The first month of 2023 saw some big changes at The New Leaf Journal. I revamped our site’s visual presentation, made performance changes under the hood, and introduced a couple of new post types. However, January saw one negative change, our being blacklisted by Microsoft’s Bing search engine and, by effect, the universe of Bing front-ends. In terms of content, I did not publish as many articles as I had in recent months, but that was due in part to some of the articles that I did publish being quite long. Below, I will recap our new articles and short posts, our most-read content, and some of the changes that occurred in January 2023.

January 2023 full-length articles

This is our 19th and final full-length article of January 2023. Below, I will list all 19 of our new articles along with one sentence descriptions of what you can expect to find in each. You can also see a clean list of our January 2023 posts in our current volume of collected articles (see January 2023). You will note that four articles are rendered in bold. Consider these my editor’s choice selections for January 2023.


(1) Justin and Justina review 2022 at the NLJ (NAF: January 1, 2023). Our resident fictional dialogue duo discussed the 51 most-read articles of 2022. (2) Designing video games to produce benefits (NAF: January 3, 2023). Thoughts on creating video games with the goal of producing social or psychological benefits in players. (3) The Best Anime in 2022: Year in Review (NAF: January 5, 2023). My list of the top-six anime series of the year that was with notes on other series and category-specific awards. (4) When real people “tell, don’t show” (NAF: January 6, 2023). Wherein I use a Justin and Justina dialogue to question whether a writing rule is true to life. (5) Replacing soundbar and re-configuring universal remote for internet-less TV (NAF: January 8, 2023). This article turned out to be much longer than I expected. (6) Oozing Brooklyn pumpkin in January (NAF: January 9, 2023). Photographic evidence provided.


(7) Short Bio of Mary Graham Bonner (NAF: January 10, 2023). Introducing a new project on a 1923 children’s book. (8) Adding custom search shortcut for Wayback Machine (NAF: January 11, 2023). A creative trick to enhance your browser’s address bar (provided that you search from the address bar). (9) Working on caching issue (NAF: January 13, 2023). I correctly diagnosed and resolved said issue. (10) Saving Internet Archive Articles in Wallabag (NAF: January 14, 2023). The trick is probably also useful outside of the Wallabag context. (11) Subscribing to category-specific RSS feeds (NAF: January 16, 2023). Tips for keeping your feed collection on point and under control. (12) The Tame Canary Bird (Bonner) (NAF: January 17, 2023). Our first article on one of Mary Graham Bonner’s bedtime stories.


(13) The modest virtues of self-awe (NAF: January 18, 2023). I’m in awe of myself too. (14) My heroic broken link report to U.S. DOJ (NAF: January 19, 2023). The first of two articles on New Leaf Journal heroism. (15) Trying National Park Typeface (NAF: January 22, 2023). Free to download and use for you too. (16) Bing and DuckDuckGo’s Chinese Communist Party Problem (NAF: January 25, 2023). I may have had an axe to grind. (17) 1880 poem on becoming an older sibling (NAF: January 27, 2023). Noses out of joint. (18) NLJ Brooklyn NYC pigeon rescue story (NAF: January 31, 2023). An account of Victor V. Gurbo’s pigeon-rescue (with photos).

Leaflets and Leaf Buds

The New Leaf Journal features two separate post types for shorter contents. Leaflets, which we introduced in April 2022, are short-form posts. Leaf Buds, introduced just this month, are microposts. Below, I will list all of our Leaflets and Leaf Buds and add a few notes. Note that I authored all of the short posts.


No “Newsletter” Folders in WordPress (1/2). My Kimi ni Todoke article and Netflix (1/3) (this would prove to be relevant to our most-read article list). WordPress self-written plugin adventures (1/4) (the issue likely had to do with the caching I described in my January 13 article rather than my plugin). Adding Syndication Links Support (1/4) (this support did not survive the month). Optical audio cable story update (1/5) (story part of full article ). Clean 51 most-visited articles of 2022 (1/8). Examining brown hair of popular anime characters (1/12) (this leaflet is closer to a full article than its leaflet kin). Fixing RPG Maker MV Segfault on Linux (1/13). Temporarily de-indexed from Bing (1/16) (maybe not temporarily…). Signing into Winbox (1/18). Issue upgrading onscripter on EndeavourOS (1/19). Starting Fire Emblem Engage on Maddening (1/22) (surprisingly easy thru chapter 10). Does Brave Search have Bing dependencies? (1/25) (probably… but I would need to figure out a little more before turning this into a full article). (1/26) First DLC Paralogue in Fire Emblem Engage… (1/26) (article impending…).

Leaf Buds

I originally published Leaf Buds in a post type called notes. I decided to switch from notes (which was using a third-party plugin) to my own plugin. After the switch, I transferred most of our notes to leaf buds. However, the leaf buds have new published dates. For purpose of this survey, I will list when the posts were published as leaf buds. I note in the leaf buds when they were originally published.

