the writing and photography of Neil Kramer

The Start of Year Nine

It was my birthday a few days ago.   It was also the anniversary of my blog, Citizen of the Month, which I started on March 7, 2005.   I can’t believe that I am entering my ninth year of blogging.  Back in 2005, I was so naive.  I was writing without pay, but I had a dream — that with hard work and focus, I could build this tiny space into a well-respected community of like-minded individuals, and that my unknown voice could be a bright beacon of inspiration to others.  Wait, I’m sorry.  I’m talking about Schmutzie‘s blog, not mine.  I sometimes get so confused.  But whatever my stats, I don’t care.   I have YOUR love, and that’s all that matter.   I love you all.  Except maybe for the ones who didn’t say “Happy Birthday” to me on Facebook this year.  Oh, yeah.  I made a list.   I know who’s who.

Anyway,  every year, on my blogiversary, rather than do a giveaway of some cool product, like a laptop or fancy new smartphone, which is too crass for my taste, I choose to celebrate in my own unique way — by boring you with my own analysis of the current blogging scene.

Some say blogging is dead.  I say hogwash!  (BTW — why do we say hogwash as a polite way of saying bullshit?)  This year, I present you with concrete evidence.  My friend Susan forwarded this email to me, proving that the personal blogging community is still as strong as ever!

Dear Susan,

You and I have been long-time online friends, ever since we first met on that “Mothers of Children With Peanut Allergies” forum back in 2007. We have watched our children grow and our lives change. More recently, we have supported our common business goals — you were my first commenter on my advocacy blog, “Peanut Allergy Shame No More!” and I have mentioned your blog, “The Peanut Allergy Resource Spot,” many times on Twitter. That’s why I was disturbed to see you on the Today show on Tuesday morning, introduced by Matt Lauer as the owner of the “premier blog on the net for mothers of children with peanut allergies.”

I sat through the interview waiting patiently for you to correct him, acknowledging that MY PEANUT ALLERGY BLOG was started a full three weeks before yours, and currently receives 23% more monthly traffic. I’m not even going to bring up the followers and engagement of our respective Facebook pages.

Strong leadership is essential for our community. We must pay honor to those who were there first. But nowadays, when I try to pitch a book on the subject, I’m always hearing, “Oh, we are already discussing that topic idea with Susan!”

You cannot be the “go-to” mother for mothers of children with peanut allergies. I AM the “go-to” mother for mothers of children with peanut allergies.

“Influence” has infected you, like a bad allergic reaction. You’ve even deleted my comments on your blog. For your information, I was NOT trying to “steal your brand,” as you insinuated in that email.  I was just suggesting to your readers that they read a more “authentic” version of the story at my blog.

Are we clear about this? If there are any other questions, just look at my blog header: it reads “THE blog for mothers with children who have peanut allergies.” Please notice that the THE is capitalized and bolded.

Thank you, Susan. Much love and continued success. Let’s get the message out in the “correct” way. Remember the truly important ones in our blogging community… are the children!



  1. Schmutzie

    Here’s to your 9th year!

  2. Average Jane


  3. Always Home and Uncool

    Nine years? You don’t look a day over 3.

  4. Kim/hormone-colored days

    It the blogosphere just wouldn’t be the same without you. Happy birthday-versary!

  5. alejna

    Aw, crap. I probably didn’t post any birthday greetings to you on FB this year. Does it count if I said “Happy Birthday” to you elsewhere? I’m sure that my card got lost in the mail. Or maybe you misread my smoke signals.

    But I’m glad I can trust you to get at the heart of blogging. Congrats on 8 solid years of blogging. And I do consider yours THE premier resource blog for…wait, what do you write about again? (Seriously, though, I do really enjoy your writing, as well as your photos. Your blog continues to be one of my favorites.)

  6. Juli

    Happy Blogoversary!

  7. Pearl

    Mazel tov on this milestone, Neil. The difference between your blog and my blog is that you have avidly kept up with yours all these years; I began mine in December 2004, but the posts have dwindled over the latter few years — since Facebook came along. I commend you on the strength and power of your blog, on the friendships you have made for yourself and for others, on the beauty and pathos behind your words and images…and on simply continuing to be Neil Kramer, a guy we all love to love.

  8. sarah gilbert

    Everyone knows you have to capitalize, bold, AND UNDERLINE to really mark your space on the internet. oh, poor Bridget.

    happy Blogiversary! may there be many more.

  9. Emily

    Happy ninth year.

  10. Bon

    man, i thought *i* was the go-to space for peanuts of parents with children allergies on the internet. or something like that.

    glad you’re out here, Neil. happy blogoversary.

  11. gorillabuns

    Happy 9th year! and many more…..

  12. Tanya

    Happy Birthday and Happy Anniversary! Congrats on the big 9!

  13. Kizz

    You started your blog on the day I started my current office job. I like what you’ve done with the last 8 years better.

  14. Marie A

    Congratulations, Neil (I think!)! I’m not sure how long I’ve been reading your blog, although I know it was after you started it. 😉

    We “met” through Twitter, then I followed you to Facebook. What’s next for us, Neil? We are on a journey through Alice in SocialMediaLand. (AKA, Down the Rabbit Hole.)

  15. Father Muskrat

    Never let the peanuts get you down!

  16. Jen

    Happy blog-birthday – you’re a veteran. I think blogging is still very much alive and always changing. I’ve been doing it for nearly 9 years! It’s the longest relationship I’ve had after my dog and my son.

  17. Wink

    Happy… blogiversary? Blogday? It’s been my pleasure to have been reading you for so many of those years, and to now see how your photography is maturing (and becoming, frankly, one of my favorite feeds) on Instagram. Glad to have you around.

  18. Elizabeth Aquino

    I’ve only been reading your blog for a few months, so I’m thinking your own community is growing. Since I have millions of followers myself, things are looking up! And that letter about peanut allergies was awesome — I once had a real blog fight with another mother of a child with special needs. It was over the top and really cemented my faith in humanity — and blogs.

  19. kkryno/vikki ryan

    Happy # 9!
    You’re still as fresh and humorous as ever and I’m glad to have stumbled onto your site.
    I thank you for your slant on things and your photos as well.
    You make me smile, laugh; AND think!

  20. The Honourable Husband


    You have much nobler aspirations for your blogging life than me. I just wanted a place where I could be a smartass and raise a chuckle. I’ve half-succeeded.


  21. sizzle

    I started blogging in 2005 too. We’re old timers, aren’t we?

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