Media Experts Share Their Secrets to Success in a Multi-Platform World featuring Issa Rae of the Mis-Adventures of Awkward Black Girl and ASPiRE TV’s new talk show “Exhale,” Paul Butler of ASPiRE TV, Karen Wishart of Sean Combs’ Revolt TV, William Crowder of Comcast Ventures, and Nathaniel Cotanch of RockthePost.com
Spurring Innovation: Tips for Tech Entrepreneurs Who Want to Turn an Idea into a Business featuring Bruce Lincoln of Urban Cyberspace Company, Clayton Banks of Ember Media, York Eggleston of Semantic Labs/YE Ventures, Eric Hamilton of Around the Way, and Lisa Jones Johnson of NextGen Media
For more information about the conference, click here to see the agenda.
The List (and how to get on it): If there is one question we hear from bloggers covering this image- and access-conscious industry, it’s “How do I get on *the* list?”. We’re bringing publishing, PR and brand perspectives to the table to give you an inside look at how it works. BlogHer editor-in-chief (and longtime women’s magazine leader) Stacy Morrison moderates the insightful advice from Adrianna Guilliani from Devries Public Relations, Cristy Turner from Digital Brand Architects, and Genevieve Ascencio from Factory PR.
Before I attend the Style Mini Conference sessions, I plan to participate in “Justice Fergie” Stacey Ferguson’s Summer Brand-O-Rama, a FREE four-week email workshop that will provide critical tips on how to cultivate brand partnerships that begins on July 5. Click here to sign up. My goal is to learn how to build brand partnerships that support my blogs and the Digital Sisterhood Network.
Stacey is the queen of branding and empire building in my book! She is one of my virtual and IRL “Empirista” mentors.
If you are planning to attend BlogHer 13, check out the questions below.
What are your top three to five conference goals?
What sessions are you planning to attend? And why?
What are you doing to prepare for BlogHer 13?
PS: I will be speaking about social media leadership on July 26 (10:30 a.m. – 11:00 a.m.) and July 27 (11:30 a.m. – 12 noon), and co-hosting the Multi-Culti party on July 26 with two amazing digital sisters, Pauline Campos and Dwana De La Cerna. I hope you will be able to join us at the conference and the Multi-Culti party. Click here to register.
Guess what I did last weekend? I participated in the Digital Sisterhood Unplugged Weekend (#DSUnplugged).
Guess what happened?
I really had a great time unplugging. I was able to chill out, relax, practice yoga, run, sleep in, read some of my favorite magazines like More and Fast Company, attend a fantastic gallery opening (will talk about on my Creativity Thursday blog), complete some of the edits for my Digital Sisterhood book, write my “Unplug” Manifesto as a Flowista (a woman who unplugs from her to-do list and digital life sand practices self-care on a regular basis) with a collage illustration, and reflect on the women in social who have become my virtual mentors. That’s a lot, right?
The More article discussed how Stefania and Cat came together as friends to create the Clever Girls Collective and took a road trip to the BlogHer 2009 conference in Chicago, Illinois. I first discovered Stefania at the BlogHer conference and later learned about Cat and the Clever Girls Collective. They impressed the you know what out of me! I loved their community building efforts, commitment to empowering women bloggers, energy, and business savvy. I started following them online and watching them make moves to build their Clever Girls empire and thriving community of bloggers. I also made sure to hear them speak at the various social media conferences I have attended over the years.
They lead and teach by example. They share insights and lessons learned in their online activities. When they speak in public at conferences, they drop “serious knowledge.” That’s why they are two of my virtual mentors.
PS: Virtual mentors are women and men in the digital space who have influenced, informed, and inspired me through their blog, books/e-books, businesses, creative expression, community building efforts, e-books, lessons learned, social good activities, social media engagement, TEDx Talks, thought leadership, videos, webisodes, webinars, and web sites. Many of my virtual mentors are people I have never met online or face-to-face. They may not even be aware of how much they have influenced me. Some are folks I have connected with online and had conversations with via social media. There are others who I have met in person. And then there are a few I have come to know as friends in real life (IRL). All of them add great value to my life!
After my application was approved, I made plans to attend the June 10th installation workshop and meet up at Living Social. Nervous is probably the best word to describe how I felt walking into the meet up. I calmed down a few minutes after I settled into my chair, opened my brand new Samsung laptop, and began chatting with other women who like me were embarking on their very first coding journey. Things got much better when I received one-on-one coaching support from volunteers who work during the day as developers. Each person who helped me was friendly, smart, kind, patient, and passionate about helping women learn and understand the world of coding. I left the meet up with more confidence, a better grasp of how to navigate Windows 8 on my new laptop, and a basic understanding of how to access my app on http://localhost:3000, open my terminal and start my app, Heroku.com, and SublimeText.com (the digital space where you can edit code files).
