Last year Xina Eiland and I met during the Blogalicious 2009 opening night reception in Atlanta. While sipping cocktails and recording video interviews, we learned we were both born in Michigan and currently reside in the Washington, DC metropolitan area. Throughout the conference, we reconnected with each other and other women like“WhimsiGal,” founder of Whimsicard, LLC from the DC area. When we returned home, we used social media tools like Twitter, Facebook, and LinkedIn to stay in touch. We also discussed our Blogalicious experiences on my TalkShow.com program called Sisterhood the Blog Radio.
And then it happened. We reached out by telephone and agreed to meet in person. Our first meeting occurred on a Sunday afternoon at the U Street Café in DC. Xina, “WhimsiGal,” and I sat at a table for a few hours discussing our lives, 2010 goals, ways we could support each other, and ideas for a local Blogalicious meet up. That one conversation paved the way for our Blogalicious DC community building efforts.
Together, we were able to help Blogalicious founders Stacey Ferguson, Nadia Jones, and Nyasha Smith organize two meet ups in February and April for DC area women. Xina played a major role in securing space and media coverage, promoting the events on Facebook and Twitter, identifying speakers and sponsors, developing the agenda, and obtaining in-kind donations for both events. I served as panel moderator for the April meet up.
In addition to supporting the Blogalicious DC community, we also made a professional commitment to support each other and our 2010 business goals. We launched our commitment with a face-to-face breakfast meeting at Busboys and Poets, a popular DC hangout, on January 2. Seated on comfy chairs with herbal tea and delicious breakfast items to keep us company, we shared our expertise. Xina became my public relations coach and convinced me to follow her instructions on how to better package myself, books, art, yoga practice, and coaching services. I became her creativity coach and helped her develop a social media plan to support her intention to blog and learn more about social media tools. Since then, we have met monthly to assess our progress and seek feedback. We also attended several DC social media meet ups, participated in the Blogging While Brown’s White House Visit and weekend conference, hung out at the Red Pump Project and Blogalicious’ Say RED: Cocktails and Conversations event, and live blogged with the Blogalicious DC B-Link members during President Obama’s education reform speech at the National Urban League’s Centennial Conference.
What a year we are having! And it’s not even over yet! I think the greatest blessing has come from the way we constantly encourage each other to step up our game and pursue new opportunities. We also share information, insights, and introductions to people in our network that can support our efforts. We laugh, learn, and listen to each other when we achieve and struggle. Our Blogalicious bond has created a digital sisterhood that exists in real time!
Digital sisterhood is one of the many gifts you will receive when you attend a Blogalicious conference or event. It’s contagious. Some say it’s magical. And it happens without you even knowing it. That’s the beauty of Blogalicious. Through the celebration of Blogalicious’ diversity, women own who they are through the content, connections, communities, and commerce they create as they share experiences, insights, opinions, humor, creativity, expertise, and information. Our Blogalicious digital sisterhood lays the foundation for building local digital sisterhood communities.
You might be wondering how you can take your Blogalicious 2010 digital sisterhood experience back to your local community. Wonder no more. Join Xina and I for a discussion on October 8 at 5:00 p.m. at the Ritz Carlton hotel about how we can use our Blogalicious 2010 digital sisterhood experience to build informal networks that share information, inspire creativity, expand career and business opportunities, support health and social justice campaigns, and establish friendships with Blogalicious attendees and other social media women in our local communities. See you in Miami!
Thanks to the phenomenal Ananda Leeke for this touching guest post. We hope that you join her and Xina for what promises to be an inspiring discussion!