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Completely with you on the watercooler effect - it's one of the things I missed most when I worked my own consultancy, or virtual agency. Having said that, there's a lot to be said about the ability to have breakfast with the kids and ease into the day in my PJs.

Ah, the dilemma of benefits to both. :)

1 day, 14 hours ago on Why I Decided to Stop Working from Home

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@ginidietrich Now you just have to worry about crotchless leather thongs when the Skype camera is only above table view. Progress! :) @RobBiesenbach

1 day, 14 hours ago on The Horrible Case of Unwritten Rules

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@ginidietrich Prioritize the Top 5 or 10 that absolutely must be adhered to, as part of the employee code of conduct. Anything else has wiggle room, but run it by your first.

1 day, 14 hours ago on The Horrible Case of Unwritten Rules

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The thing with unwritten rules is that they're usually part of a long-standing clique or mindset. People that know what's good to go, and what's not. Yet that also makes them unique to that set of people.

As you mention in the post, this irritates you (as the proponent of the unwritten rule), yet also doesn't leave much wiggle room for folks that don't know about it.

Perhaps we should leave unwritten rules as they are, put down exactly what you expect, and anything outside of that is fair game?

1 day, 14 hours ago on The Horrible Case of Unwritten Rules

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@ginidietrich Wouldn't they be virtual rules? ;-) @jasonkeath

1 day, 15 hours ago on The Horrible Case of Unwritten Rules

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@Digital_DRK @Howie Goldfarb @ginidietrich You can't use roo data, it's based on the Marsupial Code. Everyone knows it's all about the Bovine or Mammalian Code. 

1 week ago on The Social Media Mob Needs to Go

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@belllindsay You still use your Yahoo mail account, miss? Just sent you an email. x

1 week ago on The Social Media Mob Needs to Go

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@ginidietrich Here's another example. We both know two people - one a blogger and author, the other an agency owner. The agency owner wrote a review of the author's book, and it wasn't fulsome in praise.

That author bullied and put down the agency owner for almost 12 months because of that review, to the point the agency owner daren't join conversations the author was part of (or even mentioned in) for fear of further private abuse.

Do you think the agency owner would have been braver had she been able to be anonymous and partake in the discussions with the author, knowing what she knew about him and his behaviour?

Or think about friends of girls that are raped at college, or sexually abused, after getting drunk and the frat kids take advantage. Let's say a Tumblr account is created to show pictures and videos of the girl being abused. The boys are saying the girl consented, and it's only the friends of the girl (and others that were at the party) that know different.

But the frat kids are powerful, with lots of sway. Go up against them, go up against more than just abusing little sh*ts. 

However, anonymously, comments appear. Counter proof appears. Details of what really happened appear.

For me, that's the power and necessity of anonymity. We want an open web, but as your post proves, we're far away from it. Sometimes the only way to fight back is from the shadows first.

1 week, 1 day ago on The Social Media Mob Needs to Go

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@ginidietrich Pew had a fascinating paper out a year ago about "Social Media and the Spiral of Silence". 

http://www.pewinternet.org/2014/08/26/social-media-and-the-spiral-of-silence/

While it's primarily about people and their comfort/lack of to talk about the Snowden/NSA case (because of who may be listening), it also looked at the growing phenomenon of people only speaking up on social when it looked like everyone else would agree.

That takes away the courage to take a stand, and if we don't fight against that mindset now - and support those willing to do so - then the web will be a very boring, very sanitized place real soon.

And that would be a real crime.

1 week, 1 day ago on The Social Media Mob Needs to Go

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@ginidietrich Remove the whistleblower part. Put it in simple terms - you no longer have the right to share an opinion (not blow off steam, just share an opinion). That's pretty much a dictatorship. I'm all for anonymity when opinions are being stifled because of jobs (and the "find another job" argument is easier said than done in this economy).

Also, let's use the examples in your post. You advise the social media mob needs to go. I agree. But what if the only way to do so is to counter anonymously because of fear of retribution (just look at those that stood up for #GamerGate victims and the crap that landed on them)? Would you still suggest removing anonymity?