The June 13th workshop began on a positive note. The first person I met was my Sigma Gamma Rho Sorority sister Geraldine Gooding (@STEMWoman). We connected and introduced ourselves as we entered the Silver Spring Civic Center. Our first conversation was about my bright royal blue and yellow Sigma bag. I’m so glad I carried my laptop in it! It turned out to be a great networking tool!
When we picked up our registration materials, we learned we were assigned to the same team. I sat down next to Emily Summers, founder of MarketTorque.com. Emily and I chatted about her MarketTorque business and dspire project, and our reasons for attending the workshop. Geraldine sat down next to my yoga digital sister Niyati (@awakenvision). What a reunion!
The other ladies at my table were friendly, fun, and filled with passion and positive energy. The best things about working with them were the support we provided to each other and the conversations we had during the coding exercises.
Our group coaches Greg Kenenitz and Melanie Gilman were AMAZING! They really held our hands, encouraged us to figure out challenges, and made sure we learned.
I really liked seeing the diversity among workshop participants (women of African and Asian descent were represented) and how the workshop organizers stayed on track with the agenda. It included a well-balanced mix of short presentations on Terminal, Ruby, and Rails, working sessions that allowed teams to complete coding exercises, question and answer periods with the coaches, lunch period with networking time (healthy vegetarian food included), yummy snacks (chocolate, Jolly Ranchers, and salsa and chips), and lightening talks (ten minute talks) on lean start up methodology, becoming your own chief technology officer, grit/perseverance/achievement, and becoming a developer.
Special shout out to the June workshop organizer Emily Williamson and the sponsors RubyNation, Living Social, Custom Link, SAIC, AT&T, Mod Cloth, Mobile Commons, Social Driver, Vox, Spree, Inferno Red Technology, and General Assembly.
The women I meet online are some of the most brilliant, creative, entrepreneurial, and generous people in the universe. Alli Worthington is one of these women. Alli is the founder of Blissfully Domestic, a women’s e-zine, that helped spark the creativity she used to launch and co-found BlissDom and BlissDom Canada with Barbara Jones, CEO/Founder of Blissful Media Group and One2One Network in 2008. She is also a business consultant, coach, speaker, and strategist who has worked with and advised Fortune 500 companies and small businesses, from tech companies to your favorite household brands.
I first discovered her online presence and BlissDom during a conversation I had with women bloggers at the BlogHer conference in 2009. After the conference, I started following her on Twitter and reading about BlissDom. Her tweets introduced me to her brilliance, community building efforts, creativity, entrepreneurial spirit, and generosity. She quickly became one of my digital sister diva sheroes.
I met Alli in person while attending and speaking at the BlissDom 2012 Conference in Nashville, Tennessee. Her positive energy and spirit were the first things I noticed and felt. She was in fact blissful from the inside out. Her commitment to sharing the best ideas, information, and inspiration with the BlissDom community was readily apparent.
Recently, Alli relaunched her web site AlliWorthington.com and changed the focus of her business so that it helps individuals realize they have what it takes to build their own business. Through her web site, she is offering several resources (see below).
As a part of my research and writing journey for my upcoming book, Digital Sisterhood: A Memoir of Fierce Living Online, I read MacNeil’s She Takes on the World. It was a quick and energizing read filled with soulful affirmations and mantras, brilliant and bold ideas, wisdom, authentic conversations with women entrepreneurs who shared their lessons learned, and a heavy dose of inspiration that moved me to adopt and use the “I AM ready” affirmation discussed in Chapter Three on a daily basis. Here it is: “I am ready. I am open to guidance and I am ready to achieve greatness. I AM ready.” This affirmation appealed to my new thought spiritual practices and use of similar affirmations. It is helping me move past my fear of finishing my memoir this summer.
The Lessons and Confessions session in each chapter that features insights and wisdom from female entrepreneurs was PRICELESS. When I read their words, I could hear their voices. They spoke directly from their hearts about their challenges and successes. RareFunk.ca founder Tamara Minns’ lessons learned was soul medicine: “Keep your mind focused on your dreams, follow your gut, and keep those who truly believe in you close by for encouraging reminders that one doesn’t need everyone’s approval to move forward.”
Chapter Four offered me a better understanding of my personal brand and how it should reflect who I am from the inside out. My takeaway was about valuing and telling my own story. Here’s what MacNeil had to say: “People buy into a person, a story, an idea – not merely a trinket. A story is better than any mission statement you could craft for your brand. Your story is social currency. What do I mean by that? I mean that people like to talk, and if you give them something entertaining to talk about, they will unconsciously perceive it as valuable. That’s currency. Give your customers that currency, and they will buy from over and over again.” I love the phrase social currency. It reminded me of my feminine currency phrase I use to describe Digital Sisterhood.
