The article focused on personal details that might be exposed -- I can understand that fear. Certainly there are details I might tell someone in confidence that I would feel upset about if they publicized them -- whether on a blog or in gossip at a party or wherever. But I guess I don't quite get, on some visceral level, why blogging feels so newly-threatening to so many.
Haven't we always relied on the discretion of friends and lovers? Haven't we always had to hope that their ideas of appropriate discretion are sufficiently congruent with our own? Is it just that blogging is making it much more quickly obvious when there is a disconnect? In earlier days, a decade or so ago, perhaps the odds were that you'd never find out that your ex had a tendency to make fun of the way you barked like a dog at the moment of orgasm -- because you didn't hang out with her friends. Now, there's a reasonable chance that if she's the type to tell indiscreet tales, that she'll do it for a larger audience, and so you're likely to hear about it, eventually.
I guess I feel like in some sense, this current reaction of shock is a temporary thing. That etiquette is infinitely flexible, and will evolve to accommodate the practicalities of blogs and the net. That we have always had to rely on other people's discretion and sense of what is appropriate, and that people will naturally find the company of those who are like-minded in that regard.
I imagine workplace etiquette will evolve as well. You remember the interview that I'd written up? You may not have seen the comment from Sarah later, where she said, "Mary Anne, I'm curious how you feel about the fact that any of these schools, including those you are interviewing with, could easily come visit the journal and read your thoughts on the process (and on specific schools/interviews) before making a decision....I don't think you've said anything inappropriate and as a future academic I'm really enjoying your insight into the process, but I wonder if that possibility concerns you at all."
At this point, I don't feel like there's a clearly defined workplace etiquette covering blogging of job interviews, especially in academia (which has a general pedagogical culture that values transparency). But certainly it's possible that a potential interviewer might read that piece, consider that I had been inappropriately specific and public about what they considered a confidential interview process, and may even be uncomfortable enough with the idea that I might blog about other, similar, aspects of my future workplace that they wouldn't be willing to work with me. Which would certainly make me sad.
The cautious thing to do, the action that would be most likely to protect my chances of getting that job, would be to refrain from such blogging. But I feel like I have to weigh my own deeply-ingrained valuation of transparency/openness against a consideration of possible personal gain. And while I'm certainly not claiming a right to blog anything I feel like, I do feel that it's up to me to judge what is appropriate and sufficiently discreet. My friends have to trust me on this; my lovers have to trust me on this, and in the end, my employers have to trust me on this too. If they feel like they can't, then they're entirely right not to get involved with me. It's really not a question of blogs versus the era pre-blogs. It's a question of whether you trust someone's judgement or not.
I suppose I think that's where we're all headed in this regard. Choose your friends, your lovers, your employees wisely. Talk to them about where your boundaries lie, and make sure their own boundaries are sufficiently congruent with yours for comfort. Or you may end up in a very uncomfortable situation when you stumble across their blog.