Author Archives: Dana Oshiro

About Dana Oshiro

As the Senior Media Analyst and Publishing Strategist for NetShelter, Dana helps 180+ tech sites including VentureBeat, MacRumors and PhoneDog increase their on and offsite audience engagement. In her spare time she contributes to ReadWriteWeb's startup channel and her personal blog VillagersWithPitchforks.

This morning was an eye-opener for me. For the first time I really stuck it to my boss publicly without losing my job.

After attending the AppNation Conference this week, former editor-in-chief at CNET and my current boss at NetShelter Patrick Houston, made the statement that“everything is an app” and that all publishers are software developers.

Clearly he’s dead wrong. And today, in blog battle format, I responded on Netshelter’s company site. It was liberating.

This exercise was refreshing –not just because I’m the clear victor — but because there’s a chance here for me to contribute as an individual rather than as a cog in a machine. Everybody talks about company-wide engagement, employee influence and enacting open leadership, but how many executives are comfortable with getting publicly bested for the transparency and exposure of the company?

Embracing the Truth: Good and Bad

We can talk about all the warm and squishy things social media and blogs can do for us, but when Pat decides to let me taunt him in my own voice, or guys like Zappos CEO Tony Hsieh leave the employee Twitter page up after laying off 8% of his staff –that is open leadership.

Decent leaders aren’t threatened by an employee’s version of the truth. They let them express themselves and look for ways to improve an organization from all levels of the organization.

The best thing about social media is that it cuts through hierarchy and gives everyone from the wage slave to the CEO a chance to creatively decompress. Embracing open discussion, extracting lessons, and finding recommendations create a healthy culture — one where I’m not scouring Linkedin or job boards.

My recommendation to Pat: Keep doing what you’re doing.
His probable recommendation to me: Good job kiddo, but try not to be so smug.


Dana Oshiro is the Senior Media Analyst and Publishing Strategist for NetShelter Technology Media – a company that works with more than 180+ mobile, IT and consumer electronics publishers including VentureBeat, IntoMobile and MacRumors. She is also a contributor to ReadWriteWeb’s Startup Channel and she updates her personal blog Villagers With Pitchforks regularly. You can reach her by pinging @suzyperplexus or emailing her at

I’ve been thinking about the Demand Media IPO story in the context of how it affects the publishing industry and I’ve come to this conclusion. While SEO plays get search traffic, it’s unlikely readers really trust the source.

Think about it. If you’re looking for an answer, would you rather get a penny-per-word article with all the right keywords, or do you want info from the people who offer you useful solutions?

When an article gives me the answers I want, I’m happy.  When I’m happy I not only bookmark it, share it and add it to my feeds, but I also return to it again and again. These are the trusted web experiences that leave me open to recommendations.

So for me, content mills get the clicks, and well-curated stories and editorial teams get my advocacy and referral dollars. That being said, there’s stiff competition amongst trusted web properties — and speed and quantity sadly still play a role in who’ll earn the most ad revenue.

I just wrote a post on ways good publishers can increase their output while maintaining their quality. I’d like to continue collecting these sorts of resources and adding to this one. If you’re interested in seeing the superior signals rise above the noise, and you’ve got articles or topics to suggest, ping me (@suzyperplexus) or let us all know about them in the comments below.

Help define who and what matters in the mobile space. If you’d like to connect with others and amplify your influence in the mobile tech space, then join NetShelter and publishers PhoneDog, IntoMobile and VentureBeat for an evening of insights, merriment and mingling.


Where: ROE Nightclub. 651 Howard Street San Francisco, CA 94105

When: Thursday, July 15, 2010 | 7:00 PM – 10:00 PM

ost: Free

Facebook Page:
Hashtag: #netsheltermixer

Pirouz Nilforoush [@pirouzn] and Peyman Nilforoush [@netshelter_ceo] , NetShelter [ @netshelter ]
Noah Kravitz [@phonedog_noah], PhoneDog
Will Park [@willpark], IntoMobile
Owen Thomas [@owenthomas], VentureBeat

By Dana Oshiro

In 2007, Frito-Lay, Chevrolet, Alka-Seltzer and the NFL invited fans to create ads aired during the Super Bowl. An iMedia article claims that Frito-Lay “saved six or seven figures on the production cost”, generated considerable online and offline buzz, gained millions of page views, and found new audience members when ads were redistributed through YouTube and other video hosting sites.

