This week, I am headed to Atlanta to speak at the second annual Women Interactive Creative Technology Conference that will be held at Spelman College on November 9. I am giving a tech talk on “Digital Sisters + Digital Citizens = Social Media Leaders.” My talk is rooted in one word: SERVE. It is an acronym that I call my secret ingredient for being an authentic Digital Sister, Digital Citizen, and Social Media Leader. Check it out below.
•S – SEE yourself as a social media leader. If you have at least one person who follows and/or interacts with you through your blog, web site, and/or social media sites, you have a platform of influence. Your influence impacts people in your online network. That makes you a leader. The moment that you see yourself as a social media leader, you begin to own your identity. Once you own your identity as a social media leader, you are faced with some important choices in how you interact online and offline in your relationships.
•E – EMBRACE digital civility practices in your online and offline interactions and relationships. Digital civility includes being respectful of others, especially in the midst of any disagreements. Treat people the way you would like to be treated.
•R – REMEMBER to UNPLUG from your digital life and practice SELF CARE by creating and following a digital wellness plan. Take breaks from your digital life. It will give you an opportunity to recharge and rest.
•V – VISIT and participate in a diverse group of online and offline communities to broaden your knowledge base and network.
•E – EXPRESS generosity in all you think, say, and do. Give back to others. Your generosity creates social capital in your online and offline relationships. Social capital is that warm, fuzzy feeling or positive impression you create about yourself in people’s hearts and minds. It paves the wave for unexpected blessings that manifest as collaborations, invitations to events, learning opportunities, partnerships, relationships with key people in your local/national/international networks, revenue generating streams, speaking engagements, and other forms of blessings.
Women Interactive is a two-day interactive technology festival for women who produce and share digital content with a special emphasis on women of color. It’s one of my favorite learning opportunities. I attended the festival last year and learned so much. If you are in Atlanta, join me at the event. Click here to register.
Did you know National Internet Safety Month is observed in June?
This year the National Cyber Security Alliance (NCSA), a non-profit public-private partnership focused on cybersecurity awareness and education for all digital citizens, launched a “STOP. THINK. CONNECT.” campaign to encourage Internet users to slow down, be mindful, and think about how they interact and communicate with others online. NCSA’s campaign also encourages adults to teach a young person about better online safety so that they use good judgment and behavior in their digital life.
When I first learned about NCSA’s “STOP. THINK. CONNECT.” campaign, I thought about the digital footprint of my fabulous and creative niece who is a digital native, a recent high school graduate, and a soon-to-be college “fresh-woman.” I wondered what she knew about being safe online and protecting her digital footprint. So I called and chatted with her about the importance of being safe online, making smart choices on what she posts online, and promoting a positive self-image in her digital life. I also told her that I would continue to check in with her throughout her college experience to make sure she is managing her digital activities in a responsible manner.
After my conversation with my niece, I decided to attend Cox Communications’ Internet Safety Discussion featuring America’s Most Wanted John Walsh and Leticia Barr, a family internet safety and security expert, social media consultant, and founder of TechSavvyMama.com (one of my favorite digital sisters — she is the green dress in the photos contained above) on June 28 at the National Press Club in Washington, D.C. During the discussion, I learned several tips I plan to pass on to several friends with children (some are my nieces and nephews).
•95% of tweens use mobile devices. Only 20% parents enforce controls (we gotta do better).
•Parents should talk about Internet safety with their children as early as possible (good aunts should reinforce these teachings!)
•Caretakers (grandparents, aunts, uncles, babysitters etc) should know about and enforce the parents’ Internet safety rules when they are taking care of the children.
•The United States does not have a national standard for teaching online safety in schools (we need to advocate for one).
•Children are not immune from identity theft (we have to do a lot of educating with children on these matters).
•Parent should model what they want for their children when it comes to technology (so should extended family members who spend time with the children).
•Common Sense Media rates apps for age appropriateness (great tool for parents to use in helping children use technology responsibly): www.commonsensemedia.org.
To learn more about the discussion, go to Twitter and search for the hashtag #coxtakecharge.
After the discussion, I attended a blogger reception and after-party sponsored by the Everywhere, a social media marketing firm based in Atlanta (one of my favorite firms to work with). Both events gave me an opportunity to:
This morning I had a wake up call while I was biking my four miles in the gym. I realized that the past two weeks have been filled with lots of social media moments. Some of my favorite moments happened during the Digitini Cocktails and Cupcakes event hosted by Everywhere (my favorite social media marketing firm!) on May 18 in Atlanta (huge moment was receiving the Atlanta #Digitalsisterhood Key to the City that Danica Kombol made!). See the photos below.
To read more about my social media adventures at Spelman College’s Women of Color Leadership Conference and Everywhere’s Digitini event, click here:
2) Everywhere’s Digitini Event, May 18. My Digitini adventures and Digital Sisterhood Network activities have been juicy sweet! Now it’s time to return to my digital diet where I take time off from the social media world. Guess what? My summer and fall months are gonna be filled with lots of digital diet moments as I wrap up the final parts of my Digital Sisterhood book. I will be online on Digital Sisterhood Wednesdays and during BlogHer in early August and Blogalicious in late September. Are you going on a digital diet or changing your online routine this month or summer? If yes, share how. See you next week with my end of the month blogs! Enjoy your day and long weekend!
