Welcome to the (syndicated) 150th edition of The Newsletter Leaf Journal, the official newsletter of the prennially virid online writing magazine, The New Leaf Journal. I mailed the original newsletter 150 on August 26, 2023.

Leaves from the week that was

I published one full article and three short posts. Sparse, yes. But to be fair, my full article was long.

Calvin Coolidge described having seen then-President Benjamin Harrison give an address in Bennington, Vermont, when Coolidge was in college. Coolidge’s description of the event was characteristically eloquent. In this article, I search for accounts of the festivities that Coolidge witnessed.

Leaves from around the web

Let’s take a look around the web… But since this is the 150th newsletter and the word count of the links in the previous section is a bit lacking, I will give you 15 links from around the web.

An American witch trial with an ending by Aeschylus.

Arachnid-on-arachnid eradication.

Show off.

A bit pedantic.

The doctor kept a level head and his captors were not on the high end of the intelligence spectrum.

I had to dig into the Internet Archive’s Wayback Machine for this one.

He thought he could. Then he did.

Nice to see some non-reptile animal stories from Florida.

An interesting article about braille in 2023.

The anime that caused the trend, Land Back Camp, is alright. It made a cameo in my 2021 anime of the year article for having the year’s best opening/ending song. However, it did not make me want to buy a tent.

Our own Victor V. Gurbo made a more aesthetic umbrella.

Breaking news from 2007.

Let’s check in on American cultural exports in the former Soviet Union.

A very late review of an uninspiring Nintendo DS puzzle game.

No wonder I couldn’t find them! (Can’t swim.)

The Old Leaf Journal

Let’s dig into our archive…

It returns (I never really noted that it was gone for six months, however…)

This will work for The New Leaf Journal again (for now…).

Published three years ago to the day.

This August has not seen similarly high winds.

Will be relevant soon.

August (and Augustus) prepare to exit stage right.

Most-turned leaves of the newsletter week

I list our most-read articles from the previous newsletter week (Friday to Saturday) in each edition of The Newsletter Leaf Journal. These statistics come courtesy of Koko Analytics, our local, privacy friendly page-counting solution (see my review). Below, I present the 5 most-visited articles for 2023 newsletter week 34. (Note: All stats are for 2023 only.)

  1. The Mystery of Sōseki and Tsuki ga Kirei (NAF; 3.14.21)
    33 appearances. 11th top placement.
  2. The Pokémon Special Split in Generation 2 – Statistics and Analysis (NAF; 1.18.22)
    25 appearances. 1 top placement.
  3. Abraham Lincoln’s 1851 Letters on Work to John D. Johnston (NAF; 11.4.21)
    4 appearances. 1 top placement.
  4. Height differences in anime romances (NAF; 3.22.23)
    9 appearances. 4 top placements.
  5. Tiki paralogue trick in Fire Emblem Engage (NAF; 2.3.23)
    25 appearances. 11 top placements.

While we have returned to the Bing index and DuckDuckGo was easily our second best referrer of the week, those views had little effect on our rankings. While they made a difference – especially in off-setting relatively modest weeks with Google and Brave – referrals from both Bing and DuckDuckGo were below what we were seeing in late 2022 and the first half of January 2023. Assuming our Bing return sticks, it may take some time to regain our standing.

This is the first week where all five articles in the weekly top five have had at least one top placement. My tsuki ga kirei post returned to the top spot by the narrowest of margins (literally the narrowest of margins), and in so doing it denied my Pokémon stat history, which had led the ranking for most of the week, its second consecutive top placement. Off the top of my head, this is the third time that the tsuki ga kirei article took a top placement by coming from behind on Friday (the first two times were consecutive weeks over my leaflet on heights in The Dangers of My Heart anime).

News leaf journal

I added Twtxt feeds to The New Leaf Journal. Unlike our normal feeds, the Twtxt feeds are only for authors and regular articles (no Leaflets, Leaf Buds, Letters, Collections, or Category/Tag archives at the moment). You can find it by appending /twtxt to our regular feed URLs, for example: https://thenewleafjournal.com/feed/twtxt. If you follow that link, you will note that the plain text output looks different (and more readable) than a normal RSS or ATOM feed. Twtxt is a plain text social media concept. Anyone can publish a feed in twtxt format in a plain text file. Twtxt clients (mostly command line) can consume and interact with Twtxt feeds. I will write a bit more about this in an article in the coming week (check for it if you are reading this newsletter a few days after publication). You can learn about Twtxt in the project’s code repository.

As I noted earlier in the newsletter, I switched from using WordPress’s default sitemaps to sitemaps generated by our SEO plugin, The SEO Framework. I had switched from The SEO Framework to native sitemaps in February with an eye toward possibly handling all SEO meta tags on my own. That plan never materialized. While Google and Yandex had no issue with the default WordPress sitemaps, I found that Bing was not inclined to crawl them correctly. The default WordPress sitemaps create different maps (accessible at different URLs) for every post type. SEO framework puts all posts in a single file and excludes tags, categories, and authors. For whatever reason, Bing was only consuming our Letters sitemap – which is rather useless since my syndicated newsletters have canonical tags pointing at the Buttondown archive. Bing does appear to have ingested the SEO Framework sitemap, so we will see if it helps Bing return us fully to its index (Bing had not indexed most of our Leaflets and Leaf Buds).

Notable leaf journal

I upgraded my old netbook (it appears to have originally come with Windows 8) from Bodhi Linux 6 to Bodhi Linux 7. If Bodhi Linux sounds familiar to you as a New Leaf Journal reader, that may be because I wrote about installing it on Victor V. Gurbo’s 2007 MacBook. There may be a follow-up article in the future…

Taking leaf

Thank you as always for reading The Newsletter Leaf Journal. If you enjoyed the content and have not done so already, you can sign up to receive our Saturday newsletters in your inbox, add the newsletter’s RSS feed to your favorite feed reader, or keep an eye out for the syndicated version on The New Leaf Journal. All of the options can be found here.

I have a few pieces I am working to publish as August comes to a close. I cross my fingers that we can bring what has been a slow month by our lofty standards to an exciting conclusion as we look ahead to September, which has sometimes been an eventful month for us.

Until September 1,
Cura ut valeas.