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We hire on the cheap....that's our culture....:). 


Whereas it doesn't take a rocket scientist to be a commercial insurance service person, there are enough moving parts and potential 'oops' if you don't do it right, that you can't just drag someone in off the street to do it. Being in a somewhat smaller market between Tampa and Orlando, it seems some of the better talent wants to chase the bigger bucks so we have a much smaller talent pool to chose from at times. I am a big proponent of hiring for culture first and training for a position, but sometimes we get stuck just trying to fill a position. Sometimes it works and sometimes it doesn't, but if you are slower to hire and quicker to fire I think you will have a happier and more productive work force. 


Good post even though you 'allegedly' weren't looking for another job...

1 day, 17 hours ago on Protect Your Corporate Culture by Hiring Right

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Hey Brian, I haven't been able to comment on this site for about a month so you have to put up w/ my snarky comment that I didn't think would go through. 


I imagine it was a pretty sinking feeling and especially not being able to immediately rectify it. However, you took the high road as I would expect from you and when @GiniDietrich features you in her Friday series you can use this as your biggest mistake...:). 


Good luck w/ your writing. 

1 day, 17 hours ago on A Ghoulish PR Crisis Just for Halloween

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How extremely average Brian....

1 day, 18 hours ago on A Ghoulish PR Crisis Just for Halloween

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If I had the money, I would just hire a stunt double and pass them off as myself. Of course, when you show up in person people are like 'hey, you don't look anything like your video;' and I'm like 'yes, I know; I look much better in person, don't I?'


I don't consider myself overly vain, buy vain enough to care how I look; I just think we tend to be much harder on ourselves than necessary because at the end of the day, it's us we are thinking about, not how somebody else looked on the vid, right? 


You got it rockin', whatever that 'it' is, you just need to keep doing it. 

1 month ago on DIY Video: How You Look Matters

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I know some very 'successful' people in my community that stepped all over that line of ethics to get where they are. The ironic thing is now that they have made it, how revered they are in certain circles. So even though I know the 'true' story as do others, if these people can look themselves in the mirror and sleep comfortably at night, did they win or lose? 


My yardstick is, what would my kids think of me if this became public; are they going to be proud or are they going to be making excuses for me. 


Sometimes it's tempting to take the money and run and let the chips fall where they may, because it's only cheating if you get caught, right? 


But we all know, it's never too late to do the right thing; we just have to be careful where our 'line' is and don't keep moving it to fit the situation. 

1 month ago on The Squishy Grey Line of Ethics

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I don't know what Captain Underpants is all about, but it's definitely a 'must read' for me. 


In 2nd or 3rd we got to go to the library and pick out a book to read so I picked Swiss Family Robinson. The teacher thought it was above my reading level so I had to read her a page or two out of the book to exhibit my proficiency. I was already a good reader so that was no problem, but she didn't know I picked the book because it had topless natives in it...:). Of course, that is one of the pages she turns to and I'm red as a beet from embarrassment trying to read this while I have 'breasts' staring at me.....you bad boy Billy....


I had a friend who's dad was a minister and he couldn't have comics in the house so we would hang out at the elementary school reading mine and 'discussing' the story lines. 


With everything on the internet these days, we are worried about age appropriateness in books? Really? 


I'll see what I can find locally. 

1 month, 1 week ago on Banned Books Week: Celebrate the Freedom to Read

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@Eleanor Pierce Me too, and it doesn't even have to be that good...:). 

1 month, 1 week ago on Banned Books Week: Celebrate the Freedom to Read

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@LauraPetrolino Whew, one's nose can never too brown, huh @ginidietrich? Actually, from the outside looking it I would have to agree; I'm sure there has been a lot of trial and error on Gini's part but she's obviously doing something right. 

1 month, 1 week ago on Managers vs. Leaders: The Traits of Each

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That's called 'walk away power' if it's not a good fit, but much harder to do at 25, huh? 


Good distinctions between the two and good to know what your role is and blend appropriately if necessary. 


Putting people in a 'box' w/ a certain set of expectations but that 'box' does not play to that person's strengths can be very frustrating indeed. 

1 month, 1 week ago on Managers vs. Leaders: The Traits of Each

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The NFL is calling, can you give them a hand? 


