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.

0 comments on “Happy Internet Geek Tuesday: #DigCitizen Profile of #WHSocial Alum Danyell Taylor”

Happy Internet Geek Tuesday: #DigCitizen Profile of #WHSocial Alum Danyell Taylor

Photo Credit: Danyell Taylor
Photo Credit: Danyell Taylor

Happy Internet Geek Tuesday!

Today I am sharing a Digital Citizenship (#DigCitizen) Project profile featuring Danyell Taylor, a social media leader, I met while attending the White House Social (#WHSocial) for the French Arrival Ceremony for French President Francois Hollande in February.

Meet Danyell Taylor

1) Tell us who you are.

I am a Communications Specialist at the Council of the Great City Schools, a nonprofit organization that focuses on education legislation. I’m from Plano, Texas, and currently live in Washington, DC. To stay updated on my social media adventures, follow me on Twitter: @IDreamInChanel.

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

I love all things Parisian and volunteer with Alliance Francaise. I saw the #WHSocial as an opportunity to expand my cultural knowledge and social media influence.

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

My key moments included:

  • Seeing school-age children vying to get a look at President Barack Obama.
  • Watching the 21-gun salute.
  • Being close enough to hear and see President Obama and First Lady Michelle Obama.
  • Attending the #WHSocial Meetup Happy Hour at the Old Ebbitt Grill and discussing our stroll down digital memory lane.

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

Instagram and Twitter

5) Did you learn any lessons while participating in the #WHSocial?

Anything is possible. I can expand my digital knowledge both personally and professionally.

6) What does digital citizenship mean to you?

Digital citizenship is learning and using online tools to explain and comprehend American and global culture, norms, and politics.

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

I plan to stay engaged through mainstream newspapers and their digital presence.

8) Share several ways Americans can use their digital presence and online network to engage civically on a local, state, and/or national level.

  • Share your concerns, questions, revelations, and insights with your network.
  • Grow in your knowledge and don’t except the status quo in life, religion or politics.
  • Be curious about the world outside of your block, city, state, and country of origin.

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0 comments on “Happy Internet Geek Tuesday: #DigCitizen Profile of #WHSocial Alum Erikson Young”

Happy Internet Geek Tuesday: #DigCitizen Profile of #WHSocial Alum Erikson Young

Photo Credit: Erikson Young
Photo Credit: Erikson Young

Happy Internet Geek Tuesday!

Today I am sharing a Digital Citizenship (#DigCitizen) Project profile featuring Erikson Young, a social media leader, I met while attending the White House Social (#WHSocial) for the French Arrival Ceremony for French President Francois Hollande in February.

Meet Erikson Young

1) Tell us who you are.

I am a returned Peace Corps volunteer (Kenya 2005-2007). I work as the Purchasing Agent and Property Custodian at the Smithsonian’s Office of Facilities Management in Washington, D.C. You can find me on Intstagram and Twitter as @eriksonyoung.

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

My #WHSocial application stated: It’s good for me to observe the diplomacy protocol at State Arrival Ceremony in process. It’s good relationship between French and U.S.

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

My key moments included:

  • Witness the real process of protocol handled by Office of Chief Protocol.
  • Learning the real purpose to develop a good relationship between U.S. and France through the public diplomacy.

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

Mainly, I used both Twitter and Instagram during #WHSocial for the French Arrival Ceremony. I also used my personal Facebook to share my family and friends.

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

I used Instagram and Twitter to share my follow-up comments and photos.

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

Using social media and hashtag to share everyone to see the real public diplomacy. Let them to see some photos, tweets and others through their eyes.

7) What does digital citizenship mean to you?

I think digital citizenship is a powerful tool that we can use social media under the Bill of Rights such as Freedom of Speech and Media where we can share our comments and opinions freely without any fears. You can express your opinions and comments to White House officials by reach out via Twitter, Facebook, Instagram, and other social media. They do read and listen to you.

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

I will continue to use Instagram and Twitter to share my experiences with everyone.

9) Share several ways Americans can use their digital presence and online network to engage civically on a local, state, and/or national level.
 
