Scott McLeod in a Dangerously Irrelevant post, "I misunderstood the technology" quotes a professor Todd Henderson who believes "I misunderstood the technology, and the consequences are devastating for me personally." I applaud Henderson's honesty about underestimating the power of online communications (although I can't quite figure out what actual damage Henderson suffered that has caused him to quit blogging).
I truly wonder how many of us really DO understand "the technology?" If it is even possible to understand the impact of blogging, social networking, online reading and continuous connectivity on our careers, on our personal relationships, on the overall quality of our lives given how recently these things have become available. Books like The Shallows are beginning to explore some of these questions, but it seems like some potential negatives are predictable. (See: Blogging and a little common sense.)
One hazard is the negative impact of a public voice on one's career. I'll maintain that if you are a boat-rocker, a change agent, a questioner, a rabble-rouser, a radical in your online writings about your profession, your chances of getting a job and advancing in your career is jeopardized. In education especially, the people doing the hiring are conservative*. They may want someone who can remodel their home; they don't want someone who will burn it down and rebuild it.
Those who continue to advocate for radical change in education** fall into three categories: the clueless, the protected, and the courageous. Cluelessness and courage need little explanation; the protected include tenured educators, independent consultants, and professional pundits.
I applaud the courageous. We need more of you folks. But remember, it is only risk that makes you courageous in the first place.
* Schools are run by those who were successful in traditional schools.
** I do not include myself in this group.