April 2023 has come to a close. The end of the month means a new entry in our month-in-review series, which began in August 2020. We celebrated our third birthday on April 27. We published plenty of new and interesting content during April, but our reach continues to be hampered by Microsoft Bing’s arbitrary de-indexing of our site from its search engine, which also removes us from the many Bing-dependent alternatives. Below, we recap the month that was at The New Leaf Journal and look ahead to what promises to be an exciting month of May (last May was fairly exciting).
Regular April 2023 articles
This is our 15th and final regular article of April 2023. See the full list with descriptions below (three editor’s choice selections are in bold):
- April Fools, Sonic and Tails in SSB Melee (NAF: April 1, 2023)
I covered a classic video game magazine April Fools joke for the third consecutive April Fools (see my 2021 and 2022 articles).
- WP Super Cache Preload and Lazy Loading (NAF: April 4, 2023)
Disabling WordPress’s native lazy loading can be complicated with certain caching set-ups.
- Refilling Water Gel Sunscreen Bottle (NAF: April 5, 2023)
Strangely satisfied with my feat of dexterity.
- On whitelisting independent search crawlers (NAF: April 6, 2023)
A public service announcement for webmasters to keep their sites open to promising independent search engines.
- Inflatable colorful Easter egg bunny thing (NAF: April 8, 2023)
- Anime Review: Endo and Kobayashi Live! (NAF: April 12, 2023)
I review a new anime from winter 2023 not because it was a great series, but instead because it had an interesting and reasonably well-executed set-up.
- Midjourney Exports CCP Censorship (NAF: April 13, 2023)
Purportedly American companies export technology to China and import Chinese Communist Party censorship.
- On character and dark chocolate safety (NAF: April 17, 2023)
Justin offers novel takes on the potential of lead to improve character.
- Syncing Umineko When They Cry With Syncthing (NAF: April 21, 2023)
Using Syncthing to replicate “cloud save” functionality for games.
- Brown hair and dress codes in Ippon Again! (NAF: April 24, 2023)
Studying issues involving brown hair (both natural and dyed) and Japanese school dress and grooming codes through two scenes in a winter 2023 anime series.
- The story of our Bing blacklisting (NAF: April 25, 2023)
The full story of our being blacklisted and subsequently de-indexed by Microsoft’s Bing search engine.
- Leveling up Yamada-kun at Lv999 to Linux (NAF: April 26, 2023)
Is a certain anime girl heartbroken over her break-up or suffering because of her toxic relationship with Microsoft Windows? I offer a unique (scorching hot) take.
- New Leaf Journal Third Birthday Reader (NAF: April 27, 2023)
Our 36 most-read articles from our first three years with links to 72 more.
- Duck on Brooklyn Bridge Park Pier 5 (NAF: April 28, 2023)
Short April 2023 articles
I published 22 short posts in April 2023. Our short posts include Leaflets and Leaf Buds. While distinguishing them is an inexact science, Leaflets are akin to mini articles whereas Leaf Buds tend to consist of short quips prompted by links from around the web. However, other than that most are short, these rules are flexible.
- Heights in “The Dangers of My Heart” Anime (a new anime series prompted me to follow up on a lengthy article I published in late March)
- St. Francis College Finalizes Former Campus Sale (following up on an earlier St. Francis College building sale report)
- WP Redis Object Cache and Link Hover Color (fixing an object caching quirk)
- Mickelson finishes second in Masters at 52 (an update to my 2021 article on older golfers contending at major championships)
- Hyacinth as a name in Fire Emblem Engage (following a Leaf Bud which you will see in the next subsection)
- Odd email to my @newleafjournal address (an inquiry about my name)
- Rapid-Fire My Clueless First Friend Anime (it has calmed down a bit since episode 2)
- Bunt home run glitch in Bases Loaded (on a fun classic game glitch)
- Nevada’s very old Bristlecone Pines (5,000 years…)
- A typo on Linux terminal shutdown timer (the dangers of setting it for 90 minutes)
April leaf buds
- Website blocked by Google Safe Browsing (this is worse than Bing bans)
- Potential WWE-UFC merger and branding (questions for the UFC half)
- Poor assumptions about new NYC subways (failure to predict human nature)
- Hyacinth is an uncommon name these days (but not in games, see hyacinth leaflet in above subsection)
- Rent-a-Girlfriend S3 to introduce new character… (this was supposed to be published in March)
- How the Finnish get by without small talk (I have a guess)
- ChatGPT vs Contract Cheating Writers (I hope everyone loses)
- So-called “crazed man” selects target (questionable journalism)
- Anime romantic comedy gimmicks… (is lost glasses clever or a sign we are running low on ideas?)
