Welcome to the 73rd edition of The Newsletter Leaf Journal, the official newsletter of your favorite perennially virid online writing magazine, The New Leaf Journal. As always, this newsletter comes to you from the waterproof keyboard of the editor of The New Leaf Journal, Nicholas A. Ferrell. The calendar turned to March, the days grow longer (in the northern hemisphere, at least), and spring grows nearer. But while the month and season change, this issue of the newsletter contains all of the content you should expect - our content, content from around the web, and other news and notes.
I published six new articles since the previous newsletter. You will find our new content below.
Nicholas A. Ferrell. February 28, 2022.
I looked back at a momentous month for The New Leaf Journal - which began with my moving the entire website.
Nicholas A. Ferrell. March 1, 2022.
Last summer, I came across some peculiar art displays set up on the sidewalk of Hudson Avenue, a quiet street in the quaint Brooklyn neighborhood of Vinegar Hill.
Nicholas A. Ferrell. March 2, 2022.
The punchline comes at the end of the poem.
Nicholas A. Ferrell. March 3, 2022.
I published two articles on Shooting Star Hill, a 2005 freeware visual novel from Japan that was officially translated into English in 2006. The story remains free to download and play. The first of the two articles is a spoiler-free review of the story. The second is my analysis of the story - which presumes that you either have read the story or have no plans to do so. All in all, my impressions of the story were favorable - evinced by the fact that I took the time to publish a separate analysis piece.
Nicholas A. Ferrell. March 5, 2022.
The humans.txt file is a file that webmasters can include in their websites. There is no set template or rules for humans.txt, but the idea behind it is that it lists the human beings behind a particular site. It was created as a humane counterpart to the robots.txt file, which exists in most websites to provide rules and guidance for incoming webcrawlers. This post also discusses The New Leaf Journal’s own humans.txt file, which was added to the site in early February.
Let’s see what’s going on around the internet…
Nicolas Magand. March 4, 2022.
Indeed, publishing on Blot consists of adding a text file to your Dropbox. That’s it. Seriously, how cool is that? Type your post using Markdown with any app, save the .txt file to Dropbox, and voilà. Simple as that.
Blot is one of several services I have seen that uses Dropbox for blog publishing. The idea is that you place your article in a special Dropbox folder and then it appears on your blog. Interesting concept - and Blot is affordable. It may be worth a look for some people who regularly use Dropbox and are looking for an easy way to run their own blog. This post provides a rundown of how it works.
Paul Iddon. March 25, 2021.
An interesting piece on the late 2020 war between Azerbaijan and Armenia, wherein Azerbaijan made use of advanced technology to capture large swaths of Nagorno-Karabakh and surrounding regions that Armenia had won in the first war between the two countries in the mid-1990s.
Katie Pask. February 27, 2022.
It’s not fair that Japan gets the cool toys.
Alastair Talbot. March 3, 2022.
The problem with Daily Mail headlines is that they leave very little for me to add.
March 3, 2022.
I had been under the impression that the Chinese Government opposed describing viruses by their place of origin as a matter of State policy. It seemed like the U.S. Government generally agreed on this point as well. Did something change since 2020? I must have missed the memo.
Ben Cost. March 4, 2022.
A rare feel-good story from the worst place in New York City, Times Square.
Let’s take a look in our archive…
Nicholas A. Ferrell. May 15, 2021.
In May 2021, I posted a photo of a stretch of Hudson Avenue just down the block from where I found the public art that I featured in this week’s post.
Nicholas A. Ferrell. May 22, 2020.
My very first post about Vinegar Hill, Brooklyn, came in May 2020. I performed some important investigative reporting about a fallen stop sign. Little did I know that this humble report would be the first in a long and continuing series.
I list our most-visited articles of the previous week in each newsletter. In keeping with our newsletter schedule, these “Newsletter Weeks” begin with Saturday and end on Friday. The statistics come courtesy of our local and privacy-friendly analytics solution, Koko Analytics - which I reviewed on site.
The week of February 26 to March 4 was the ninth “Newsletter week” of 2022. Below, you will find our five most-visited articles of the week.
Recommended F-Droid FOSS Apps For Android-Based Devices (2021).
