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#InternetGeek Tuesday: #InternetGeekat50 Lesson 7 PASSION

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Happy #InternetGeek Tuesday!

PASSION is #InternetGeekat50 Lesson 7. Nearly 30 years ago, I entered the digital world as a first year student at Howard University School of Law and fell head over heels in love with information from articles, books, case law, journals, and magazines included in the LexisNexis database. My passion for online information gave birth to a bigger passion that now includes a digital communications career and several projects that focus on building and celebrating community, creating and curating content, and inspiring others to use their online presence to express their digital citizenship. Thanks to the White House Office of Digital Strategy, I’ll be able to express my digital citizenship and passion for all things POTUS and FLOTUS Obama during the Spring Garden Tour Social on April 25. Be sure to follow my adventures on Saturday, April 25 via Instagram and Twitter

How do you express your passion in the digital world?

0 comments on “#InternetGeek Tuesday: #InternetGeekat50 Lesson 5 WRITE”

#InternetGeek Tuesday: #InternetGeekat50 Lesson 5 WRITE

Happy #InternetGeek Tuesday!

WRITE is #InternetGeekat50 Lesson 5. During the WordPress Press Publish Conference in Portland two weeks ago, I participated in a “Blog to Book” panel discussion with Automattic conference organizer Andrea Middleton and my fellow authors and bloggers Cecilia Gunther, Christine Lee, Jerry Mahoney, and Mary Laura Philpott. After the discussion, I had several conversations with people about how I used blogging to write and publish my books “Love’s Troubadours” (novel), “That Which Awakens Me” (creative memoir), and “Digital Sisterhood” (technology memoir).

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Here are 8 tips I shared during my post panel conversations to inspire bloggers to WRITE their blogs with the intention of creating content for books they plan to publish.

1) Write your blog posts freely and fully with your authentic voice and passion.

2) Write your blog posts without censure.

3) Create or use a daily (Creative Every Day) or monthly challenge (Art Every Day Month and National Novel Writing in November and National Poetry Month in April) to establish a regular blogging practice and generate content you for your book. I used National Poetry Month in 2008 and 2009 to prepare content for my creative memoir. Currently, I am using National Poetry Month to prepare content for my e-book series.

4) Launch a blogging series to create content for your books. I’m currently writing a blogging series about being 50. I plan to use the content for my e-book series.

5) If you have been blogging for 5 or 10 years, select your favorite blog posts during the time period and prepare and publish an anniversary blog book or e-book.

6) Make a podcast series featuring your thoughts for book content. Select key points or the core messages from the podcast series and include them as your book content.

7) Record video blogs, pick out the most relevant points, and prepare content for the book.

8) For Flickr, Instagram, and Pinterest Users: Use your photos on these social media channels for inspiration to write a short update that can be used later as book content.

Photo Credit: Marcia Johnston

2 comments on “#InternetGeek Tuesday: #InternetGeekat50 Lesson 4 B.L.O.G.”

#InternetGeek Tuesday: #InternetGeekat50 Lesson 4 B.L.O.G.

Happy #InternetGeek Tuesday!

Speaking at Press Publish - Photo Credit: Christine Holsey
Speaking at Press Publish – Photo Credit: Christine Holsey

#InternetGeekat50 Lesson 4 is B.L.O.G. Last weekend, I attended the WordPress Press Publish Portland Conference. I shared my B.L.O.G. mantra and how I began blogging for personal reasons and evolved into a social media leader for the White House during my “Blogging for Obama” session. Here’s what B.L.O.G. stands for:

B – Be yourself in your blogging process

L – Love the stories you tell on your blog.

O – Open yourself to new ideas and opportunities.

G – Give back.

I have included a more detailed description that I used in my session presentation below.

Photo Credit: Jerry Mahoney
Photo Credit: Jerry Mahoney

B – Be yourself in your blogging process. Give yourself space to manage the fluctuation of your energy, focus, and passion with digital wellness. I define digital wellness as a gift you give yourself to help manage your time online with mindful self-care practices. Mindful self-care practices encourage you to slow down, become aware of how you spend your time online, and identify and take small steps towards having a healthier digital life. Examples include breathing exercises, journaling, massage, meditation, physical movement (walking, running, yoga, and aerobic classes), rest (naps and a good night’s sleep), setting time boundaries, and using time management tools (HootSuite, TweetDeck, and an editorial calendar) to schedule your blog and social media posts (excerpt from my book Digital Sisterhood: A Memoir of Fierce Living Online.

