studies Group managing partner Wendy Goldman Scherer and Congresswoman Michelle Lujan Grisham. These women were all dynamic, friendly, and positive. Each of them displayed an incredible amount of generosity while sharing their expertise during their presentations and throughout the Summit.
The women who attended the event were also dynamic, friendly, positive, and open to sharing their experiences. At the end of the Summit, I told Stacey and Xina that it was one of the best days of learning and networking I’ve had all year. I left the event feeling energized and on fire about my upcoming book, business, and the Digital Sisterhood Network.
Last week, I attended the Blogalicious Tech Summit held at the Microsoft Innovation and Policy Center in Washington, D.C. Guess what Microsoft had? A Technology Bar for attendees to preview Microsoft products! What an Internet Geek treat!
Stacey Ferguson (a/k/a Justice Fergie), Blogalicious Chief Curator and Co-Founder, welcomed us all and introduced Stephanie Peters, Director of Federal Government Affairs for Microsoft. Peters talked about how powerful Blogalicious is as a community and the many ways it supports its members. I totally agreed!
Dr. Mark Drapeau, Director of Innovative Engagement for Microsoft, gave a keynote address on “Avoiding Mediocrity.” My key takeaway from Drapeau’s address was create outstanding content that is fun, entertaining, surprising, valuable, and simple to read.
Allissa Richardson, Bowie State University professor, journalist, and founder of MOJO Mediaworks, LLC, was truly my favorite presenter. I am biased too because she is a 2012 Digital Sister of the Year and a personal shero! Richardson discussed the five elements of building your mobile platform. The elements include:
Choice: Be the best source of high quality content and information.
Conversation: Start and maintain a dialogue that is meaningful and informative.
Creation: Make your own media to establish yourself as a thought leader.
Curation: Sift through media a lot to highlight the best content your audience will appreciate.
Collaboration: Build smart partnerships.
She shared some tools for making audio recordings and podcasts like Audioboo, a mobile app I have downloaded to my phone. She also recommended that we try using SproutSocial to schedule our social media posts and tweets. She uses this tool instead of Hootsuite. I downloaded the SproutSocial app to my phone and will try it out starting in May.
NOTE: Tomorrow, I will post another blog about the Blogalicious Tech Summit. It was so juicy that it deserves two blog posts!
During the show, Daisy, the “Queen of Effortless Chic,” shared that she was a Howard University graduate (love that we are HU Bisons!) and gave five tips for Spring wardrobe essentials. Check out the photos and tips below.
Tip #1 – Peplum: Daisy recommended that women add a peplum top or dress to their wardrobe. The top could be paired with a skirt or pants. I love peplums. I wore them a lot during the late 1980s!
Tip #2 – Lace: Daisy encouraged women to wear colorful lace. I fell in love with the yellow lace dress. It reminded me of my Aunt Paulyne’s vintage 1960s peach lace dress I wore to my law school graduation at Howard University in the late 1980s.
Tip #3 – Pullover Sweaters: Daisy suggested women incorporate pullover sweaters in their spring wardrobe. She used First Lady Michelle Obama’s sweater style as an example. I ADORE pullover sweaters especially the ones you can wear with a belt.
Tip #4 – Printed Pants: Daisy shared how women can add more color to their Spring wardrobe with printed pants.
Tip #5 – Dresses: Daisy talked about how dresses like the ones worn by First Lady Michelle Obama create a total look. I agree!
What are your five Spring wardrobe essentials?
DISCLAIMER: I am a member of the Everywhere Society and Everywhere provided me with compensation for this post about the Macy’s event. However, all thoughts and opinions expressed herein are my own.
Today is the perfect day to share photos from the Blogalicious12 Weekend Conference that I attended on September 28-30 at the Red Rock Spa in Las Vegas. The entire conference was filled with Digital Sisterhood moments galore! I have included photos of some of my favorite moments and links to my Flickr photo sets. Enjoy!
A few days ago I was in Las Vegas attending the Blogalicious Weekend Conference. During one of my breaks, I checked my email and read a message from my digital sister, Chrysula Winegar, that invited me to participate in Women Online’s Social Media Sprint Campaign. When I visited the Women Online (WO) web site to research the campaign, I learned WO is a boutique digital public relations and marketing firm founded by Morra Aarons-Mele, an Internet marketing professional who established The Mission List and served as the founding Political Director for BlogHer.com. After digesting this information, my response to Chrysula’s invitation was YES…YES… YES!!!!! So I joined the group of amazing women bloggers and top social media voices in a “social media sprint” to Election Day (#blogforobama).
So why join? I think President Obama is the only Presidential candidate who represents my interests as a woman. Since June, I have actively participated in the Obama 2012 campaign by:
Using my social media platforms to promote the campaign each week.
