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I bring December 2021 and 2021 as a whole to a close with this special New Years Eve December month-in-review article. In this article, which is the 23rd of December, I will review the articles from the month that was and go over our most-read articles from both December and the final quarter (October-December) of 2021. In the final section, I will look ahead to the first month of 2022.

A Christmas Tree with a nativity scene at Brooklyn's Grand Army Plaza in 2021.
A Christmas tree with a nativity scene at Grand Army Plaza in Brooklyn, New York. I took the photo on December 16, 2021, with the Open Camera App on my Teracube 2e. Victor V. Gurbo edited the photo for publication.

Those of you who joined us recently can look back at least year’s New Years Eve December review post, wherein I brought 2020 to a close.

The Content of December 2021

You will find all 23 of our December articles in our archive for the month. While I recommend browsing the whole selection of December content, I will single out five articles from December for special mention below.

All About the Saw-whet Owl

On December 4, I published All About the Saw-whet Owl. The post is well-described by its title. I brought together old and new sources to write a detailed overview of North America’s smallest owl. The post is the spiritual successor to our November 2020 report on an unfortunate saw-whet owl that found herself transported to Rockefeller Center with a very large Christmas Tree. One day after the 2021 saw-whet owl overview, I re-printed an 1898 poem about the diminutive raptor.

Lizzie Deas’ ‘The Christmas Rose’

On December 20, I published what I dare say is the most visually appealing New Leaf Journal article in some time. This article reprinted a lovely 1914 Christmas short story about a poor shepherd who wept because she felt that she had no gift to offer the Christ Child. The sentiments of her heart were duly recognized in the story. My article includes a PDF that I prepared with the story and a fitting illustration.

Justin and Justina 〜 Merry Christmas. Who checks the mail these days?

On December 23, I published a new Justin and Justina dialogue asking an important question. If you thought that everyone was responsible enough to check their mail, Justina will be happy to disabuse you of that ill-founded notion.

Christmas Quarantine Session: Arthur McBride

Victor V. Gurbo returned to New Leaf Journal publishing on Christmas Eve with his newest Quarantine Session recording, Arthur McBride. He chose Arthur McBride for the occasion because the classic Irish folk song took place on Christmas day. As Victor explained: “I thought that the extreme violence in the song may brighten your holiday.” If you missed this post the first time, rest assured that there is no need to save the extreme violence for New Years or Valentine’s Day. Like The New Leaf Journal, its evergreen.

‘Uncle Susan is a Wolf’ -A Graffiti Photo and Research Project

On December 29, I published a photo of some peculiar graffiti that I stumbled across in Gowanus: “Uncle Susan is A Wolf.” But instead of merely showing off my photo, I researched the graffiti to see if I could learn its meaning or who is behind it. While I did not find decisive answers, I did publish a relatively comprehensive list of reported sightings of “Uncle Susan” graffiti from all over the United States.

12 Most-Visited Articles of December 2021

Below, you will fine the 12 most-visited New Leaf Journal articles of December 2021. All of the statistics come courtesy of our privacy-friendly local analytics solution, Koko Analytics.

  1. The Mystery of Sōseki and Tsuki ga Kirei
    Nicholas A. Ferrell. March 14, 2021.
    November Rank: #1
  2. Recommended F-Droid FOSS Apps For Android-Based Devices (2021)
    Nicholas A. Ferrell. November 27, 2021.
    November Rank: #8
  3. Installing Ubuntu Touch on an Asus Nexus 7 (2013)
    Nicholas A. Ferrell. July 5, 2021.
    November Rank: #3
  4. Reviewing the HALOmask and är Mask
    Victor V. Gurbo. December 2, 2020.
    November Rank: #7
  5. How to Find Substack RSS Feeds and Other Notes
    Nicholas A. Ferrell. June 19, 2021.
    November Rank: #2
  6. The Last Stand of Constantine XI
    Nicholas A. Ferrell. May 30, 2020.
    November Rank: #5
  7. Persona 4 Golden Digital Artbook Review (Steam)
    Nicholas A. Ferrell. November 15, 2020.
    November Rank: #4
  8. Sending SMS Messages From My Computer With XMPP Through JMP
    Nicholas A. Ferrell. September 8, 2021.
    November Rank: #6
  9. An Early Review of Pixelfed – Instagram Alternative
    Nicholas A. Ferrell. November 13, 2020.
    November Rank: #11
  10. A Follow-Up Post on the Meaning of ‘Blob Dylan’
    Nicholas A. Ferrell. April 12, 2021.
    November Rank: #10
  11. Ghostwriter Markdown Editor Review
    Nicholas A. Ferrell. October 7, 2021.
    November Rank: #15
  12. Understanding Hair Color in the Kimi ni Todoke Anime Series
    Nicholas A. Ferrell. August 19, 2021.
    November Rank: #39

Analysis

The twelve most-read articles of December 2021 were published in 11 different months. The only month with two articles was November 2020. Unsurprisingly, those two articles, my Persona 4 Golden Artbook review and my Pixelfed review, ranked second and first respectively in December 2020.

