P.M. Requests for Reviews/Testimonials - Clarification Sought, Please

by Alexa Smith Banned
46 replies
This has been discussed before, both specifically and tangentially, but continues to be a problem for me.

I'd really be grateful for some "moderation input" on this subject, please, Paul and/or others.

I know that I'm not alone, here ...

My questions:-

(i) Is it, or is it not allowed for Warriors who don't know you, with whom you have never had any previous contact at all, to use the forum's private messaging system to solicit reviews (e.g. for their forthcoming WSO) by writing to you out of the blue on the grounds that "you look as if you know what you're talking about" and/or "you have a high post-count" - meaning, obviously "I'd like a testimonial from you in my thread because it would obviously carry some weight"?

(ii) When people do this, is it appropriate:-

  • (a) Politely to decline without giving a reason
  • (b) Politely to decline and to raise the question of whether the requester thinks his future customers deserve unincentivised testimonials from people who've actually bought the product rather than incentivised ones from people who've just been offered a free copy because a testimonial from them will obviously carry some weight
  • (c) To report the p.m.
  • (d) To not reply at all
  • (e) Something else (please specify!)
#clarification #requests #sought #testimonials
  • I'd like a further clarfication, is it acceptable to ask even those you know to do reviews for your WSO? I wasn't sure if this was allowed at all.

    I could see why this would be considered a way to get around having to pay to bump a WSO.
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  • Profile picture of the author J Bold
    I could see perhaps asking for a testimonial a bit on the forward side. I would simply ask for a review, whatever the reviewer would want to say.

    I think people do this all the time, but using the words Alexa used is not the right or professional way to go about it.

    edit: I mean, whoever wrote to Alexa, those words.
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    • Profile picture of the author Mike Hlatky
      Originally Posted by redicelander View Post

      I could see perhaps asking for a testimonial a bit on the forward side. I would simply ask for a review, whatever the reviewer would want to say.

      I think people do this all the time, but using the words Alexa used is not the right or professional way to go about it.

      edit: I mean, whoever wrote to Alexa, those words.

      I made a little post about this a couple of weeks ago:

      http://www.warriorforum.com/main-int...e-message.html
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  • Profile picture of the author Mohammad Afaq
    Well I just simply either refuse or never respond back.

    Rude? Maybe but hey I love my time
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    • Profile picture of the author x3xsolxdierx3x
      Originally Posted by Mohammad Afaq View Post

      Well I just simply either refuse or never respond back.

      Rude? Maybe but hey I love my time
      I love your time too, so I'll just make sure my emails are short and to the point. :p
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      • Profile picture of the author Mohammad Afaq
        Originally Posted by x3xsolxdierx3x View Post

        I love your time too, so I'll just make sure my emails are short and to the point. :p
        Well there is a difference when you ask me for a review, critique, help, JV or anything else. I have talked to you in the past and I know who you are.

        So even if you send me a long email, I will read it
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      • Profile picture of the author Paul Myers
        I tend to ignore them, unless they're from people I know. Then I usually decline the offer. There's not enough time in the week to review everything I'm asked to look at.

        You can ignore them, reply, report them, or whatever. That's a judgment call you have to make. Personally, I consider review requests to people you don't know at all to generally be pretty presumptuous. Depending on how they're worded, they can reach the status of rude.

        How we handle them depends on how many reports we get.


        Paul
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        • Profile picture of the author Alexa Smith
          Banned
          Thanks for your reply, Paul.

          May I, with apologies, press you really specifically: is it against the rules to do this?
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  • Profile picture of the author CyberSorcerer
    I would like to know the answer to this question too. I don't have near the post count you guys/gals do and I still get request for reviews.

    And out of all the request I've received only 2 have been asked for properly and those were long time members not someone with 10 post.
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  • Profile picture of the author GarrieWilson
    Do you really need to make a big deal out of this?

    Adults shouldn't need to ask this. Especially ones who are always on the board and have a perceived higher status.

    Ignore them or reply. Pretty simple

    -g
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    • Profile picture of the author Alexa Smith
      Banned
      Originally Posted by GarrieWilson View Post

      Do you really need to make a big deal out of this?
      I think we're entitled to know whether it's against the rules or not, Garrie?