- Black & Decker Recalls Sledgehammers (when fly off the handle is more than expression)
- Fairy kingdoms, gnome kingdoms, GNOME? (I lost much of the audience for this joke with the Bing ban)
- Brave Search is now Bing-free (good riddance)
I mailed five issues of our newsletter, The Newsletter Leaf Journal, in April. Our newsletter goes out to subscribers (both email and RSS subscribers) on Saturdays. I syndicate it to The New Leaf Journal on Mondays (usually, at least). Each newsletter contains links to our new articles, 12 links to articles from around the web, 6 links to articles from our archive, our most-read articles of the week, and other news and notes. Even if you diligently read all of our articles as they come out, you will still find interesting, newsletter-exclusive material in The Newsletter Leaf Journal. Below, I link to the syndicated versions of our newsletter. If you like what you read, see our options for following the newsletter here.
- Issue 129 (wrapped up the end of March with our April Fools newsletter)
- Issue 130 (a shorter letter with plenty of good links)
- Issue 131 (in a newsletter exclusive, I introduced my New Leaf Reader project)
- Issue 132 (my wrist hurt so this one was a bit short)
- Issue 133 (one of my better newsletters if I do say so myself)
Most-visited articles of April 2023
I have taken to publishing a list of our 24 most-visited articles at the end of each month. All statistics come courtesy of our local, privacy-friendly analytics solution, Koko Analytics (see review). I will give our 12 most-visited articles feature billing on a table and list spots 13-24 in a more simple manner.
|1||Tiki paralogue trick in Fire Emblem Engage||NAF||2.3.23||1|
|2||The Mystery of Sōseki and Tsuki ga Kirei||NAF||3.14.21||2|
|3||Peekier Search Engine Review||NAF||2.26.22||3|
|4||The Pokémon Special Split in Generation 2 – Statistics and Analysis||NAF||1.18.22||4|
|5||Installing Ubuntu Touch on a Google Nexus 7 (2013)||NAF||7.5.21||6|
|6||How the Forget-Me-Not Flower Found Its Name||NAF||3.11.21||10|
|7||The Last Stand of Constantine XI||NAF||5.30.20||19|
|8||The Nice Boat 〜 A Look Back at the School Days Anime||NAF||5.6.21||7|
|9||Bird in Review 〜 Resplendent Trogon||NAF||1.13.21||BR|
|10||Recommended F-Droid FOSS Apps For Android-Based Devices (2021)||NAF||11.28.21||9|
|11||Review of /e/ – An Android Alternative For Mobile Phones||NAF||11.21.21||5|
|12||The ideal phone, e-ink and QWERTY||NAF||2.23.23||8|
13-24: 13 The story of our Bing blacklisting (NAF: 4.25.23). 14 The Angel Next Door Spoils Me Rotten – Anime Review (NAF: 3.30.23). 15 Nintendo Power’s 1999 Yoshi in Pokémon April Fools Prank (NAF: 4.21.21). 16 Understanding Hair Color in the Kimi ni Todoke Anime Series (NAF: 8.19.21). 17 The Sega Dreamcast Controller Joystick (NAF: 6.14.22). 18 The Enigmatic Life and Death of Emperor Otho (NAF: 4.18.21). 19 The Story of Billy Possum, President Hoover’s Pet Opossum (NAF: 11.30.21). 20 Using an Amiga OS-Inspired Window Theme In XFCE With XFWM4 (NAF: 1.2.22). 21 Building a Big Joe Williams-Inspired Nine String Guitar (VVG: 3.12.22). 22 Searching for the Figure Behind the Blob Dylan Tags in NYC and Florida (NAF: 10.4.21). 23 A Follow-Up Post on the Meaning of “Blob Dylan” (NAF: 4.12.21). 24 Persona 4 Golden Digital Artbook Review (Steam) (NAF: 11.13.20).
Our total number of visitors (according to Koko, which does seem to slightly under-count visitors compared to Google Search Console stats) continues to be suppressed by our Bing ban. However, the overall numbers were consistent with March. One difference was that our views were a bit more spread out in April. The top 8-or-so articles performed better in March than in April, but the rest of the list (9-24) was stronger in April.
