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.

Full articles

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.

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.


Leaf Buds


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.

1Tiki paralogue trick in Fire Emblem EngageNAF2.3.23
2The Mystery of Sōseki and Tsuki ga KireiNAF3.14.21
3Installing Ubuntu Touch on a Google Nexus 7 (2013)NAF7.5.21
4The Pokémon Special Split in Generation 2 – Statistics and AnalysisNAF1.18.22
5Peekier Search Engine ReviewNAF2.26.22
6Recommended F-Droid FOSS Apps For Android-Based Devices (2021)NAF11.28.21
7The Story of Billy Possum, President Hoover’s Pet OpossumNAF11.30.21
8Understanding Hair Color in the Kimi ni Todoke Anime SeriesNAF8.19.21
9The Nice Boat 〜 A Look Back at the School Days AnimeNAF5.6.21
10Tom Cantor’s Changed Has Poor Color SchemeNAF8.3.22
11How to Find Substack RSS Feeds and Other NotesNAF6.19.21
12Nintendo Power’s 1999 Yoshi in Pokémon April Fools PrankNAF4.1.21

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.