1 week, 1 day ago on The Social Media Mob Needs to Go

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@ginidietrich Case in point. Person A works for an arm of the government. Said government introduces (or plans to introduce) bill that is against many of Person A 's beliefs when it comes to citizen privacy. Person A can't join a discussion on Facebook, or Twitter, or comment on a blog, because Person A' beliefs are against his/her employer's politics (even if Person A doesn't work directly in the ruling government's office, but an agency/arm of the ruling government).

Additionally, Person A can't offer an opinion on Federal politics, as it relates to Provincial (or even Municipal). For me, anonymity (based on position and factual statements, versus anonymous to be a troll) is understandable. @bobledrew  

1 week, 1 day ago on The Social Media Mob Needs to Go

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@ginidietrich This is why the Whistleblower Law was enabled. Sorry, we'll have to disagree strongly on this - it's unfair to expect someone to not voice something unless they're public about who they are, based on certain circumstances. Otherwise, it's the mob that wins, and that negates the post currently being discussed. @bobledrew

1 week, 1 day ago on The Social Media Mob Needs to Go

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I would just be happy if they get their outreach right. From my Inbox 5 minutes ago...

1 week, 1 day ago on PR Pros Must Embrace the PESO Model

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@ginidietrich @bobledrew I'm not sure it's always that easy.

Say someone that works for a government agency disagrees with the government's policy on privacy, and (by employee association) can't speak publicly, but has a very strong argument to share?

Or say someone has had the flip side of sexual harassment from a female boss, and is too embarrassed to talk about it using their own name, but opens up on a blog post or forum to get advice? 

As I mentioned on Facebook when this was being discussed, it's not as black and white as we'd like to think it is when it comes to anonymity on the web.

1 week, 1 day ago on The Social Media Mob Needs to Go

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@bobledrew Look, Pepe, when you stop using Bob and revert to Pepe....

https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=JEdBndu0YUM

1 week, 1 day ago on The Social Media Mob Needs to Go

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Was that the joint blog post about BlogWorld (now New Media Expo)? Or was it the post about Chris Brogan and his "Google+ for Business" webinar? And Rick from NME jumped in and demanded you publicly apologize?

Because if so, you shouldn't regret anything. The hypocrisy behind the NME end-of-show that year, and their worry about the panel's original title, was laughable, as was Rick's blanking at the event.

However, I digress...

I wrote a post just over 12 months ago that looked at this growing mob mentality.

http://dannybrown.me/2014/01/07/social-media-bullying-and-the-growing-lynch-mob-mentality/

Where I think a large part of the problem lies is in the acceptance that this kind of behaviour is justifiable. Even taking out the anonymous part of commenting (and there are Pros and Cons to both sides of that argument), we're being silent in countering this mindset when we see it's happening.

We stay quiet because we want speaking gigs, or client gigs, or know friends who are friends and don't want to rock the boat.

We stay quiet because we don't want to risk people being put off what we have to say, through association of challenging people who speak way out of line and having their mutual friends and community members blanking us.

Here's the thing - do we want to stay quiet to not rock the boat, or do we want to take a stand and push back?

Because if it's the former, we're only exacerbating the issue for our kids and generations to come. And that's something nobody wants to be a part of, surely?

1 week, 1 day ago on The Social Media Mob Needs to Go

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@MillisJess Trust me, having worked with agencies (both for and with), there are equally as many non-reliable agencies as you say there are freelancers. The quality doesn't come because of the size of a team (or lack of) - it comes from expertise and ethics. Saying freelancers are not so reliable is an unfair generalization.

1 week, 5 days ago on Freelancer vs. Communications Firm: Which is Better?

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@Digital_DRK Elance is awful. It used to be better a few years back, and you may still get the odd decent freelancer / paying gig there, but now it's mostly companies looking for $5 per hour people, and folks willing to accept that rate.

1 week, 6 days ago on Freelancer vs. Communications Firm: Which is Better?

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@ginidietrich @Digital_DRK It's working over at @ThePaulSutton 's site! ;-)

1 week, 6 days ago on Freelancer vs. Communications Firm: Which is Better?