      My second question was, arguably, "a big deal", I admit; but once I was posting the first one anyway, it didn't feel that way.
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  • Profile picture of the author Colin Palfrey
    Hi Alexa,

    I think if there are a tons of people clicking the report button, it's probably considered a bad PM to have sent. Whereas if only one person clicks the button, chances are they are just being grumpy.

    I would (assume) that is the only way it could be moderated efficiently.

    Cheers,
    Colin Palfrey
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  • Profile picture of the author sanssecret
    Originally Posted by Alexa Smith View Post


    (i) Is it, or is it not allowed for Warriors who don't know you, with whom you have never had any previous contact at all, to use the forum's private messaging system to solicit reviews (e.g. for their forthcoming WSO) by writing to you out of the blue on the grounds that "you look as if you know what you're talking about" and/or "you have a high post-count" - meaning, obviously "I'd like a testimonial from you in my thread because it would obviously carry some weight"?
    Alexa, why does someone asking for a 'review' mean they are obviously looking for a testimonial? it could just be they want a review from you because you really do know what you're talking about and maybe with your help they could improve the product.

    Regardless of whether or not it's against the forum rules, I do think it's extremely bad mannered. Unfortunately, fame has it's price.
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    • Profile picture of the author yourreviewer
      Originally Posted by sanssecret View Post

      Alexa, why does someone asking for a 'review' mean they are obviously looking for a testimonial? it could just be they want a review from you because you really do know what you're talking about and maybe with your help they could improve the product.

      Regardless of whether or not it's against the forum rules, I do think it's extremely bad mannered. Unfortunately, fame has it's price.
      I think she was talking about Warriors using the pretext of requesting a review to get a testimonial. I have had the same happen to me as well and almost always I ignore them.
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      • Profile picture of the author Bill Farnham
        Alexa,

        Those requests are no where near as bad as those 5:15 in the morning phone calls one can get from "Warriors" who tend to be popular.

        Here's what some folks may not get about asking for reviews...Most of us are pretty busy with what we have planned to begin with, and asking someone out of the blue to take a couple hours, in some cases, and devote that time for their benefit may not leave much room for benefits to the reviewer.

        It would have to be a case by case decision to see if there is a mutual benefit hidden in the request. Because generally, it's a one sided affair with most of the benefits going to the askor.

        I know a lot of people will think they are doing the askee a huge favor by giving them a free product, but let's face it, most of the time that's not the case.

        As far as asking for a testimonial...if you are asked to give one, what are the chances you are looking at legitimate testimonials by others? Answer...the odds go way down.

        Anyway Alexa, you never got back to me on my request to review my "How To Lose 75 kgs While You Sleep" video series. I was sorta bummed about that...

        ~Bill

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        • Profile picture of the author DireStraits
          Originally Posted by Bill Farnham View Post

          Anyway Alexa, you never got back to me on my request to review my "How To Lose 75 kgs While You Sleep" video series. I was sorta bummed about that...

          ~Bill

          Haha.

          Gosh, I hope those results aren't in any way typical, otherwise Alexa might implode in on herself, and open up some kind of black hole into which we'd all be sucked.

          Or at the very least, if it worked as advertised, you can be sure you'd never receive a response back from her; and neither would anyone else, I think, ever again.
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          • Profile picture of the author Kay King
            It doesn't hurt me to respond to a polite request for a review - even if I just respond that I can't due to time constraints. I don't ignore PM's as to me that's rude. I would not report someone because they asked for a favor whether I know them or not. I can say no and see no need to make it a problem.

            Now - if someone asks to buy my sig space or tries to sell me by PM...I'll report them in a minute (and I have done that).

            Some of the best conversations I've had have been with people I didn't know who sent a PM that led to a really interesting exchange of ideas. I may not have time or interest in reviewing their product - but the PM may lead to a new contact or friend.

            kay
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            • Profile picture of the author DATruk
              Right on Kay. There is no substitute for being polite, and no excuse for being rude. No matter how famous. My "big head" (experience, acheivements) lies in offline endeavors, but here in IM I see people are the same.
              Alexa, I know you just wanted to clarify rules, and adding "polite" to all your suggested remedies would not be a bad idea. :-)
              Darrell
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        • Profile picture of the author CDarklock
          Originally Posted by Bill Farnham View Post

          Those requests are no where near as bad as those 5:15 in the morning phone calls one can get from "Warriors" who tend to be popular.
          LOL, were you the "lucky winner" the Friday before last?

