the writing and photography of Neil Kramer

Tag: Thank Your First Commenter Day

Thank Your First Commenter Day, Year Four

Of all my silly gimmicky blog holiday posts, my very first was for Thanksgiving.  It was called “Thank Your First Commenter Day.”

It was a one-shot idea, because a blogger only has one first commenter, so after the first year, there isn’t anything left to write.   But then, the second Thanksgiving Day showed up, as readily as the Pilgrims at Plymouth Rock.   And the third.  So I cheated and improvised, going back into my archives and thanking my second and third commenters.  I certainly didn’t expect to be blogging for so long.  It is now time for the Fourth Annual “Thank Your First Commenter Day.”

My fourth commenter was Jack, who writes the blog Random Thoughts.  My post on that day, May 24, 2005, was completely lame.  It was titled “Britney Spears at Kabbalah Center.”  It consisted of a photo of Britney Spears walking out of the LA Kabbalah Center.

Here is the full text of the post —

“The paparazzi were out in force as Britney Spears went to the Kabbalah Center on Robertson.  I’m much more interested in whatever is in the bag.   I didn’t know they have a bookstore.   Do they have Judaica?  Do they serve coffee and muffins in the bookstore (kosher, of course) or just Kabbalah water?”

Have any of my LA readers ever been to the Kabbalah Center?”

That’s it.  That was my post.  Can you believe it?  It was almost as bad as some of your stuff!  But I was young and naive at the time. I didn’t realize back then that I needed to LIVE a little before I became a writer.  I needed to face death and heartbreak and nights of debauchery and sleeping in my car overnight and fistfights in Irish pubs and waking up in the beds of Hollywood strippers in cheap motels on La Cienega Boulevard until one day, like so many other artists in search of their muse, I found “my voice.”  And my “Talking Penis” character was born.  And since then, there has been nothing standing in my way.

After I wrote that post back in 2005, I waited for a response.  Any response.  I checked my stats every five minutes.  I prayed to God that someone would care.  And someone did!  A blogger named Jack wrote a comment.  It was the only comment on the post.

They have a bunch of different things for sell at the center. They give Jews a bad name. I am not a fan of theirs at all.

The Kabbalah center is just not cool.

Madonna — you are right!  Who says the Kabbalah is nonsense?  The Kabbalah brought Jack to my blog.

Jack is still blogging.  He comes to my blog every once in a while and writes a comment.  I read his posts in my Google Reader.  We have a lot in common — we’re both Jewish men who like stories about pop culture and relationships between the sexes.  For some reason, we never really became close friends.  He is more religious than I am, and hangs out with those the Jewish blogosphere, while I tend to flirt mostly with the black and Latino women.

Once, when I was in his area, I emailed him.  “Would you like to meet for a cup of coffee?” I asked.  It was a big step for me.  It was the first time that I had asked another blogger to meet.  He said, no.  He wanted to keep his personal life separate from his blogging life.  He was worried about his job and his family.  He even told me that his name wasn’t “Jack.”  At the time, I remember this pissing me off.  “What chutzpah!” I thought.

But I forgive him.  And I respect his way of thinking.  Just imagine you are someone responsible, like a married mother, going to a conference like BlogHer and getting really drunk, and then having someone take a photo of you, and a few months later, some guy adds that photo to his Flickr “favorites,” so now the whole world can see what you look like drunk, your blouse half open, making out with a hunky waiter at a Chicago bistro, a college student fifteen years younger than you.

Maybe Jack is smart for watching his privacy.

You should check out Jack’s blog.  He is very intelligent and interesting writer.

“Jack” — thank you for being my fourth commenter.  It was so exciting to get those early comments.  Because of you, I knew that blogging was going to be something special.  I hope we will continue to keep in touch and read each other.

