I've been meaning to do one of these for a long time, and I recently heard some disturbing news that some people thought I made money off the LA Geek Dinner - which is really off base because I've covered the costs for almost three years.
How I make money
I have worked in the technology industry since 1996. I've helped launch over 50 - fifty - yes five-oh - internet software products, including websites and blogs (but the majority have been software products like AIM, a browser plug-in and client/server project management software.) I have a lot of experience doing this and people hire me to help them clarify, build, market and launch their own products through my company, The Purple Tornado.
LA Tech Events
I've organized many LA Tech events including two barcamps (BarcampLA2 and BarcampLA3), StartupLA and more than 40 Geek Dinners in 3 years. I can't begin to estimate the amount of time I spent working to make these happen.
If I remember correctly, we had slight shortfalls for both Barcamps I organized (and raised the majority of the money for) and I ended up paying a bit out of pocket. StartupLA made a slight profit - I think I got $200 after everything was covered (and I brought in the sponsor who put us in the black). I've mostly asked the community to cover the communities's ass when there have been shortfalls at geek dinners (which have happened) and I have personally covered a few shortfalls. A couple times, I have had a few surplus geek dinners with a $100 or maybe $200 additional (thank you sponsors). I've used that to cover the cost of nametags, sharpies, a few domains and server hosting.
I've never gotten a kickback from a restaurant or company to promote them and would not even think to ask - that is so not my vibe.
I use pay to use Typepad from SixApart to host this blog. I use Wordpress to host some others.
As of August 2011, I have joined SWIFT's Innovation Team, Innotribe, as their American Innovation Leader.