Ever wonder how much computer-book publisher Tim O'Reilly gets to flap his mouth at conferences about how everything should be free? His flack revealed it to the world last night via Twitter (of course).

Sara Winge, a vice president at O'Reilly Media, posted a message asking her boss to confirm his plans to speak at a Stanford event in June for a fee of $25,000. (It's since been deleted, but it's still archived in Twitter's search engine.) Since she'd posted about getting a drink earlier in the day, we're thinking that she might have forgotten to use Twitter's direct-messaging feature.

The subject, the "future of manufacturing," hardly seems like an area to which O'Reilly, who helped popularize the term "Web 2.0," might lend his expertise, but hey, times are tough and money is money. On an O'Reilly website, Winge is described as the "maestro of the O'Reilly media message." And yes, the message is clear: O'Reilly is a mid-tier blowhard for hire.

(Photo by kubina)