Today is the last day of February 2023. The last day of the month means its time for our traditional month-in-review post. February saw a mix of new full articles, short posts, and site news. Below, we recap the month that was at your favorite (I hope) perennially virid online writing magazine, The New Leaf Journal.
This is our 15th and final regular article of February 2023. Below, you will find links to our first 14 articles of the month with short descriptions.
- Removing pages from Yandex Turbo (NAF: February 2, 2023) [Editor’s Choice]
Being blacklisted by Microsoft Bing prompted me to clean up our presentation with Yandex (Yandex has not blacklisted us).
- Tiki paralogue trick in Fire Emblem Engage (NAF: February 3, 2023)
My first ever timely video game strategy guide. However, there is more story than strategy.
- Familiar song in Angel Next Door anime (NAF: February 6, 2023) [Editor’s Choice]
When I heard an ending song that I knew I had heard before, I decided to hunt down where I had heard it.
- Bonner’s “In Dreamland” Bedtime Story (NAF: February 7, 2023)
A children’s story warning against repeating slander.
- DRM and losing the quality you paid for (NAF: February 9, 2023)
When digital comics go from HD to not HD (note these were not my comics).
- Business Women, Poem by Charlotte Becker (NAF: February 12, 2023)
Re-printing a poem by Charlotte Becker which was not among the 34 I re-printed in 2021.
- Query for Bing on blacklisting and ChatGPT (NAF: February 13, 2023)
Questions from the webmaster of a blacklisted site.
- A Winter’s Tale – Visual Novel Review (NAF: February 14, 2023)
I reviewed a love story from the al|together visual novel collection for Valentine’s Day (it was a good one).
- Version history of Aru Fuyu no Monogatari (NAF: February 16, 2023) [Editor’s Choice]
While reviewing A Winter’s Tale, I discovered that the listed Japanese release date on Visual Novel Database may not be entirely accurate. This led me into a long trip down Wayback Machine lane.
- Original LOH: Trails in the Sky GIF ad (NAF: February 17, 2023)
While researching when Ayu Fuyu no Monogatari was actually released, I came across an original GIF advertisement for one of my favorite games.
- My Bonnie Steed – 1842 poem (NAF: February 19, 2023)
A poem about a very handsome horse.
- The ideal phone, e-ink and QWERTY (NAF: February 23, 2023)
Prototyping the ideal phone.
- Eco-friendly highlighters, fat-free soda (NAF: February 23, 2023)
Every month needs a random anecdote
- Flood of Tears – Visual Novel Review (NAF: February 24, 2023) [Editor’s Choice]
My last full article of the month covered one of my favorite of the al|together visual novel set. The star of the novel and my article is the charming Hina Kawase.
Leaflets & Leaf Buds
I published many short posts to go with our regular articles. These came in the form of Leaflets (mini articles) and Leaf Buds (microposts). Below, I link to all of our posts with a few notes on some of my personal favorites. Note that I wrote all of the posts.
- Does The New Leaf Journal Look different? (Feb 5)
To be addressed later in this review.
- Additional Best of 2022 in Anime Awards (Feb 8)
This ended up being longer than quite a few of our full articles…
- Rent-A-Girlfriend S3 to air in July 2023 (Feb 17)
- Spring Fashions – 1842 in Advance (Feb 19)
- Thoughts on ‘Sick Anime Girl Disease’ (Feb 20)
- Old wood makes for better instruments (Feb 21)
Following up on my colleague’s take on this issue from 2021.
- Internet Explorer to Year of Linux Desktop (Feb 21)
- Report: Blob Dylan Seen in Williamsburg (Feb 27)
My expert Blob Dylan reporting (if I do so say so myself) was cited to by a gentleman who (probably) saw the man behind the BLOB.
- Nintendo’s underwhelming Switch eShop fix (Feb 7)
- Looking at ActivityPub for WordPress (Feb 10)
- New Bottom-Tier Character Tomozaki Anime (Feb 12)
Looking forward to it.
- Re; Reading social streams in feed reader (Feb 19)
- Lutris adding Itch.io integration (Feb 20)
- A BlackBerry-esque mini Linux computer… (Feb 21)
- An incisive take on hot takes (Feb 22)
- Anime illness in Please Teacher! anime (Feb 22)
- Streaming and TV in the hospital (Feb 23)
- Babylon Bee on sushi being a prank (Feb 24)
This is a plausible explanation for sushi.
- The dark tone of Persona 3 (Feb 27)
I also mailed four issues of our Saturday newsletter, The Newsletter Leaf Journal. You can find our archive and subscription options (email and RSS) on our newsletter sign-up page. I began syndicating our newsletter to The New Leaf Journal in January 2023. Below, you will find links to the syndicated versions of each newsletter. The issues not only recap the week that was at The New Leaf Journal, but also include links to interesting news and articles from around the web.