Today, I participated in WO’s first conference call and learned more about the role I will be playing in the Social Media Sprint Campaign. I also learned my digital sisters, Stacey Ferguson, BeBlogalicious.com co-founder and chief curator, and Xina Eiland, President of The Eiland Group and BeBlogalicious.com publicist, are also participating in the campaign. What great company I am in!
From now and until November 7 (the day after the Presidential Election), you will see me online a little more. For example, I will tweet during the Presidential Debate on October 3. Later this week, I will share more information from the Social Media Sprint Campaign. So look out for my tweets and posts on Facebook, Google+, and Pinterest.
Enjoy your day and remember to register to vote, get your ID, help others register or obtain their IDs, vote early (if you can), and vote for President Obama!
Tomorrow is September 1. That date means many things to many people. For me it represents the official Blogalicious Weekend Conference countdown. Yep, I am excited. Why? Well, how much time do you have?
Blogalicious Weekend is one of my favorite social media conferences. I’ve been attending it since the first one that was held in Atlanta in 2009. That weekend will always be memorable because of the many women I met like Veronica Arreola, Boni Candelario, Xina Eiland, Terri Holley, Thien Kim, and Aliza Sherman. I also reconnected with Corynne Corbett and Natalie McNeal, two of my BlogHer 09 hanging buddies. The lessons I learned from sessions featuring Shameeka Ayers, Leticia Baar, Angela Benton, Jessica Carter, Shannon Nash, Corvida Raven, and Karen Walrond were key to my making smarter moves as a blogger, entrepreneur, speaker, and writer. I was also able to teach a kind and gentle yoga class for social media users and interview one of my digital sheros, Cheryl Mayberry McKissack, founder of NiaOnline. Those were HUGE moments!!!!!
Confession: The 2010 conference was my favorite. It was held at the Ritz Carleton on Miami Beach (loved the location)! I roomed with my digital sister Xina. We co-hosted an open-mic luncheon sponsored by McDonalds.
I also learned about the Heart of Haiti campaign and became a blogger ambassador with the help of Lauren Thomas, met Danica Kombol of Everywhere and Willa Shalit of Fairwinds Trading, and sipped the Middle Sister wine in the Wine Sisterhood suite with my digital sister Boni. I took time to lay out in the sun and drink a few cocktails.
Taking Takeyah Young’s morning yoga class on the beach with Veronica, Xina, Shirelle Kirkland-Andrews, and a bunch of other digital sisters was yogalicious! Some of the best moments happened when I used my smartphone to interview several digital sisters and brothers for my Cinchcast podcast. I screamed when I met my Twitter digital sister Dr. Goddess in person! That was a huge moment because we traded so many tweets! Having a lot of time to chat with my Latinos in Social Media digital sisters Kety Esquivel and Julie Diaz Asper was fabulous. I sat in the audience and enjoyed hearing CNN journalist Soledad O’Brien share her thoughts about life and technology via Skype. At the end of the conference, I was inspired me to launch #DigitalSisterhood Wednesdays. What fun we had!
The 2011 conference was held closer to home at the Gaylord National Hotel in Maryland (about 30 minutes from my home in Washington, D.C.). During that conference, I served as a Blogalicious Ambassador and mentored the Digital Sisterhood Network’s Blogger-in-Residence Kamaria Richmond. Thanks to Kamaria’s fundraising efforts, I was able to stay in her room as a guest. She knows how to raise money for a conference! My dad Dr. John F. Leeke also attended the conference. That was a lot of fun to see him connect with bloggers and brands. He soaked it all up and became a Blogalicious fan for life.
I cried so much during the American Cancer Society’s presentation featuring one of my digital sheroes, Susan Niebur. That moment is etched into my heart forever. I hung out with Danica and Britton Edwards from Everywhere, chatted with Corynne and LaShanda Henry, interviewed a group of bloggers including Issa Mas for my Cinchcast podcast, and had a great “brinner” chat with Dr. Goddess and Kiratiana Freelon. My favorite session featured Aliza Sherman who talked about apps and other techie tools. She dropped some serious science on me. The Susan B. Komen for the Cure pajama party and the Wine Sisterhood suite were my favorite places to hang out and connect with other bloggers. One of the best chats I had was with Barbara Jones and Julie. These ladies gave me a lot of food for thought!
Earlier this month, I reconnected with my Blogalicious family during Brunchilious at the BlogHer 12 conference in New York City. During the brunch, I shared my Blogalicious experiences and the power of the community. What an honor!