My F-Droid apps overview showed the strength that placed it at #8 in the November ranking despite only being live for four days by placing second in December. Nine of the top twelve articles saw more visitors in December than in November. Interestingly, the king of the month for the fourth consecutive month, my Tsuki ga Kirei study, saw a marked decrease in visitors compared to November, but was nevertheless not threatened for the top spot in December.

15 Most-Viewed Articles of Q4 2021

Below, you will find our most-visited articles for the fourth quarter of 2021, which covers October through December.

  1. The Mystery of Sōseki and Tsuki ga Kirei
    Nicholas A. Ferrell. March 14, 2021.
    Month Ranks: Oct (1), Nov (1), Dec (1)
    Q3 Rank: #2
  2. How to Find Substack RSS Feeds and Other Notes
    Nicholas A. Ferrell. June 19, 2021.
    Month Ranks: Oct (2), Nov (2), Dec (5)
    Q3 Rank: #8
  3. Installing Ubuntu Touch on an Asus Nexus 7 (2013)
    Nicholas A. Ferrell. July 5, 2021.
    Month Ranks: Oct (3), Nov (3), Dec (3)
    Q3 Rank: #6
  4. Persona 4 Golden Digital Artbook Review (Steam)
    Nicholas A. Ferrell. November 15, 2020.
    Month Ranks: Oct (4), Nov (4), Dec (7)
    Q3 Rank: #5
  5. The Last Stand of Constantine XI
    Nicholas A. Ferrell. May 30, 2020.
    Month Ranks: Oct (5), Nov (5), Dec (6)
    Q3 Rank: #11
  6. Reviewing the HALOmask and är Mask
    Victor V. Gurbo. December 2, 2020.
    Month Ranks: Oct (7), Nov (7), Dec (4)
    Q3 Rank: #4
  7. Recommended F-Droid FOSS Apps For Android-Based Devices (2021)
    Nicholas A. Ferrell. November 27, 2021.
    Month Ranks: Oct (Not Published), Nov (8), Dec (2)
    Q3 Rank: Not Published
  8. An Early Review of Pixelfed – Instagram Alternative
    Nicholas A. Ferrell. November 13, 2020.
    Month Ranks: Oct (6), Nov (11), Dec (9)
    Q3 Rank: #10
  9. Sending SMS Messages From My Computer With XMPP Through JMP
    Nicholas A. Ferrell. September 8, 2021.
    Month Ranks: Oct (13), Nov (6), Dec (8)
    Q3 Rank: #78
  10. A Follow-Up Post on the Meaning of ‘Blob Dylan’
    Nicholas A. Ferrell. April 12, 2021.
    Month Ranks: Oct (8), Nov (10), Dec (10)
    Q3 Rank: #7
  11. Around the Web 〜 RSS as a Facebook Alternative
    Nicholas A. Ferrell. February 21, 2021
    Month Ranks: Oct (9), Nov (14), Dec (14)
    Q3 Rank: #14
  12. A 2021 List of Alternative Search Engines and Search Resources
    Nicholas A. Ferrell. June 13, 2021.
    Month Ranks: Oct (11), Nov (12), Dec (16)
    Q3 Rank: #9
  13. Performing Site-Specific Searches With DuckDuckGo
    Nicholas A. Ferrell. August 8, 2021.
    Month Ranks: Oct (10), Nov (27), Dec (13)
    Q3 Rank: #12
  14. The Nice Boat 〜 A Look Back at the School Days Anime
    Nicholas A. Ferrell. May 6, 2021.
    Month Ranks: Oct (12), Nov (13), Dec (15)
    Q3 Rank: #17
  15. King Baby’ Graffiti on a Truck in Gowanus
    Nicholas A. Ferrell. June 11, 2021.
    Month Ranks: Oct (17), Nov (9), Dec (26)
    Q3 Rank: #13

Looking Forward

I did not end up publishing two projects that I had planned for December. Rest assured, however, that my PocketBook Color and Ubuntu Touch reviews are in progress, and they should make fine additions to our early 2022 content. Another project that I put off is my list of the best anime of 2022. I ended up pressed for time at the end of the month, and there are a couple of series that I want to complete before publishing this piece. You can expect that article in early January.

In addition to projects that had been planned for December, I have a number of new review and project ideas to kick off 2022. Rather than spoil them here, I encourage you to check back with The New Leaf Journal regularly.

There will be no major changes to The New Leaf Journal to begin 2022. However, at some point in the first half of the year, we will move the site to better hosting, which should both improve the responsiveness of the site for visitors and open up some possibilities for adding new features that would not be practicable on our current hosting. I will update the site with new information when we complete the transition.

Conclusion

I hope you enjoyed our January content and all of our 2021 content. The second year of The New Leaf Journal saw dramatic growth for the site and new articles on many topics in 2022. Happy New Year!