Freshly pressed – Oh! The glory!

I have no interest in being Freshly Pressed. Fortunately. In fact I don’t even look at it, and the thought of replying to 100 or more inane comments from one-off visitors is enough to send shivers down my spine.

However, I am mildly interested to read WP justifications for their choices of blogs.

Over at The Daily Post, it seems they have started a new feature about what people need to do to get freshly pressed.

(I am pleased to note they have taken up my suggestion to have regular features each week. I am sure they had plans in the pipeline to do so before I wrote and suggested it.)

The brief article on being freshly pressable (yuk!) ended by asking what we thought of their choice of blog and the recipe in question. Yes, it was yet another food blog.

I started off writing a response and decided it was going to be a) too long and b) too negative so after I’d said the photos were good I shut up. Interestingly other people did come up with a few constructive criticisms, which as you can see below, in no way describe my views.

So what did I think of the pick and the recipe?

If you can’t be bothered to go and look, the recipe was brussel sprouts, lemon and pistachio nuts.

1) The photos are good.

WP pointed out that it is a good idea to have large pix so people can see the detail.

Jen also used large photos so a reader can easily see the details and not have to stop and squint to make things out. The ability to click through the images to even larger versions is also a wonderful feature.

Great. Advice on the WP forums is to reduce the size of your pix so that they don’t affect loading times on your blog. I think describing clicking on the photo to enlarge it as a ‘wonderful feature’ is somewhat over the top. I thought it was bog-standard practice if you choose to do so.

2) The recipe isn’t original. The author does credit the source, but ya know, why are brussel sprouts, lemon juice and pistachios worthy of FP (oh plus garlic and shallots)? Incidentally, not one I would try either. It doesn’t appeal – and I’m vegetarian. I do however have a different sprouts recipe which also is unoriginal…

Maybe I should write about it and get myself FPed?

3) WP then went onto say that the author had written something about herself? Don’t we all add something about ourself to our posts? That’s why people read our blogs because we establish personality. Certainly all the blogs I read involve the authors writing something about themselves.

4) So what personal delights were we treated to? Well apparently it is hellish difficult figuring out where to eat in Manhattan on Saturday night. My heart seriously bleeds for people in this terrible position trying to choose which one of the 20,000 restaurants should be the lucky recipient of their trade. Bet it’s not half as difficult as working out how the hell to eat and survive in Somalia – or wherever.

This my dears, is what you need to write:

We stumbled upon Cotta Osteria in the Upper West Side. I’ve walked past it a million times, but never thought to try it. As soon as I walked in the door I knew this was going to become my new favorite wine bar.

5) What a load of pretentious crap. WP stated that there were anecdotes about Italy, which really meant this woman’s partner had been and eaten pizza there. Well, woo fucking hoo, so have I.

It seems there was a nice flow of continuity (actually WP wrote that ghastly word segues) from wandering the streets of Manhattan, to eating pizza with brussel sprouts to writing about sautΓ©ing them with nuts, garlic, shallots and lemon juice.

And there you have it.

Some of the other commenters complained that there were too many freshly pressed recipe blogs. I always thought there were too many bungee jumping in NZ type blogs. Or just generally gimmicky blogs written by young people for young people who think they are saying something new.

I don’t know if any of the blogs I read have ever been freshly pressed but I do consider most of them to be extremely well-written, some good or great photos, and with a damn site more originality than copying a sprouts recipe and saying we went out in Manhattan on Saturday night and faced the challenge of choosing a restaurant.

While I am having a go at WordPress I might as well point out that it seems rather contradictory and very naughty to tell us all that it is much better to have the topics/categories/tags in the scroll down Reader format (previously in magazine format) and yet maintain FP in magazine format.

Why don’t they put FP in scroll down format too huh? If it’s so good for us all? Because it looks better in magazine format. As did topics. I wouldn’t even mind if Reader worked properly, half the blogs I follow turn up late on there or not at all.