If @GiniDietrich befriended you there had to be something quirky or stray dog in you, so I guess the socks fit the bill. 


Great to meet you, now that I know the name guess I better keep my eye out for all the great things you are doing, eh? 


Best of luck to you. 

1 month, 1 week ago on The Spin Sucks Inquisition: Melissa Agnes

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The all consuming beast known as the National Football League...I don't know if they are at the height of their popularity, or have already reached the tipping point but it will be interesting to see how strong their brand is 5 years from now. Gambling and fantasy football will go a long way keeping it relevant, but will that put fannies in the seats? 


I've lived in the south all of my life and have been a sports fan all of my life too. I couldn't tell you squat about hockey until 2 years ago; but for me locally, I will say the Lightning experience is 10 times better than the Bucs experience and I thought I'd never say that. 


Bottom line, pro sports have many mouths to feed so they should be very protective of their brand; the first thing they can do is tell the truth and get ahead of these stories and don't look like they are trying to hide something. I'm not big on mandatory punishment as there really is three sides to every story so these cases should be able to play themselves out, but the teams want these players on the field until told otherwise, right? 


Whadda ya gonna do?


I just know it's never too late to do the right thing. 

1 month, 2 weeks ago on The NFL is Missing the Cardinal Rule of Crisis Management

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Nice to meet you Laura, based on your bio I would say the TV part is surprising.


I was going to read the Autobiography of a Yogi, but when I found out it wasn't about Yogi Bear and Boo Boo, I lost interest. 


@ginidietrich you definitely have to work on the selfies; I would have taken one the time we met if my phone hadn't gotten wet from being in the pool, but fortunately somebody took one of us reasonably close together...:). 


Great lineup Gini and I already feel much smarter by meeting these great people you are shining the spotlight on. 

1 month, 2 weeks ago on The Spin Sucks Inquisition: Laura Mansfield

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@belllindsay @elissapr @ginidietrich Who's on crack? 

1 month, 2 weeks ago on Happy Birthday, Spin Sucks!

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@Howie Goldfarb @bdorman264 @ginidietrich Just ask that Arment guy where the other founders are....just sayin'....

1 month, 2 weeks ago on Happy Birthday, Spin Sucks!

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You're welcome; you notice your numbers spiked once I got on board. Not saying it was me, but maybe me and @howiegoldfarb combined.


And your first post probably shouldn't have been about fags.....what? Fads, oh; I guess I should have read the whole post, huh? 


Whatever accolades you have rec'd are well deserved. You were very instrumental in bringing me into this crazy hot mess and not only have I met you, but many more fabulous, talented and creative people. 


Happy birthday blog and thanks for being a trooper and staying the course. You da best. 

1 month, 2 weeks ago on Happy Birthday, Spin Sucks!

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@LauraPetrolino SnobCon, what is that?

1 month, 3 weeks ago on The Spin Sucks Inquisition: Joe Hackman

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I think I want to take a road trip, but I'm afraid it would be my wife's definition of hell. 


One hand it is good there is so much mediocre and bad customer service because it doesn't take much to separate yourself from the pack and it truly can be just paying attention to detail that does it. 


Nice to see you in the spotlight Joe; now that HD is out I'm glad I'll never be in the running for this. Good luck on your journey sir. 

1 month, 3 weeks ago on The Spin Sucks Inquisition: Joe Hackman

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The not thinking part I can do pretty well; but to come up w/ 10 life changing books I have read might be a little more difficult. I read a lot and usually pretty diverse in my readings but most of the times they are not so life changing that I recall the Title and author at will. 


Because I was of the Vietnam era and actually served in the military right after the war ended I was interested in reading some of the real life account books at that time. The Marine Sniper was a book that stuck with me. 


The authors I've enjoyed are Dean Koontz, Tom Clancy, Sidney Shelton, John Grisham, Vince Flynn, James Patterson, Robert Ludlum, Michael Crichton, David Baldacci, John Creasy, Ken Follett, etc. As guess there is a common thread, I believe most are fiction writers. 

1 month, 3 weeks ago on Read a Book Day is September 6

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@Howie Goldfarb Can I copy and paste yours? 