Note:  I am only writing about my fourth commenter because it is my fourth year.   If you feel like stealing this concept, write about your first commenter.  If anyone cares to mention their first commenter here in my comments, feel free…

The Third Annual “Thank Your First Commenter Day”


Much like the Pilgrims thanked the Indians after they had their first decent meal in the New World, I like to use Thanksgiving, not only as an excuse to stuff myself with turkey, but as an opportunity to thank the first blogger who ever commented on this blog.  This individual is the one who transformed Citizen of the Month from a dopey journal where I write about nonsense to a… uh, dopey “blog” where I write about nonsense and others read it!

I can’t believe that I’ve been blogging for three years already, and I’m up to thanking my THIRD commenter. THREE YEARS?! Three years without getting a penny from blogging! Three years without feeling up one female blogger! What the hell am I doing this for?! But like those hardy Pilgrims, I continue on and face my demons, doing the hard work to build something worthwhile, never asking for thanks, just knowing that one day my ancestors will be in the Social Register, discriminating against YOU at the country clubs in Connecticut.

Oh, right. And for the comments. I love my commenters!

My first commenter with Terry Finley. It was a short relationship. After his one comment, we lost touch, and he abandoned his blog. Still, we always remember our first, don’t we?… unless it was really, really bad. But Terry was pretty nice. Here was his comment:

Nice blog. Thank you.

Our health is really important.

Check out my blog.

Terry Finley

My blogging career was underway.

My SECOND commenter was The Reluctant Optimist (well, actually he was called something else at the time, but then he changed his name, worrying that his frequent posts about big-breasted women might sabatoge his work with the United States Military. He is very special to me, especially since he is a MALE reader who still reads this blog.

This is what I wrote about him last year:

At first glance, TRO and I have little in common. He is a Southerner, a former Air Force Officer who served with the Air Force Office of Special Investigations. But blogging can make strange bedfellows, and despite our differences in political views at times, we immediately bonded over our love for buxom brunettes. Now, THAT is what the true meaning of the blogosphere is all about. So, thank you TRO!

(TRO — Loved that recent photo of Selma Hayek (you’re never gonna get a date if you spell her name as Hyack. What an actress!)

Surprisingly, his first comment shows no evidence of our future friendship (or does it?):

Two problems with your post.

One, this was not hard news. It wasn’t news at all. Evidently it was fiction.

Secondly, an inflammatory story like this can cause violence — especially in the middle-east where violence is inflamed quite easily. Comparing it to the questionable effects of a video game is faulty logic at best and disingenuous at worst.

And the Arab “street” believes it because they keep hearing it from the liberal anti-American media as well as their own anti-American outlets.

That’s why blogging is so great. It always surprises you!

This year, I will thank my THIRD COMMENTER – Richard Heft.  This is a unique situation, because Richard is actually a “real life” person, someone who knew me B.B. –“before blogging.”   He was good friends with Sophia before she met me, and then we became friends.  I only  have a few real-life friends who ever come to my blog.   Although Richard doesn’t have a blog himself, he comes by every once in a while, showing off his brains and wit. Naturally, his first comment was about some esoteric foreign movies.

One of the problems with concepts like the YMDB is that you really need two lists: my list of “Favorite” films (which always starts with ABBOTT & COSTELLO MEET FRANKENSTEIN) bears no resemblance to my list of “Best” films ever made (which starts with TOKYO STORY, SUNRISE, OR CHILDREN OF PARADISE, depending on the phases of the moon).

I’ve never seen THE GREEN RAY (I assume it’s a French adaptation of the Green Lantern comic book; what else COULD it be?), but I’ve always filed LIFE & DEATH OF COLONEL BLIMP under “mammoth but minor.” It’s basically a long (long!) propaganda film, with memorable performances by Livesey and Walbrook, but I’ve never felt the urge to watch it a second time. For WWII-era Michael Powell movies, I much prefer A CANTERBURY TALE and THE 49TH PARALLEL.

And for you and Dinah to hook up, Neal, you’re going to have to brush up your Mizoguchi and hone your Ozu.

Thank you, Richard, for being my third commenter and a good friend, even if no one understood what we were talking about during that post! And “Dinah” ended up being Communicatrix, but that’s another story.

