I received an email from the Bing Webmaster Team:
We hope this message finds you well! We've noticed it's been a while since you last visited Bing Webmaster Tools, and we've genuinely missed having you around!
Webmaster Tools has undergone some exciting updates and improvements recently, and we think you'll be pleased with the enhancements we've made. Your feedback has always been valuable to us, and we're eager to hear your thoughts on the latest features.
My main project, The New Leaf Journal, was blacklisted by Bing in January 2023 and not reinstated until July (I received formal confirmation near the end of August). The process was annoying enough to prompt me to create a GitHub repository (my choice of Microsoft-owned GitHub was intentional) collecting Bing-ban stories. I still do not know why Bing took adverse action against my site (they will never say), but I can report that our standing with Bing and Bing-dependent DuckDuckGo has finally returned to what it was on the eve of the troubles in January. Of course, this Bing email is a misunderstanding for a reason unrelated to my complicated Bing history. I usually use a Google account I set up for Search Console purposes to log into Bing Webmaster. This email was sent to my Bing-only account that has never been used. Bing can rest assured that I am alive and have seen its new Webmaster features.
Back in 2022, I wrote an article on the importance of being in good standing with Microsoft Bing for reaching searchers who prefer privacy-friendly search solutions. While Bing itself is far from privacy-friendly, many alternatives such as DuckDuckGo, Qwant, Ecosia, and Swisscows use Bing’s search index. That particular article was inspired by a post on Cheapskate’s Guide about being de-indexed by Bing and, as a result, being unavailable to DuckDuckGo searchers. I learned today from my New Leaf Journal Koko Analytics referrer logs that I had received referrals from Blue Dwarf, which is a small independent social network run by the admin of Cheapskate’s Guide. Sure enough, the referrals came from the author of the excellent Cheapskate’s Guide post discovering my article. Very neat. My original article came before The New Leaf Journal itself suffered a Bing blacklisting, but we were restored after just more than half a year and are now doing well with Bing and all of its derivatives. See my GitHub repository on Bing bans.
I just published my article on Grenada’s annual October 25 Thanksgiving. As I explain in that piece, Grenada’s Thanksgiving commemorates the date of the commencement of the 1983 U.S.-led intervention to restore order on the island after a palace coup. It occurred to me right after publishing the article (somehow only after) to check whether then-U.S. President Ronald Reagan noted the intervention in his Thanksgiving Proclamation. I found that he hardly could have in his 1983 Thanksgiving Proclamation since he issued it on September 15. I checked 1984 out of due diligence, but the 1984 Thanksgiving Proclamation was similar in brevity and substance to the 1983 edition. To be sure, short, lite Thanksgiving Proclamations have been more common than small Thanksgiving dinners. I conducted some research last year to see whether I could turn former President Calvin Coolidge’s Thanksgiving Proclamations into an article. I succeeded with his first Thanksgiving Proclamation in 1923, but in so doing I discovered that Coolidge’s Proclamations became more and more simple through the final one he issued in 1928.
Running The New Leaf Journal takes me interesting places. For example, it has taken me to Grenada over the last few days. Not literally, mind you. I am not much of a traveling guy (nor am I a big fan of planes or other vehicles). I am researching Thanksgiving in Grenada for what promises to be an exciting follow-up to my excessively long study of Thanksgiving proclamations in the Philippines. If you ever wondered about Grenada’s version of Thanksgiving, your questions will be answered in short order.
From Mr. Heinrik Karlsson’s “A blog post is a very long and complex search query to find fascinating people and make them route interesting stuff to your inbox”
Having idiosyncratic interests that grow in complexity means that if you pursue them too far you will end up obsessed with things that no one else around you cares about.
I feel under attack. I will have people know that some articles in my series on interpreting hair color in Japanese anime, manga, and visual novels have actually done alright. The better example of people not caring about my idiosyncratic interests is actually my al|together visual novel review project, but I think that endeavor is genuinely worthwhile.
I am moving toward finishing my al|together visual novel review project. I just finished reading A Dream of Summer (which had been pending for a while) and one of two translations of Narcissu (I did not realize that the al|together Narcissu was two translations in one package). This leaves just three novels to read. With Narcissu completed, I am almost entirely sure of what the top of my ranking, which will be published in three parts in November, will look like. I leave no comment at this time on where precisely Narcissu will rank, I only note that it was the last remaining novel that, based on my pre-reading knowledge, could threaten the top spot.
I saw a copy of Tom Cantor’s Changed, a self-published religion conversion story that makes the rounds through an unsolicited direct mail campaign, sitting on a step in Cobble Hill, Brooklyn. Why might I care? Over at The New Leaf Journal, I published what I hope was a humorous article on the cover design of the book after receiving a short-lived copy in July 2022. To my surprise, the article performed very strongly in terms of page visits in December 2022 and January 2023, which I inferred was a result of the direct mail campaign, before becoming a proverbial non-entity shortly thereafter. While I know that many people were weirded out about receiving Mr. Cantor’s strange book, The New Leaf Journal would benefit from his resuming his strange pastime with abandon.
I look back at the “9/9/99 bug” - an issue that some computer experts and reporters feared would affect older systems on September 9, 1999.
I have learned about many new topics while looking for New Leaf Journal content. For example, as I noted in the above quote, I distinctly remember some of the “Y2K” computer glitch fears from 1999. But I do not recall having heard about the 9.9.99 fears. Fortunately, the internet preserved a number of contemporaneous articles to facilitate my exploration of the issue.