Happy Internet Geek Tuesday!
While I was co-hosting the BlogHer Multi Culti party with my digital sisters Pauline Campos and Dwana De La Cerna on July 26 at the Sheraton Chicago, I had so many wonderful conversations with the dynamic members of the BlogHer community. The conversations reminded me how diverse we are as bloggers with different ethnic backgrounds, family histories, gifts, life experiences, opinions, perspectives, and talents. Check out some of the event photos below. All photos are from BlogHer.com. Click here to see the entire collection.
Did you attend the Multi Culti Party? If so, what were some of your favorite moments?
Walrond’s book celebrates the concept that what makes us different makes us beautiful — and may even be the source of our superpowers. Her book personifies how I feel about the BlogHer community.
Our differences make BlogHer more beautiful and powerful. Together, we are able to tap into our superpowers as bloggers and give voice to what so many others may not have the access, courage, or right to say online and offline. And for that I am truly grateful!
What makes the BlogHer community beautiful and powerful to you?
Happy August! Happy Friday!
Last week, I attended the 9th Annual BlogHer Conference held at the McCormick Place and Sheraton Chicago in Chicago, Illinois. What a time I had! It was intense, inspiring, and informative. That’s why I decided to write several blog recaps.
Today’s blog recap is about my “Lean In Moment.” The theme is based on Facebook COO Sheryl Sandberg’s book Lean In: Women, Work, and the Will to Lead and the impact of her BlogHer Conference interview with Lisa Stone, BlogHer Co-Founder and COO, on July 27. For more information, watch part one and part two of Tracy Baim’s video of the interview.
I read Sandberg’s book earlier this year. It took me a full weekend to inhale her words and wisdom. Her book was filled with many golden nuggets I have used in my life and shared with other women. It also inspired me to write and submit a case study entitled “Lean In and Listen to Yourself” for the Hot Mommas Project. As a result, I was recently named a 2012-2013 author for the Hot Mommas Project case study library.
When I learned Sandberg would be a BlogHer keynote, I was thrilled! Here are the key takeaways I received from her interview with Stone.
- Believe in yourself.
- I am unapologetically a feminist (inspired by Mellody Hobson, President of Ariel Investments and one of my virtual mentors from the 1990s).
- Reach for any ambition.
- Ask yourself what would you do if you weren’t afraid, and then reach for those ambitions.
At the end of her interview, she challenged audience members to write what they would do if they weren’t afraid on paper signs her LeanIn.org provided, take photos with the signs, and tweet and post the photos on LeanIn.org Tumblr. I loved the challenge. Check out the statements I wrote below.
Writing these statements helped me get clearer on what I really want to do with my passion, gifts, energy, and time. My next step is to lean in and publish my Digital Sisterhood book (you know the one I have been writing since 2009 — what a journey!), create space in my life to write more books and create art, and plan when I will cut my locs and grow my Angela Davis afro (will probably happen during my 50th year on earth which is fast approaching in 2014 — maybe even 2015).
What would you do if you weren’t afraid?
What are you leaning into?
Happy Internet Geek Tuesday!
Guess where I am going in a few weeks?
BlogHer 13, the world’s largest women’s blogging conference.
My focus for this year’s conference is to learn about lifestyle blogging and branding so I can improve my Ananda@16thand U: Lifestylista in Love with DC blog and expand my new media business and the Digital Sisterhood Network. To that end, I am planning to attend the Style Mini-Conference track on July 26 (right after I complete my talk on social media leadership). Check out the Style Mini-Conference session descriptions below. They feature some of my favorite bloggers and virtual mentors like “Afrobella” Patrice Yursik, Christina Brown, and Stacy Morrison.
- The Business of Blogging: Style bloggers are building rich, full careers, leveraging their online platform, but not relying solely on it. Patrice Yursik from Afrobella, Gabi Gregg from Gabifresh, and Natalia Simmons from Ma Nouvelle Mode are branching out and leveling up their game. Lesley Pinckney moderates this discussion.
- Rocking Your Otherness; Your Niche as a Platform, Not a Trap: Style bloggers are using niches to carve out a new, exciting, meaningful, and monetizable space in the blogging community. CeCe Olisa from The Big Girl Blog, Sabrina Enyatulla from Slice of Lemon, Leila Noelliste from Black Girl Long Hair, and Christina Brown from Love Brown Sugar are owning their space, and making the most of it.
- 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.
Happy Internet Geek Tuesday!
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).
- Articles: Ask Alli and Building a Business
- VIP Newsletter
- Free E-Books: The Get Going Guide to Awesome, The Entrepreneur’s Guide to Radical Change, and The Action Guide to Online Success
I am a huge fan of these resources. The articles and VIP Newsletter rock my world with information, insights, and inspiration. My favorites articles are listed below.
- Should I Follow My Passion and Hope the Money Will Come?
- The Secret of Social Media
- 5 Smart Ways to Build a Strong Online Presence (the Right Way)
- 10 Ways to Build Your Business with a Blog
- Stop Trying to Get Rich Blogging
I plan to read Alli’s three books this summer in preparation for the BlogHer Conference in July, Blogalicious Weekend Conference in October, and the launch of my book, Digital Sisterhood: A Memoir of Fierce Living Online later this year.
Happy Internet Geek Tuesday!
