The end of April 2022 means that it is time for our regular month-in-review post. The New Leaf Journal celebrated it second full year online on April 27, 2022, and we published a content in many areas throughout the month. April also saw some meaningful changes and additions to The New Leaf Journal as a whole.

Public domain image of sakura flowers on a pink background. Clipped from Openclipart (public domain).
Modified version of public domain image from Openclipart (see original) – original posted by oksmith, who was featured in one of our April articles.

Below, I will recap the month that was and look ahead to what promises to be an exciting May at The New Leaf Journal.

Content From April 2022

This month in review post is our 22nd and final full article of 2022. You can find the full list of our April articles in two places. Firstly, you can see all the articles with links published in a simple list in our full article archive. Secondly, you can visit our April content in our monthly archive. While I encourage you to browse our full selection of articles and see which ones interest you (I hope they all do), I will single out six of my articles from the month for special mention.

Newsletter Leaf Journal Issues

The New Leaf Journal has an official newsletter called The Newsletter Leaf Journal. We mail new issues of the newsletter every Saturday. Below, you will find links to our five April issues:

If you enjoy the newsletter content, you can sign up to follow the newsletter via email or RSS.

Introducing Leaflet Microposts

The biggest addition to The New Leaf Journal in April was our new Leaflet post-type. I had wanted to add micropost functionality to The New Leaf Journal for some time, and I briefly experimented with implementing it with a plugin in 2021. In early April, I created a new “Leaflet” custom post type which is dedicated to short posts. I explained the concept in an introductory article. You can find our most recent leaflets on our sidebar (below the content on small screens). The full Leaflet activity stream is available here.

I published 52 Leaflets in April 2022. Instead of listing every Leaflet, I will post a few of my favorites below. You can find all of our Leaflets in our full archive.

Site News and Updates

Another useful function of leaflets is that I can use them to post news about The New Leaf Journal itself. I made liberal use of this functionality in April 2022, posting regular updates aout improvements that I made to the site. Below, I will list changes that I brought to The New Leaf Journal in April along with links – where applicable – to what I wrote about them.

  1. Switched from self-hosting fonts for The New Leaf Journal to calling upon system font stacks that are already installed on your device. After some testing, I wrote a serif system font stack that should cover any device that you visit The New Leaf Journal on.
  2. Cleaned up some leftover plugins from our previous home on Bluehost and other things that were left behind by past tools and plugins.
  3. Changed our author boxes from Starbox Pro to the boxes that come with our default theme in order to make the site work better for people who block scripts.
  4. Improved our related post section (below articles) and implemented a significant improvement to our on-site search functionality and appearance.
  5. Improved my personal author page to better list all the places that you can find my content online.
  6. Re-implemented estimated reading times for all posts except Leaflets.
  7. Changed page caching rules to improve site performance.
  8. Re-organized menus (still a work in progress).

Introducing Resources Hub

(January 16, 2023 Update: I long since removed the implementation of the resources hub described below. I do still plan to re-introduce the concept in a different form.)

In order to make The New Leaf Journal into a useful resource for visitors, I started a new section of our site wherein we list different resources for readers to try and consider. You can find all of our resources on our new Resources Hub Page. In April, I started individual resource pages for interesting blogs and sites from around the web, free and open source software and services that I use, and WordPress tools. Moreover, I am adding some of our past articles to the Resource Hub Page. The individual Resource Pages will be regularly maintained and updated.

Most-Visited Content From April 2022

Each month, I list our 12 most-visited articles according to statistics covered by our privacy-friendly local analytics solution, Koko Analytics (read more here). Below, you will find the list of our most-visited articles in April.

Rank (Change)ArticleAuthorDate
1 (NC)The Mystery of Sōseki and Tsuki ga KireiNAF3.14.21
2 (NC)Recommended F-Droid FOSS Apps For Android-Based Devices (2021)NAF11.27.21
3 (NC)Installing Ubuntu Touch on an Asus Nexus 7 (2013)NAF7.5.21
4 (+1)The Last Stand of Constantine XINAF5.30.20
5 (-1)How to Find Substack RSS Feeds and Other NotesNAF6.19.21
6 (+5)Review of the Teracube 2e SmartphoneNAF11.19.21
7 (+5)How the Forget-Me-Not Flower Found Its NameNAF3.11.21
8 (+5)Using an Amiga OS-Inspired Window Theme In XFCE With XFWM4NAF1.2.22
9 (+6)An Early Review of Pixelfed – Instagram AlternativeNAF11.13.21
10 (-4)Performing Site-Specific Searches With DuckDuckGoNAF8.8.21
11 (+8)“Uncle Susan is a Wolf” – A Graffiti Photo and Research ProjectNAF12.29.21
12 (-2)Sending SMS Messages From My Computer With XMPP Through JMPNAF

The composition of the top five remained unchanged for the third consecutive month, with the only difference between March and April being the flipping of spots 4 and 5.

April 2022 saw the top-12 debuts of two articles. Firstly, the second article of 2022, my piece on an AmigaOS-inspired theme for XFWM4, debuted in eighth after posting solid performances in its first three months. Secondly, my December 2021 article on Uncle Susan is a Wolf graffiti in Brooklyn had its strongest month in making its first top-12 appearance. One surprise (to me at least) was that my January 2022 study of Pokémon stat changes between the first and second generation of games was the last article outside the top 12 after being relatively inconspicuous in its first two-and-one-half months.

One notable absence from the ranking is my November 2021 review of the Persona 4 Golden Digital Artbook. It was one of only two articles to be in the top 12 for every month going back to January 2021 (when I started regularly keeping these rankings). We entered 2022 with four such articles, but the streaks for Victor’s protective mask review and my November 2020 Pixelfed review (which returned to the top 12 this month) ended in February and March respectively. The last remaining article to notch a top 12 in every month going back to 2021 is my May 2020 piece on the last stand of Constantine XI. Its monthly rankings in 2022 are 6, 4, 5, and 4, so for the time being it looks likely to continue its top-12 streak next month. The owner of the second-longest top-12 streak is my March 2021 post on tsuki ga kirei, which has featured in the top 12 in every month starting with April 2021 and has been the top-ranked article for 10 of those 13 months (and eight consecutive).

Final Thoughts and Looking Ahead

While The New Leaf Journal’s birthday is in April, May 2020 was our first full month online. Our growth has stagnated a bit in the last three months after being consistent throughout 2021. April was marked by significant changes to the structure of The New Leaf Journal. For May, the only structural change that I am working on is reorganizing our menu and hub pages to make The New Leaf Journal easy to navigate without adding clutter or too many menu items. My main focus on May will be publishing new content to attract new visitors to the site and set us up for growth in the second half of 2022.