What were your beliefs and thoughts before reading The History of God and did they change after reading it? It gave me a big yikes; about the same feeling I had when I found out about Santa Claus, the Easter Bunny and the Tooth Fairy. 

1 month, 3 weeks ago on Read a Book Day is September 6

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Yeah, great idea but just like the pics I try to take every time I try to do a vid this old cat keeps showing up and messes up the whole thing. 


It is one of those things you just need to jump in and do and it does provide an intimacy with your audience. I actually do have a 'few' YouTubes out there and one of these days, there might be more. 


Great advice and go get your phone, because I think Hollywood is calling. 

1 month, 4 weeks ago on Kiss Your Video Marketing Fears Goodbye

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2006? Did they even have blog posts then; I thought they were called letters back then.


3 years of crickets; amazing. You do win the prize for perseverance...if they are giving any prizes for this these days. 


Have fun on your time off, I think I'll take some time off too; and of course I'm telling you this just in case you can't tell the difference when I am taking time off and I am not...:). 

2 months ago on Two Lessons from Most Commented on Blog Posts

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I'm warning you, if you feed @HowieGoldfarb you will never get him to leave.....

2 months ago on Crisis Management: The Cliff’s Notes Version

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I want the job where you get to taste all the great food....


You touch on some good points, and just by 'getting it' you can rise above the rabble and set yourself apart. If you core premises are true and you stick by your guns you will have success. It's finding that point of differentiation (10%) that allows you to shine and be 'referable.' 

2 months ago on The 10 Percent of Communicators Who Get it

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That Dear Abby....er, uh @Joshua Wilner/A Writer Writes, always looking for trouble. 


I find the truly busiest people (who don't duck phone calls, etc) are the most effective at getting things done; they don't tell you how busy they are, they just make it happen. The rest of the bunch are too busy because they are reactionary and putting out fires all the time and don't think you are compelling enough to make the time for you. Being in 'insurance' and people would rather go to the dentist than deal with it; I get it a lot....


It's a fine line when to send them packing, or just know that will be par for the course and just deal with it when it comes up. 


I prefer putting the GI Joe Kung Fu grip on them...

2 months, 1 week ago on The “I’m Busy” Badge of Pride

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Lesson Learned - if you bitch loud and long enough AND you know @ginidietrich you can move mountains...


I'm glad it was resolved, especially since you like the product. 

2 months, 1 week ago on Social Media Missteps: A Jawbone UPdate

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Dan the man, Danny Boy; love the video. 


Danny was gracious enough to invite me into his house during my early years, and probably one of the reasons he decided to to go down a different path. I appreciate his willingness to 'tell it like it is' and admire his progress and efforts trying to figure it all out. 


Great choice @ginidietrich; it's great to see Danny is still a force to be reckoned with. 


Now about those sheep..........

2 months, 1 week ago on The Spin Sucks Inquisition: Danny Brown

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I gave Oreo that idea btw.....


Yes, some of the news-jacking is shameless, but there is still enough of the clever ones that truly tie back to the brand that make them as clever as a well made TV commercial. 


I want to be that smart....maybe when I grow up, huh? 

2 months, 1 week ago on Newsjacking Gone Wrong: Four Simple Rules to Heed

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Haven't been paid? Well, did we win then? Now that I'm a grandpa maybe I can score some of those duds for young Blake William, huh? 


Do they only make winter clothes in Vermont? How far above the perma-frost line is Vermont anyway? 


Did you ever get the bear question answered? And finally, where's my maple syrup anyway? 


Good post and interview sir; are you a Green Mountain Boy yet? 

2 months, 1 week ago on How the Zutano Blogger Outreach Program Hit Huge Audiences

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@biggreenpen @LauraPetrolino @bdorman264 @GiniDietrich I was holding out for the clapper.....

2 months, 2 weeks ago on The Spin Sucks Inquisition: Marcus Sheridan

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Grand kids? I got me one of those last Tues night...:).


I knew Marcus in his 'early' days when he was still writing to be socially cool and on that level, he was just a knucklehead like the rest of my friends so he figured out real quick he needed to go in a different direction. It has been cool to watch his journey and the related success; he's earned it. 