          Every time I get really hammered, someone on my Skype contact list tends to get the lovely treat of me calling them up and singing incoherently in the wee hours of the morning.
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      • Profile picture of the author blackhawkup
        Banned
        says the guy whose name is YOURREVIEWER.....wtf!
        #imjustsaying


        Originally Posted by yourreviewer View Post

        I think she was talking about Warriors using the pretext of requesting a review to get a testimonial. I have had the same happen to me as well and almost always I ignore them.
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  • Profile picture of the author DireStraits
    Sounds to me like it's very much "trial by Warrior"?
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    • Profile picture of the author Paul Myers
      Originally Posted by DireStraits View Post

      Sounds to me like it's very much "trial by Warrior"?
      We have a winnuh!

      No, it's not absolutely verboten. That would be a ridiculous rule. However, spamming via PM is a really good way to get banned. So, the people sending the things need to make good and sure they're not generating complaints.

      Some judgment calls are best left to the people involved.


      Paul
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    • Profile picture of the author Karan Goel
      Originally Posted by DireStraits View Post

      Sounds to me like it's very much "trial by Warrior"?
      http://www.warriorforum.com/main-int...moderator.html
      http://www.warriorforum.com/main-int...moderator.html

      ====


      I usually tend to ignore such messages. Or decline the offer. Even though many offers come from "War Room Members", I usually consider such activities spam.

      Karan
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      • Profile picture of the author Paul Myers
        Here is a classic example of doing this really, really badly, and why you ought to be careful of who you ask for reviews. I just got a request from a new member to review his ... wait for it ... article spinner.

        Could you possibly demonstrate any worse targeting in your requests? I hate article spinners. I hate what they produce, I hate what they represent, and I'm not at all fond of the fact that many of their users are also thieves, stealing the work of people who actually create something useful and original.

        Yeah, yeah. I know. "The way I do it is different." If so, good for you. You're just stuck in a game that's going to end up a losing bet. The fact remains that most spinners and most people using them churn out nothing but garbage, which they then spew across the web, screwing things up for sites and searchers, and adding no value at all to the digital environment.

        And this dude wants me to review his product?

        I should have said yes, just so I could post my thoughts in his WSO thread.


        Paul
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        • Profile picture of the author x3xsolxdierx3x
          It's refreshing to know your stance on article spinning, Paul.

          Maybe I'm just naive...but, the whole idea behind it has made it such that I really don't even have any experience doing it. Never did it and never will....and, I can't help but think, just like you said, that alot (maybe not 'all') article spinners are thieves or are just looking for a way to cut corners where corners shouldn't be cut.

          Originally Posted by Paul Myers View Post

          Here is a classic example of doing this really, really badly, and why you ought to be careful of who you ask for reviews. I just got a request from a new member to review his ... wait for it ... article spinner.

          Could you possibly demonstrate any worse targeting in your requests? I hate article spinners. I hate what they produce, I hate what they represent, and I'm not at all fond of the fact that many of their users are also thieves, stealing the work of people who actually create something useful and original.

          Yeah, yeah. I know. "The way I do it is different." If so, good for you. You're just stuck in a game that's going to end up a losing bet. The fact remains that most spinners and most people using them churn out nothing but garbage, which they then spew across the web, screwing things up for sites and searchers, and adding no value at all to the digital environment.

          And this dude wants me to review his product?

          I should have said yes, just so I could post my thoughts in his WSO thread.


          Paul
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        • Profile picture of the author Sandra Martinez
          Originally Posted by Paul Myers View Post

          Here is a classic example of doing this really, really badly, and why you ought to be careful of who you ask for reviews. I just got a request from a new member to review his ... wait for it ... article spinner.

          Could you possibly demonstrate any worse targeting in your requests? I hate article spinners. I hate what they produce, I hate what they represent, and I'm not at all fond of the fact that many of their users are also thieves, stealing the work of people who actually create something useful and original.

          Yeah, yeah. I know. "The way I do it is different." If so, good for you. You're just stuck in a game that's going to end up a losing bet. The fact remains that most spinners and most people using them churn out nothing but garbage, which they then spew across the web, screwing things up for sites and searchers, and adding no value at all to the digital environment.

          And this dude wants me to review his product?

          I should have said yes, just so I could post my thoughts in his WSO thread.


