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

About the Author:

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.

Visit Dana's page at


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