“On a cold day in February, John Gruber traveled from his home in Philadelphia to New York City for a meeting. At a posh hotel near Central Park, the 39-year-old tech blogger was greeted by Phil Schiller, Apple’s senior vice president for worldwide marketing. For the next hour, Schiller performed one of the company’s signature product presentations: this one to unveil the latest Mac operating system,” Mark Milian and Adam Satariano report for Businessweek. “‘I got an Apple press event for one,’ Gruber later wrote in a 2,300-word post on his blog Daring Fireball, which draws 5 million visitors a month. ‘This was new territory for me, and I think, for Apple.'”

“Apple has opened its inner circle to select bloggers, Gruber chief among them. His bare-bones site consists mainly of links to other articles with a few sentences of commentary, along with the occasional lengthier analysis on topics such as screen resolution,” Milian and Satariano report. “The former software developer takes pleasure in needling Apple’s rivals—first Microsoft (MSFT), now Google (GOOG)—and challenging those who criticize the Cupertino giant. Steve Jobs used to check Daring Fireball regularly. Gruber sometimes managed to score a few minutes with Jobs at company events. Still, he says his access into the company goes beyond the C-suite: ‘My contacts at Apple have always been in the rank and file.'”

Milian and Satariano report, “Gruber celebrated Daring Fireball’s 10-year anniversary last month. He quit his day job at software startup Joyent in 2006 when revenue from T-shirt sales and ad sponsorships on the site picked up. During that time, the Philly native had to dip into his savings to support his wife and then-2-year-old son. These days his one-man operation brings in more than $500,000 a year, according to a person familiar with his financials who is not authorized to speak on the matter. Gruber would not confirm the figure.”

Read more in the full article here.