Today marks the end of the November 2023 (for there is no November 31). The end of the month means it is time for our monthly month-in-review. Despite getting off to a late start, November proved to be our busiest month in some time. This is our 19th and final article of November, which is the most regular articles we have published in one month since January. It was also our busiest month in terms of site traffic of 2023 to date, surpassing January. Below, I recap our new November content and other news and notes from the month that was.
November 2023 Articles
Below, I present links to and brief descriptions of our new November 2023 articles. Because I wrote all of the articles, I will omit author information. I highlighted four articles as my editor’s choice recommendations (but I of course recommend reading all of the articles).
- October 2023 at The New Leaf Journal (11/5)
Circumstances delayed our October review until early November.
- Planning and Angel Next Door Season 2 (11/5)
My article about the continuing search engine relevance of an anime review I wrote in March turned out to be well-founded (see our most-read posts section).
- Upgrading Pixel 3a XL from LineageOS 19 to 20 (11/6)
Exactly as advertised and one of our better performing new articles.
- Carroll Gardens Halloween Snake Skeleton (11/7)
A late Halloween photo post and…
- Brooklyn Heights Halloween Scarecrow (11/8)
Another late Halloween photo post.
- “I Voted” Sticker Appears in Pocket (11/11)
I am still not sure how this happened.
- On Coach Jimbo Fisher’s Buyout (11/14)
On a college football coach being paid $76.8 million to not coach.
- Hair Color in The Apothecary Diaries Anime (11/15)
Ongoing anime hair color story.
- Hair Color in Raven of the Inner Palace (11/15)
2022 anime hair color story.
- October 25 Thanksgiving in Grenada (11/17) [Editor’s Choice]
Distinct from America’s November Thanksgiving but still very much related to America.
- Searching for the “Libertarian Moment” (11/21) [Editor’s Choice]
There is a libertarian moment waiting beyond your preconceived horizons.
- Inflatable Thanksgiving Turkey With Pilgrim Hat (11/21)
Not late (unlike the 2023 Halloween posts).
- History of New York’s Evacuation Day (11/25) [Editor’s Choice]
My detailed history of New York’s former Evacuation Holiday, beginning with its November 25, 1793 origins, is clearly and beyond doubt our featured piece of the month (along with its 69 footnotes).
- 1783 NY Evacuation Day Song (11/25)
An addendum to the big Evacuation Day history piece.
- NBA MVPs and MVP Teammates (11/27)
A detailed study of NBA MVPs playing with other NBA MVPs.
- 5 Years Without Breaking My Coffee Glass (11/28)
Not to brag or anything.
- On JRPG Hidden Items and NPCs (11/29)
I propose rules for handling hidden items and NPC dialogues in JRPGs.
- What Happened to Ronald McDonald? (11/30) [Editor’s Choice]
Justin and Justina somehow go from a particular inane Thanksgiving Day protest to wondering about the whereabouts of a certain fast food mascot.
In addition to the articles, I created a new collection page for all of my articles on hair color in Japanese anime, manga, light novels, video games, and visual novels. I also included a couple of articles on real hair color-dress code stories from Japan.
As always, I published our Saturday newsletters. The newsletters feature original content including links from around the web, so I recommend giving them a read even if you are already caught up on our new articles. See this month’s newsletters: CLIX, CLX, CLXI, and CLXII.
Finally, many of the short posts that I had been publishing here as Leaflets and Leaf Buds are now being published on our sister site, The Emu Café Social. You can see all of my November posts over there in our monthly archive.
I use an open source, privacy-friendly, and entirely local page counting solution called Koko Analytics to track page views and referrers here at The New Leaf Journal (see review). Each month, I list our 24 most-visited articles of the month and also of the three month period ending with the month in question. Below, you will find our most-visited articles of November 2023 and also of the period from September 1 to November 30.
November was our best month of 2023 thanks in large part to two factors. Firstly, we matched our best Google performances from the early months of the year. Secondly, we saw our performance with Bing and DuckDuckGo come close to the numbers we were seeing in early January prior to our lengthy and unexplained Bing-ban. Finally, smaller referrers, namely Yandex and Brave Search, added a meaningful number of visits. According to our Koko referrer stats, we set a new Yandex record in November 2023 and it did not trail too far behind Bing for third place.
The breakout star of the month was my 2022 Norton Safe Search review, which followed monthly ranks of 9, 7, and 5 in the previous three months with a dominant first-place showing. The distant second, my article on installing GrapheneOS on a Google Pixel 6a, would have been our first-place article in August, September, and October. Ranks 4 through 6 and 7 through 9 were bunched closely together and the top-12 separated itself from the rest of the pack. But we saw generally strong performances from top to bottom in the top 24, balancing out a slightly overall weaker showing from the top-six than what we saw in our now-second best month of 2023, January.
The trend of tech articles dominating the top of the ranking, which has generally held since our being re-indexed by Bing and DuckDuckGo, continued in November, with four of the top five articles having a clear tech focus. However, non-tech articles performed much better in November than in the previous two months. My tsuki ga kirei article matched its October numbers and only dropped in the ranking due to better competition. The month saw a new record for my Angel Next Door anime review, which may have room to improve as we await the second season. I was pleasantly surprised to see my long 2022 history of Thanksgiving in the Philippines, which previously failed to garner much attention, post a strong month (it would have made the top 12 in many 2023 months). One article that I will be watching is my post on the last Nintendo Wii games, which posted its best month and notched its first appearance in our three-month ranking in just its fourth month online.
I am not sure that we will match our November numbers for December since I am skeptical that my Norton Safe Search review will continue its current level of performance through the end of the year. But if it does, or if we see another article or two break out in December, we may have a chance to end 2023 with our two best months of the year. In any event, it is good to see our site’s search position returning to normal after struggling all year due to Bing issues.
Looking Ahead to December
After having planned to finish my al|together visual novel review project in both October and November, December is the month. I have a couple of reviews to publish before writing the grand finale. That will be my priority for the early part of December.
Another definite project for December is a review of the first two seasons of the Kimi ni Todoke anime series, which I expect to publish within the first three weeks of the month. On the subject of anime, I will publish my 2023 year-in-review article (following 2021 and 2022) close to the end of the year. I think that I will most likely publish it in the first week of January 2024, but it may come at the end of December depending on whether I have enough time after the end of the fall season series that may feature prominently in the article.
I have many other ongoing projects, including some stemming from books that I am reading, but I am not entirely sure which ones I will publish in December. On account of that uncertainty and in the interest of leaving some surprises, I conclude my December preview here.