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Fred First, May, 2006 __ Rebecca Blood_ Bloggers on Blogging

Fred First, May, 2006 __ Rebecca Blood_ Bloggers on Blogging

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Published by Fred First
Bloggers on Blogging--interview with Rebecca Blood, 2006
Bloggers on Blogging--interview with Rebecca Blood, 2006

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Published by: Fred First on Apr 26, 2010
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red First, May, 2006 :: Rebecca Blood: Bloggers On Blogginghttp://www.rebeccablood.net/bloggerson/fredfirst.html1 of 205/20/2006 8:33 AM
rebecca's pocket
.:bloggers on blogging
fred first
Fred First
Bloggers on Blogging
, May 2006Fred First startedFragments from Floyd,as a private blog inMarch 2002, goingpublic in April of thatyear. After a two yearhiatus of "living fully athome", in 2004 hereturned to part-timework, teachingEnvironmental biology,Anatomy, andPhysiology at RadfordUniversity and doingphysical therapy with aprivate practice clinic.His first book,SlowRoad Home ~ a Blue Ridge Book of Days, "celebrates of ayear of intentional living immersed in the personal andnatural history of place."Fred, 58, has a BS in General biology; a Masters of Sciencewith a major in vertebrate zoology and a minor inbotany—both from Auburn University in 1970 and 1973respectively; and a Master of Science in Physical Therapy in1989 from University of Alabama at Birmingham, his hometown. He lives in Floyd County, in the Blue Ridge Mountainsof Southwest Virginia—"a county with 14000 residents, andonly one traffic light". He and his wife Ann live on "80 ruggedacres on the headwaters of Goose Creek" with their LabradorRetriever, Tsuga.
What is the first weblog you read?
I think it must have beenChris Pirillo's—and he waspromoting these blog things as a way for families tocollaborate when planning vacations and such. I tried this.Nobody else in the family wanted to play.
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bloggers on blogging
2005:matt haughey| jessamyn west|heather armstrong| rashmi sinha|glenn reynolds| adam greenfield2006:david weinberger|megan reardon|fred firstcomments? questions?email meCopyright © 1999-2006 RebeccaBlood, All rights reserved
red First, May, 2006 :: Rebecca Blood: Bloggers On Blogginghttp://www.rebeccablood.net/bloggerson/fredfirst.html2 of 205/20/2006 8:33 AM
“ I think this was my coreneed—to listento others and tobe heard, andto make a
What about that blog appealed to you?
I saw in that blog the potential of the medium for the first time:the fact that you could type like on a word processor or email,but then instead of hitting save or send, you hit PUBLISH—andcreated something permanent that instantaneously wasuniversally accessible.
Why did you start your weblog?
Complex answer. I knew that my job, and perhaps my secondcareer, was about to come to an end. I was being harassed intoa resignation and was angry and frustrated and needed to talk itout, but there was no one to listen. In this way, the blog wascathartic.But then—and this marks what I consider the real START of theblog—in early June I wrote a piece (Summer Lightning) about myambivalence, feeling sad and disappointed with how I had beentreated by "professional" peers but at the same time excited atthe possibilities of a deeper grounding in the where of my life. Iposted it to Fragments, and soon I got an email telling me howpowerfully that person had felt my words, and how it hadtouched them and given them hope. I wanted and needed toreach other people then, to build community, because we live ina very physically isolated place and I was further isolated by mynewly-unemployed status. I think that this was my core need—tolisten to others and to be heard, and to make a difference, to bea part of something.
What is your site about?
I have tried very hardto make the dailywriting about whateverwas touching my mindand heart at themoment. It has been adifficult 4 years toremain passive andneutral about things Ihold dear, includingthe physical health of our people and of theplanet. But the blogreadership does exerta kind of pressure by
red First, May, 2006 :: Rebecca Blood: Bloggers On Blogginghttp://www.rebeccablood.net/bloggerson/fredfirst.html3 of 205/20/2006 8:33 AM
difference, tobe a part of something. ”
expectations that I willstay true to my mostconsistent andauthentic passions: theoften overlookedbeauty in small things,small moments rightwhere we live. It is ablog devoted in large part to nurturing an awareness of wonderin the everyday, or to see the humor or pathos in those days. Ido swing wide sometimes, but usually eventually come back tofocus on the here and the now: the pace, place and pleasures of simple country living.
How has your site changed over the years?
Not much, appearance-wise. I drive this machine, I don't gounder the hood. I do change the banner images regularly, andhave posted well over 500 images on the site over the years. Itis a very seasonally-adjusted blog, and my moods and writing,as well as the images, shift with what's in bloom, the weather,and the birds I hear over the click of the keyboard.There is a flow of change that is related to who's visiting andcommenting. Some cohorts of blog guests during a period of time have stoked my inspiration and encouraged me to think andwrite in new realms, other groups don't have this effect—I seethat looking back over the archives. For a while, the idea of livingin place was very prominent, andthe Ecotonewas conceived andflourished for a year. Then, as these things do, it became spaminfested and languished, and Fragments changed because of that. It has changed, too, when (often because of the blog) I'vetaken on new responsibilities in the community, professional andotherwise.There is a kind of gyroscopic correction that goes on whenvisitors come to a blog with expectations. My blog became"branded" in its first year as a quiet place free from discord, arefuge of sorts when so many blogger voices of the day werebrash and strident. Should I veer from this quiet center—asrecent politics and environmental and public health issues havedemanded I do—I am scolded by readers to "not disappoint" inthe words of one commenter. And I feel compelled to change asworld events change, and at the same time, to hold firm to mycommitment to wonder, reflection and an eye to detail too oftenmissed when we become angry or fearful of things beyond ourcontrol.

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