But, will his online presence hurt him or help him in this case? Zed is obviously intelligent, but his tendency to not "play nice" with others might not fit with too many grow mode startups who don't want drama, and just want to get the best stuff out the door as fast as possible. Though, maybe a little Zed drama will help get better stuff out the door. It's a tough call. I wish him the best of luck and can't wait to see what happens with the lucky company that he fits into.
I think in the absolute, it will absolutely help him. It might detract some companies from hiring him, but I think his contributions in software and publications opened him up to a magnitude of potential employers, even if some of them might not want that sort of exposure.
Let's say he didn't post or publish anything, would you say he'd be better off? I'm positive he won't.
I'd hire Zed just for his online presence. I'd put him in the Technology Evangelist role he mentioned. Just having Zed on staff would mean instant publicity for a small startup. Even if he doesn't play nice (although he seems like a reasonable guy if you watch his talks), you could keep him relatively isolated in that type of role. Let him work on Lamson while he pimps your product all over the web and at conferences.