          Paul
          mmmmmm some people just do not have survival instinct...
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        • Profile picture of the author Istvan Horvath
          Originally Posted by Paul Myers View Post

          I just got a request from a new member to review his ... wait for it ... article spinner.
          And I thought all the way along I was the only one being "honoured"with that spinner request....

          Now I am so disappointed
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          • Profile picture of the author Diane S
            Originally Posted by Istvan Horvath View Post

            And I thought all the way along I was the only one being "honoured"with that spinner request....

            Now I am so disappointed
            The spinner person didn't PM me. I feel left out...


            I hate getting PM spam, but it is bound to happen in a forum as large and as busy a place as Warrior Forum. I have reported a couple, but most I ignore. Thanks for bringing this up, Alexa. It is always good to have a rule - or lack of rule - reviewed.
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            • Profile picture of the author oneplusone
              I get these requests via PM occasionally.

              I usually reply to all messages I receive, but I feel more comfortable replying if I know who it is.

              Here's a tip...

              If you want to PM anyone a request it's worth chatting to them on the forum first before you PM them.

              It isn't difficult, just get involved in some of the discussions they're participating in, add value etc

              Don't overdo it obviously and use some common sense.

              Then when you PM them the "who on earth is this?" thought won't come into their mind.
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        • Profile picture of the author Martin Luxton
          Originally Posted by Paul Myers View Post

          Here is a classic example of doing this really, really badly, and why you ought to be careful of who you ask for reviews. I just got a request from a new member to review his ... wait for it ... article spinner.

          Could you possibly demonstrate any worse targeting in your requests? I hate article spinners. I hate what they produce, I hate what they represent, and I'm not at all fond of the fact that many of their users are also thieves, stealing the work of people who actually create something useful and original.

          Yeah, yeah. I know. "The way I do it is different." If so, good for you. You're just stuck in a game that's going to end up a losing bet. The fact remains that most spinners and most people using them churn out nothing but garbage, which they then spew across the web, screwing things up for sites and searchers, and adding no value at all to the digital environment.

          And this dude wants me to review his product?

          I should have said yes, just so I could post my thoughts in his WSO thread.


          Paul

          Paul,

          That's one of those special cases where I might have replied just to have a bit of fun. Compose the reply and then 'spin' it


          Felicitations xyz123SpinningKing,

          Gratitude you for your secluded missive,

          I would be ecstatic to remember your gyrating {Sorry, I could not find synonyms for 'software'}.

          Withal I lonesome evaluate whirling {Sorry, I could not find synonyms for 'software'} if the vendor betroths to give it away gratis everlastingly.

          Alexa,

          A stock reply for you

          I'd love to review your product, but I have to warn you that all my reviews go on my website and only 1% are positive.

          I also insist on buying what I review so I can say exactly what I think about a product.

          This works very well because the vendor has absolutely no control over what I say, and if the product is a scam or a turkey, I can publicise it all over the web and also complain and do a chargeback through my credit card.

          Martin
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          • Profile picture of the author marciayudkin
            I missed this thread when it first appeared but read it when Alexa posted a link to it in another thread.

            I'd like to comment on this point, made by Paul Myers:

            Personally, I consider review requests to people you don't know at all to generally be pretty presumptuous. Depending on how they're worded, they can reach the status of rude.
            As a much-published writer, a marketing mentor and prolific creator of info-products, I am often in the position of being asked for, or asking for, reviews on new products.

            I have rarely received any requests worded in a rude way, and I do not normally regard a personally worded review request as presumptuous. However, I have received extremely rude and even threatening replies when I have offered an honest review, as requested. I am talking about private reviews here, not public postings.

            You need to understand that no one OWES you a positive review, regardless of your admiration for them, your love for your own product or your relationship with them.

            If your product has flaws, don't be upset when someone points them out. If the product is just not to someone's taste, that is their legitimate opinion.

            I have received numerous review requests from people I don't know, and when these are written in an engaging way, that's obviously personal to me, I have been known to take a look at the book or course and offer high praise. (So has almost every best-selling author that I have ever read about. After all, how do you think they got their blurbs when they were an unknown?)

            I've also been known to tell someone bluntly that their product is terrible or not ready for sale, for such and such a reason.

            Like Alexa, I'm not sure what the forum rules are here on this, but I do know that it's possible to get a nice reception from someone you admire who doesn't know you from Adam or Eve.

