Welcome to the 84th edition of The Newsletter Leaf Journal, the official newsletter of the perennially virid online writing magazine, The New Leaf Journal. This newsletter comes to you as always from the waterproof keyboard of the editor of The New Leaf Journal, Nicholas A. Ferrell. Below, you will find our usual assortment of New Leaf Journal article recaps, links from around the web, and other exciting news and notes. I will also note that this is the first newsletter that I am simultaneously publishing at Bearblog.dev - so I welcome anyone finding it there.
Without further ado, let us get to the content.
I published seven new articles since the previous newsletter.
I also published a few Leaflet microposts throughout the week. A May 14 Leaflet covered an Android app called Mood SMS, which seems to have an odd number of trackers. On May 16, I addressed New York City’s decision to loosen what already appear to be very loose standards on sanitation at restaurants (see Leaflet). On May 18, I covered a ladybug encounter and rescue. Finally, on May 19, I called for a new adaptation of Kare Kano, a classic anime series that aired in 1998 and 1999 and was beset by creative and financial drama in its second half.
Let’s see what’s happening around the world wide web…
Let’s dig into our archives…
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 May 14-20 was the twentieth newsletter week of 2022.
|#||Article Title and Link||Author||Date||22Top5|
|1||The Mystery of Sōseki and Tsuki ga Kirei||NAF||3.14.21||20 (16)|
|2||Biden, Lincoln, and Counting Back From the President’s Birth||NAF||4.29.22||2|
|3||The Last Stand of Constantine XI||NAF||5.30.20||8|
|4||Recommended F-Droid FOSS Apps For Android-Based Devices||NAF||11.27.21||20 (4)|
|5||Installing Ubuntu Touch on an Asus Nexus 7 (2013)||NAF||7.5.21||20|
Newsletter Week 20 was our second busiest week of 2022, behind only Newsletter Week 1 (Jan 1-7). It featured a bit of a shake-up at the top of the rankings behind my tsuki ga kirei essay, which took the top spot for the 16th time in 20 weeks. My survey of presidential birthdays resumed its momentum from the previous week, improving on its performance and taking the second spot. The biggest mover, however, was my 2020 article on Constantine XI. I suspected that it might do well as we approach the anniversary of the fall of Constantinople at the end of this month - it was strong around this time last year. After a quiet start to the month, Constantine was the best-performing article over the last three days of the week en route to posting its best week and highest finish of 2022. My F-Droid article narrowly dropped to fourth - falling out of the top-two for the first time since Newsletter Week 4 (Jan 22-28). My Ubuntu Touch piece rounded out the top five, losing a spot but making it 20 weeks in a row in the top five to start 2022.
Today I will note an easy way to start a blog. bearblog.dev is a free-to-use blog service with a very minimalist UI. All posts are written in markdown, which I described in one of this week’s articles. The free plan provides users with a blog at a bearblog.dev sub-domain and a blog. For a flat upgrade price of $29, users can set up their own domain with the blog (with SSL), upload images, and collect an email list (Bear does not send emails, however).
One reason I am using Bear is because it serves as a free and open source alternative to Medium. All posts in Bearblog have a field for adding a canonocial URL - which tells search engines where the post first appeared. Moreover, all Bearblog posts are added to the Bearblog discovery feed which consists of posts by all users. It has a voting “toast” system for content.
If this sounds interesting to you, it is free to try and use with some additional features slated to appear in the future.
I almost had a fun feature to announce this week.
I decided to configure The New Leaf Journal to send and accept Webmentions. In short, Webmentions are site-to-site comments. If two sites are set up to send and receive Webmentions, and one links to the other, the site creating the link will send a mention to the other site, which can then display it.
I did configure The New Leaf Journal to send and accept Webmentions. The issue I have is with displaying Webmentions. At the moment, I would have to enable comments to show Webmentions. I do not particularly want to enable comments on posts - evinced by the fact that I have resisted doing so for more than two years. While being able to show Webmentions is neat, I do not have enough to justify a change to the site that would require maintenance and possibly have a small negative effect on performance. Thus, for the time being, I will investigate whether there is a way to display Webmentions and other linkbacks (I also enabled “Refbacks”) without exposing a comment field.
Of course, I welcome all comments via our Contact Page.
While I am not displaying Webmentions yet, you can send us a mention if you link to a New Leaf Journal article. In order to send a Webmention, visit this link. The “Source URL” field is for your article. The Target URL field is for The New Leaf Journal article that you are linked to. Note this will only work if your article contains a link to our article (it may not work from everywhere).
I do plan to display Webmentions in the near future. I can do so easily by posting Admin comments “responding” to the invisible Webmentions. But before I go through the effort of doing that, I want to explore whether it is possible to implement a more elegant process without having a usable comment form.
Thank you as always for reading our latest issue of The Newsletter Leaf Journal. If you enjoyed the content and have not done so already, consider signing up to this weekly newsletter via email or RSS. I look forward to another week of exciting content.
Until May 28,
Cura ut valeas.