Happy Internet Geek Tuesday: #DigCitizen Profile of #WHSocial Alum Bernetta Reese

Photo Credit: Bernetta Reese
Photo Credit: Bernetta Reese

Happy Internet Geek Tuesday!

Today I am sharing a Digital Citizenship (#DigCitizen) Project profile featuring Bernetta Reese, a social media leader, I met while attending the White House Social (#WHSocial) for the State of the Union (#SOTUSocial) in January.

Meet Bernetta Reese

1) Tell us who you are.

I work as the Web Manager for the U.S. Department of Agriculture. You can find me online as @BernettaReese on Twitter and www.bernettareese.com.

2) Why did you apply to participate in the #SOTUSocial?    

I wanted to help share the President’s message and show how real, every day, ordinary people can be involved and help make a difference.

3) Share the key moments you experienced while participating in the #SOTUSocial.   

Meeting Press Secretary Jay Carney and simply walking into the White House.

4) What social media tools did you use to support your participation in the #SOTUSocial?    

I used Twitter, Facebook, and also posted on Google +, Instagram, and LinkedIn.

5) After the #SOTUSocial, did you write or participate in any follow-up interviews for a blog, magazine, newspaper, radio station, or television station?

I wrote a blog post about my experience. Click here to read it.

6) Did you learn any lessons while participating in the #SOTUSocial?

My best lesson was to bring your own WiFi which I did.

7) What does digital citizenship mean to you?

Digital citizenship means to engage with people and access information about issues that matter to you by connecting with them online

8) How are you planning to stay engaged as a digital citizen?             

I’m a digital communications manager and all over the web. I love managing, leading, innovating, and engaging communities of people through digital communications.

9) Share several ways Americans can use their digital presence and online network to engage civically on a local, state, and/or national level. 
Anyone can make a difference and get involved! Opportunities are boundless in the digital world.
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Happy Internet Geek Tuesday: #DigCitizen Profile of #WHSocial Alum Dr. Janet Johnson

Photo Credit: Dr. Janet Johnson
Photo Credit: Dr. Janet Johnson

Happy Internet Geek Tuesday!

Today I am sharing a Digital Citizenship (#DigCitizen) Project profile featuring Dr. Janet Johnson, a social media leader, I met while attending the White House Social (#WHSocial) for the State of the Union (#SOTUSocial) in January.

Meet Dr. Janet Johnson

1) Tell us who you are.

I am a Clinical Assistant Professor at the University of Texas at Dallas. I study social media and the political process. To learn more about me, visit my web site and blog. Connect with me on social media (see web sites below).

2) Why did you apply to participate in the #SOTUSocial?     

I applied to participate because I study social media and the political process. Also, my dissertation was about the 2008 campaign blogs.

3) Share one to five key moments you experienced while participating in the #SOTUSocial.   

  •  I was standing in line for the U.S. Capitol tour the day before the #SOTUSocial and a young woman recognized me from Twitter. She was also attending the #SOTUSocial.
  • I was sniffed by the First Family’s dogs Bo and Sunny. Right place, right time.
  • Meeting Senior Advisor Dan Pfeiffer.
  • Asking a question during the #SOTUChat.

4) What social media tools did you use to support your participation in the #SOTUSocial?    

Instagram, Facebook, and Twitter

5) After the #SOTUSocial, did you write or participate in any follow-up interviews for a blog, magazine, newspaper, radio station, or television station?

My university promoted my attendance to the #SOTUSocial. Click here to read article. I was also interviewed by WFAA Channel 8 in Dallas. They did a Skype interview about my experience.

6) Did you learn any lessons while participating in the #SOTUSocial?

  • The White House is very strategic.
  • The White House does not control the citizen’s messages.
  • Everyone at the White House was very nice and shared a lot of information about their jobs.

7) What does digital citizenship mean to you?

No matter what political affiliation you are, you can participate and do it civilly. People tend to react instead of discuss issues over social media. We need to learn to listen and think before we type a message. Nothing will change if we are not forming effective messages that will actually help others understand our position. Civility is the key.

8) How are you planning to stay engaged as a digital citizen?             

I am always engaged and monitoring social media and politics. I am writing a research article about the #SOTUSocial. I am also going to apply for more White House Socials. I feel as if it’s a great opportunity to learn how the White House functions and how government works. It’s fascinating!
9) Share several ways Americans can use their digital presence and online network to engage civically on a local, state, and/or national level. 
People can easily get involved. They can use hashtags of organizations, candidates or issues that they feel passionate about. Teach and learn through social media. Just don’t react and attack. Be a proactive citizen that contributes to the conversation–not stop it.

