Happy New Year’s Eve (although I will venture that most of you will be reading this post after New Year’s Eve). The end of the year means that it is almost time for The New Leaf Journal’s annual year-end review article. However, that article goes live on January 1, 2024. We have a small bit of business to take care of with our traditional month-in-review article. Because I am working with our fictional dialogue duo, Justin and Justina, to finish the yearly review post tomorrow, our month-in-review article will be concise and to the point.
New Leaves From November
This is our 19th and final article of December 2023, tying it with January and November for the busiest month of the year. Below, I list all of our regular articles. I designated five as my personal favorites with an Editor’s Choice tag.
- Bush Clinton Playground in Red Hook (NAF, Dec. 3)
A quick look at a Red Hook, Brooklyn playground with an unintentionally humorous name.
- Unpacking a Mississippi Bonsai Tree (NAF, Dec. 4)
Copious amounts of Styrofoam.
- My Default Apps as of December 2023 (NAF, Dec. 7)
Now you can use a computer or Android/Android-derivative device just like the editor of The New Leaf Journal. See my additional discussion about why I decided to make this list.
- Narcissu (Insani version) VN Review (NAF, Dec. 9) [Editor’s Choice]
It took me until al|together visual novel review 27 out of 29 to finally discuss what is far and away the most well-known visual novel to have been translated for al|together.
- Li Shangfu(?) Emails The New Leaf Journal (NAF, Dec. 11)
Some spam email is too good not to share.
- Adding EOIR BIA Decisions to Zotero (NAF, Dec. 12)
A quick guide to using Zotero for collecting administrative precedent decisions in the area of U.S. immigration law.
- On Internal and External Linking (NAF, Dec. 13)
I offer my view on how webmasters of legitimate writing sites should handle internal and external linking.
- A Boat Named “S-cape” (NAF, Dec. 17)
A small photo post that proved to be one of this month’s surprises, as you will see in our monthly ranking.
- Make it Christmas With a Santa Hat (NAF, Dec. 21) [Editor’s Choice]
Justin uses photographs to prove to Justina that just about anything can become Christmas with a Santa hat.
- Dynamic Inflatable Chimney Santa (NAF, Dec. 21)
Not only as advertised, but also has synergy with the Santa hat dialogue.
- Moonshine – Visual Novel Review (NAF, Dec. 22)
al|together visual novel review 28 out of 29…
- My Black Cat – Visual Novel Review (NAF, Dec. 22)
And with this, I reviewed all 29 of the al|together visual novels I had on my to-do list. It only took just over three and one-half years. Now onto the final ranking of the novels in 2024.
- Snowman Christmas Countdown Clock (NAF, Dec. 22)
A photo post that made for an exceedingly rare three-article day.
- Victor V. Gurbo’s “Christmas & You” (VVG, Dec. 24) [Editor’s Choice]
Victor V. Gurbo shared two recordings of his original melancholy Christmas song along with the story of how he originally wrote the lyrics. I wrote a short post on our sister site with a fun note about a college friend who Victor referenced in his article.
- Gowanus Green Car With Christmas Presents (NAF, Dec. 24) [Editor’s Choice]
An unplanned article built around photos from an afternoon walk on Christmas Eve.
- On Review Scoring Systems (NAF, Dec. 27)
An essay on how to properly establish and use a scoring system for media.
- The Dangers in My Heart S1 Anime Review (NAF, Dec. 28)
With the second season of The Dangers in My Heart anime upon us, I took it upon myself to write a full-length review of the first season.
- Bottom-tier Character Tomozaki S1 Anime Review (NAF, Dec. 29) [Editor’s Choice]
After finishing my Dangers in the Heart review, I wrote a review of the 2021 first season of Bottom-tier Character Tomozaki as we wait for the second season to begin in January.
The Newsletter Leaf Journal
I published five issues of our Saturday newsletter in December. Our newsletter recaps the week that was at The New Leaf Journal, but also includes original content such as 21 links from around the web, a dip into our archives, weekly article rankings, and other news and notes. You can see our five December issues below. If you like what you see, you can sign up via email or add the newsletter’s RSS feed to your feed reader (no sign-up required for the RSS option).
