Hello, my name is Doug and I’m a blogger. It’s been, oh, about 30 seconds since my last blog entry.

Fred First put the lunch together at Café del Sol in Floyd on Saturday, a gathering he said of bloggers based in Floyd County to meet one from Vermont who just moved from Blacksburg to Boone’s Mill.

Sean Pecor publishes Sean’s Horse Farm and Family Blog and is the latest of a long list of bloggers brought to the county by Fred and his Fragments From Floyd. Our current house guests, David & Gretchen St. Lawrence, found Floyd County through Fred and will be moving into their new home just off Franklin Pike in the coming week.

David showed up for lunch as well as Sean Sharp, Seattle transplant (by way of Blacksburg) along with Chris Luster who isn’t a blogger but is a frequent subject of many of our writings through his partnership with fellow musician Bernie Coveny and his role as the booking agent and sound man for Oddfellas Cantina.

The two-hour luncheon gave everyone a chance to meet, exchange ideas on topics ranging from technology to politics. It’s interesting, and somewhat frightening, how this thing called the Internet pulls people together and turns strangers into friends. A few weeks ago, I sat with my wife, mother and sister in Blue Ridge Restaurant when a man introduced himself as a longtime reader of Capitol Hill Blue, the political news web site I started in 1994. He and his wife were passing through Floyd, stopped for lunch, and apparently recognized me through the photo that runs with my column on that site.

Floyd County, as the blog listing in The Roanoke Times shows, has a growing colony of bloggers, including Fred, Colleen Redman, Sean and now David joining the list. Once he gets settled in his new digs, David plans to put together a formal gathering of county bloggers. God only knows what might grow out of that.

As noted earlier, I’ve been doing one thing or another on the Internet since 1994 – prehistoric times in ‘Net years – but am still a relative newcomer to the addictive practice of blogging (Blue Ridge Muse started in February 2004 and American Newsreel in 2003 while Fred’s blog goes back to a year earlier in June 2002). It’s fascinating how the blogging community has grown. Technorati now tracks 24.7 million blogs and the number grows by thousands a day.

All of us who blog out of Floyd County share some responsibility (and blame) for the surge in people moving to the county. Fred can take credit for introducing hundreds or perhaps thousands to the lifestyle and the rest of us have done our share in promoting the county to those seeking life away from the urban madness.

Such exposure can be a blessing or a curse – only time will determine which.

(Photo by David St. Lawrence)