I abandoned the search for new blogs when the topics format changed and instead took two other routes, checking out other peoples’ commenters (disadvantage there – you end up with a relatively small circle and nothing new) and looking at the forums for interesting blogs.

Luckily the forums had a nice forum called off topic where a few self-opinionated people would occasionally/frequently make witty comments about nothing in particular. So I found me a few more blogs. And there was a showcase forum where you could publicise your blogs. Not on a par with topics in magazine format, but worth a look.

That didn’t suit WordPress either, so those two forums got pulled.

In a short space of time, WP has made three unpopular decisions, changed the Topic format, scrapped two well-used forums, and made email notification about comments the default – the only decision they have reversed.

One in three is not a great success rate for the complaining hordes (yes, I did complain about all three).

And being faced with a dining dilemma in New York combined with a basic unoriginal recipe as the key to blogging glory leaves me with even less confidence or respect for the people who are running or working for WP.

Just to be clear, I’m not finding fault with the blog that was Freshly Pressed. Rather, the decisions for doing so. I am increasingly persuaded that WP is aiming at pre-Kindergarten level bloggers.

But if you want to read about sautΓ©ed brussels sprouts – there you go.

The FP one they wrote about last week was seriously poor. I thought it was badly written, boring, and it took too long to load and close.

They have a writing challenge too. How to make eating a tuna sandwich interesting. JFC. I mean like really?

Why do I read The Daily Post? Because it defies belief. I also take some vague satisfaction in thinking that the people (for the most part) who write this ‘advice’ know very little about their subject. So therefore I don’t need to pay the slightest bit of attention.

There is no ‘good’ or ‘bad’ blog. It is totally subjective.

About roughseasinthemed

I write about my life as an English person living in Spain and Gibraltar, on Roughseas, subjects range from politics and current developments in Gib to book reviews, cooking and getting on with life. My views and thoughts on a variety of topics - depending on my mood of the day - can be found over on Clouds. A few pix are over on Everypic - although it is not a photoblog. And of course my dog had his own blog, but most of you knew that anyway. Pippadogblog etc
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41 Responses to Freshly pressed – Oh! The glory!

  1. Here, here. Well said.


    • Thank you Jillian. I think part of my post was about trying to say that people shouldn’t aspire to being freshly pressed when the decisions are basically made on what take’s someone’s eye/interest. Not that the blog posts are bad, just – to me – certainly not outstanding. And that’s why it is totally down to personal preference.

      As for WP in general, I thought there were significant advantages compared with blogger, most of which they have removed πŸ˜€ Now while I understand the need for change and growing a business, I have yet to read anything that has explained remotely clearly, sensibly and logically about the benefits to uses of recent changes.

      Similarly FP, I’m interested in their weekly series to look at why they consider one blog better than another. But as I said, it’s still just an opinion. In these days of performance management it would be easy to set up some criteria – but as far as I can see they seem to be for the most part – it looks pretty, and it’s fluffy. πŸ˜€


      • I’m only new to the blogging world but in the short time I’ve been on WP the changes have confused me and I have been finding it very difficult to get around or to even view blogs that have been recommended to me. None of the changes I’ve noticed address this at all, that I’ve found anyway.

        I’ve also wondered about how the freshly pressed is “chosen”. With my work I’ve come to accept audiences are random and constantly changing. What might appeal one day they won’t give a second glance to the next and it’s very hard to foresee what that will be. However eye catching graphics seem to be the go for lazy readers – that appears to be also true in both the print and the online worlds.

        I am by no means an expert and I will never claim to be but that is just my thoughts. Having said all that I am enjoying my precious little moments on WP, even if most of the time I’m talking to myself and the rare, wonderful people like you who actually took the time to read my offerings. πŸ™‚ Thank you.


        • I think I tried to reply to this the other day and lost it 😦

          It took me a while to find my way round, ie forums, topics, freshly pressed, daily post, support. It shouldn’t but it did. Probably because it was designed/built by a technician who doesn’t realised that non-technicians work differently.

