Estimated reading time: 6 minute(s)

With the first month of 2022 in the books, it is time for our January 2022 Month in Review. January was our most-trafficked month since the aberration that was March 2021 and our surprise appearance on the Hacker News front page. However, the site began having performance issues during the latter-half of the month which was caused by our pushing the limits of our cheap hosting.

Illustration of a trule from "Pathfinder or The Missing Tenderfoot" by Captain Alan Douglass (1913).
Things became a bit slow toward the end of the month. But we’ll super-charge this turtle in the near future. Image clipped from “PATHFINDER OR The Missing Tenderfoot” on Project Gutenberg.

For that reason, February promises to bring some very big (and, I hope, positive) changes to The New Leaf Journal. But before we look ahead, we must first look back at the month that was.

New Leaf Journal Article Highlights

This is our 20th and final article of January 2022. I recommend viewing our entire monthly archive on site. However, while I recommend reading all of our articles, I will choose five articles from the month that was to highlight here.

In our first article of 2022, I turned to our fictional dialogue duo, Justin and Justina, to review our most-read articles of 2021 with a few friends who appeared in some of the articles. In this post, you will find links to more than 50 articles along with some interesting notes from the first full year at The New Leaf Journal.

On January 4, I took our first foray into reading tea leaves with an examination of the symbolism of musical instruments.

As a long-time BlackBerry user who held out until spring 2021, I had to write about BlackBerry’s discontinuing support for its last proprietary operating system, BlackBerry 10. After publishing my general thoughts, I wrote about how I used KDE Connect to transfer photos from my BlackBerry Classic to my primary phone running /e/ OS.

On January 18, I published our longest article of the young year – a comprehensive look at the effect of the “special split” that occurred between the first two generations of Pokémon games. If you do not know what that means – I begin the article with an introduction that will help newcomers make sense of the issues.

Finally, I published the story of Owney, a nineteenth century dog who traveled across the United States for nearly a decade on mail-carrying train cars.

A Look Back at January 2021

I like to use our month-in-review posts to resurface some old content while reviewing our new content. January 2021 was a significant month at The New Leaf Journal. Indeed, we had more than 6-times as many pageviews in January 2022 than in January 2021, but January 2021 had also marked a significant step forward..

One year ago to the day I published our January 2021 month-in-review. We led 2021 off with a 2020 review. Below, I will note three articles highlighted in our January 2021 collection.

On January 8, 2021, I published the story of my discovering in 2019 my unfinished Mario Party game from the early 2000s.

While Owney the mail dog met the United States Postmaster General in 1893, which I covered in my 2022 Owney article, Mr. Franklin Wilcox was organizing what would be Wisconsin’s beekeeping exhibit at the 1893 World’s Fair in Chicago. I covered that story on January 12, 2021.

Finally, on January 25, 2021, I wrote one of my personal favorite Justin and Justina dialogues – Justina’s explanation of existential social media misery to Justin, who played the straight man in the conversation.

Most-Visited Content of January 2022

In every month-in-review post, I cover our most-visited articles of the month. Our statistics come from our local and privacy-friendly analytics solution, Koko Analytics. If you are interested in Koko Analytics, I reviewed it on January 13, 2022.

With a new year, I decided to add a new element to our list. I keep track of our most-visited articles daily and also note our most-read articles over 3-, 7-, 14-, and 28-day periods. Three articles in January were the most-read article for at least one day and for at least one 3-day period. My post on the meaning of Tsuki ga Kirei was the most-read article over 7, 14, and 28 days for the entirety of January.

Below, you will find our 12 most-visited articles of 2022 along with some relevant statistics about each post (and additional statistics for the three posts that were the most read for at least one single-day period).