#DigitalSisterhood + Digital Citizenship = #IWOC #StateMeetup Application

State of the Union Social Collage
State of the Union Social Collage
Happy #DigitalSisterhood Wednesday Digital Sisters!

Today, my Digital Sister Janet Johnson sent me a Facebook email about the U.S. Department of State’s application for social media leaders to attend the International Women of Courage #StateMeetup on March 4 in Washington, DC. I met Janet while attending the White House State of the Union Social in January (see photo above where Janet is wearing a red sweater). Through several conversations, we discovered we share a passion for digital citizenship. I am deeply grateful to her for sharing the #StateMeetup information. Her act of sharing represents #DigitalSisterhood and the power of promoting Digital Citizenship (#digcitizen)!!!!

#StateMeetup Application
#StateMeetup Application

About #StateMeetups

#StateMeetups were created to expand the Department of State’s engagement efforts by inviting social media leaders to attend in-person meetings and engage with the Department through Facebook, Google+, Instagram, Tumblr, Twitter, and other social media channels.
About the International Women of Courage (IWOC) #StateMeetup
The IWOC Awards was created in 2007 to honor women around the globe who have shown exceptional courage and leadership in advocating for human rights and women’s equality. While in the United States, awardees participate in the International Visitors Leadership exchange program where they get to meet with their U.S. counterparts and leaders.
Social media leaders will attend the IWOC Award Ceremony, hosted by Secretary of State John Kerry with special guest First Lady Michelle Obama, at the Department of State on March. They will also participate in a policy briefing with a Department official about international women’s issues. I encourage you to apply to participate in the #StateMeetup. Visit www.state.gov/social for more information. The deadline is February 26 (today) at 5:00 p.m. EST.
Photo Credit: UN.org
Photo Credit: UN.org

My #IWOC #StateMeetup Application

My passion for women’s rights is the reason I applied for the #IWOC #StateMeetup. Click here to listen to my podcast about my application. My passion was ignited during my participation in the United Nations (UN) Fourth World Conference on Women in Beijing, China in 1995. Listening to former First Lady and Secretary of State Hillary Rodham Clinton’s “Women’s Rights Are Human Rights” speech at the UN Conference on Women greatly influenced my passion. I have included an excerpt from my book, Digital Sisterhood: A Memoir of Fierce Living Online, below that describes the impact of my participation and Clinton’s speech.
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Excerpt from Chapter Four: A Game Changer: Beijing Women’s Conference
One of the benefits of following my heart and living my life passionately in Beijing was meeting women from all over the world. During the NGO Forum’s opening ceremony, I sat with a group of women from Brazil, India, Kenya, Korea, the Netherlands, Russia, Senegal, and Zimbabwe. As the ceremony ended, we stood together and sang Pat Humphies song, “Keep on Moving Forward.” Five lines from that song became my mantra and helped me fully embrace my conference experience as a series of life-changing adventures.
“Gonna keep on walking forward
Keep on walking forward
Keep on walking forward
Never turning back
Never turning back”
One of those life-changing adventures happened when I heard former First Lady Hillary Rodham Clinton give her famous “Women’s Rights Are Human Rights” speech which included the following remarks:
“Those of us who have the opportunity to be here have the responsibility to speak for those who could not.
We need to understand that there is no formula for how women should lead their lives. That’s why we must respect the choices that each woman makes for herself and her family. If there is one message that echoes forth from this conference, it is that human rights – and women’s rights are human rights. Let us not forget that among those rights are the right to speak freely – and the right to be heard.”
Clinton’s words echoed what was in my heart, gave me a clearer understanding of why I was in Beijing, and helped shape my digital path. They came to life when I visited a conference art exhibit organized by the Women’s Caucus for Art (WCA), a national member organization of multidisciplinary and multicultural artists, art historians, students, educators, and museum professionals. While I was there, I struck up a conversation with several WCA artists who were overseeing the exhibit. We talked about WCA’s role as a NGO and founding member of the Feminist Art Project, the conference, their careers, and my life as a budding artist. Before we parted, they gave me their business cards and encouraged me to visit the WCA web site and join the D.C. Chapter.    
Walking with Sharon into the NGO Forum’s Internet Café was another life changing adventure. It marked the first time I saw a diverse group of women sitting at computers. My face lit up with a smile as I realized how powerful women could be with Internet access. They were free to speak their minds, discuss their concerns, share information, build community, create web sites and coalitions to address their concerns, and launch advocacy campaigns that defied geographical boundaries. They were demonstrating what Clinton said in her speech: “Let us not forget that among those rights are the right to speak freely – and the right to be heard.” 

