Mindful Social Media at the White House 

Halloween at the White House was filled with lots of treats including one for social media professionals like yours truly: the announcement of the Obama administration’s digital transition plan that outlined how the presidential transition will work after having the first-ever social media POTUS in U.S. history.

After reading the WhiteHouse.gov blog about the plan, the phrase mindful social media came to mind. Why? The plan is well-thought-out. It reflects a high level of awareness of the present state of  the Obama administration’s digital footprint and how it can be accessed in the future. Read more here.

What do you think about the plan?



#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.


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:
jleeke-obamacampaignoffice ananda-obamaphonebank2
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.


Join me at the Press Publish Conference on March 28 in Portand, OR!

Photo Credit: http://presspublish.events
Photo Credit: http://presspublish.events

Greetings All,

If you’ve been reading my blog and/or following me on social media, you know I’m heading to Press Publish, WordPress’ first-ever conference featuring WordPress bloggers and the people behind WordPress.com, on March 27 and 28 in Portland, Oregon. While I am at Press Publish, I’ll lead a session on “Blogging for Obama” that will give me an opportunity to share how I began blogging for personal reasons, evolved into a social media leader for the White House, and learned how to make the most of opportunities that have presented themselves as a result of my blogging adventures on March 28.

I’m also serving as a panelist for Michelle Langston’s session, “A Tale of Two Sites.” During this session, you’ll have a chance to look at my older web site and blog and learn how Michelle transformed them into a new and improved site that fully expresses my personality and online goals.

In addition to these sessions, you’ll be able to dive into a day of learning with presentations and tutorials led by an amazing group of speakers on blogging 101, blogging on the go, going pro as a blogger, storytelling, turning your blog into a book or business, writing, WordPress design and plugins, and so much more. Click here to see the schedule.

Oh yeah, you’ll get to attend a Friday evening mixer where you will meet your fellow bloggers (like moi), receive your attendee packet, and enjoy storytelling by Longreads, snacks, and libations.

Guess what? The generous and groovy Press Publish team is offering a special 40% discount to the conference! Click here and use the special coupon code SISTERHOOD40 to register. One last thing — your ticket purchase also gets you a 1-year subscription to the WordPress Premium upgrade, a $99 value, that you can use on any WordPress.com blog. A coupon code and instructions on how to redeem it will be included in your ticket confirmation email.

See you in Portland!


Celebrate Social Media Day Today & Get Ready for Digital Citizenship Month (7/1-7/31)

Photo Credit: http://jpwilliam.wordpress.com
Photo Credit: http://jpwilliam.wordpress.com

Happy Social Media Day!

Mashable launched Social Media Day in 2010 as a way to celebrate and honor the digital revolution that happens every moment. People host meet ups around the world to celebrate this global movement.

Photo Credit: Mashable.com
Photo Credit: Mashable.com

Since today is Social Media Day, take a few moments to declare your social media independence by making a My #DigCitizen Supports Campaign sign for Digital Citizenship Month (launches on July 1).

Badge created by Dariela Cruz
Badge created by Dariela Cruz

Write the phrase: My #DigCitizen Supports _________.  Fill in the blank with your ideas and/or interests. Use your mobile phone, digital device or camera to take a photo. Post it on Instagram, Tumblr or Twitter with the #DigCitizen hashtag. We’ll repost it.



Recruit your family and friends to participate. Visit http://digcitizen.tumblr.com. Follow @DigCitizenMonth on Instagram and Twitter.

Tim'm West making his My #DigCitizen Supports sign at Azi's Café in DC
Tim’m West making his My #DigCitizen Supports sign at Azi’s Café in DC
Jim Riccio making his My #DigCitizen Supports sign at Starbucks on 16th and U Streets, NW in DC
Jim Riccio making his My #DigCitizen Supports sign at Starbucks on 16th and U Streets, NW in DC

Happy #InternetGeek Tuesday: 7 Social Media Secrets of Nonprofit Digital Storytelling

Happy #InternetGeek Tuesday!

Today’s blog is all about social media and nonprofit digital storytelling.


What is social media?

Social media is a means of communication that builds and enhances relationships online and offline. Social media relies on content. Content includes ideas and information. Social media tools help communicate ideas and share information. Social media allows you to have a conversation with others about ideas and information. The conversations you have through social media create connections. When you cultivate the connections you have established through social media, you build community. The connections you make and communities you build through social media lay the foundation for your audience in digital storytelling.

Photo Credit: http://serve.dc.gov
Photo Credit: http://serve.dc.gov

Did you know there are seven social media secrets of nonprofit digital storytelling?

I recently gave a workshop presentation for my client, Serve DC that introduced the seven social media secrets of nonprofit digital storytelling to AmeriCorps agencies in Washington, DC. See my presentation below or click here to view it on SlideShare.

Just in case you need more information about the seven social media secrets, I have included my talking points, a how to guide on creating a social media strategy plan that I use with my clients, and several nonprofit resources.

Ananda Leeke at Serve DC Workshop, May 21, 2014
Ananda Leeke at Serve DC Workshop, May 21, 2014

If you would like me to facilitate a workshop or give a talk for your agency, business, community, group, or organization, please contact me on 202.607.3509.


7 Social Media Secrets of Nonprofit Digital Storytelling

Secret #1: Define your social media goals (why does your organization want to use social media to tell stories?)

Secret #2: Know your audience (clients, donors, staff, Board members, funders, interns, volunteers, community and corporate partners, local citizens and organizations with shared interests, businesses, and other local stakeholders).

