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Winemaker meets fellow BlogHers at SF Conference

Monday, July 28th, 2008

 San Francisco Heart

Imagine my delight when I found a familiar face in the crowd during a recent BlogHer party.  I’d spotted Debra Mathy pouring her luscious Zinfandel at an exclusive gathering.  Hours earlier I had arrived at San Francisco’s St. Francis hotel for the 2008 BlogHer conference.  Learning that the three-day conference was taking place in my own backyard, I hopped on a BART train and began the round of pre-conference parties. 


As a former sorority girl I thought I was up to the challenge of mingling with 1,000 plus female bloggers, along with the random male thrown in the mix.  As I entered the hotel lobby, I spotted a woman walking the corridor with an Alltop party sign. 

“Are you looking for the Alltop bus?” chirped the friendly gal sporting her plaque much like the limo drivers who troll the airport baggage claim terminals looking for designated VIP’s.

“My blog’s on the Alltop travel list, but I wasn’t invited,” I lamented.  Mind you, I’m years away from the sorority rush experience, yet I was feeling like the co-ed who didn’t receive her bid invitation into the elite sorority. 

Mommy Needs a Glass of Wine

 Mommy Needs a Glass of Wine T-shirt courtesy of Baby


“Get on the bus,” she said with a wink.  “It’s gonna be a great party at Guy’s house.”  For those of you who don’t know Guy Kawasaki, he is the man behind Alltop, an entrepreneur and a twitter maniac.  I board the shuttle and am immediately surrounded my Mommy bloggers chatting up a storm with their seatmates.  I learned quite a lot about blogging from Kristen Hammond of Mommy Needs a Cocktail fame.   She is not only hilarious, she’s quite the marketer, handing out cocktail shakers sporting her blog at the BlogHer conference.

After a few mis-adventures in downtown Atherton, we arrived at the Kawasaki household.  Our poor driver had scribbled down directions to the party location and finally checked his male ego, parked the bus and asked for directions.  Needless to say, every blogger on the bus with a GPS in their cellphone was frantically waving  smartphones in the air asking anyone who would listen, “what cross street is that?”


While it’s not quite couch surfing with complete stangers, I felt that I had crashed a party and sheepishly shook hands with the host as he welcomed me into his backyard.  I ambled over to the wine table and was delighted to find Debra Mathy pouring her wares from Dry Creek Valley’s Dutcher Crossing Winery.  Another savvy marketer, Debra writes about Dry Creek on her blog.


 I learned about the Wine Bloggers Conference taking place in Sonoma County, October 24-26, 2008 from Debra.  Put on by OpenWine Consortium (OWC) the group is a non-profit wine industry association fully embracing bloggers, twitters and web 2.0 users.  If you’ll be in the Santa Rosa area during these dates, register for the conference and prepare to meet America’s new wine media.

I’ll be attending the Wine Bloggers Conference.  Will you be there?

Where’s Wendy Perrin? She has landed in San Francisco

Monday, July 7th, 2008

 Wendy Perrin

Wendy Perrin likes to beat the system, find the best travel deals and share all of her insider secrets with her readers.  I recently caught up with Conde Nast Traveler’s Consumer News Editor while she was on vacation with her husband and two young boys.  The Perrin gang, along with CNT writer Brook Wilkinson and her boyfriend, were visiting San Francisco’s Exploratorium by the Palace of Fine Arts. 

What is the job of a consumer news editor?

WP: I’m not sure what other people do at their job, but at CNT I’m in charge of giving consumers advice on how to beat the system.  I write an advice column, The Perrin Report and my blog The Perrin Post in addition to my other writing responsibilities. 

If you didn’t have this job, what would you like to do?

WP: That’s a very good question.  I’ve been with CNT for 19 years and this is a great job.  If I didn’t have this job, I’d probably work for a school.  Education matters a lot to me.

What’s your “must have” travel gadget?

Brook Wilkinson: I’d have to say my digital camera.

Place you want to go when you are NOT on assignment?

WP: My husband’s family is from Northern California, so we come here every summer.

Brook Wilkinson: New Zealand is my favorite place in the world.  Growing up in my family we didn’t tend to repeat places.  I like visiting Lake Winnipesaukee in New Hampshire to hang out.

Have you ever been Couch Surfing?

Brook Wilkinson: I have never been CouchSurfing, but I have stayed as a guest in someone’s home through a mutual contact.  In 2001 I backpacked in China for a year and met Lucy from Beijing and stayed with her.

Brook, now that you live in San Francisco, where are your favorite Martini Glassplaces?

Tank Hill.  I wrote about it on Wendy’s blog.  I like dining at Chez Panisse in Berkeley and the Presidio Social Club in the city for the classic cocktail.

Do you prefer writing or blogging?

WP: My first commitment is writing for the magazine, but it is a time-consuming production process.  I enjoy the e-mails from my readers.  I have a very intelligent group of readers.  When my articles are done, that’s when I make time for the blog.  I usually write the blog at night.  The blog is a  way to interact with readers and I love the immediate feedback.  It’s great because I get to meet people like you!

Say yes to airport layover in San Francisco

Tuesday, July 1st, 2008
 Golden Gate Bridge  Photo credit San Francisco Convention & Visitors Bureau I know it may sound crazy, but an airport layover might not be such a bad thing afterall.  Why not briefly touch on the highlights of a city ... [Continue reading this entry]