Happy Internet Geek Tuesday: #DigCitizen Profile of #WHSocial Alum Jason Knoll

Photo Credit: Jason Knoll
Photo Credit: Jason Knoll

Happy Internet Geek Tuesday!

Today marks the launch of the Digital Citizenship (#DigCitizen) Project’s profile series featuring social media leaders who participated in the White House Social (#WHSocial) for the State of the Union (#SOTUSocial) and French Arrival Ceremony.

Meet Jason Knoll

1) Tell us who you are.

My name is Jason Knoll. I am a High School History and Government Teacher from Madison, Wisconsin. To learn more about me, visit my blog, http://jasonlknoll.com and follow me as @jasonlknoll on Twitter.

2) Why did you apply to participate in the #SOTUSocial?     

I applied to the #SOTUSocial to show my students that social media can be used an effective tool to engage with our elected officials and representatives.

3) Share one to five key moments you experienced while participating in the #SOTUSocial.   

  • I thought it was really cool to be able to connect with people beforehand using #SOTUSocial and then meet them and talk with them during the event.
  • I had a 15-30 minute conversation with my congressman in the airport as we waited to board our plane to come back home.
  • As a result of me live-tweeting, some of my students also live-tweeted, which led them to have interesting discussions with their classmates.

4) What social media tools did you use to support your participation in the #SOTUSocial?    

Twitter

5) After the #SOTUSocial, did you write or participate in any follow-up interviews for a blog, magazine, newspaper, radio station, or television station?

Yes for Reuters and The Cap Times Reuters.

6) Did you learn any lessons while participating in the #SOTUSocial?

  • Social media is here to stay, so it is best to embrace it and learn how to use it.
  • Take a look at Twitter to see some really cool work being done in the field of digital diplomacy.

7) What does digital citizenship mean to you?

Digital citizenship means using social media to engage with others about serious topics (i.e. policy), whether it is with a friend or an elected official.  It also entails sharing information with others so that they can be involved in the public sphere.

8) How are you planning to stay engaged as a digital citizen?             

I’m comfortable right now using primarily Twitter and my blog to stay engaged, and that I do not currently plan on using any other major social media platforms.
 
9) Share several ways Americans can use their digital presence and online network to engage civically on a local, state, and/or national level. 
 
  • Tweet to elected officials about an issue.
  • Participate in Twitter chats with government agencies.
Photo Credit: Twitter.com
Photo Credit: Twitter.com

PS: The first #digcitizen Twitter chat will be held on Tuesday, February 25 at 9:30 p.m. EST (one hour). The topic is “Lessons Learned from #SOTUSocial and #WHSocial.” Follow me on @anandaleeke and use the #digcitizen hashtag.

Listen to 2/23 AL Radio Show @8PM ET: How College & Graduate Students Express Digital Citizenship

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Mark your calendar for the Digital Citizenship Project’s first radio program on February 23 from 8:00 p.m. EST to 9:00 p.m. EST on The Ananda Leeke Show. The topic is “How College & Graduate Students Express Digital Citizenship.” Click here to listen to the show.
Photo Credit: WhiteHouse.gov
Photo Credit: WhiteHouse.gov
Photo Credit: WhiteHouse.gov
Photo Credit: WhiteHouse.gov
 
My guests are Deshawn Adams, Ashley LandKamau MarshallKathleen McClure, and Matt Potts (may have a few more guests). They recently participated in the White House Social for the State of the Union on January 28 and the French Arrival Ceremony on February 11. Please use the hashtag #digcitizen to follow the conversation on Twitter during the radio show. Follow me on Twitter at @anandaleeke.

Happy Internet Geek Tuesday: My #SOTUSocial & #WHSocial Experiences Give Birth to The Digital Citizenship Project

French Arrival Ceremony photo collage
French Arrival Ceremony photo collage
Social media leaders at #WHSocial briefing with White House staff at EEOB on 2/11/14
Social media leaders at #WHSocial briefing with White House staff at EEOB on 2/11/14

Happy Internet Geek Tuesday!

Guess what happens when the White House selects you to participate as 1 of 60 social media leaders in the State of the Union Social on January 28 and as 1 of 100 social media leaders in the White House Social for the French Arrival Ceremony on February 11?

