Service of Anniversaries

November 5th, 2009

Categories: Anniversaries, Appreciation, Celebrations, Communications, Gratitude, Thanks, Tradition

Celebrating milestones is universal. The Happy Birthday song is so well known that doctors and public health officials tell children and adults to sing it twice so as to sufficiently clean away flu-generating germs when they wash their hands with soap and water.

Today we celebrate the first anniversary of The Importance of Earnest Service. Thank you for your responsiveness–583 comments and lots of e-mails noting that you follow and enjoy the posts!

In all there have been 106 posts in 80+ categories starting with “Accommodation” [22 posts] through “Writing” [3] with “Customer Service” garnering the most coverage–40–and no surprise.

I wonder: Is a year of posts equal to a book or to three human years, something like a human year is equal to seven dog years?


Bloggers will tell you that the number of comments you get about a post is irrelevant. Evaluating the success of a post is a bit like hugging mercury–hard to do. Yet I’ve tried to figure out why some bloggers with gazillion readers generate few comments. What is it about some posts that trigger an avalanche of responses? Maybe some posts cover all the bases and there’s nothing more to say or the readers who follow certain blogs are not communicative, don’t want to be heard, have no time or hate to write.

In any case, until today I’ve never looked back to count the comments to see which subjects generated the most conversation. The first post got 18–wishing me good luck–followed by “Sales Dressed as Charity & Service,” [November 11, 2008], where 15 let their opinions be known about the practice of grocery and bookstores that try to embarrass customers into buying a book, toy or food–from them of course–to pass on to charities.   

“Service of 1,000+ Supermarkets vs. A Pair of Bread Boutiques,” came next. Fourteen people shared their happy experiences with Publix and/or their favorite supermarkets. Although I love the number 13, we didn’t get that total number of comments though a dozen thoughtful readers commented both on December 15, “Coffee Service with More than a Smile” about Sam and his midtown Manhattan coffee cart and on February 5, about “Rewards for Top Performers.”

“Service of Awards,” [May 1], “Good Service is in the Air, Isn’t It?” [January 29], “Service Cut Short by the Clock,” a guest post, [January 2] and “Click-N-Shipped,” another guest post, [December 9] inspired 11 observations each.

A bunch of people tossed their thoughts into the ring in virtual roundtables and I didn’t count those posts. Along with the spontaneous reactions to them, they might actually have generated the most comments.

I love celebrations–other people’s birthdays or my and our friends’ anniversaries. I take advantage of any opportunity to shoot photos of the festivities and to bake-cupcakes, chocolate cake, cookies, brownies, pies. Wish I could figure out how to bake a sweet blog and share the slices.

What inspires you to comment ? Why do you shy away from thought-sharing? What are some of your favorite blogs?

8 Responses to “Service of Anniversaries”

  1. David Reich Said:

    Congratulations on your first blogiversary. I’ve been at it not quite three years, and I still enjoy doing it.

    What makes me comment, you ask. If something hits me in a way that I agree or disagree, I may comment. But usually, I try not to comment unless I have really have something to say. I try not to comment with somethiong as simple as “Nice post.”

    Sometimes a comment will get me to add my 2 cents.

    One of my favorite blogs is one written by someone who has become a friend through blogging. Ann Handley’ chief content officer at MarketingProfs, has a personal blog called Annarchy. She writes, when she feels like it, about family, nostalgia and life in general. What I like about it is Ann’s fantastic writing. She writes beautifully. Worth checking it out at

  2. Jeanne Byington Said:

    Thanks, David. Your blog, My 2 Cents, is a favorite of mine.

    I find that time is the biggest challenge of the blogosphere and beyond to all the social networking options. There is so much to read in so many places that I feel virtually out of breath and never caught up.

  3. Martha Takayama Said:

    I love all birthday celebrations except for my own. I realize that I must be grateful for having arrived at each one, but am slightly in awe and fearful of the passage of time and the matter of aging. I also love anniversaries. Celebrations of either are lots of fun.

    I don’t write in response to this blog as often as I mean to, but it is unfailingly informative, witty, genteel and succinct. It is definitely my favorite blog.

  4. Barbara Jacksier Said:
  5. Please hum along. Happy Birthday to you. Happy Birthday to you…. etc. It’s been quite a year!
  6. Jeanne Byington Said:

    Thanks Martha and Barbara and all those who have sent e-mail wishes.

    Martha: Countless times I’ve meant to comment on blogs but get interrupted and don’t return, although all too often, I do write something and can’t get the comment posted because the sites won’t allow me to link to my Google account or other silly technical glitches.

    Barbara has a stunning blog, well worth many visits.

  7. Carolyn Gatto Said:

    Congrats, Jeanne, on all your great work and thought-provoking posts. Martha summed it up perfectly: Your blog is unfailingly informative, witty, genteel and succinct. The genteel aspect is what really separates yours from all the others. You celebrate a state of mind wherein manners matter and people care about simple pleasures. No one else seems to do that. Keep it up.

  8. Jeanne Byington Said:

    Thanks, Carol,

    Speaking of succinct, you have described in a few words what this blog is about–so many little things that cost nothing to do and make all the difference.

    This morning, I shared the elevator to my office with a young man holding nothing. I had a suitcase on wheels with tote bag on top, a purse on my shoulder and a coffee cup in my free hand.

    While we waited for the elevator, the darling doorman in our building was showing me his new phone because someone had knocked his other one out of his hand during the Yankee celebtation on Friday and it flew in front of a bus and was crushed. He told me he got a free new one–he does not have the $80 insurance–because the woman at the store was nice. He said he doesn’t mean to flirt, but his girlfriend says he does. I told him that what he is is charming and gracious. And he always is.

    Back to the elevator. The young man in it with me missed a great conversation. He slumped against the wall while I freed up a finger to press the button to my floor. He was lost in his music and missed the opportunity to have someone smile and thank him.

  9. Jeremiah Said:


    I’d be remiss if I were not to congratulate you on your anniversary for publishing my favorite blog!

    To answer your excellent questions:

    I respond when something you or one of your guests writes tickles my gut. Then I get considerable satisfaction from scratching away in prose at the itch often to see if I can get a rise out of someone else.

    I shy away from conventional email togetherness, because it seems to me to be a darned impersonal way of getting to know others. Your blog is different. Your subjects are serious and thought-provoking. They tend to spark a response in me.

    I’m short on blog reading. Rather, I do often read newsletters on the internet and a cross-section of research materials relating to whatever I’m working on at the time. However, I suspect I’m one of the few that believes that the whole concept of the internet is deeply flawed, even dangerous and still very much in its early days. I don’t believe people, myself included, are anywhere near careful enough when we use it. Give me the old New York Times anyday!

    Keep up the good work!


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