          I think it is interesting to see what posts appear popular on my blog, because there certainly is nothing in common between them! A serious post with few pictures may get as many or more comments compared with a more light-hearted post with more photos. Different posts yet again, receive more visits, but without comments. Subject matter obviously, ease of reading, personal style, and visual attractiveness would be my suggestions for a decent post, but who knows?

          The problem with FP is that although the chosen blogs are described as the best on WP, they are quite patently not. It would be far more accurate to describe them as our random choice/favourites of the day. And you’re welcome.


  2. Vicky says:

    For some reason, when I click onto, I automatically get presented with Freshly Pressed.
    Scanning down the images on the page is the only way I’m going to be drawn into reading one (a good image will always draw me in).So far there has only been one that has made me want to follow it.
    There is some utter **** written on most.
    I only have a very small section of blogs I enjoy following, there are probably loads more out there, that I don’t know about, but it is finding them.
    Luckily found a great one via a link posted on your blog recently.

    WP reader has really been playing up lately, no notifications of the ones I do follow, so like you, I’ve missed recent posts fom my ‘friends’


    • Now I get the Reader when I click, but that may be because I don’t use FP. I had to look at it to ensure it was still magazine format before I wrote this post! I did look at three pages worth and got bored to tears – nothing looked interesting.

      For me it’s obviously not just about the photo, although even I will look at a decent one. I want something semi-original, maybe something I know something about, or something I know nothing about. Interesting style. But not something that is deliberately pretentious. As you so rightly say, there is some utter ****. I didn’t even get into that. Badly laid out. Text speak!!! Lousy grammar. Boring. I admire people who write in a language that isn’t their first so that doesn’t count, but some of the writing and content is very poor.

      I think most of my first tranche of blogs (with the exception of p&k) came from the topics in magazine format so I do miss that. It’s harder to find decent ones now unless someone helpfully posts a link, so that’s why I try and remember to do it now and again. ED’s was a good one πŸ™‚

      I do follow quite a few, but only read a smaller number regularly. The others, I’ll read if it looks vaguely interesting. I think it is inevitable that favourite blogs tend to be ones with which you have at least one commonality of interest if not a load more (probably got about ten criteria on my list :D)


  3. EllaDee says:

    Oh Dear God, I loved this post… I never looked at Freshly Pressed… for the same reason I don’t buy “popular” womens’ magazines… what I’ve seen, very possibly not all, but enough to keep me away, is just so much trite, shallow, and yes I suspect demographicly targeted pap. I’m fortunate, I don’t need Freshly Pressed, I have the best bunch of bloggers whose posts like this one, make me laugh, exclaim, think…


    • Thanks. I confess I went off it a bit on this one. It just lit all the fuses when I read the so-called rationale for highlighting a blog that used someone else’s recipe, had some pretty pix and struggled to choose where to eat in New York. And obviously had been to Italy. That one’s really important. It’s one of the most popular tourist destinations in the world (fifth according to wiki) so hardly unusual.

      I like my group of bloggers too for similar reasons, which is why I’m suspecting none of us have been freshly pressed πŸ˜€ or ever will be!

      Totally agree with your analysis of trite, shallow and targeted. I really don’t need to be told how to cook something simple or cheap – but maybe others do? There are some arty blogs on there, but even they don’t look interesting. I don’t do PInterest (or whatever it is called), I’m not interested in grandma buying a smartphone – what is the value of a post on that? or whether someone has done their homework. I do read some blogs of people well under half my age but they are interesting and thoughtful.

      A few commenters said they wanted to read more serious posts on FP, and that it shouldn’t be focused on photos. I read a few serious blogs, with/without photos, and they may or may not be long, but they have written well about something interesting (to me).

      I think the real criticism of FP is 1) there is little diversity in style of blog 2) it is aimed at new bloggers 3) it is aimed at younger people 4) there are actually hidden rules 5) either that or the people reviewing them have no idea what they are doing. Oh, at one point it was always said it was one person doing it, seems to have become a teamy thing now.

