Nov 12

November 10, 2012 – The Tweet House once again graced Napa, CA at Silo’s Jazz Club located in gorgeous Downtown Napa on the Riverfront as one of the Napa Valley Film Festival events.

Thank you SO much to conference and event planner Maryam Scoble, for inviting me, once again, to attend The Tweet House! I just adore her! It was wonderful to be so warmly greeted by her as we walked in the door!

What is the Tweet House? This time it was a place to hear brilliant minds discussing new and innovative ideas in tech and media as well as looking forward to and speculating on future changes that may come. …And then there was the wine. :)

The topics of the night were:

Social Campaigns that Work: Lessons from the Wine Industry featuring speaker Jim Sullivan, Vice President of Public Relations at Castello di Amorosa Winery. Honestly, thanks to an uncommon amount of traffic on Jameson Canyon Road and walking up and down Main Street trying to find Silo’s, I came in in the middle of this one, but I really enjoyed what I heard. Steve Broback, moderator and Tweet House organizer, stated he felt that the winery business as a whole has been slow to adopt social media strategies. It was agreed that many wineries feel that there is little or no need to further promote their wineries as they get a lot of traffic just by virtue of being part of the Napa Valley. As discussion ensued the general feeling was that through social media innovation, business could and would increase. Many found the sites Topsy and VinTank useful in monitoring winery brands.

Jim Sullivan shared that Castello di Amarosa Winery is using social media innovation in a delightful way by offering special tours to Instagram users! Instagram is a popular photo sharing app, and visitors to the winery can share their photos of the gorgeous castle winery on the Instagram site as well as on Twitter and Facebook, multiplying the amount of people who may view the photos.

Next up was Is Silicon Valley Grabbing the Torch from Hollywood? featuring speaker Barry Schuler(with his very trendy shoes), whose credits include VC at DFJ Growth Fund, Former AOL CEO, Vintner-Meteor Vineyard, Foodie, Film & TV Producer. With Steve Broback once again moderating Barry discussed how Silicon Valley with innovative online shows as well as new ways of viewing TV integrated with Social Media sites will continue to evolve. Included in the discussion were the possibility that in the future innovation may see things like HBO Go moving to a singular subscription, similar to Netflix‘s online streaming package, instead of bundled in with Comcast.

Lastly, The Age of Context: How the Convergence of Social, Mobile, and Big Data are Defining the Future featuring Robert Scoble, top Tech Blogger and Rackspace employee, author and keynote speaker. Early promotion for the event also listed Shel Israel co-speaking. Sadly, Shel was unable to make it, which is a shame as I would have loved to see him again. But, right after the session started, BONUS! Brian Solis showed up and was able to fill in for Shel! Brian is the founder of, principal analyst at Altimeter Group, award-winning author, prominent blogger, and keynote speaker.

Long time friends Robert and Brian discussed the changes in media with a conversation that ebbed and flowed. Brian felt it’s time to move away from the words Social Media as we have evolved beyond that to an age of context, where content is queen, but context is king. Robert discussed a disagreement he was having with Star Trek star, George Takei, over Facebook’s EdgeRank. George wants every one of his fans to see 100% of his posts, but Robert enjoys the way EdgeRank works to help reduce the noise of uninteresting posts cluttering his Facebook Home page.

Branding was discussed, specifically how Red Bull had made their awful tasting energy drink seems so cool and very popular through their successful commercials featuring extreme sports personalities. Robert later polled the audience asking how many had iPhones or used an Apple product. Nearly everyone, including me, raised their hands. He felt right now Apple has branded itself in a way that owning it’s products makes you feel like one of the cool kids. Many feel that Android may be innovating and gaining ground in a way that may take over that space unless Apple ups it’s game.

For the first time, to one of these tech events I frequently attend, I brought along my daughter, Alexandra Iriarte(Hair and Makeup Artist) and her boyfriend Adrian Posadas(Graphic Designer). I initially brought her along in the hopes that being at the Napa Valley Film Festival event, that possibly she might make some helpful industry contacts. That didn’t really pan out, but they both thoroughly enjoyed the event and the sessions, with the last being their favorite. My daughter and I talked on the way home about how we thought one of the Toutsuite Social Club cameramen looked like a younger version of Mr. Big, played by Chris Noth, from Sex And The City!

I enjoyed ALL of the talks, but yes, I must admit listening to two brilliant men, as well as great friends and colleagues Robert and Brian banter was the highlight of the night for me as well.

It was lovely to run into friends from San Francisco in Napa! So fun to see Chris Heuer, co-founder of Social Media Club, who arrived fresh from a business trip speaking in Mexico City. He shared that he was actually in Washington D.C. for the election and was standing right outside the White House when the results of the election were announced. What an exciting life!

Also, it was wonderful to see Chris Saad and Ben Metcalfe (it’s been forever!) whom my daughter enjoyed discussing Dr. Who with! Fellow San Francisco Giants fan Danica Sattui also came by! And, I had the pleasure to meet IRL Twitter friends Heather Meeker as well as Shana Ray!

Another highlight of the night was the wine. I missed the first tasting. I enjoyed the second tasting of Sav Blanc and a red blend, but sadly I can’t remember the name of the winery! Hopefully someone can help me out in the comments!? I thoroughly enjoyed the last tasting. Bubbles are my favorite! Ca’Momi Winery shared their Ca’Rosa and Ca’Secco Sparkling! I had to go back for seconds for the Ca’Rosa! That *may* be gracing my Thanksgiving table! :)

It was a rather surreal night for me. I truly felt like my worlds were colliding: family, tech, and wine. I was with my daughter(family), and saw many friends from the San Francisco tech social scene, as well as a few Napa wine friends. It was a grand night!

A few pictures from the night can be found on Flickr here. (Honestly, I usually take a lot more, but I was enjoying sharing the night with my daughter!)

The event was live-streamed by Toutsuite. I did find the middle session with Barry Schuler online here. I’m hoping that possibly videos will be posted for later viewing. I will update the blog if I find a link!

Some of my fellow bloggers may realize what a pain this one was to link up! ;)

Please do let me know if any links or credits are incorrect and I will be happy to edit.

I would love it if you would please share your thoughts and comments below, or your personal highlights if you were there! :)

2 Responses

  1. Jason Preston Says:

    Hey Laura,

    Thanks for coming out! I’m glad you had a good time… funny that you mention Barry Schuler’s shoes. I asked him about them, he said they were made for him by kids at a local school he runs.

  2. Laura Iriarte Says:

    It was my pleasure to be there Jason. Thank you for sharing that story about Barry’s shoes! What a wonderful guy he is! I actually took a picture of them if you get a chance to look through my Flickr photos!:)