Nicholas A. Ferrell. November 27, 2021.
Last Week: #1.
2022 Top Fives: 9 (2 in first-place).
The Mystery of Sōseki and Tsuki ga Kirei.
Nicholas A. Ferrell. March 14, 2021.
Last Week: #2.
2022 Top Fives: 9 (7 in first-place).
Installing Ubuntu Touch on an Asus Nexus 7 (2013).
Nicholas A. Ferrell. July 5, 2021.
Last Week: #3.
2022 Top Fives: 9.
The Last Stand of Constantine XI.
Nicholas A. Ferrell. May 30, 2020.
Last Week: #5.
2022 Top Fives: 3.
A Follow-Up Post on the Meaning of “Blob Dylan”.
Nicholas A. Ferrell. April 12, 2021.
Last Week: #10.
2022 Top Fives: First 2022 Appearance.
My November 2021 F-Droid review returned to the top spot in the ranking after ending my tsuki ga kirei post’s streak of 24 consecutive weeks at #1. Two other posts - my Ubuntu Touch install piece and my May 2020 article on the last stand of Constantine XI, also returned from last week’s ranking.
My April 2021 piece on Blob Dylan graffiti in Bushwick, which was our 11th most-read article of 2021, made its 2022 top-five debut with its best week of the new year. This was its first top-five placement since the Newsletter Week of October 16-22, 2021.
I will note that the articles that currently have the 4th, 5th, and 6th most views through the first four days of March have not appeared in a 2022 top-five - so perhaps we will see some fresh posts in next week’s ranking.
My two articles on the Shooting Star Hill visual novel this week together constituted the fourth entry in my very slow-moving project to review nearly all of the visual novels that were translated as part of the three al|together festivals that took place in 2005, 2006, and 2008.
I explained the festivals in detail on site - so I will only provide a brief recap here. These three translation festivals involved Japanese-to-English translators translating the entirety of a number of freeware Japanese visual novels into English. The resulting English translations were, and remain, available as free downloads.
While nearly all (with two exceptions) of the translations remain available, one issue that I identified in my overview post is that a number of them are difficult to download. The issue is that many of the games - notably from 2005 and 2008 - are only available to download as torrents. Without going into too much detail - the amenability of a torrent to download depends in part on how many people have downloaded it and are seeding it. While some of the more popular translations tend to download quickly - others can take a long while.
However, the torrent issue is almost entirely ameliorated for the 2006 festival translations. The reason for this is that - with two exceptions (Red Shift and Flood of Tears), all of the games remain available as direct downloads. (One, Midsummer Haze, appears to also require the original Japanese version - but I am investigating the issue.) This means you can download nearly all of the 2006 translations with the click of a button and enjoy them. Do note that all the translations save for three (which come with an additional issue of requiring a Japanese environment to run) are available for Windows, MacOS, and Linux.
I will be reviewing nearly all of the 2006 translations - but if you want to try some for yourself in the interim, you can download them from the official festival site for al|together 2006 (see download page).
Unlike previous weeks - there is not too much news to report this week. The only substantive change I made to the site was adding a humans.txt button - which I discussed in today’s (being Saturday, March 5) article on humans.txt files.
I am looking into some issues involving image optimization and compression generally to see if I can slightly improve our site’s performance - although it is fairly snappy at the moment (at least on my end).
I am looking at testing a new Events section - but whether that will be implemented is still TBD.
My current site project is to implement new meta descriptions for all of our tags and series - and to also determine which ones should be amenable to search engine indexing and which ones should be excluded.
My primary focus at the moment is, however, on producing new content. Although our page view counts are not as consistent as they were in late December and the first-half of January (before our site slow-down), I do think that the number of articles registering in search engines is greater than at any point before. However, we are still too dependent on the ups and downs of a small number of articles (the identity of these articles should not be hard to determine for those who follow our weekly rankings here in the newsletter). We clearly need more consistent (and evergreen) search engine performers to both attract new visitors to The New Leaf Journal and resurface older content that may otherwise be lost in the shuffle.
Thank you as always for joining me for another addition of The Newsletter Leaf Journal. If you enjoyed the content and have not done so already, you may subscribe to the newsletter via email or RSS.
Until next week,
Cura ut valeas.