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November has come to an end. The end of the month has meant one thing at The New Leaf Journal beginning with August 2020: A Month in Review post. In this article, I will review some of the highlights from our 21 November 2021 articles, recognize our most-visited posts of the month, and preview what promises to be an exciting end to the year in December.

Illustration of the first American Thanksgiving dinner from "The Story of the Thirteen Colonies.
“The First American Thanksgiving Dinner” – clipped from “The Story of the Thirteen Colonies” on Project Gutenberg. Image in the Public Domain.

Without further ado, let us get to the November Month in Review.

Highlights From Our November Content

You can find all 21 of our November 2021 articles in our monthly archive. While I certainly recommend perusing the full archive for articles that interest you, I will keep this section short and note a few piece of content that merit special mention.

There were two new entries in my Justin and Justina dialogue series in November. The first, published on the second day of the month, provided new revelations about the first names of our similarly-named (or so we thought) interlocutors – while introducing a new character.

On November 7 and 8, I published a pair of articles about the elections that occurred in the United States on November second. The first covered two very different political comeback stories in New York, while the second detailed a stunning political upset in New Jersey.

In a project that had been percolating for a while, in consecutive articles I reviewed my Teracube 2e smartphone and the interesting /e/ operating system that runs on it.

Article pairs were the theme of November. In advance of Thanksgiving, I retold the story of the time President Calvin Coolidge declined to eat a raccoon that had been sent to the White House for Thanksgiving dinner, and instead named her Rebecca and made her a White House pet. While working on that article, I learned that President Coolidge’s successor, Herbert Hoover, did not leave Rebecca’s cage vacant for long. You can learn the story of Rebecca’s successor, Billy Possum. Story link???

Finally, I resumed my anime hair color series with the curious case of Futaba Igarashi’s naturally(!?) green hair.

Revisiting November 2020

November 2020 was a landmark month for The New Leaf Journal, as I explained in last year’s November review. In terms of significance to the growth (pun intended) of The New Leaf Journal, November 2020 produced two articles that continue to feature in our most-read articles of 2021: my reviews of a digital artbook for the Persona 4 Golden video game and of an alternative decentralized social media platform called Pixelfed.

November 2020 had several articles that I enjoyed writing but that received less attention. My strangest (not a small statement) Justin and Justina dialogue about “The Pumpkin Taker” was my first post on the scourge of rotting Halloween pumpkins in Brooklyn – a trend that haunts the Borough in November 2021 even worse than it did in 2020. My essay titled On Children and Internet Sharing was my first long commentary post on the internet and privacy.

On November 19, 2020, I published an article about an unfortunate saw-whet owl that found itself transported with the Rockefeller Center Christmas Tree to the heart of Manhattan. While I have no update on the owl (last I heard it was doing well), I will have some saw-whet owl content in December 2021.

Most-Visited Articles of November 2021

In all of my recent month-in-review posts, I list the 10 most-visited articles of the month. The statistics come courtesy of our privacy-friendly analytics solution, Koko Analytics. For those of you who are not familiar with our official newsletter, The Newsletter Leaf Journal, I list our five most-visited articles every week. You can read past issues of our newsletter from our Newsletter Sign-Up Page.

November 2021 Ranking

  1. The Mystery of Sōseki and Tsuki ga Kirei
    Nicholas A. Ferrell. March 14, 2021.
    October Rank: #1
  2. How to Find Substack RSS Feeds and Other Notes
    Nicholas A. Ferrell. June 19, 2021.
    October Rank: #2
  3. Installing Ubuntu Touch on an Asus Nexus 7
    Nicholas A. Ferrell. July 5, 2021.
    October Rank: #3
  4. Persona 4 Golden Digital Artbook Review (Steam)
    Nicholas A. Ferrell. November 15, 2020.
    October Rank: #4
  5. The Last Stand of Constantine XI
    Nicholas A. Ferrell. May 30, 2020.
    October Rank: #5
  6. Sending SMS Messages From My Computer With XMPP Through JMP
    Nicholas A. Ferrell. September 8, 2021.
    October Rank: #13
  7. Reviewing the HALOmask and är Mask
    Victor V. Gurbo. December 2, 2020.
    October Rank: #7
  8. Recommended F-Droid FOSS Apps For Android-Based Devices (2021)
    Nicholas A. Ferrell. November 27, 2021.
    October Rank: Not Yet Published
  9. ‘King Baby’ Graffiti on a Truck in Gowanus
    Nicholas A. Ferrell. June 11, 2021.
    October Rank: #17
  10. A Follow-Up Post on the Meaning of ‘Blob Dylan’
    Nicholas A. Ferrell. April 12, 2021.
    October Rank: #8

Analysis

We had tale of two halves in our top 10 articles for November.

The top five articles from October returned to the top five in November. Not only did they return, but they also returned in the same order as they did in October. All five articles in the top five posted their strongest months to date. My March post on Tsuki ga Kirei was the dominant article for the third consecutive month, achieving the most visitors in 29 out of the 30 days of October.

The second-half of the top 10 saw three top-10 debuts joined by two mainstays.

In sixth place was my article on using JMP to send and receive SMS messages from an XMPP account. It was significantly under-performing its October numbers, wherein it was in the running for a top-10 spot, until it was shared on Hacker News in the last days of November.

Ninth place was perhaps the surprise of the month. I figured that my November 27 article on free and open source application recommendations for Android was the type of article that could post monthly top-10s, but I did not expect it to do so in a month in which it was live for only four days. It appears to have benefited from some attention on Mastodon and Minds in posting one of the strongest debut weeks of any New Leaf Journal article.

The final newcomer is my very short June 2021 article (with photo) on “King Baby” graffiti in Gowanus. It finished 11th, 12th, and 13th in July, August, and September respectively. The chips fell in place for it to make its top 10 debut in November.

One notable omission is my November 2020 review of Pixelfed. It finished in 11th, missing the monthly top 10 for the first time.

Looking Ahead To December

As 2021 comes to a close, we plan to turn over a new leaf (pun intended) and produce our best month of content to date.

To begin, I plan to finally publish two projects that have been on the itinerary for months – my review of the Ubuntu Touch mobile operation system and of the PocketBook Color e-reader. I may also publish an early review of the free and open source Pine Time smartwatch, time-permitting.

After taking a break in November, I will resume my Al|Together visual novel review series with a couple of seasonal entries.

Last year, I published a list of anime recommendations from the 2011-2020 decade. This year, I will undertake two slightly-less ambitious anime-related tasks. First, I will publish a short list of my favorite series each year from 2015-2020. Second, I will publish a more detailed article on my favorite series from 2021.

As I noted earlier in this month-in-review post, you can expect some Saw-whet owl content in early December.

This is just a selection of what we have planned for December, so I hope that you check back regularly to see the new content at The New Leaf Journal.

(For those who find this article late, you can see our December archive here).

Conclusion

November saw the publication of several articles that I hope people will find in the coming months. With a strong month behind us, I look forward to an exciting December full of content to bring 2021 to an entertaining conclusion.

Thank you, as always, for following The New Leaf Journal, and I hope you enjoyed our November content and look forward to the content to come.