      Whatever, I enjoyed ranting away about it.


  4. trixfred30 says:

    I gave up ranting at WordPress because they never take notice. And I can’t think why a recipe containing brussel sprouts and nuts would would get a thumbs up from anyone.


    • No they don’t you are right. Except they did on the default email thing. But, gotta complain when things are wrong, so I still do. I like to do my bit for the internet society.

      I think brussel sprouts are actually tricky. Apart from doing them plain. Lemon would be ok, garlic???? (and I love garlic, but with brassicas?), and I can’t think of a nut and brassica combo I have used either.

      But really, my point was about the crass way of saying one blog was ‘better’ than another.

      Thanks for the comment btw. Off to read your Olympic stuff in depth …..


  5. free penny press says:

    As I am relatively new here @ WP I’m still learning the way of this blogging community. I have never been a blogger where public opinion ruled my posts. I post, if people like & read ok, some days it’s a miss and that’s ok too. I post for me first and foremost. Now to be fair, we do want others to read our work but is my aim to be FP? Nope, although there are many here that will do handstands to be on that “coveted” front page…I see who they are, comment on every FP, etc. Blah, why? Not like you will get paid for it.

    I am a bit confused though on how they select the FP pieces. Some are great and I’m so glad they highlighted them, others are so poorly devised & written I just shake my head and say, “really”? I’ll just keep posting my grab bag stuff and if it ever gets to be FP, that’s finer if not I’m still going to enjoy reading the community..


    • I’m relatively new too here. Not to blogging but WP is only this year (more or less) for me. I used to be quite pleased when I entered double figures for comments on my blogger posts (OK the dog sometimes got more than 40) and I’m not talking about replies because doesn’t/didn’t work the same way. In fact, I’ve still never beaten the dog’s original best of comment numbers. But times, dogs, blogs and people move on.

      For me, I will continue to say, that on this and all my other blogs, my satisfaction is the level of discussion and comment that I receive. That people take the time to write, not just to click like, but to think about something and express those thoughts. For whatever reason people have found my blog/s, choose to follow and comment on them. That is a lot more meaningful than a random accolade.

      If you get FP L, great, but otherwise, you know I always enjoy your posts and comments. And I’ll still be there when the one-hit wonders have disappeared and fallen off the end, hunting another FP blog. Like a lot of my other fave blogs, you write (well) a totally mixed range of posts, add lots of interesting links, suggest other blogs. That to me is what FP blogs should be about. Wit, humour, facts, poetry, art, references, news – and that’s just your blog I could write a similar list for others I read.


      • free penny press says:

        Thank so much and That is also why I enjoy your posts. I am actually entertained while I learn.. Many of those FP posts are in fact “one-hit’ wonders and if I were on the selection committee, I would look at the types of things they post over a longer span, not one snazzy post. The point should be to highlight a good post as well as share a blog with a track record of good posts with the WP community ..


        • I read something that said they don’t look at the blog overall, just a post, which I think is a real shame. Hence the OHW. (one hit wonders). I guess it’s a bit like a job interview, we all tend to favour those in our own image.


  6. I think FP selection is completely random! I read the WP advice post and fumed and started to pen a mighty response and then discovered that I really couldn’t be bothered. What really annoys me is that they announce it as the best of the blogs which is utter nonsense – I could find ten better blogs within a minute or so – and yours would be one of them!


    • I don’t think it is. But I do think it is somewhat bling for want of a better word.

      The advice is infantile. And this is at least the second or maybe third post I have written as a result because my replies would be too long and too smart-arsed.

      Totally agree about finding better blogs, I consider all the ones I follow to be far superior for a load of reasons. Some quite specialist, some good piccies, some history, some news/politics, some travel, some just personal, some a great mix etc. And none of these great blogs ever appear 😦 Just the usual trite shite.

      Oh, and thanks πŸ˜€

      I did notice your comment about the Olympic blog. I was going to look that up and got distracted (the title was intriguing to be fair). When you highlighted it, I had to read it. Dear me. Talk about D minus for a sixth form essay – it was, well you know what it was like.