Good job Marcus, keep sending the 'right' message; good choice @GiniDietrich

2 months, 2 weeks ago on The Spin Sucks Inquisition: Marcus Sheridan

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Don't be stupid. Can you define stupid please, because according to my wife I have a high level of it/ but of course 'my perception' is I am always the smartest guy in the room...or the funniest...or the oldest....at least one of those three. 


It is a fine line and my personal and professional online presence is very blurred. I have to be sensitive as to how a customer might perceive it and not only how it reflects on the corporation but what would my wife and kids think. Yeah, I know, no fun but it keeps me out of trouble. 


Good list indeed and you certainly can't stick your head in the sand on this one.  

2 months, 2 weeks ago on 21 Must Haves in Your Social Media Policy

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And spin stink doesn't smell like teen spirit does it? Ok, I don't know what the relevance of that was but it was the first thing that popped into my semi-empty head...and it's Friday. 


I think I'll ditto the not trading in the years response; I attended a memorial service yesterday for a friend's mother and she was 100 yrs old and 9 months and lived life fully until the end. She was looking forward to her 101st birthday. I want to have the health to be 'that person.' 


Nice to meet you Amber, I didn't know you were part of the circus here. Will the new website have the Big Top music when you click on it? 


Happy Friday all!


And no @ginidietrich you can't have McKown back. 

3 months ago on The Spin Sucks Inquisition: Amber Turner

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@ginidietrich I'm thinking maybe it's because @belllindsay is working out way too hard and it can't keep up with her...

2 months, 3 weeks ago on Brick Walls and Bad Social Media: Lessons from Jawbone

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You're weird...and old...and I can top you on both...in spades:). 


Just like responding to someone's blog and they answer everybody but your response, huh? 


That sounds like a pretty crappy experience and obviously they don't know who they are dealing with; especially since you 'know' people too. The sad thing is, they had built up enough credit in the bank to keep you around even through this rough patch, but at this point I would probably drop kick them...or break out the Kung Fu grip. 


That's why it doesn't take much to create a WOW in customer service because so many just drop the ball or your point of contact just doesn't care, right @AdamToporek? 

2 months, 3 weeks ago on Brick Walls and Bad Social Media: Lessons from Jawbone

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@LauraPetrolino We insure a couple of local 'attractions,' Historic Bok Sanctuary & Tower and Fantasy of Flight and it was more of a behind the scenes loss control visit but got some great shots and put it into a video. Once the customer saw it, they loved it and let us publish it on our networks. 


The Tower is not open to the public and not many get to go inside and we had some shots of that and the view from the top. 


If you look at Our Video page, one of the YouTube's is of the Tower: http://www.lanierupshaw.com/category/ourblog/our-video/ 

3 months ago on The Magic of User-Generated Content

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@biggreenpen @bdorman264 Too bad @LauraPetrolino bailed on us, be we did have to represent, right? 

3 months ago on The Magic of User-Generated Content

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Sounds like the fox in the hen house to me...I want to work there. 


I grew up w/ 3 sisters so yes, that had a big influence on my life. I'm also a volunteer Guardian ad Litem and see firsthand the impact of not having a male figure/influence in young boy's lives. 


It's not so much 'us vs them' and yes there will always be differences, but it's also allowing 'people' to succeed in the manner they so choose w/out any artificial barriers impeding their progress. 

3 months ago on Gender Roles: Is it Really a Man’s World?

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And was this sleep with or without the air mattress?


We did a little of this with some of our customers and it was very simple and very well received. Unfortunately, our IT guy was the creative one and he's no longer with us and I'm much too lazy to pull this off. In fact, I was somewhat challenged helping you with the video but after 27 takes I was able to pull it off. It was fun and thanks for asking me to play because I'm all about the fun....

3 months ago on The Magic of User-Generated Content

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And I didn't even think you liked Pinterest @Gini Dietrich...:).


Disclose, transparency, accountability; none of it sounds like a bad thing to me. 

3 months ago on A Social Media Contest, Cole Haan, Pinterest, and the Rules

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Yeah, but I only had about $23 and that didn't buy very many comments and unfortunately I did not have a plan B to fall back on so hence the demise of my popularity in social....