And so now I am looking forward to learning, growing, connecting, laughing, sharing, and making more memories in a few weeks at Blogalicious 12. It will be my first time visiting Las Vegas. So I’ll definitely have to take photos of the strip. I am rooming with Xina. So we are gonna have a great time. She’s working the conference as the official Blogalicious publicist (a job she does so well!). I am serving as a media sponsor via the Digital Sisterhood Network and as a speaker for the Blog Community Jam Session on September 28 at 2:00 p.m. I am speaking with an amazing group of folks. See below.
Melanie Edwards, owner of Ella Media
Ana Flores, founder of Latina Bloggers Connect
Jennifer James, founder of Mom Bloggers Club
Jyl Johnson, founder of Mom It Forward
Manny Ruiz, founder of Hispancize
Lisa Stone, co-founder of BlogHer
So here’s what you can do.
Register for the conference so you don’t miss out on the great Blogalicious experience of a lifetime!
It’s that time again. Gotta take a digital diet break in order to finish my Digital Sisterhood book. This blog will be very quiet during the rest of August, most of September, and some of October. I will come back at the end of September, and in early October to post about my Blogalicious 2012 conference experiences and the DigitalUndivided.com #FOCUS100 symposium. I should be back in full force by November and definitely by December (for Digital Sisterhood Month).
Last week I joined over 5,000 women and a few good men at the Hilton New York in New York City to celebrate and experience the BlogHer community and economy!
Since returning to my home in Washington, D.C., I have:
Reflected and journaled about my experiences and lessons learned during the conference (was able to write in my journal thanks to the time I had on my Bolt Bus ride home to D.C. and my daily subway rides to and from work).
Prepared several blog recaps (posted a few on my blog) that I will be using in chapters for my forthcoming book, Digital Sisterhood: Fierce Living Online for 25 Years.
Talked to my book editor, parents, team of business advisors, and a few friends about lessons learned from the conference.
Posted my photos of the moments I cherished most and shared them on Facebook, Flickr, Instagram, Twitter, and my blog.
Reached out and connected with new and old blogging friends via Twitter (especially on #DigitalSisterhood Wednesday), Facebook, email, and text messages on my best friend, my HTC EVO smartphone.
Read and was inspired by many recap blog posts and tweets written by conference attendees.
Begun to map out the follow up work I need to do between now and the end of 2013 (yes next year) to enhance my talents and skills, expand my thought leadership, deepen my connection and engagement within my own network and the online/offline communities that support me, and further develop my revenue generating streams as an author, artist, blogger, coach, speaker, workshop facilitator, yoga teacher, and Reiki practitioner (what a mouthful!).
Mailed thank you cards to some of the BlogHer team members and people I did not have a chance to meet or deliver a card to (the southern belle debutante and sorority girl inside of me is compelled to write thank you cards …. my mother is responsible for this behavior).
Organized my small stash of swag with plans to give some of it away as gifts to family and friends (adoring my favorite swag … the Martha Stewart orange journal …. What can I say? The writer in me loves journals and the Martha Stewart brand!).
This morning I woke up with a deep sense of gratitude for all of the things the BlogHer team and community have done and continue to do. I reflected on how I am a direct beneficiary of their efforts. I remembered the impact their efforts have had on me since my first BlogHer conference in 2009 and the conferences I attended in 2010 and 2011. I smiled at how much I have been able to dream and do as a result of the lessons learned, skills developed, connections I have made, and speaking opportunities I have had. So I wrote an email to BlogHer co-founders Elisa Camahort Page, Lisa Stone, and Jory des Jardins, and members of their amazing team, Polly Pagenhart, Shannon Carroll, Maria Niles, Lori Luna, Amelia Elsbee, and others that was filled with sweet words of gratitude and thanksgiving.
My email talked about how much I value what the BlogHer team does to build and nurture its ever-growing and evolving community, conference, and economy (just love that I can say BlogHer economy … I need a t-shirt to wear in D.C.). I acknowledged how hard it is for them to build a movement, community, business, and economy. I reminded them that because they invest in me I invest in them, and we are ONE! I sprinkled in some of my flowery words and phrases to make them smile and touch their hearts too!
Now I am writing this blog post to say thank you to everyone connected to BlogHer. That means YOU … my fellow attendees, conference volunteers, online community members, speakers, sponsors, vendors, brands, companies, and organizations. Together, we are a movement of passionate and powerful people. May we each recognize, affirm, value, and express our contributions in ways that support our highest and greatest good as individuals, communities, businesses, brands, companies, and organizations!
With deep gratitude and blessings,
Ananda, your digital sister
PS: I am feeling really good due to a Starbucks de-caf venti Cafe Americano with three pumps of raspberry and my own rice milk, my comfy and cute Ann Taylor Loft dress, and Pandora.com playing in the background! LOL! It’s just that kinda day! Can you feel me?