Today, I am celebrating Internet entrepreneur and She Takes on the World blog founder Natalie MacNeil’s new book, She Takes on the World: A Guide to Being Your Own Boss, Working Happy, Living on Purpose, a clever, informative, and inspiring business book. I discovered MacNeil on Twitter as a thought leader and started reading her blog and articles on Forbes-Women.com several years ago. She quickly became a digital diva shero and virtual mentor.
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.
My Digital Sisterhood book writing journey continues to amaze me. It just gave birth to a new passion and calling called the Digital Sisterhood Leadership Project. What a magical and messy creative process I have! Hold tight for more details on the project! I wanna give you the backstory first.
In an effort to maintain balance and stay on track with my writing, I have decided to pause today since it’s Digital Sisterhood Wednesday and share what’s been happening. Read on … For the past four months my writing journey has invited me to witness and take notes about the powerful ways social media women practice leadership. I had many lightbulb moments about women’s leadership during the BlissDom 2012 Conference in Nashville, Tennessee in February. My BlissDom experience exposed me to a leadership model called “Community Leaders.” The BlissDom founders Alli Worthington and Barbara Jones along with their team created the Community Leaders model so that seasoned bloggers could use their extensive experience to facilitate hands-on, small-group discussions during each session. The Community Leaders also:
- Helped new bloggers and first-time conference attendees navigate the BlissDom experience.
- Offered inspiration and encouragement.
- Shared their blogging wisdom, best practices, and tips.
- Engaged in one-on-one conversations that offered listening ears and brainstorming moments.
- Gave hugs (especially during my Fierce Living from Your Creative Heart workshop).
The role they played was PRICELESS. I call it Digital Sisterhood Leadership, my newfound passion that I will pursue fully in 2013. I say “pursue fully in 2013” because I am mindful of my need to set boundaries as I take time this year to complete my book.
So what’s next? Drum roll please!!!!
May is going to be an exciting month for the Digital Sisterhood Network (DSN). Click here to learn why. The link will direct you to my audio blog update about the new DSN initiative, the Digital Sisterhood Leadership Project. It will have a soft launch in May that includes #DSLead Twitter chats on May 2, 9, 23, and 30 from 9:00 pm ET to 10:00 pm ET. For more details, visit the DSN web site later today.
Guess what’s else is happening?
The DSN web site will feature a series of interviews with Digital Sisterhood Leaders in May, June, July, August, September, October, and November. Look for a mini celebration during Digital Sisterhood Month in December. The mega launch will be held in January 2013!
So what do you think about my new passion and calling?
Thanks for stopping by!
Yesterday I learned that BlogHer published its 2012 study of women and social media. What timing! I was hoping the study would come out in time for me to include in my last chapter of my Digital Sisterhood book. The Internet geek in me is jumping for joy. Time to read the study and learn more about digital sisters!
The #BlissDom12 Conference is two days away. I AM SO EXCITED!!! It’s my first BlissDom experience! I am gonna have big fun meeting new people, seeing old blogging friends, networking with brands, hanging out at the great events, listening to the keynote speakers, and learning a lot about video and photography from some amazing speakers. I am also facilitating a workshop session on “Fierce Living from Your Creative Heart” on February 24 from 2:30 pm to 4:00 pm.
PS: I will be signing copies of my novel, Love’s Troubadours – Karma: Book One on February 25 at 11:00 am at the Barnes & Nobles booth at BlissDom. If you are in Nashville, drop by. Click here to purchase the book on Amazon.com.
Have you heard of Womanifesting a/k/a WOMA? WOMA is a DC-based non-profit organization established by attorney Tracy Chiles McGhee to develop and support programs that foster self-empowerment, sisterhood, and service in the lives of women and girls. Tracy and I met two years ago during a writers’ workshop and realized we shared similar interests – law, writing, women’s creativity and empowerment, social justice, and service.
Last fall, I invited Tracy to participate in a focus group that discussed how social justice and nonprofit women leaders use social media. She stepped up to the plate and shined her wisdom and insights during the focus group. She also supported my Digital Sisterhood Network and Kickstarter book fundraising project. Her commitment and support to women and girls is above and beyond the call of duty. That’s why it was so easy for me to accept her invitation to participate as a panelist for WOMANIFESTING IN ACTION: How Local Women Leaders Make A Difference Through Community Building, Collaboration and Social Activism on March 19 from 2:00 pm to 4:30 pm at the Martin Luther King Jr. Memorial Library, 901 G St., NW, Room A-5, Washington, DC. During the discussion, I will share some lessons learned from my recent trip to Haiti as a Heart of Haiti blogger ambassador and work with the Digital Sisterhood Network.
Check out the dynamic women who will be speaking at the event below.
- Marita Golden, Acclaimed Author, Master Literary Teacher and Co-Founder of the Hurston/Wright Foundation
- Nikita Mitchell, Gen Y Writer/Blogger, who was recently named one of the Top 10 Nonprofit Bloggers to Watch in 2011
- Yasmine Arrington, a DC high school student who started a college scholarship fund for aspiring college students with incarcerated parents
- DC Councilwoman Muriel Bowser
- Patricia Nalls, Founder & Executive Director, The Women’s Collective, 2010 Washingtonian of the Year
- Carrie L. Ellis, Director of Project Management, KaBOOM! & Board Chair, Teaching for Change
- Shannon and Chai, Co-Founders of Holla Back DC
- Marielle Mariano, East Coast Coordinator, Chalk4Peace
- Jessica T. Solomon, Founder, The Saartjie Project & Chief Visionary Officer, Spark Creativity