            Marcia Yudkin
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    • Profile picture of the author Alan Petersen
      Originally Posted by DireStraits View Post

      Sounds to me like it's very much "trial by Warrior"?
      Agree. It would have to be pretty bad for me to report it. If it appears to be a template they just fired off to people, I just delete it. No response. If it looks like they actually put together a decent message, I might respond. My answer is always no. I don't want to say yes to review people's stuff if I don't know them. Hard enough to manage my time as is.
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  • Profile picture of the author Mike McAleer
    I had 4 people yesterday ask me for a free copy of a WSO that I reviewed! Now I think this is messed up!
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    • Profile picture of the author Alexa Smith
      Banned
      Ok - thank you all for the helpful comments above.

      The reason I was asking (it will come as no surprise to read) was simply that when I get testimonial requests for a forthcoming WSO on a subject I know absolutely nothing about and have no interest in, from someone very new to the forum, who's clearly otherwise randomly asking this of those with high post-counts or thanks-counts by offering free copies, I felt it would be helpful (to the community, i.e. by reducing the incidence of others being similarly asked) to be able to reply politely declining and mentioning that this isn't really allowed. But it appears that isn't necessarily so - and perhaps rightly. Understood.
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    • Profile picture of the author caseycase
      Originally Posted by FreshDomains View Post

      I had 4 people yesterday ask me for a free copy of a WSO that I reviewed! Now I think this is messed up!
      Wow! No gray area on that one. That's just wrong.
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    • Profile picture of the author JohnMcCabe
      Periodically, I get requests for reviews. How I handle them depends on who is asking and how they ask.

      A polite request for feedback, on a subject I know enough about to be helpful, is usually met positively if I have the time.

      A polite request for a positive review in return for a free product (even if the 'positive' is implied) is either rejected or ignored.

      Subtract the word 'polite', and I delete immediately.

      Originally Posted by FreshDomains View Post

      I had 4 people yesterday ask me for a free copy of a WSO that I reviewed! Now I think this is messed up!
      That is messed up, and one of the few times I believe in deliberate rudeness...
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      • Profile picture of the author Kay King
        I had 4 people yesterday ask me for a free copy of a WSO that I reviewed! Now I think this is messed up!
        Those get reported!
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    • Profile picture of the author Joe Motion
      Originally Posted by FreshDomains View Post

      I had 4 people yesterday ask me for a free copy of a WSO that I reviewed! Now I think this is messed up!
      These should be reported ^

      As for people getting grumpy over being asked to do a review.. come on.. just ignore it and get on with your life
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    • Profile picture of the author paulie888
      Originally Posted by FreshDomains View Post

      I had 4 people yesterday ask me for a free copy of a WSO that I reviewed! Now I think this is messed up!
      Mike, I'm pretty positive that this isn't permitted....now this is definitely something that should be reported!
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  • Profile picture of the author Fraggler
    I know it can be very powerful to have a forum 'celebrity' give great feedback for a product but I don't think it is crucial. I don't get too many requests so it isn't a concern for me. :p

    For people who are looking to get reviews of their offers, I recommend finding someone who could really use the product and offer them help. There are a lot of people on this forum who are looking for genuine help and its a great way to network. They will nearly always appreciate the contact.

    You can use their response as a way to tweak your offer so it is spot on to the target market. Sometimes it is hard to know if you are on the mark or not because you become blind to what you've been spending a lot of time working on and staring at.

    If your product can genuinely help someone, this will come through in a glowing testimonial that wasn't forced - or faked.

    If your offer is a service rather than a solution than perhaps approach people who you are 'friends' with or publicly give away a handful of the offer for some feedback. Build up your network before you release the service so you aren't going in cold when you are ready to launch.
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  • Profile picture of the author WillR
    The best are those ones who ask you to review their product but forget to change the name in the PM and call you a totally different name.

    Copy and paste much?!
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  • Profile picture of the author tpw
    Originally Posted by Alexa Smith View Post

    [*](c) To report the p.m.

    I politely hit the report button...

    But then I am sometimes an asshole.



    If the product looks interesting, I will suggest that I am willing to look at the product, with no guarantees as to what I will write in a review, if I submit a review.

    If I look at a product, I will give the vendor an assessment of the product from my point of view, but I will not guarantee a good review on the thread. If I give a review on the thread, it will be honest, from my point of view, and if that is unacceptable, do not send me the product.
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