Micropost on Soundbar and Remote Struggles (1/20). Reply to 10 ways to ruin a website (1/20). Bookmark: Guide for Adding JSON-LD to WP (1/20) (so much has happened that I almost forgot that I did this…). Re; South Pasadena relocates local peafowl (1/20). Bookmark: Url Forwarder and (1/20). Bookmark: Death of Feedburner? (1/20) (the end of an era). Revisiting a Texas sea turtle rescue story (1/20). Review of privacy-friendly WP analytics (1/20). Thanking newsletter for productive link (1/20). Idea for showing category RSS feeds (1/21) (to be implemented soon…). Defective second-hand graphics cards (1/23). Cutting tall grass in the early Pokémon games (1/26).


We mailed four newsletters in January 2023, going out on January 7. For those who are not in the know, we mail our official newsletter every Saturday. You can either sign up via email or add the newsletter’s RSS feed to your reader (no email or sign-up needed for the RSS option). See the options here. Beginning with our January 7 newsletter, I started syndicating all of our issues to The New Leaf Journal with minor formatting changes. Below, I link to the New Leaf Journal versions of the four issues.

The Newsletter Leaf Journal is not a mere recap of our new articles. Each edition of the newsletter includes 10 recommended articles from around the web, several posts from our archive, site news and updates, and miscellaneous notes and recommendations. It is a publication in and of itself. For those interested in learning about the changes we made to the site in January, I recommend paying special attention to newsletters 118 and 119.

Most-turned leaves of January 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 January 2023 with special emphasis on the top 12.

Top-12 most-visited articles

1The Mystery of Sōseki and Tsuki ga KireiNAF3.14.21
2Tom Cantor’s Changed Has Poor Color SchemeNAF8.3.22
3The Pokémon Special Split in Generation 2 – Statistics and AnalysisNAF1.18.22
4Installing Ubuntu Touch on a Google Nexus 7 (2013)NAF7.5.21
5Biden, Lincoln, and Counting Back From the President’s BirthNAF4.29.22
6The Last Stand of Constantine XINAF5.30.20
7Understanding Hair Color in the Kimi ni Todoke Anime SeriesNAF8.19.21
8Peekier Search Engine ReviewNAF2.26.22
9The Nice Boat 〜 A Look Back at the School Days AnimeNAF5.6.21
10Recommended F-Droid FOSS Apps For Android-Based Devices (2021)NAF11.27.21
11Persona 4 Golden Digital Artbook Review (Steam)NAF11.15.20
12A Look at ProxiTok, a TikTok FrontendNAF5.14.22
Best-ever monthly finish for Tom Cantor’s Changed Has Poor Color Scheme, The Pokémon Special Split in Generation 2 – Statistics and Analysis, Understanding Hair Color in the Kimi ni Todoke Anime Series, and The Nice Boat: A Look Back at the School Days Anime

Spots 13-25: 13 Review of the Teracube 2e Smartphone (11.19.21). 14 An Early Review of Pixelfed – Instagram Alternative (11.13.20). 15 Ghostwriter Markdown Editor Review (10.8.21). 16 How the Forget-Me-Not Flower Found Its Name (3.11.21). 17 Review of /e/ – An Android Alternative For Mobile Phones (11.21.21). 18 Cross-posting from Mastodon to Twitter (4.18.22). 19 Nintendo Power’s 1999 Yoshi in Pokémon April Fools Prank (4.1.21). 20 Saving Internet Archive URLs in Wallabag (1.14.23). 21 An Essay on Productivity, Production, and Productive Leisure (3.24.21). 22 How to Find Substack RSS Feeds and Other Notes (6.19.21). 23 Reviewing the Mastodon Twitter Crossposter (5.10.22). 24 The Story of Billy Possum, President Hoover’s Pet Opossum (11.30.21).


Our January ranking was interesting in that we received nearly no traffic from Bing or Bing-related search engines after the 14th. While Google is far and away our most prolific referrer, DuckDuckGo and Bing were second and third at the time of our blacklisting by enough of a margin that they held those positions through the end of the month. However, while we saw an expected dip in visits, the site held up well and we had a few very strong days in the second half of the month.

My March 2021 article on the history of the phrase tsuki ga kirei topped the monthly ranking for the 15th time and did so by a comfortable margin. However, we saw some new trends in the list. Our second- and third-place articles posted their best-ever monthly finishes, as did two 2021 anime articles on Kimi ni Todoke (7th) and School Days (9th). While I think that January 2023 was the high-water mark for the Kimi ni Todoke hair color analysis piece, my School Days review has generally been trending upward.

News and notes

We made some significant changes to The New Leaf Journal in January 2023. While I recommend reading the newsletters for a more in-depth discussion of the new features, I will list some of the key changes below:

  • Changed site colors, theming, and system font stack
  • Revamped category structure
  • Added Leaf Buds post type
  • Began syndicating newsletter
  • Broke our full article archive into four volumes
  • Implemented object caching to improve site performance
  • Downgraded from Relevanssi search to Relevanssi Light (after having upgraded previously) because Light works well enough for our modest purposes
  • Continuing to add schematic markup to posts to improve our presentation in the search engines that have not blacklisted us

I look forward to rolling out some further improvements in February. However, all of the work that I had to do on the site took away a bit from my ability to publish new articles. In February, I will balance making smaller improvements with ensuring that I have the time to post new leaves, leaflets, and leaf buds in a wide assortment of subject areas.