Chapter Five’s gold nugget was wrapped in a five-step mantra for achieving goals and tasks: “Today I get five steps closer to reaching my goal.” The practice of focusing only on five goals per day helped me take a deep breath of release and ease into the final stages of writing my book.
Chapter Nine’s branding and marketing advice and resources were invaluable. They helped me develop a plan to strengthen my online presence. That’s exactly what I need as I move forward with my book PR and marketing efforts.
To learn more about MacNeil and her amazing work, click here to watch her video. And if you are a revolutionary woman, join She Takes on the World. Go on and do it. I did!
BlogHer is the largest community of women who blog and a media company that was created by Elisa Camahort Page, Jory des Jardins, and Lisa Stone in 2005.
To date, BlogHer has created opportunities for the 55 million women in its community to gain exposure, education, community, and economic empowerment through its conferences for women in social media, publishing network of 3,000 blogs authored by women, and BlogHer.com, the leading guide to the hottest news and trends among women in social media.
I joined BlogHer in 2008. I’ve been fortunate to attend the annual conference in 2009, 2010, 2011, and 2012. The BlogHer community and conferences have helped me to dream bigger and grow as a person, entrepreneur, speaker, and writer in numerous ways. I believe BlogHer invests deeply in its members which creates a similar investment commitment by its members. Last year, I wrote a conference blog recap that expressed my definition of BlogHer (it is written as an acronym). See below.
B – Building community through meaningful and mindful connections, conversations, collaborative partnerships and projects, and commerce that generates revenue and valued added exchanges for myself and others.
L – Learning and sharing information that helps me and others grow to our fullest potential.
O – Opening my heart to be inspired and energized by the stories I hear from fellow bloggers, keynote speakers, and representatives from brands, companies, organizations, and marketing/PR firms.
G – Giving back to others by sharing what I know and affirming and supporting others’ efforts.
H – Having fun and celebrating digital sisterhood and digital brotherhood bonds with new and old blogging friends.
E – Embracing and valuing the power, presence, and passion of my own voice, creativity, expertise, thought leadership, entrepreneurial efforts, social good causes and campaigns, and definition of success.
R – Remembering that my return on investment (ROI) from my BlogHer community and conference participation is rooted in my attitude, intentions, choices, personal responsibility, and actions.
Are you headed to the BlogHer conference in Chicago?
What are you looking forward to learning about and receiving from the BlogHer conference?
I am looking forward to connecting with my current network of digital sisters and brothers, meeting new digital sisters and brothers, co-hosting the Multi-Culti party, speaking about social media leadership, attending some of the Style Mini-Con sessions, hearing the Voices of the Year speakers (one of my favorite events), and listening to the keynote addresses by Majora Carter and Sheryl Sandberg.
This year, I started subscribing to the RailsGirls DC Twitter account and blog and reading them on a regular basis. That’s how I learned about the June workshop on how to build apps and other programs with Ruby on Rails. I applied to participate and explained how I wanted to create apps to support the Digital Sisterhood Network. Guess what? My application was approved and I’ll be attending the June. Coding here I come!
What tech tools have you acquired or planning to learn this year?
In honor of Asian-Pacific American Heritage Month, I invite you to click here to watch “From Shanghai to Harlem,” a documentary trailer my digital sister Sylvia Wong Lewis and LS3 Studios created to celebrate her family’s Chinese Caribbean and African American heritage. The film traces the migration of Lewis’ paternal Mississippi line and immigration of her maternal Chinese and Caribbean ancestors as they settled in Harlem, New York.
Lewis’ firm, Narrative Network recently won a Telly Bronze Award in the category of Film/Video – Non-Broadcast Productions – Low Budget (under $700 per minute). The film also won the AVA Digital Gold Award earlier this year.
As an Internet Geek and new media professional, I enjoy learning about communications, marketing, public relations, and social media best practices and strategies. That’s why I am headed to the Demand Success 2013 Vocus Conference on June 20 and 21 at the National Harbor’s Gaylord Hotel. Demand Success is an industry marketing conference that brings together marketers, businesses, thought leaders, and Vocus experts to learn about and discus efficient marketing that yields real results. Vocus is provider of cloud marketing software that helps businesses reach and influence buyers across social networks, online and through media. Click here to register for the conference.
I am really excited the Demand Success agenda includes a keynote address by one of my “digital diva sheroes,” Arianna Huffington, author of Becoming Fearless (one of the best books I read this year) and President and Editor-in-Chief of The Huffington Post Media Group.
The sessions on the Content Marketing Revolution, Social Media Strategy, Digital Journalism in Flux, Brand Journalism, and Facebook Futures caught my eye too! The Facebook Futures panel features some of my favorite thought leaders including Katya Andresen, Shashi Bellamkonda, and Geoff Livingston.