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@ginidietrich Shift seems to be going more the route of names, but that's another topic. With regards Bliss, look at their team page:

http://www.blissintegrated.com/company/meet-the-team/#.VQrGEvnF-8Q

Look at all the "Account" prefixed titles. The others are either ELT, with two handling strategy. There's no dedicated content specialist (as far as titles go), no dedicated community manager, no dedicated SEM, no dedicated mobile, etc., which would suggest farming out to, yes, you guessed it, freelancers.

They may be moving to the model you mention, but team-wise (at least as far as the team page would suggest), it's still very much a "traditional" agency set-up. 

1 week, 6 days ago on Freelancer vs. Communications Firm: Which is Better?

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@ginidietrich But you've said yourself many times AD isn't the typical agency. I think the discussion here is about freelancer versus typical agency - and because of the remote aspect of AD, I actually view you as a collective of skilled freelancers.

1 week, 6 days ago on Freelancer vs. Communications Firm: Which is Better?

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OK, first, the voting thing isn't working - I smell a fix!

I'm with Paul - agencies have overheads, they have dedicated team members without necessarily having the right person for a specific skill-set,, and they (usually) charge by retainer and not on results-driven fees. 

Agencies also farm out to freelancers a lot, because their team members lack the very skill sets for specific projects referenced above (how many agencies have mobile app developers in-house?). 

A freelancer offers more value, more drive (usually) and can always team up with other freelancers to meet project needs.

1 week, 6 days ago on Freelancer vs. Communications Firm: Which is Better?

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@hessiejones "Any digital response over 1% is actually amazing considering most banners are typically less than 2%." So are we saying "traditional advertising" is more effective than digital? Because that completely throws a spanner in the works for consultants and agencies selling the benefits of digital over traditional when it comes to selling and ROI.

As Amy mentions, though, why are we accepting this as a successful metric? That's an appalling return rate (given it's supposedly highly targeted to consumers warm to the offer).Especially if you look at the potential financials behind it.

DD was giving a buck off every cup of medium and large coffee. Let's use the large coffee as an example. That costs $2. So now it's down to $1 to buy. Let's say it costs 20 cents to make the coffee because of beans, etc. Now the revenue for DD is down to 80 cents. Arguably, they mark up their product by 30% (a guess). So now the revenue for that cup is down to 50 cents.  Now, consider staffing costs, mobile ad costs, and other overheads - how much of that 50 cents per cup is going to be left?

It's all well and good sharing great case studies, but if the case study is flawed or lacking data to begin with, it kinda negates the potency of the example. @danielnewmanUV @AmyVernon

2 weeks, 4 days ago on Mobile World Congress: Geofencing may forever change mobile shopping

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@danielnewmanUV @AmyVernon The redemption rate was actually lower than 3.6%. From the piece over at Mobile Commerce Daily that's linked out to:

The results were promising, with 36 percent of those who clicked on the offer taking some secondary action, 18 percent of these saving the coupon and 3.6 percent of secondary actions resulting in a redeemed coupon.

So, in reality, only 1.3% of the coupons were redeemed.

2 weeks, 5 days ago on Mobile World Congress: Geofencing may forever change mobile shopping

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@AmyVernon And stay there!!!

2 weeks, 5 days ago on Is GeoFence Couponing Worth It?

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@AmyVernon In your face!!! :)

2 weeks, 5 days ago on Is GeoFence Couponing Worth It?

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@Digital_DRK Damn that Livefyre and their giving away of facts like that!

2 weeks, 5 days ago on Is GeoFence Couponing Worth It?

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The redemption rate was actually lower than 3.6%. From the piece over at Mobile Commerce Daily that Millennial CEO linked out to:

The results were promising, with 36 percent of those who clicked on the offer taking some secondary action, 18 percent of these saving the coupon and 3.6 percent of secondary actions resulting in a redeemed coupon.

So, in reality, only 1.3% of the coupons were redeemed. Umm.....

2 weeks, 5 days ago on Is GeoFence Couponing Worth It?

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You're right, it shouldn't matter. Problem is, until the internal pissing matches over who owns content and social stop, these writers won't have to worry about being heard because petty bickering will stop any initiative.

3 weeks ago on Where Does Content Marketing Belong?

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@ginidietrich But were they community members first, or customers that became community members? Additionally, how much more invested were they in you than others, as each community (and advocate) has a different level of investment in the brand / person they're invested in.

