Oct 23
Social Media Club SF/SV Posted by Laura Iriarte

I’m in a club now.  Social Media Club!

Last night I attended my second Social Media Club event.  It included a mixer and a panel discussion on, “Who Owns Social Media?”  The conversation was intelligent and insightful as they discussed whether social media was best handled by PR or Marketing.  My feeling is that it belongs mainly to PR, Public Relations, but it may depend on the task at hand, both might need to have input.

The panel included Jeremy Toeman with partner with Stage Two Consulting, Valerie Combs, VP Corporate Communications with BuzzLogic(@valeriec), and Mike Manuel from Voce Communications, it was mediated by Cathy Brooks with Seesmic.

I saw some old friends and met some new ones!  I got to spend some time with Cathryn Hrudicka(@CreativeSage) and Deb Roby(@debroby), both wonderful creative women.  Cathryn introduced me to Rachel Luxemburg, community manager with Adobe Systems Incorporated.  I ran into Eric Doyle Director of Integrated Media Campaigns with The Conversation Group, who had on the stand out shirt of the night!  I also saw Marie Williams(www.flackette.com), who I had previously met at the LOLcat book launch. Marie introduced me to Carlos Hernandez (@carloshernandez, http://www.linkedin.com/in/carlosrhernandez) with iRM Consulting (www.ireflectm.com).

Kristie Wells and Chris Heuer run Social Media Club, and by the sounds of it, it is keeping them busy, as they were flying off to Hawaii today for more Social Media Club events!

We ended the evening singing a chorus of Happy Birthday to Kristie and sharing her Dora the Explorer cake.

The topic for the next Social Media Club event is titled, “The Death of Advertising” with Brian Solis (http://bub.blicio.us.com).  Fun stuff, I can’t wait!

For more pictures from the event, please see my flickr photostream

What are your thoughts?  Who owns Social Media within a business structure?

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Oct 23
What I Saw Two Weeks Ago Posted by Laura Iriarte

This may be my last post about the Suisun Valley for awhile, they have changed my work assignment.  I no longer work at the charming old-fashioned country school in the valley.  I no longer drive past the grape vines and sunflowers.  I miss them all.

Above are some pics I took during my last week there.  Fall is settling into the Suisun Valley.  The grapes have been harvested.  Soon the grape leaves will turn vibrant fall colors, then flutter to the ground.

The sunflowers are beginning to fade and their heads are bowing under the weight of the ripening seeds.

There is a chill in the air, and a cooler breeze blowing.

I had lunch at Vezer Family Winery in their courtyard one of my last days there and was treated to – not one – but two barn owls perched in the tree above me!  One seemed slightly smaller than the other.  He was gone the next day, or perched somewhere out of my sight.  One of the people at Vezer told me that at one time there were owlets in the nest above.  One night they had a big function in the garden and apparently all the noise and people frightened the owls and the baby owls fell out of the nest and were running around on the ground, unable to fly yet, and ran under the deck.  The next day they caught them and took them to the wildlife center.  Unfortunately, they did not survive.

There are three horses that live in the field bordering the Suisun Valley School.  It always made me smile to see them as I drove in to work.  I mean, how many schools are lucky enough to have a field of horses next to them?

As I drove to the freeway one day after work I passed by Stonedene and slowed down and took a couple of pictures from my car.  Stonedene is an amazing old home built in 1861 by architect Julia Morgan, famous for her work on Hearst Castle!  I would imagine she had to be one of the first women architects in the San Francisco area.  Stonedene is located on Suisun Valley Road across the street from Solano Community College.  It’s built in the Gothic Revival Style.  I didn’t have time to drive up and take pics of the home.  But I love the picture I took of the creepy looking gate and the fabulous stone wall. When I was in high school I was hired by the family that lived there at the time to stay and help babysit their three children, along with their au pair, Mary, when the parents went out of town on antique buying trips for business.

I have always been fascinated by Stonedene, it was a treat getting to stay there as a teenager, and I would dearly love to see the inside again, now that I am a grown up!

If you would enjoy seeing more of my pictures of the Suisun Valley, please visit my flickr photostream at:


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Oct 14
Renaissance Faire! Posted by Laura Iriarte

Alexandra, Nick, Jorja(Nick’s girlfriend), and I attended the Northern California Renaissance Faire on October 11, 2008. Renaissance faire’s take a step back into time. You will find faire participants and guests dressed costume. Costumes can be traditional or sometimes not! There are craft booths galore. The craft booths are limited to handmade crafts and crafts in the vein of what you might find in renaissance times. You will find many unique things and ren faire’s that you won’t find anywhere else! Food booths are also unique! Traditional wording is used whenever possible! My favorite ren faire foods are their cinnamon rolls…which put Cinnabun to shame! and also the lemon italian ices…served in a real lemon half! I also had some cheddar broccoli soup served in a sourdough bread bowl that was quite good. Moonie the Magnif’cent and Broon are two comics that we have been watching for years at the ren faire. We make sure we see their act when we go! They are always hilarious on their own and doubly hilarious together! There are live performances going on at various stages all through the day. I also enjoyed “Shakespeare’s bloody bits” a comedy rendition of the killings in Shakespeare’s plays by Albion Schoole Of Defense. Another show we watched were two brothers juggling which were charming and amazing. Queen Elizabeth is also present at the faire. She is carried through the streets or sometimes walks. She hold’s court in certain area’s of the faire. When the queen goes by all people stop what they are doing to pay their respects. We yell, “God save the Queen!”. There is also an area for jousting where the knights compete on horseback. Ren faire’s are always a feast for the senses, if there is one in your area, don’t miss it!

For more amazing photos from the Renaissance Faire please see my flickr photostream at:


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