Even though we have all seen some pretty cheesy stuff in the social realm it's really no different than real life; it's just maybe a little more visible, and the semi-anonymity allows people to be more bold about it. 


I have 'known' Mark for some time and what little interactions we have had he has always been very gracious; I definitely consider him one of the good guys in this arena. 


Great to see your life on paper now Mark...:). Best of luck in your continued successes. 

3 months, 1 week ago on The Spin Sucks Inquisition: Mark Schaefer

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Those damn insurance companies; especially on the health insurance side. They wouldn't know what customer service is if it was sitting in the desk next to them. We have to run interference for things just like this and if I was the bosses wife having to go through the hassle I would be complaining loudly...to someone...


However, some are a little too quick to pull the twitter trigger but then again that's where we are today with it; instant access, instant display. 


Good article. 

3 months, 1 week ago on Four Questions to Ask Before You Complain on Twitter

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Whoa, wait a second; there is porn on the internet? I'll bet their days are numbered....


I think it is a brilliant ploy on their part; own it. If people know what it is going in there should be no surprises. It they want to pay for the 'package' deal, book another flight.  

3 months, 1 week ago on The Spirit Airlines Hate Campaign is a Win

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I feel your pain; if there is not a 'hook' to pull me in I'm probably not going to even open it. But that's because I'm reading very few blog posts these days anyway. 


And I am as guilty as most as having a bland title with a bland topic that you can just about count on I will be talking about myself....talk about clearing out a crowd...:). 


Hope to see you on the 11th.

3 months, 1 week ago on 15 Blog Headlines That Don’t Suck

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But I'll bet Judy-wup came up with that name, huh? 


Great story and for also putting it into action. Brand until it leaves a mark, right? 

3 months, 1 week ago on How a Five Letter Name Became a Brand

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You just don't want to end up in one of those 'Shoppers of Walmart' pics that end up in an e-mail when you make a late night visit in your curlers, old bathrobe and bunny slippers, do you? 


Put your name on it as Herm Edwards would say; own it. 

3 months, 2 weeks ago on Walmart Responds to Scathing Article in Brilliant Way

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Family definitely has a way to bring you back to earth...leave that crown outside...:). I want to say that to some people I see in social. 


Quit worry about what others are doing and just be happy in your own skin and everything else will take care of itself. 

3 months, 2 weeks ago on What Having it All Really Means

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I am much more active from a personal standpoint in the online world but since I have been at @LanierUpshaw forever most people I know don't see much of a dividing line. Pretty much what you see from me online is the mirror image of me walking the streets....but not in a street walking way if you know what I mean...:). 


Yes, I could be much more strategic with my efforts but I view both venues as networking opportunities in some form or fashion, and for me that has been my most effective way of 'branding' who I am and what I am all about. 


The relationships I nurture from these efforts opens the most doors for me. 

3 months, 3 weeks ago on Social Business: A Customer Experience Time Machine

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Hey, I certainly wasn't piling on; you didn't see my name in there. I still got your back, if you need somebody taken out, just point me in the right direction.


Kung Fu grip. 


Words. It doesn't take much to get people stirred up and there is way too much of only one side of the story out there, but it's done on purpose just for this type reaction/attention. 


The main thing is not to jump to quick and do get all the facts before you perpetuate any of it. 

4 months, 1 week ago on The Social Media Mob

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Happy birthday Laney Namanny, which is a great social name BTW; nice ring to it. 


So, you are our go-to person when we really want to get the dirt on @ginidietrich, huh? I'll bet you have some good stuff too.....


Well, if you are anything like your sister you must be pretty awesome too; thanks for letting us take a peek and it's nice to meet you. 

4 months, 1 week ago on The Spin Sucks Inquisition: Laney Namanny

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I think I still want to do the whole backpack across Europe thing but might be kind of hard to stay in youth hostels now, huh? 


If I got a mulligan, that might be the one thing I would 'do over;.' I would have explored more when I had the opportunity and somebody else was paying for it (the Army).  


Great story, I know the painfully shy because I played it well back in my teen years. And then we grow up....kind of....at least in body, right? 

4 months, 2 weeks ago on The Spin Sucks Inquisition: Ann Handley

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