However, of the four companies airing user-generated ads, only Frito-Lay’s Doritos commercial rated well with viewers. That’s why this year, the company decided to air another user-generated ad – one that topped audience rating charts. Still, after sweetening the deal for amateur producers with a $1M dollar contest pot, one can’t help but think user-generated marketing remains out of reach for smaller companies lacking contest budgets, or is it?

Enter Crowd Sourced Ads: Ad Hack

As seen above, user-generated ads are not new, but one Canadian company is taking a more direct approach. AdHack is an online community where ad creators and ad buyers meet to produce high-quality, low-cost, commissioned ads. The advantage over regular user generated contests is that communities tend to offer encouragement and support amongst peers.

Says AdHack founder James Sherrett, “The brands that succeed in the world of open advertising harness the power of hearing what passionate, powerful consumers have to say. These are the folks who benefit most from commissioning AdHack commercials and advertisements. They have the balls to let go.”

Sherret’s sentiment is what drove the production of his community’s “Show Us Your Balls” Super Ball commercial contest – an effort to display that the secret to capturing people’s attention (for Super Bowl or otherwise) is giving them opportunities for dialogue, community and above all else, great stories. It’s an interesting concept and I’m eager to see what’s next.


Dana Oshiro is a writer, PR Pro and media strategist. She is the Marketing Director for online 12M member DIY repair site, FixYa.
Blogs: Villagerswithpitchforks, Hiyaablog
Twitter: @suzyperplexus

by Dana Oshiro

Jennifer Connelly in charity: water Public Service Announcement from charity: water on Vimeo.

On Feb 12, more than one hundred cities will host Twitter Festivals or Twestivals to raise money for Charity: Water – an organization that aims to help the 1.1 billion people who survive without access to clean drinking water. 100% of the proceeds from these events will go towards the charity and many of the locations will broadcast a live stream. Essentially, here’s another great example of how people are using the power of their online networks to enact change.

Running an Effective Cause Campaign:

Our own Brian Solis writes, “Without the ability to humanize our story and communicate with people in the places they go for information, how can we expect them to care?” For this very reason, those that care have moved beyond the brochure. A few examples include:

THE NETWORKED GURU: Nonprofit social media guru Beth Kanter is known for her person-to-person fundraising abilities. Kanter gave a talk at last year’s Gnomedex entitled, “How one woman poked, prodded, tweeted, blogged and mobilized a networked army of supporters to rally their friends and personal networks and raise over $90,000 for Cambodian Orphans”. During her talk she raised more than $2500 in 90 minutes to send a Cambodian orphan to college. Kanter helps other organizers by keeping a wiki of her work here.

THE NETWORKED ORG: Amanda Koster, author of “Can I Come with You?” is the founder of Salaam Garage – an organization that takes amateur photographers to developing countries to document the work of local organizations. Koster’s organization is a success because her photographers use their own voices and images to advocate in online and offline networks. Writes Koster, “The key has been to share the project, and also ask for support. It’s all a collaboration, and once I shared my passion I found that others had it too, and were happy to collaborate.”

THE NETWORKED NETWORKERS: In 2007, Robert Scoble and StageTwo Consulting’s Jeremy Toeman formed Geeks Doing Good – an event group where individuals from the tech community gather to volunteer for Habitat for Humanity, the SF Foodbank and other great orgs. Writes Toeman, ” I feel that this is a good first step for me personally, one that I’d like to build on in the years to come.” The group lists new events and member-submitted articles on its Facebook page and encourages members to ping their network contacts.

*CORRECTION: StageTwo Consulting’s Andrew Kippen is also one of the co-founders of Geeks Doing Good. He currently manages the San Francisco group in its efforts.

Got examples of great cause-tech efforts? Let us know about them in the comments below.

Dana Oshiro is a writer, PR Pro and media strategist. She is the Marketing Director for online 12M member DIY repair site, FixYa and the former online strategist for the Breast Cancer Fund.

Blogs: Villagerswithpitchforks, Hiyaablog
Twitter: @suzyperplexus

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