Who was your first commenter? Or second? If you want to thank your first commenter for Thanksgiving, it’s easy. Just go all the way back into your archives and there he or she is — waiting for you!

Other thankful bloggers:  Kapgar, Danny, Ascender, Elisabeth, Otir (thankful in French, which is sexy), 180/360, Nance, and Not Fainthearted.

P.S. —

My father loved watching the Macy’s Thanksgiving Day Parade. At the end, he would call me over, yelling all excitedly, “It’s Santa Claus!” I don’t understand why this middle-aged Jewish man loved Santa Claus so much. At the hospital he worked in, he dressed up as Santa Claus during every Christmas and went to the children’s ward to give gifts. He was the scrawniest Santa Claus ever, in his thick Woody Allen-type glasses.

Thanksgiving means the start of the Holiday Season, not only because Macy’s wants to sells me stuff, but because that’s how I remember it. I remember the enthusiasm of my father… and we didn’t even celebrate Christmas!

So, coming up LATER THIS WEEK — two announcements about upcoming events:

1) The First Blogger Holiday Arts and Crafts Sale (bloggers — sell your artwork, doo-dads, and knitted hats AS GIFTS — at the biggest promotional blog post ever! Right here on Citizen of the Month!)


And, of course… The 2007 Blogger Christmahanukwanzaakah Online Holiday Concert (can we make it even more fabulous than last year?!) I’ll try to improve on last year’s lame Hanukkah “Latkes song.” Take out those instruments and get ready to sing!

(Sign up will begin shortly. Kyran is already practicing her Jingle Bells)

Jamelah, 2006 Christmahanukwanzaakah Concert Poster Girl

A Year Ago on Citizen of the Month: A Charlie Brown Blog Post (for Ninja Poodles)

The Second Annual Thanksgiving “Thank Your First Commenter” Day


Tommy the Turkey hated that Americans ate turkey on Thanksgiving Day. It really pissed him off. He wrote letters to conservative blogs like Michelle Malkin, but they just ignored him. He ranted and raved to the liberals on The Huffington Post until the editors blocked him from their site.

At last, Tommy the Turkey decided to start his OWN BLOG, The Daily Cackle. For weeks, he clucked his heart out daily for an audience of one — himself. Then, one morning, Tommy the Turkey logged on to his blog and saw that he had a comment:

“Tough luck, you stupid turkey! I can’t wait until Thanksgiving to stuff you with stuffing and eat you with mashed potatoes and cranberry sauce!”

Cranky Blogster

“Oh my god,” Tommy the Turkey gobbled happily, “I have my FIRST COMMENT!”

This proves that it doesn’t really matter who your first commenter is — someone friendly or an absolute idiot. It’s still a comment! It is what you’ve been waiting for as a newbie blogger. Getting a comment means that you have been accepted into the community. You are officially a BLOGGER.

Thanksgiving is a day of thanks, so why not thank other bloggers? If you spend as much time as me online, you know more about other bloggers than some of your co-workers. I’ve met so many great people online. I want to thank all of you for making blogging such a wonderful experience.

I thank everyone who has found his or her way to Citizen of the Month.

And since this is “Thank Your First Commenter Day,” I thank you, Terry Finley for the very first comment on my blog:

Nice blog. Thank you.

Our health is really important.

Check out my blog.

Terry Finley

Simple, but direct.

Sadly, we lost touch after that first comment, so I’d like to also thank the first commenter that still reads me and that I consider a blogging friend — the former TWM, now at Not So Confidential.

At first glance, NSC and I have little in common. He is a Southerner, a former Air Force Officer who served with the Air Force Office of Special Investigations. But blogging can make strange bedfellows, and despite our differences in political views at times, we immediately bonded over our love for buxom brunettes. Now, THAT is what the true meaning of the blogosphere is all about. So, thank you NSC!

And a Happy Thanksgiving to all my blogging friends!

(other Thanskgiving blogging fun)

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