  • Twitter is a powerful social media tool that you can use to get in touch with elected officials on any level in local, state, and national governments.
  • Share your opinions as your duty as digital citizen in order to improve the best service to our country and U.S. citizens.

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0 comments on “Happy Internet Geek Tuesday: #DigCitizen Profile of #WHSocial Alum Sherry Grandinetti”

Happy Internet Geek Tuesday: #DigCitizen Profile of #WHSocial Alum Sherry Grandinetti

Photo Credit: Sherry Grandinetti at the White House French Arrival Ceremony, February 2014
Photo Credit: Sherry Grandinetti at the White House French Arrival Ceremony, February 2014

Happy Internet Geek Tuesday!

Today I am sharing a Digital Citizenship (#DigCitizen) Project profile featuring Sherry Grandinetti, a social media leader, I met while attending the White House Social (#WHSocial) for the French Arrival Ceremony for French President Francois Hollande in February.

Meet Sherry Grandinetti

1) Tell us who you are.

I am a teacher of visually impaired students in Honesdale, Pennsylvania. You can follow me on Twitter at @SaltyBeach.

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

My 140 character statement I submitted to participate in the #WHSocial stated how I honored I would be to attend the event as a teacher of the visually impaired and a former recipient of school loans. I also explained how I am proof of success from supporting education.

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

My key moments included:

  • A breathtaking view of the White House up close.
  • Chills hearing the President’s March and hearing him being announced in person.
  • Being so close to two leaders while they gave welcome speeches.
  • The electrical excitement in the crowd before the ceremony began.
  • Watching the pomp and circumstance during the arrival of the Presidents was surreal.

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

A cell phone, iPad, and camera.

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

I shared the State Room presentations with school officials at all of my placements and with my students. I shared my personal experience with friends and family via Facebook. An area newspaper asked for an interview that has not occurred yet.

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

The main lesson I learned was always try to participate in patriotic and political events. It brings history to life.

7) What does digital citizenship mean to you?

Digital citizenship is a part of our world. Embrace it, use it to learn from, and network through it. I love it!

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

I try to monitor the White House social media more often and engage in Twitter political interaction more.

9) Share several ways Americans can use their digital presence and online network to engage civically on a local, state, and/or national level. 
Engage and follow local representatives to stay involved with current events and pending laws.
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0 comments on “Happy Internet Geek Tuesday: #DigCitizen Profile of #WHSocial Alum Bernetta Reese”

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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0 comments on “Happy Internet Geek Tuesday: #DigCitizen Profile of #WHSocial Alum Dr. Janet Johnson”

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.
0 comments on “Happy Internet Geek Tuesday: #DigCitizen Profile of #WHSocial Alum Jason Knoll”

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.

0 comments on “Happy Internet Geek Tuesday: My #SOTUSocial & #WHSocial Experiences Give Birth to The Digital Citizenship Project”

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?

2 comments on “My Digital Citizenship Valentine: 4 Reasons to Love #WHSocial Events”

My Digital Citizenship Valentine: 4 Reasons to Love #WHSocial Events

My Digital Valentine
My Digital Valentine

Happy Valentine’s Day!

Today, I am using my blog to send a Digital Citizenship Valentine to the White House (WH), WH Office of Digital Strategy staff and interns, and my fellow social media leaders who participated in the #WHSocial French Arrival Ceremony for President Francois Hollande on February 11.

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

The Office of Digital Strategy uses digital media to promote President Barack Obama’s agenda and policies. Through its efforts, the American people have been given an opportunity to do three things:

  • To see what’s happening at the WH on a daily basis via WhiteHouse.gov and WH social media channels.
  • To engage President Obama, WH officials, and other policy makers in conversation about the future of our great nation through WhiteHouse.gov Live events, Town Halls, Facebook and Twitter chats, and Google Hangouts.
  • To express their digital citizenship by making comments and asking questions on WH social media channels, sharing and discussing what they learn with their digital network, and creating their own WH-related content to engage their network.

