SPEAKER INTERVIEW: Sheila Bernus Dowd

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This is a series of interviews with the speakers of Digital Family Summit, June 29-July 1.
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Sheila Bernus DowdSheila Bernus Dowd is a serial entrepreneur, visionary, community builder, and speaker, Sheila leads Clever Girls Collective‘s overall vision and strategic alliances. Clever Girls Collective is one of the largest blog networks in the world. Over the last 18 years, Sheila’s led dozens of high-performance teams and raised over $10M in operating capital for social venture start-ups. As co-founder of the Left Coast Live music festival and conference, Sheila has been directly responsible for securing sponsors and hiring the emerging artists who showcase the best of the West Coast, revitalizing San Jose’s music scene. Sheila is a sought-after and inspirational speaker especially among the digital and blogging community, and has spoken about blog monetization and SEO on over a dozen panels. Sheila serves on the Yahoo! Mother Board, is the co-founder Lookiloos.com (a nationally syndicated home and garden site), and frequently trains local non-profits on social media applications. 

 twitter: @xiaolinmama
website: Lookiloos.comClever Girls Collective
session: The 21st-Century Paper Route, Saturday, June 30, 11:15 AM

How did you get involved with blogging?
I started blogging as a way to process being a new parent. I have always had a diary and blogging was a natural way for me to get my thoughts in one place. It has since grown from a small blog about raising my Silicon Valley kids and the dopey things we do to founding one of the worlds largest blog networks for women. I would not have guessed that writing our story would have taken me there!

What’s your favorite technology to help you blog/write/tweet/edit?
I love my iPhone. Almost everything can be done from a smartphone. I love apps like Instagram that let you post things on multiple platforms, so you can take a picture and it can post directly to twitter, Facebook and email to others if you want it. Easy want to create content on the go!

If you could travel back in time and send yourself a message, what would it be?
Um, I would tell myself not to spend 30 min on my hair and makeup everyday. Getting sleep is WAY more important. When I look at pictures of me back in high school , I am amazed at how much time I spent on BAD hairdos – hilarious!

Any advice for young bloggers?
You OWN your story – and it’s perfect the way it is. You can decide what your digital persona is going to be now, so think wisely about what you put out there, what your point of view is and don’t let anyone else tell you differently.

What’s the biggest danger facing digital teens & their families today?
Our lives are public in so many ways, that it is challenging to figure out how to create boundaries. I don’t have the solution, but am more strategic now about what I share on the various channels.

What are you going to talk about at the conference?
I am speaking about how to make money from your blog and digital content. Better than delivering papers or working at your local froyo shop, they are plenty of ways to make a little cash by sharing your opinions and story.

What’s next for you after the Digital Family Summit?
I will be speaking at the EVO conference for women in July and hosting an event for tech bloggers in New York in August. On a more personal note, I’ll also be pending a lot of time hitting soccer tournaments all summer as the “head watergal” for my kids teams.

ABOUT THE AUTHOR

 Adam Gertsacov is the co-founder and co-organizer of Digital Family Summit.  He wears many hats, including those of a professional clown, an author and publisher, an artist/educator, a non-profit administrator, a P.T. Barnum impersonator, a flea circus impresario, and the esteemed hat of the Clown Laureate of Greenbelt, Maryland.  

In his copious freetime, he blogs at http://www.clownlink.com and http://www.dadapalooza.com, as well as a few other places.
You can find out more about his clown work at http://www.acmeclown.com

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