      Blogging shouldn’t be about criticising blogs, it should be about supporting and building networks/community/crap like that. But whileever WP continues to showcase appalling blogs there will continue to be criticism. From me anyway.


  7. Perpetua says:

    As most of the blogs I follow are on Blogger, Freshly Pressed don’t impinge much on me, but I loved your critique of it, Rough Seas. I follow one blog which I know was freshly pressed some time ago and she certainly found her hits and followers increased very markedly, before dropping back to a more sustainable level. I don’t follow her because of FP, but because she writes so very well, which is my most important criterion in the blogs I read.


    • I tend to forget I still have a few blogger pals. WP did do a great job at building networks and generating new followers/traffic which I certainly never achieved on blogger (apart from the dogblog :D) but seems to be going out of its way to destroy that success.

      Mmm, so which of your blog follows was it? I am intrigued now. Do I need to check out all your WP links?

      Seriously, I don’t think FP impinges on any of my blogpals either. They are all too idiosyncratic and write sensibly πŸ˜€

      I just found this so asinine as a reason for highlighting a blog that I couldn’t resist it!


  8. My eye was drawn to the Daily post for the first time last week. The subject was ‘Fresh Pressibility’ and Literature. I was very disappointed by its simplistic attempts at advice.

    I paid attention to the Freshly Pressed page for a year or so after I began blogging, because writing is the best thing I know how to do (and thank goodness I’ve gotten better at it by trying to be interesting at least a couple of times a week.) I realized that many ‘news’ outlets took notice of anything interesting that happens to fall on that page. It’s free publicity for anyone who lands there. If their skills are in good shape, they may be able to parlay that luck into something that helps their career.

    That being said — wonderful, accessible, literary and interesting posts from some of the blogs I read regularly, have never been chosen for that page, yet some embarrassingly opaque and strange things have been chosen, not to mention ones like the recipe post you mentioned here.

    I wish I could do some other marketable thing in this economy, but even my counselor at the job services organization I go to for help, has suggested that I give my writing as much attention as I can here, and on Twitter and Facebook. So for me, FP still feels like an inscrutible ‘weapon’ WordPress wields without seeming to notice. Or maybe it’s more like a raspberry complete with fingers wiggling by their ears. It’s a raspberry I try to ignore now, but I can’t forget that it’s there.

    I’m glad to have found and read your take on the whole business here. Your thoughts on WordPress, and the comments left here echo a lot of what I’ve been thinking, too.


    • Thank you for your visit and comment. I’m intrigued by your writing so I’ll wander back when I’m awake (middle of the night here).

      FP is not for me as I don’t fit the mould – with any of my blogs! But, as WP rarely listens to criticism I think it is fair game to analyse objectively on my own blogs. I cite sources, give pingbacks, and links so people can visit relevant sites if they choose. While it may give short-term publicity it shouldn’t be anyone’s main aspiration for the reasons I wrote above.

      I think most of the posts on the Daily Post are increasingly banal, (Daryl’s grammar ones are ok). There is a post on here somewhere about when I offered to write for them and lost interest when they wanted to change my style. I can write to order but not for free. I get enough comments on here (I’m still debating whether or not to link to this on the DP but I probably won’t) and more on my roughseas blog not to need to be a free writer for WP.

      Building readership and regular commenters takes time and effort but it is possible without being freshly pressed and people need to know that.


  9. Some of the blogs I have found by just following up on comments I lost interest in just because the pics were so large. As ever well written informative you. I will put in a word with the word press management and see if there is a vacancy for CEO you could, most admirably fill.


    • Getting the pic balance right is actually difficult. It’s basically good pix look better big v slow loading. I hope I have the balance right on roughseas at the mo, big enough for people who want to see but not so big to delay loading, in fact they don’t ‘biggify’ – unless I forget to downsize them. One more reason for not getting FPed πŸ˜€

      Thanks, but informative not really, just a self-indulgent rant πŸ™‚ that I couldn’t resist. SautΓ©ed brussels sprouts in lemon juice is an outstanding blog? No.