I started blogging as a result of a writing block in my novel-writing process for Love’s Troubadours – Karma: Book One in 2005. My book editor urged me to blog to create a daily writing practice. Guess what? He was right. It worked because I wrote for myself. I didn’t think about attracting or pleasing an audience. I just wrote to express my thoughts about my book and its characters.
Photo Credit: Marcia Johnston
Photo Credit: Marcia Johnston

My blogging helped me connect with a diverse group of bloggers and social media influencers who discussed topics relevant to my novel and its characters. It also created an audience for my book before it was published. When my book was published, I started telling stories about my writing journey, the lessons I learned during the publishing process, background information about the novel’s characters, book readings, and radio and television interviews. These efforts led me to share stories about my life as an artist and yoga teacher. I ended up creating two different blogs and blog space on numerous online communities and social networking sites. That’s when trouble began. Blogger burnout. In 2008, I was overwhelmed by my self-made digital footprint. Following the advice of my life coach, I took a leave of absence from my blog. Stepping away from the blogging process helped me recharge. I also realized that I was in control of how much I blogged and it was okay to take breaks. So when blogger burnout happened again in 2011, I didn’t hesitate in taking a break. That same year, I decided to institute a monthly unplugging practice that turned into the Digital Sisterhood Unplugged Weekend.

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yogameL – Love the stories you are telling on your blog. Tap into what you are most passionate about. I tapped into my passion for yoga, creativity, and being an Internet geek as a guide in what I share on my blog. I also maintain three other blogs that reflect my passion for women in social media (Digital Sisterhood Network), digital citizenship, and my DC life and love for all things POTUS, FLOTUS, and the White House. I don’t maintain a regular editorial calendar for these blogs. I post when I feel called to or have a project I am working on that calls for blogging.

O – Open yourself to new ideas and opportunities. I opened myself up to new ideas and opportunities when I started going to blogging conferences and local social media and tech events including Blogging While Brown, BlogHer, Blogalicious, BlissDom, Feminism 2.0, Latinos in Social Media, She’s Geeky DC, Social Justice Camp DC, Social Media Club DC, Social Media Week DC, and DC Digital Capital Week. These experiences helped me establish relationships and build community with a diverse group of people. My connections and interactions exposed me to new ideas and opportunities to express and share my passion for:
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My greatest opportunities have occurred as a result of my passion for President Barack Obama. In 2008, I used my digital presence and yoga teaching skills to support his first Presidential campaign. During President Obama’s second campaign in 2012, my father and I volunteered in the Prince George’s County, Maryland campaign office. We also used our blogs and social media platforms to discuss the Obama campaign. After the election, I searched for ways to increase my support and began applying to participate in the White House Social events. Last year, I was selected by the White House to serve as a social media leader for the State of the Union, French Arrival Ceremony for French President Francois Hollande, and the Tumblr Q&A session on education. The U.S. Department of State invited me to serve in a similar capacity during the International Women of Courage Award Ceremony.
French Arrival Ceremony, February 2014 - Photo Credit: Dave McCulloch
French Arrival Ceremony, February 2014 – Photo Credit: Dave McCulloch
International Women of Courage Award Ceremony, February 2014 - Photo Credit: U.S. Department of State
International Women of Courage Award Ceremony, February 2014 – Photo Credit: U.S. Department of State
G – Give back. Use your blogging and social media skills to give back to causes, communities, and organizations you care about. I have used my blogging and social media skills to serve as a technology volunteer for Blogalicious Meetups in 2009-2012, CrisisCampDC and Chilean Earthquake in 2010, Andy Shallal’s DC Mayoral Campaign in 2013-14, and BlogHer’s Veteran Blogger Mentor Program in 2014. I have also given back through the Digital Citizenship Project and Digital Citizenship Month.
Photo Credit: Badge designed by Dariela Cruz
Photo Credit: Badge designed by Dariela Cruz
Many thanks to Automattic WordPress developer and designer Michelle Langston for working with me to redesign AnandaLeeke.com. Like many people, I had an older website in addition to my blog. During her session “A Tale of Two Sites: A Case Study,” Michelle discussed how we worked together to combine my two sites into one that would truly express my personality and meet my online goals. I participated by sharing the web content challenges I faced and how I overcame my fears with her support.
Michelle and me at Press Publish
Michelle and me at Press Publish

TRANSFORMATIVE is the best word to describe my Press Publish experience. I invite you to read my #Storify blogs which feature social media highlights including tweets and photos that I hope will give you an idea as to why the conference was so transformative for me.

Click here to learn more about Press Publish and the upcoming April 18th conference in Phoenix, Arizona. REGISTER NOW so you can have a TRANSFORMATIVE experience too.