Dave Winer says he made 2.3 million with his blog, without advertising.
What I think he means (as I explain to Bill Seitz, here) is that he sold the weblogs.com server last year.
For Winer, the blog is a full media and communications strategy. It’s how he does his personal branding, hypes his projects, and most importantly makes his connections with important users and developers.
Without Scripting News Dave wouldn’t get invited to the right kinds of parties and conferences, wouldn’t have people working with OPML, or reading River of News, or his podcast directories etc. Without Scripting News how would he (or anyone else) understand that there was even an opportunity called “weblogs.com” or what form it should take?
Update : Somehow this reminds me of another Steve Pavlina article : the $10,000 hour.
Not in the letter, of course, - Pavlina's tactics for commercializing his blog are antithetical to Dave's - but in the spirit.
Both eschew mere optimization of the normal microchunk in favour of the hard-to-measure, riskier, higher potential stroke of genius. For Pavlina that means merely increasing your hourly rate by gradual, evolutionary steps is a bad deal if by doing so you miss out on the $10,000 flash of inspiration. Winer says the same for merely monitizing eyeballs rather than making the connections, and having the conversations, that lead to the next weblogs.com.