Four years ago, the Office of Digital Strategy began inviting Americans who serve as social media influencers and leaders in their online networks to participate in face-to-face Tweet Ups and #WHSocial events that support the State of the Union, Town Halls, and other WH events. The social media influencers and leaders have been able to expand the WH’s public outreach efforts. Their efforts reach many more Americans who get their news from social media. They have also worked to breakdown the barriers between the U.S. government and its citizens. Together with the Office of Digital Strategy, they are helping to make the Obama administration the most accessible and transparent administration in U.S. history.

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

In January, I was invited as 1 of 60 social media leaders (out of a pool of over 6,000 applicants) to participate in the State of the Union Social. Click here to read about my experience.

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

A few days after the event, I learned about and applied to participate in the #WHSocial French Arrival Ceremony. To my surprise, I was selected to attend the event as 1 of 100 social media leaders (out of a pool of 2,500 applicants). Today, I took time to reflect on my experiences and came up with 4 Reasons to Love #WHSocial Events.

#WHSocial Meet Up I hosted at the Old Ebbitt Grill on 2/10/14
#WHSocial Meet Up I hosted at the Old Ebbitt Grill on 2/10/14

1) I love #WHSocial events because they gave me a chance to meet, network, and build community with a diverse group of Americans from all over the country. That’s exactly what I did on Monday night when I organized and hosted a meet up for my fellow social media leaders at the Old Ebbitt Grill.

Me and my new #WHSocial BFFs on the White House South Lawn --Photo Credit: Dave McCulloch
Me and my new #WHSocial BFFs on the White House South Lawn –Photo Credit: Dave McCulloch

The next day, I reconnected with my #WHSocial BFFs and made new ones on the South Lawn of the White House, during the briefing with WH staff, and at an impromptu lunch at Cosi’s.

Photo Credit: yours truly -- Social media leaders at #WHSocial briefing with White House staff at EEOB on 2/11/14
Photo Credit: yours truly — Social media leaders at #WHSocial briefing with White House staff at EEOB on 2/11/14
Photo Credit: Yours truly - Impromptu lunch with #WHSocial BFFs
Photo Credit: Yours truly – Impromptu lunch with #WHSocial BFFs

2) I love #WHSocial events because they energized and convinced me to step up my digital citizenship game. Next week, I will begin using my Internet Geek Tuesday blog series to discuss digital citizenship, launch and celebrate Digital Citizenship Month (yep I am creating it) in July to encourage Americans to use their digital presence to get involved and civically engaged at the local and national level, profile #WHSocial leaders and influencers, and discuss WhiteHouse.gov information and WH online engagement efforts.

My Pinterest board of #WHSocial resources
My Pinterest board of #WHSocial resources

3) I love #WHSocial events because they inspired me to use all of my social media platforms to get the word out about President Obama’s activities, policies, and programs. I used Facebook, Google+, Instagram, LinkedIn, Pinterest, Storify, Tumblr, Twitter, Vine video app, VoiceBo podcast app, and WordPress to share my #WHSocial adventures this week.

Check out my #WHSocial Pinterest board which contains over 50 pins filled with articles, blog posts, videos, and photos that discuss the French President’s State visit.

I really enjoyed creating Vine videos featuring my fellow social media leaders in action as they prepared for the #WHSocial briefing at the Eisenhower Executive Office Building.

Interviewing my fellow social media leaders with the VoiceBo app was a lot of fun. I also enjoyed using it to give updates about my #WHSocial preparation and reflections.

Instagram, Tumblr, and Twitter were probably my most favorite social media tools to use while live tweeting during the #WHSocial events.

Photo Credit: Me and Kori Schulman at #WHSocial briefing at EEOB on 2/11/14
Photo Credit: Me and Kori Schulman at #WHSocial briefing at EEOB on 2/11/14

4) I love #WHSocial events because they gave me an opportunity to meet and talk with WH staff. During the #WHSocial briefing, I asked Kori Schulman, Director of Online Engagement, how the Office of Digital Strategy was leveraging the support of people who have participated in the #WHSocial events. I suggested creating a #WHSocial Ambassador Program. Yesterday, I received an email indicating that a #WHSocial Alumni Program is in the works! And that’s just one more reason to love #WHSocial events!

Next week, I’ll be sharing more about my #WHSocial adventures. So drop by! Enjoy your Valentine’s Day and Presidents’ Day Weekend!