  1. The Mystery of Sōseki and Tsuki ga Kirei.
    Nicholas A. Ferrell. March 14, 2021.
    Last Month: #1.
    Most-Read Statistics: One Day (24), Three Days (24), 14 Days (31), 28 Days (31).
  2. Installing Ubuntu Touch on an Asus Nexus 7 (2013).
    Nicholas A. Ferrell. July 5, 2021.
    Last Month: #3.
    Most-Read Statistics: One Day (3), Three Days (4).
  3. Recommended F-Droid FOSS Apps For Android-Based Devices (2021).
    Nicholas A. Ferrell. November 27, 2021.
    Last Month: #2.
  4. Reviewing the HALOmask and är Mask.
    Victor V. Gurbo. December 2, 2020.
    Last Month: #4.
    Most-Read: One Day (4), Three Days (3)
  5. How to Find Substack RSS Feeds and Other Notes.
    Nicholas A. Ferrell. June 19, 2021.
    Last Month: #5.
  6. The Last Stand of Constantine XI.
    Nicholas A. Ferrell. May 30, 2020.
    Last Month: #6.
    Notes: #4 in January 2021.
  7. An Early Review of Pixelfed – Instagram Alternative.
    Nicholas A. Ferrell. November 13, 2020.
    Last Month: #9.
    Notes: #1 in January 2021.
  8. Persona 4 Golden Digital Artbook Review (Steam).
    Nicholas A. Ferrell. November 15, 2020.
    Last Month: #7.
    Notes: #3 in January 2021.
  9. Performing Site-Specific Searches With DuckDuckGo.
    Nicholas A. Ferrell. August 8, 2021.
    Last Month: #13.
  10. Installing and Running Bodhi Linux on a 2007 MacBook.
    Nicholas A. Ferrell. October 3, 2021.
    Last Month: #18.
  11. Ghostwriter Markdown Editor Review.
    Nicholas A. Ferrell. October 7, 2021.
    Last Month: #11.
  12. The Story of Billy Possum, Herbert Hoover’s Pet Opossum.
    Nicholas A. Ferrell. November 30, 2021.
    Last Month: Outside top 100.

Analysis

Our top seven articles from December 2021 returned to the top seven in January 2022 in almost the exact same order – with my post on installing Ubuntu Touch making a late push to achieve its best monthly ranking after three consecutive placements in third. As we accrue more New Leaf Journal statistics, it is notable that our top four articles from January 2021 were all present in our January 2022 ranking – with three of the four having more views than they did in January 2021 (the exception is my Pixelfed review, which came in just shy of its 2021-leading total).

We had two articles make their debuts in the final three spots. My post on installing and configuring Bodhi Linux on Victor’s 2007 MacBook appeared at tenth place in the ranking by generating consistent page-views throughout the month. The surprise of the month was my post on former President Herbert Hoover’s pet opossum, Billy Possum, which came on strong in the final week to secure the 12th and final spot in our January ranking. My Billy Possum post was a follow-up article to my piece on Billy’s successor in office, Calvin Coolidge’s pet raccoon. Will that article make its debut in February?

One notable omission was my second article on some Blob Dylan graffiti that I found in Bushwick. That article featured in in seven consecutive top 12s and six consecutive top 10s. However, the article finished the month strong to come in at 16th place, and I fully expect to see it back in the top-12 at some point in 2022. Also not present from the December group were my articles on JMP Chat (13th) and understanding hair color in the Kimi ni Todoke anime series (25th).

Looking Ahead to February 2022

February 2021 was a decisive month for The New Leaf Journal. Despite its short length, it significantly out-paced January 2021 in terms of pageviews, and February saw the publication of my article on RSS as an alternative to Facebook newsfeeds, which went on to be our most-viewed article of 2021 thanks to its success on Hacker News.

February 2022 will be an even more important month than February 2021, but it is precisely because of why that will be the case that the month will start slowly.

I plan to move The New Leaf Journal to significantly better hosting than what we have now. This will make the site faster for users, allow us to introduce some new functionality, and also improve our ability to have our content promptly indexed by search engines. My plan is to try to complete the move in the first week of February. That, of course, is subject to potential technical issues and rush assignments having to do with my day-job, but my priority for The New Leaf Journal to start the month will be more about moving the site than publishing content.

Once we are settled in, I plan to publish a few articles that have been in progress for a while and some special Valentine’s Day-themed content. I hope to have several proverbial blockbuster posts to make up for what will be a slow start to the month.

I wrote about my plans for moving The New Leaf Journal in the 68th edition of our newsletter, which you can read here (see also where I discussed the issues in a Justin and Justina dialogue).

Conclusion

Thank you as always for following The New Leaf Journal and checking in on our monthly update. In addition to tying the months together, I hope that our monthly updates help you find some content from our varied archives that interests you. I retire now to clear work from my day job and prepare to move The New Leaf Journal. I plan to publish our February 2022 to a much more powerful and dynamic New Leaf Journal.