For example, I ran an outreach/promo campaign a little while back, and instead of open invites to request participation, I looked at three key and correlating metrics:

1. Comments

2. Email subscribers

3. Email participant (that took action above just subscription)

Because you tie an email to a comment, you can tie that back to who went the extra step and subscribed. Because your subscription service tells you who opened versus who clicked versus who left a comment after clicking, you start to understand who has a deep investment in your success versus who likes what you do.

That's the people you go after, because you know they'll go through hoops to see you succeed. Not taking anything away from The Crazies here, but there are different levels of Crazies, and it's identifying those that may have resulted in a slightly different outcome.

Just a thought.

3 weeks, 1 day ago on The Spin Sucks Scavenger Hunt Results

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There's a huge difference between community and customers. Can a community become customers? Sure - but it's more likely your community will be the ones who come by and chat a while, exchange jokes, have fun, etc. Much like The Crazies here.

Customers, on the other hand, are different. They're not necessarily looking for a relationship (despite what 99.8% of social media consultants say) - they're looking to see what your company can do for them, and make their lives easier.

What I think might have happened here (and especially when correlating with your Brand Advocate strategy for trying to reach the NYT Bestseller List when the SS Book launched) is the people that come here, and signed up for these initiatives, aren't your customers. You're not selling to them - they're (primarily) your peers. And peers don't buy from each other.

The same goes for the blogs of those that took part. I don't have raw data (obviously) but I'm guessing a lot of their readers are those already embedded in the space, and wouldn't be customers either.

The people you're trying to reach with the book are the very ones that (probably) aren't reading blogs at the minute - they're too busy running the teams they're paid to do, and trying to deliver results for clients (take a look at @ArikHanson 's recent post about why CEOs aren't publishing on LinkedIn for an example).

Community is great - it validates what you're doing as a brand-builder, and gives you an excellent example of the vibrancy a blog can have, if you're trying to sell the value of blogging to clients.

Customers, if they're honest, don't generally care about community. Yes, it's a nice-to-have, but even nicer is the reason to buy from you versus someone else, because you meet their needs. 

With regards the book and the results here, that would suggest a deeper dive into the change agents and policy makers at businesses, and how to directly connect with them, versus (hopefully) a community foot soldier gaining their attention.

3 weeks, 1 day ago on The Spin Sucks Scavenger Hunt Results

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Sigh. 

Remember when we saw a job advertisement, we went along, and the interviewer said, "What do you do?"

"I'm great with yarn."

"Excellent, you're our new pullover maker."

Simple. Jobs with the people that had skill sets for these jobs. The world was good. Sensible. Happy.

Then social media came along. Now everyone wanted a piece of everyone else's job.

Why? Why is it so effin' important to try and take over? Because you think you can? That's how companies go bust!

I'm with @samueljscott - "content marketing" as a term is nothing more than a soundbite. It's a tactic in the bigger marketing strategy. Let's stop pretending otherwise, just to try get some shiny gold stars for our "don't know what I'm doing but I'll interfere anyway" portfolio. 

Good luck with that.

3 weeks, 2 days ago on Where Does Content Marketing Belong?

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@samueljscott Amen, Samuel - we're on the same page. Wrote this back in 2012, nothing's changed my mind since. 

http://dannybrown.me/2012/08/21/content-marketing/

3 weeks, 6 days ago on The Future of Content Marketing is Now

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Wait - what if we work in a fish tank? Do you support amphibious aquabooks?

3 weeks, 6 days ago on Introducing the Spin Sucks Workbook

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Wait - aren't there a ton of books and experts about social business? ;)

4 weeks, 1 day ago on The Future of Content Marketing is Now

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With regards that CMI study, it should be noted it was of B2B marketers, which kinda skews the results somewhat. B2B (rightly or wrongly) still primarily eschews social and content for more direct sales (just look at the percentage of budget allocated to content from that same report, and where their paid media dollars go) - and why should't they? It works. 


4 weeks, 1 day ago on The Future of Content Marketing is Now

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@Kelsey Vere Makes sense. So, would you subscribe by email to a blog that offers a more personal approach to the content? Or is your email just purely for known connections, and all blogging is fed to you via RSS?

