We hope that our new menu plan will accommodate large numbers. Book title clipped from Project Gutemberg.

We have many updates to announce for the eleventh New Leaf Journal Week in Review.  I will start by going over our new articles from the week before explaining some changes that we have made to the site.  Remember that you can get biweekly updates from us delivered straight to your inbox by signing up for The Newsletter Leaf Journal.

New Content

We published four new articles from the last week.  Below, I will post short synopses along with links to the content.

A New Contributor Welcomes Matt Damon to Brooklyn Heights

We published our first contributor content on Friday. An “Observant Misanthrope” writes about feeling awash in good fortune about Matt Damon moving nearby, with a large crane in tow. I must confess that I do not know much about Matt Damon or his work, but who would not feel lucky to have a celebrity sweep into his or her neighborhood, shutting down an entire city street in order to make the move more convenient. You can read about Matt Damon’s crane game here.

Against Leaving Packages Without Ringing the Bell

Victor took a break from publishing histories of folk songs to write about a terrifying package delivery experience.  Wanting to produce old-style sounds, Victor ordered an intriguing microphone designed to give music that effect.  A comedy of errors ensued between Victor submitting his order and finding the expensive package left on his sweltering doorstep several days later.  All’s well that ends well, I suppose.  You can read Victor’s story here.

The Last Vespers at the Hagia Sophia

In light of the Turkish Government’s regrettable decision to re-designate the Hagia Sophia cathedral as a mosque, I published an article about the last Vespers at the Hagia Sophia on the eve of the Ottoman conquest in the 1453. Using two accounts, the article tells the story of Emperor Constantine XI’s final visit to the cathedral, where he offered his last prayers, before falling in defense of his nation and church the next day. You can read my account here. I also wrote an article about Constantine XI’s heroic actions during the Siege of Constantinople in May.

New Analytics for The New Leaf Journal

Finally, I discussed our new privacy-friendly analytics system for The New Leaf Journal.  You can read about why I decided to drop Google Analytics for now and my early impressions of Koko Analytics in my post on the subject.

Site Updates

Last weekend, I made several important updates to the structure and design of The New Leaf Journal.  As noted above, I changed our analytics from a combination of Google Analytics and Clicky Analytics to Koko Analytics.  Below, I will discuss the structural changes I made to the site.

Revamped Header Menu

Our old header menu listed our site’s categories and the newsletter and guestbook pages.  As we continued adding new things to the site, the header menu became unwieldly.

To reorganize the header menu, I made several index pages for the site. 

First, I made an Archive page.  This page has links to our content sorted by year and month.  Hovering over “Archive” on the menu on large screens will reveal quick links to our monthly archives.

Second, I made a Category Directory.  This directory lists all of The New Leaf Journal categories with links to said categories.  Hovering over “Category” on menu on large screens will reveal links to each of our categories.  Furthermore, you will also find a link to a page with our most-used tags to further narrow your search for interesting content.

I have also made a “Contact The New Leaf Journal” page with a contact form.  You can find this easily by hovering over “About” on the header menu (About goes to our About the Site page).  The Contact Us form is to submit a non-public question or message with a request for return email.  In most cases, we would encourage you to use our pubic Guestbook to discuss content.  But the Contact page is there for direct messages.

The final two items on the header menu are the Newsletter sign-up and Guestbook pages.  After we send our first newsletter tomorrow, I will add a page for the newsletter archive as a drop-down under the Newsletter sign-up page.

In order to eliminate redundancies, I eliminated several items from the sidebar that are now incorporated into the header menu.  The sidebar has been reduced to a brief About Us, a Newsletter Leaf Journal direct sign-up box, and a brief legal section.

Moving Our Social Follow Buttons

The social follow buttons for The New Leaf Journal were previously in our sidebar.  I have moved them to our site footer.  Listed are links to our Facebook, Twitter, Pinterest, and Medium accounts, as well as our RSSpage.  Our FeedBurner account is no longer among the social icons, but you can sign up for our automated FeedBurner RSS email from our newsletter sign-up page.

Looking Forward

We will be sending our first edition of The Newsletter Leaf Journal tomorrow.  The second will likely be sent on Wednesday or Thursday.  We encourage you to sign-up so you can read it as soon as it comes out.  For those who would like to see samples before signing up, we will make those available on site as I previously noted.

Parting Shots

The last week was one of big improvements to the site and a variety of new content.  For the coming week, I will focus on sending our first newsletters and posting new content for the site.  Thank you for reading and following The New Leaf Journal, and I look forward to reporting back to you with new updates next week.