Most-turned leaves of February 2023
I list our five most-read articles of the week in our weekly newsletters. At the end of each month, I list our most-visited articles of the month. All statistics come courtesy of our local, privacy-friendly page-hit counter, Koko Analytics (see my review). Below, I list the top 24 most-visited articles of February 2023 with special emphasis on the top 12.
|1||Tiki paralogue trick in Fire Emblem Engage||NAF||2.3.23|
|2||The Mystery of Sōseki and Tsuki ga Kirei||NAF||3.14.21|
|3||Installing Ubuntu Touch on a Google Nexus 7 (2013)||NAF||7.5.21|
|4||The Pokémon Special Split in Generation 2 – Statistics and Analysis||NAF||1.18.22|
|5||Peekier Search Engine Review||NAF||2.26.22|
|6||Recommended F-Droid FOSS Apps For Android-Based Devices (2021)||NAF||11.28.21|
|7||The Story of Billy Possum, President Hoover’s Pet Opossum||NAF||11.30.21|
|8||Understanding Hair Color in the Kimi ni Todoke Anime Series||NAF||8.19.21|
|9||The Nice Boat 〜 A Look Back at the School Days Anime||NAF||5.6.21|
|10||Tom Cantor’s Changed Has Poor Color Scheme||NAF||8.3.22|
|11||How to Find Substack RSS Feeds and Other Notes||NAF||6.19.21|
|12||Nintendo Power’s 1999 Yoshi in Pokémon April Fools Prank||NAF||4.1.21|
13-24: 13 Ghostwriter Markdown Editor Review (NAF: 10.8.21). 14 Persona 4 Golden Digital Artbook Review (Steam) (NAF: 11.15.20). 15 The Last Stand of Constantine XI (NAF: 5.30.20). 16 How the Forget-Me-Not Flower Found Its Name (NAF: 3.11.21). 17 Review of /e/ – An Android Alternative For Mobile Phones (NAF: 11.21.21). 18 Biden, Lincoln, and Counting Back From the President’s Birth (NAF: 4.29.22). 19 Farming Gold Roses for Money in Animal Crossing (VVG: 10.13.20). 20 The Chinese Dragon Gang Origin Story (NAF: 10.22.22). 21 A Look at ProxiTok, a TikTok Frontend (NAF: 5.14.22). 22 An Early Review of Pixelfed – Instagram Alternative (NAF: 11.13.20). 23 Searching for School Days’ Nice Boat (NAF: 5.6.22). 24 Calvin Coolidge On Why We Celebrate Independence Day (NAF: 7.2.21).
February marked our first full month existing entirely outside of Bing’s search index, and by extension outside of DuckDuckGo and the myriad search engines that are effectively Bing front-ends. My review of one-such front-end, Peekier, scored a strong fifth-place finish in our most-read articles of the month (I am confident that none of those visitors were referred by Peekier). We are hanging in decently well in terms of views thanks to a strong performance in Google, but our February 2023 page visit total ended up being nearly identical to our February 2022 total, which is a sign of the drag that the Bing de-listing has had rather than an indication that we were unusually strong one year ago.
The most striking statistics note of the month was the first-place finish of my Fire Emblem Engage quasi-strategy guide, which not only took the top spot in the ranking relatively comfortably, but ended the three-month first-place streak of my tsuki ga kirei post, which had also taken the top spot in five out of the previous six months. Another odd notable is my 2021 post on Herbert Hoover’s pet raccoon. That article’s previous best finish was 12th place in January 2022, but it easily topped that with a seventh place finish in February 2023. I was also surprised to see my August 2021 post on hair color in the Kimi ni Todoke anime crack its second consecutive top ten after never having finished this high previously.
Site news and notes
I decided to remove thumbnail images from our site archives and go with a full text display. Because this makes the site significantly lighter, I opted to show 12 posts on each archive page instead of the previous six. I like the change thus far, but will work on making more descriptive article snippets for older posts at some point in the future.
On the technical side, I fixed 130 broken links by hand. To the best of my knowledge, we are now free of broken links (save for one intentional 404). I also properly configured our new lightweight search solution.
Finally, I continued working on some behind the scene points to see if we can reverse our blacklisting by Bing, but there are no particular reasons to be optimistic (we are now on ignored email inquiry number three).
Looking ahead to March
They say March comes in like a lion. I hope that proves to be the case at The New Leaf Journal. I have a couple of projects in store for March including an attempt to replicate the magic that was my March 2021 article on the history of the phrase tsuki ga kirei, so I hope you look forward to it. However, for those of you reading this article fresh off the (virtual) press, note that the beginning of the month may be a bit slow on account of work related to my day job.