#SOTUSocial Group Tour of White House
#SOTUSocial Group Tour of White House
Social media leaders at #SOTUSocial on 1/28/14
Social media leaders at #SOTUSocial on 1/28/14

You develop a desire to SERVE even more.

My desire to SERVE has manifested as The Digital Citizenship Project, an online campaign that:

  • Utilizes a private Facebook group and monthly #digcitizen Twitter chats on the last Tuesday of each month to build community among the social media leaders who have participated in the White House Social events in ways that encourage and inspire them to continue to use their digital presence to support policies and programs that align with their passions and interests. The first #digcitizen chat will be held on Tuesday, February 25 at 9:30 p.m. EST (one hour). The topic is “Lessons Learned from #SOTUSocial and #WHSocial.” Follow me on @anandaleeke and use the #digcitizen hashtag.
  • Honors the great work of social media leaders by publishing profiles on my Internet Geek Tuesday blog series and conducting one-on-one and group interviews on The Ananda Leeke Show via Talkshoe.com. The first show will air on Sunday, February 23 at 8:00 p.m. EST. The theme is “How College and Graduate Students Embrace Their Digital Citizenship.” The guests will be announced later this week.
  • Shares information that encourages the general public to become active digital citizens through online engagement opportunities offered by the White House’s Office of Digital Strategy and Organizing for Action, and promotes President Obama’s policies, programs, and WhiteHouse.gov.
  • Launches and celebrates Digital Citizenship Month in July to encourage more Americans to embrace their digital citizenship (more details will be provided in March and April).

I hope you will join me in this new adventure.

What does digital citizenship mean to you?

My White House Tour with #SOTUSocial Social Media Leaders

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Greetings from the White House!

This morning, I joined my fellow State of the Union Social attendees for a White House tour. Each of us applied to participate in the State of the Union Social (#SOTUSocial) a few weeks ago. The White House selected us to serve as digital citizens and to use our online presence to develop and curate content, utilize the content to engage online communities, and live tweet at the #SOTUSocial (including the #SOTUChat panel discussion with White House officials and U.S. Secretary of Labor Thomas Perez after President Obama’s address).

Guess what? Over 6,000 applicants applied to participate in the #SOTUSocial. Only 60 social media leaders were chosen to visit the White House and attend the #SOTUSocial. What an honor to demonstrate our digital citizenship through serving our country and communities with our digital presence!

Photo Credit: WhiteHouse.gov
Photo Credit: WhiteHouse.gov

During the tour, we had a chance to get to know each other. I discovered we are a diverse group of fun, friendly, passionate, and smart social media influencers and professionals, college students, public policy professionals, and teachers. We represented cities like Atlanta, Georgia; Boston, Massachusetts; Denver, Colorado; Greensboro, North Carolina; Madison, Wisconsin; Pittsburgh, Pennsylvania; Seattle, Washington; and Washington,  D.C. Together, we looked and sounded like the America I love.

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After the tour and many photos, we walked to Starbucks for an impromptu meet up. I am so glad we spent more time connecting, sharing our experiences, and discussing what we hoped President Obama would highlight in his address.

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PS: I developed three digital resources (one Pinterest board and two Twitter lists) to prepare for President Obama’s State of the Union address. Click here to read more about them.

Since it was cold in DC today, I decided to wear what I call a “femme chic” winter warm outfit that came straight from my closet by way of Macy’s Petites (Alfani knit jacket, blouse, and pants).

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Happy Internet Geek Tuesday: My Digital Resources for President Obama’s State of the Union Address

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Happy Internet Geek Tuesday and 2014 State of the Union Address (in the United States)!

Today, I am headed to the White House to participate in the State of the Union Social (#SOTUSocial) with a talented group of social media influencers, leaders, and professionals. We will watch President Obama’s State of the Union (#SOTU) address together and live tweet our comments. After the President’s address, we’ll attend a panel discussion featuring White House officials. During the panel, we will be able to ask questions. So please send me your questions via Twitter @anandaleeke.

To prepare for the State of the Union, I created three digital resources.

  • Pinterest State of the Union Social Board featuring articles, blogs, photos, videos, and other information related to President Obama’s 2014 #SOTU address
  • State of the Union Social Twitter List featuring my fellow #SOTUSocial attendees
  • White House State of the Union Twitter List featuring newspapers, political news sources, journalists, organizations that serve women and people of color, and Congressional representatives that I admire and respect

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Are you preparing for the #SOTU?

How?

What digital resources are you using?

PS: Be sure to follow my #SOTUSocial adventures on Instagram!