My Peekier review posted its best all-time month in terms of total views in placing third, and it was not far off from overtaking my tsuki ga kirei post (which had a weak month) for second. Our 6th place article, my forget-me-not flower piece, had its best-ever month in all respects, posting its highest visitor count (surpassing May 2022) along with its highest rank (surpassing March 2022). The surprise of the month was my January 2021 article on the resplendent trogon, which came from nowhere to post its best month many times over for a ninth place finish (it was very close to 7th).
Most-turned leaves of February-April 2023
I included information about our most-read articles over three-month periods in my 2022 year-in-review post. With another month in the books, it is time to check in on our most visited articles from February to April. I will include information about change-in-rank from the previous three month period next to each article (see our January-March rank here).
- Tiki paralogue trick in Fire Emblem Engage (NAF: 2.3.23) [+1]
- The Mystery of Sōseki and Tsuki ga Kirei (NAF: 3.14.21) [-1]
- Peekier Search Engine Review (NAF: 2.26.22) [+1]
- The Pokémon Special Split in Generation 2 – Statistics and Analysis (NAF: 1.18.22) [-1]
- Installing Ubuntu Touch on a Google Nexus 7 (2013) (NAF: 7.5.21) [=]
- The Nice Boat 〜 A Look Back at the School Days Anime (NAF: 5.6.21) [+1]
- Review of /e/ – An Android Alternative For Mobile Phones (NAF: 11.21.21) [+3]
- Recommended F-Droid FOSS Apps For Android-Based Devices (2021) (NAF: 11.28.21) [+1]
- How the Forget-Me-Not Flower Found Its Name (NAF: 3.11.21) [+5]
- The ideal phone, e-ink and QWERTY (NAF: 2.23.23) [+12]
- Understanding Hair Color in the Kimi ni Todoke Anime Series (NAF: 8.19.21) [=]
- The Last Stand of Constantine XI (NAF: 5.30.20) [=]
- The Story of Billy Possum, President Hoover’s Pet Opossum (NAF: 11.30.21) [+4]
- Persona 4 Golden Digital Artbook Review (Steam) (NAF: 10.15.20) [-1]
- Nintendo Power’s 1999 Yoshi in Pokémon April Fools Prank (NAF: 4.1.21) [+3]
- How to Find Substack RSS Feeds and Other Notes (NAF: 6.19.21) [+3]
- Ghostwriter Markdown Editor Review (NAF: 10.7.21) [-2]
- A Look at ProxiTok, a TikTok Frontend (NAF: 5.14.22) [-2]
- Biden, Lincoln, and Counting Back From the President’s Birth (NAF: 4.29.22) [-11]
- Familiar song in Angel Next Door anime (NAF: 2.6.23) [NEW]
- Using an Amiga OS-Inspired Window Theme In XFCE With XFWM4 (NAF: 1.2.22) [NEW]
- Building a Big Joe Williams-Inspired Nine String Guitar (VVG: 3.12.22) [NEW]
- The Sega Dreamcast Controller Joystick (NAF: 6.14.22) [NEW]
- An Early Review of Pixelfed – Instagram Alternative (NAF: 11.13.20) [-3]
This was our weakest three-month stretch since September-November 2021, due mostly to our ongoing Bing/DuckDuckGo ban (our Google numbers have been solid). The slide in views shows outside of the top five (one could argue top four). 20 of the top 24 from the previous three-month period returned, with the new entrants taking spots 20-23. My FIre Emblem Engage piece unsurprisingly became the first 2023 article to lead a three-month rank, doing so easily after having been the most-viewed article for all but the first week of February (when it was published) during the ranking period. The other big gainers were my forget-me-not flower article (from 14 to 9) and my musing on the ideal phone, which was published in late February. We dropped January, which was our best month of 2023 by a wide margin. The biggest loser is not seen on the list: My humorous article on Mr. Tom Cantor’s unsolicited direct mail religious conversion narrative fell from sixth in the previous three-month period to outside the top 24 (I suppose he has not been sending too much mail lately).
Looking ahead to May 2023
While The New Leaf Journal’s birthday is on April 27, May is the month where the trees leaf. We celebrated May last year by publishing a record 33 articles and fell backward into two Hacker News page one appearances. While I cannot promise that May 2023 will be as exciting in terms of pure publishing volume or external article sharing events, I can promise that I have some big projects in the work, including several visual novel reviews for my al|together review project (I plan to wrap that project up in August). In addition to having many partially-finished big projects, I have a few New Leaf Journal family additions in store that I hope to introduce in May. I hope you join us for what should be an interesting month to come (maybe we will even get back into the second biggest search engine).