4 weeks, 1 day ago on Don’t Be Alarmed – But I Want You to Kill Your RSS Feed

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The key problem is the use of the term "content marketing" - it's a soundbite, much like influence marketing, social media marketing, digital marketing, mobile marketing. etc.

It's a necessary evil to help differentiate tactics, but at the end of the day, it's just marketing, pure and simple. Companies get scared because they hear new terminology, and then get crap advice from shillster consultants and organizations on what content, influence, digital, etc. "marketing" looks like.

Understand it's marketing, pure and simple. That's the strategy - everything else is just tactical spokes from the bigger marketing hub. 

4 weeks, 1 day ago on The Future of Content Marketing is Now

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@jmctigue Quora is awesome - vastly underrated.

1 month ago on Your Business Doesn’t Need A Facebook Page

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@ChandaGunter 11 posts by Coke to the page since January 1 = about 1.5 posts per week.

6 posts by Starbucks to their page since January 1 = less than 1 per week.

That doesn't come across as active to me.

1 month ago on Your Business Doesn’t Need A Facebook Page

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@Kelsey Vere But RSS does the same thing (multiple updates)!!! ;)

Were the updates for multi-author blogs, or single author? I can see something like Mashable, with their constant production of crap, getting annoying really fast - but usually a single author blog doesn't put out multiple updates a day. 

Of course, the blogger could be more proactive at offering choices - daily updates, weekly updates, category subscriptions, etc. That would allow you to pick and choose what you get and how often. Easy to do for both RSS and email.

1 month ago on Don’t Be Alarmed – But I Want You to Kill Your RSS Feed

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When you're a monopoly like Coke or McDonalds, you don't need to be gung-ho on social media - it simply becomes a side project.

Consultants that push social as the "new business must have where you need to evolve or die" are either living in a dream world, or are trying to shill clients for extra marketing budgets. They need to wake up and step away from the roses.

1 month ago on Your Business Doesn’t Need A Facebook Page

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@VilleKilkku Agreed, and one of the reasons I looked deep into analytics and audience behaviour on my own blog when it came to stop promoting my own RSS feed on it.

As a new blogger, if I had to do it all again, I'd only offer email as a promoted CTA. For the feed, I'd leave that as browser-based only. There are multiple RSS options already - heck, you could even set up a dedicated Twitter account that just updates your latest posts, and that's essentially your feed, too.

It all comes down to personal targets, but for me pretty much regardless of goals, email subscriptions will cover them.

1 month ago on Don’t Be Alarmed – But I Want You to Kill Your RSS Feed

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@samemac I dunno - imagine the hashtag fun you could have with that!

1 month ago on Five Steps to Insanely Good Customer Service

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@Digital_DRK Nice to see they didn't use a standard canned response. Oh, wait...

1 month ago on Five Steps to Insanely Good Customer Service

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@Howie Goldfarb "Social business"? Pfft - that's like saying write a book about influence and make it all about Klout. @belllindsay

1 month ago on Five Steps to Insanely Good Customer Service

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@Howie Goldfarb @belllindsay Agree and disagree. Yes, Comcast is typical of the social media hype around "socializing your business". So what if Comcast were lauded for their social media approach with customers? The service still sucked, and they continued to be on "America's Worst Companies" five years after the social hype.

I'd disagree about the value of social and its primary use for basic info. I've run multiple social teams on service, from mobile providers to severe red-tape organizations, and the ability to shift the easy answers away from call centres to social led to reductions in dropped call rates, faster turnaround of actual escalated calls, better understanding of the customer experience, and an increase in brand perception and customer satisfaction.

Is it limited as to what can actually be achieved on social? Yes - but these limited interactions leave more time for the more in-depth customer needs, and that's always going to be a win.

1 month ago on Five Steps to Insanely Good Customer Service

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One does not simply "crack open" a bottle of fine single malt. #heathen

1 month ago on Five Steps to Insanely Good Customer Service

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@belllindsay No, ma'am, I don't - if that had been the set-up when I met my wife, I would never have moved here, she'd be moving to the UK!!

1 month ago on Five Steps to Insanely Good Customer Service

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