- Newsletter Leaf Journal CLXIII 〜 McNewsletter 〜 (Dec. 2)
- Newsletter Leaf Journal CLXIV 〜 Newslettero 64 〜 (Dec. 9)
- Newsletter Leaf Journal CLXV 〜 Lost & not found 〜 (Dec. 16)
- Newsletter Leaf Journal CLXVI 〜 Christmas Eve Eve 〜 (Dec. 23)
- Newsletter Leaf Journal CLXVII 〜 Top-tier new year 〜 (Dec. 30)
Even if you read all of our articles this month, you will find 105 external links and other goodies in the newsletters. You can also learn about a mishap I had with respect to my collection of external links (spoiler: the collection has been restarted) in a short post over on our sister site: Deleting My Around The Web Links. Speaking of the sister site…
The Emu Café Social Updates
I started a companion site for short-form posts called The Emu Café Social back in September. It is still something of a work in progress, but I published 20 short posts over there in the last month. Since it does not yet have its own infrastructure, I will share 10 of the posts with you below (I wrote all of the post so I am not listing author info).
- Why manhole covers are round (Dec. 6)
In case you were wondering.
- Simple Mobile Tools Alternatives (Dec. 6)
A New Leaf Journal-quality post on FOSS Android apps.
- Review of Show Pages ID for WordPress (Dec. 7)
My review of a quality WordPress plugin.
- Foreverliketh List of Blogrolls and Webrings (Dec. 9)
A nice article on resources for finding independent websites.
- MealMaster Udon Recipe (Dec. 11)
Linking to an excellent post over at the Yukinu Blog on a fun recipe markup format (Yukinu’s sample udon recipe is included).
- Quick Review of My Tablet – My Computer (Dec. 13)
Our sister site tackles a book review (it is admittedly a very short book).
- Feeds for Articles Over X and Mastodon (Dec. 13)
On using feeds to follow websites over social media (even decentralized, open source, and privacy-friendly social media).
- Solid OP and ED in The Dreaming Boy is a Realist (Dec. 14)
Some thoughts on the opening and ending songs of a late add to my 2023 anime watched list.
- Merry Christmas – Openclipart Santa Owl (Dec. 25)
Exactly as advertised.
- PoorlyConfiguredWebCrawler in Logs (Dec. 27) [Bonus Editor’s Choice]
Probably the best thing I wrote in 2023.
Most-turned leaves of December 2023
I use an open source, privacy-friendly, and entirely local page counting solution called Koko Analytics to track page views and referrers here at The New Leaf Journal (see review). Each month, I list our 24 most-visited articles of the month and also of the three month period ending with the month in question. Below, you will find our most-visited articles of December 2023 and also of the period from October 1 through December 31.
This was certainly our most dynamic month of 2023.
My somewhat outdated F-Droid app review from 2021 celebrated its first monthly top-finish after finishing second in five separate months in 2021 and 2022. Conversely, my article on the history of the phrase tsuki ga kirei, which finished ahead of the F-Droid article for all five of its runner-up finishes, posted its lowest-ever full month performance of 11th despite performing close to its October and December levels.
December 2023 was our deepest month on record. Every one of the top 14 articles would have made every 2023 top 12. The 24th place article would have made the February top 12. In some ways this was a bad month to have a break-through performance.
The surprise of the month was my photo-post on a boat named S-Cape. That is the kind of post that tends to get next to no views at all. Yet here we see it at 22nd place despite being online for less than half of what was the most competitive month in New Leaf Journal history. Note that I honestly have no idea what is driving its strong performance.
Another major surprise was my article on the history of former President Herbert Hoover’s pet opossum. It followed up matching its best single month performance (in terms of page views, not ranking) in November with a break-out performance in December, taking a weekly top finish in convincing fashion and threatening to take the top spot overall in the monthly ranking in the final week. I had expectations for the F-Droid app review when I published it on November 28, 2021. I did have similar expectations for the Hoover-possum piece (indeed, it was a spinoff from my significantly less successful article about Calvin Coolidge’s pet raccoon). Yet two years later, it follows the article published two days earlier with a third place finish.
One to watch going into 2024 is my review of the 2023 first season of The Angel Next Door Spoils Me Rotten. It took the final weekly top finish of 2023 and has been the strongest article for the final third of December. The second season of the anime begins in the first week of January, so it may be the article to beat in the early stages of 2024.
Looking Ahead to 2024
I still have a good amount of work to do on my year-end review article, so I will wrap up the December review by pointing you to my December 30 newsletter (see the penultimate section) for a preview of what you can look forward to in January 2024 (we have some big projects on the way). Thank you as always for reading and following The New Leaf Journal, and I hope everyone has a terrific New Year and comes to join us for more fun articles in 2024.