Some of my best BlissDom Conference moments were spent supporting and celebrating the Heart of Haiti Campaign, a partnership between Fairwinds Trading, Macy’s, and the Clinton Bush Haiti Fund. It was created to provide sustainable income to Haitian artisans impacted by the January 2010 earthquake. Through the partnership, the artisans create artwork that is sold as the Heart of Haiti collection in Macy’s stores. The sales from these hand-made products including quilts, metalwork, paper måché, painting and jewelry generate the sustainable income and provide trade instead of aid to the Haitian artisans.
As soon as I arrived and settled into my room at the Opryland Hotel on February 23, I tweeted the Everywhere team, Danica Kombol and Britton Edwards, to let them know I was ready to put on my Heart of Haiti Blogger Ambassador hat and support their Heart of Haiti booth in the BlissDom Handmade Marketplace. When I saw the booth, I was in complete AWE! Why? Because these ladies know how to make a conference booth attractive and fun to visit. And it’s not hard when you have the beautiful Heart of Haiti collection to work with. Danica and Britton gave me a brief update on the new items in the collection and showed me photos from the #Bloggers4Haiti trip to Haiti in January. Check out the photos below.
While I was at the Heart of Haiti booth, I met and chatted with BlissDom attendees about my experiences as a Blogger Ambassador and February 2011 trip to Haiti. Many of the attendees told me about their passion for using social media for social good and plans to support the Heart of Haiti. Those conversations reminded me how important it is to tell people about the Haitian artisans who are using their creative gifts to make their lives and country better. They also reminded me that I have got to get to Haiti in 2013!
February 26, my second day in Haiti, began with a visit to the Presidential Palace in Port-au-Prince. As the van pulled up in front of the Palace, I heard the sound of a marching band. Men dressed in matching band uniforms played beautiful music as I surveyed the earthquake damage. I looked across the street and saw the tent camps in Champ de Mars plaza and wondered how could music be made in the midst of heartbreaking devastation. The answer came in the form of a six-word memoir equation as I noticed Haitian people moving through their morning with grace and dignity. Faith + Hope + Determination + Resiliency + Creativity = HAITI.
Watch a video of my visit to the Presidential Palace and Champ de Mars Plaza, the location of the largest tent camp in Port-au-Prince. See below. Listen to my audio blog about the visit. Check out photos from my visit below.
The Heart of Haiti campaign is a partnership between Fairwinds Trading, Macy’s, and the Clinton Bush Haiti Fund. It was created to provide sustainable income to Haitian artisans impacted by the January 2010 earthquake. Through the partnership, the artisans create artwork that is sold as the Heart of Haiti collection in Macy’s stores. The sales from these hand-made products including quilts, metalwork, paper måché, painting and jewelry generate the sustainable income and provide trade instead of aid to the Haitian artisans. Everywhere, a social media firm that represents Macy’s, sponsored my trip to Haiti. Click here to read about my trip’s details.
Photos from Visit to Presidential Palace and Champ de Mar Plaza
It’s been a few weeks since I last posted. Why? Digital Sisterhood Month! 31 days of celebrating women online and the connections they make, conversations they have, communities they build, causes they support, collaborative partnerships they establish, and commerce they engage in with women they meet online and offline. Visit the Digital Sisterhood Network web site to learn more.
This month my heart belongs to Haiti because I want to honor the resiliency of the Haitian people who experienced a devastating earthquake on January 12, 2010. Last year I taught an online yoga class for Yoga Day USA that was dedicated to the people of Haiti. At the beginning of the class, I asked viewers to donate money to Doctors Without Borders to support their work in Haiti. Click here to watch the video.
This year I am serving as an ambassador for the Heart of Haiti campaign, a Macy’s partnership that was created to provide sustainable income to Haitian artisans impacted by the January earthquake. Read my November 29th post to learn more. Also, listen to the following December episodes of Digital Sisterhood Radio that mention my work with the Heart of Haiti campaign:
December 20th show featuring ‘Digital Native’ Lauren Thomas, founder of Digital Aftershock: I discussed how I met Lauren Thomas, former Digital Coordinator of Everywhere, at the Heart of Haiti booth during Blogalicious 2010 and had a powerful conversation that convinced me to sign up for the campaign. I also shared how I interviewed Lauren about the Heart of Haiti campaign with my cell phone for my Cinchcast audio blog at Blogalicious.
I almost forgot to mention that I organized a Digital Sisterhood Month field trip for DC area women in social media to visit the National Museum of Women in the Arts on December 3 to see the “Lois Mailou Jones: A Life in Vibrant Color” exhibit. During her lifetime, Dr. Jones (born November 3, 1905 – died June 9, 1998), a Howard University art professor (one of my favorite artists), created a body of artwork that was inspired by Haiti and her marriage to Haitian artist Louis Vergniaud Pierre-Noel. One of my greatest treats was showing the women who attended the museum field trip some of my favorite Haitian-inspired paintings created by Dr. Jones. Check out the amazing “Water Carriers” painting on the left side of the blog post.
What do you think?
I LOVE IT and HAITI!
Drop by my blog this week and next week for more posts about my passion for Haiti and work with the Heart of Haiti campaign!