Secret #3: Know where your audience lives online.

Secret #4: Become your audience’s digital neighbor (maintain an active digital presence on the same social media sties that your audience belongs to).

Secret #5: Know what types of digital stories appeal to your audience.

Secret #6: Develop a plan to tell your digital stories (that includes an editorial calendar, time management tools like HootSuite to help you schedule your social media efforts in advance, any special campaigns/events/advocacy efforts, technology tools needed to create digital stories and use social media, budget and funding for technology tools, identifying staff duties for managing social media and digital storytelling efforts, social media/digital storytelling training for staff, and/or recruitment for interns and volunteers with digital communications and public relations experience).

Secret #7: Evaluate your digital storytelling efforts weekly, monthly, quarterly, and annually (document lessons learned and best practices and study what other nonprofit organizations are doing and learn from their efforts).


Creating A Social Media Strategy Plan

When I help an organization create a social media strategy plan, I use a series of questions to guide its development and execution. They are organized into six categories: goals, target audience, content, social media budget and team, social media and technology tools, and evaluating social media efforts. See below.


  • What are your organization’s quarterly and annual goals?
  • How will social media support the goals (examples: create/curate/distribute content, engagement, network building, and promotion)?
  • What calls to action, campaigns, events, program initiatives, and services will be used to accomplish the goals?
  • What is your timeline for accomplishing the goals with social media support?


  • Who is your target audience for each call to action, campaign, event, product, program initiative, and/or service?
  • Where does your target audience reside online?


  • What type of content (articles, blogs, photos, podcasts, social media messaging, surveys, webinars, and videos) appeals to your target audience?
  • What are the sources of content?
  • Who will develop the content?
  • What are the content requirements for your editorial calendar on a daily, weekly, quarterly, and/or annual basis?


  • What is your social media budget?
  • Who will manage, execute, and support your social media efforts (primary lead person, team members, interns, online community members, and brand/blogger ambassadors)?
  • What are your social media team’s skills?
  • What type of resources and training does your social media team need to stay updated on current and emerging social media best practices, tools, and trends?
  • How much time does your social media team have to commit on a daily, weekly, monthly, quarterly, and/or annual basis to the management and execution of social media efforts?


  • What are the best social media tools to communicate with your target audience?
  • What type of technology tools (digital/web cameras, laptops, microphones, printers, smartphones, software, tablets, and time management tools) do you have and/or need to manage and execute your social media efforts?


  • Who will review your social media efforts (executive officers, social media staff, communications staff, media/public relations staff, development staff, membership staff, information technology staff, and/or online community members)?
  • What tools will you use to analyze your social media efforts?
  • How often will you analyze, modify, and review your social media efforts?
  • What lessons have you learned?
  • What best practices have you developed?


Nonprofit Resources



  • Measuring the Networked Nonprofit by Beth Kanter and Katie Delahaye Paine
  • Social Media Engagement for Dummies by Aliza Sherman and Danielle Elliott Smith
  • Social Media for Social Good by Heather Mansfield
  • Social Media Tactics for Nonprofits by Melanie Mathos and Chad Norman

Local Conference and Facebook Group

Pinterest Board

Audio & Visual Social Media Storytelling Tools



Happy #InternetGeek Tuesday: Recap of My Serve DC Nonprofit Digital Storytelling Workshop


Happy #InternetGeek Tuesday!

Last week, I facilitated a nonprofit digital storytelling workshop for my client, Serve DC’s National Service Program Director Institute. During the workshop, I shared several key points.

  • Stories connect people through feelings and emotions they can relate to.
  • Stories cause people to reflect on their own experiences, change their behavior, treat others with greater compassion, speak out about injustice, and become involved in civic and political life.
  • Nonprofit digital stories use visual images, (photos, videos, infographics, maps, and other images including text printed on colorful badges) and sound recordings (music, podcasts, or audio recordings) to do four things: 1) INFORM people about an organization’s mission, work (programs and  services), community outreach, news, awards, events, clients, staff, volunteers, interns, community partners, advocacy efforts, fundraising efforts, and in-kind donation campaigns; 2) INSPIRE people because they create a human connection and emotional resonance; 3) INVITE people to get involved and take action (advocate, donate, or volunteer); and 4) INFLUENCE conversations and public dialogue about issues that are important to an organization and engage people as active participants.

A nonprofit organization’s best source of digital stories is its staff, clients, interns, volunteers, Board of Directors, Advisory Committee members, donors, community partners, and other local stakeholders.

What’s your definition of digital storytelling?

Check out the photos from my workshop below. What stories do they tell?










#InternetGeek Tuesday News: Preparing for Serve DC 5/21 7 Social Media Secrets of Nonprofit Digital Storytelling Workshop

Photo Credit: http://serve.dc.gov
Photo Credit: http://serve.dc.gov

Greetings All,

I’ve got some great #InternetGeek Tuesday news!

This week I am using my #InternetGeek skills to prepare for my “Seven Social Media Secrets of Nonprofit Digital Storytelling” workshop that will be held on May 21 at the Serve DC Program Director Institute. As a former nonprofit program officer for an AmeriCorps civic engagement program with over 18 years of digital communications experience, I have a special passion for AmeriCorps organizations and programs. That’s why I am really excited to share digital storytelling resources, strategies, tips, and tools with the Serve DC organizations. Look for an update about my workshop next week.

PS: For more information about my digital communications experience, click here.  I’m available for consultation, speaking engagements, and workshops. Contact me on madelyncleeke@gmail.com and 202.607.3509.