We've discussed the issue of rabbis and blogs and professionalism before, such as in Hypothetical Question and in Rabbis friending children on Facebook.
Here's a look from "Should your doctor be on Facebook", a column by Dr. Danielle Ofri in today's New York Times. It's about doctors, but it could just as easily be about rabbis. Here's an excerpt:
I worry that it is impossible to maintain a perfect firewall, so I’ve decided to limit my online presence to the professional side of my life, keeping personal information off the Web. And before I post anything anywhere, I try to imagine what a patient of mine might think if she stumbled across it. Would it make her cringe? Would she feel awkward during her next office visit? Would this somehow compromise our relationship?
This means letting go of the fun and casual side of social media, but I think that’s simply part of the territory of being a doctor. It’s the same reason I don’t wear flip-flops and shorts to work, much as I’d surely love to. Giving up posting vacation pictures doesn’t seem like a particularly high price.
Doctors — like everyone else — are entitled to private lives, with all the attendant warts, embarrassments and unflattering moments. But now that any patient can Google a medical team, doctors — like teachers and lawyers — need to consider issues of professionalism before sharing their private lives.
Much to contemplate here. For example:
Will you see your Rabbi as a leader, if you read his blog post about entering the rabbinate and you know he is less than confident about leading, or he is not properly trained?
Will you accept your Rabbi's moral instruction, if you have seen his taste in music and you think he's coarse and unsophisticated?
Will you be able to concentrate on the Rabbi's speech on Shabbat Shuvah once you have seen him in vacation shorts and a Hawaiian shirt?
And so on.