      Trouble with being CEO is that you inherit staff. I had this discussion with my CEO many years ago, and said I would sack everyone. He pointed out the real skill is getting the dross to improve (or some such similar words). I don’t know how many of the Daily Post writers are volunteers or WP staff. I don’t know if the one/s who choose FP are volunteers or staff – but they sure as hell make shit choices.


      • I hadn’t given a thought to balancing my pics but the occasional one I post seems to work I think, yours certainly load quickly on my machine and add to your words πŸ˜‰
        Informative, yes, I didn’t know what to call the various layouts, pic size hadn’t really occurred to me and you included some meal suggestions that I also hadn’t thought of so there :p
        CEO has the ultimate power to pay themselves large sums of money and dispose of company profits so helping third world poverty, freeing enslaved animals and setting standards of quality for FP, not other blogs cos I wouldn’t get on.


        • Yes, you don’t post enough pix. According to the WP gurus you need lots of wonderful large ones…. It breaks up the boring text for people who can’t read a few sentences without piccies.

          Ah, if I was a CEO I would sell out totally. Remember the quote about earning a shit load of money and fucking off to live in the sun like Judith Chalmers? I’ve got the second part, I just need the first part.


  10. bluonthemove says:

    I’ve yet to find “The Daily Post” I’m pleased to say. When WP loads, but before I log in, I’m presented with Freshly Pressed. I’ve read maybe 3 or 4 in the 6 months I’ve been using WP, but not found one yet I wanted to follow.

    As for New York, the only problem I’ve had there on a Sat night is many restaurants don’t like people eating alone when the revenue from that table could be two diners, and so pretend their only free tables are reserved.


    • Oh that’s right. I tend to log in from my blog so receive the inadequate Reader rather than the tedious freshly pressed. Most/all of the ones I have read have been far too superficial for my taste.

      New York. I have no idea, never been there. Not high on my list of places to go. Especially if it is full of people struggling to find somewhere to eat in Manhattan when there are 20,000 eateries.

      Where have you been? Did you get Olympic fever? πŸ˜€


      • bluonthemove says:

        I managed to watch precisely none of the Olympic sport apart from clips on the BBC news. I did watch the closing ceremony though.

        Been busy last week or so, doing an assignment on globalisation and policing….


        • I took my sport from the BBC internet feed which strangely although not normally available to non Uk residents, suddenly opened up.

          Sounds interesting. I shall wind the roughseas neck in and ask no further.


          • bluonthemove says:

            The son of a friend of mine is doing policing and criminal justice at University, and she has drafted me in to help with the research on his assignment. I have a reputation for being able to find things on the Internet that others miss. For example, because the people traffickers from Asia to Australia are so vicious, in parts of Aus they have a team called “The Blue Army” to combat them, which is made up of police officers and the military working together.


          • I admire people who can track down info on the internet. I have no patience, mainly because I don’t search correctly and never exclude enough. In the past, a (former) friend would often send me links and info which was really great. I can usually only find things when I know what I am looking for on an obscure subject, so that I’m not hit with 50 e-bay or American restaurant references (both of which are my pet hates).


  11. AGREED! In all caps, too. I stopped browsing topics when they moved it to reader, and I complained about that straight away, as well. I too find new blogs through other blogs now, and I think that is unfortunate–it makes an already insular community that much more insular. Howver, it is a somewhat reliable method. Case in point–I’ve found this blog through your other blog….


    • And I couldn’t have expressed your point better. Finding like-minded (or even not necessarily like-minded but at least interesting) blogs is great via other bloggers, but the circle gets closed, and needs new input. WP has pulled down the shutters on that one, very sadly I think. But I’ve got a fair few blogs to explore via other authors so hopefully will find some more good ones.


  12. Sunny says:

    That was so doggone funny — but also sad. I’m not really looking to be FP since I don’t post often, but it would be nice if they would pick ones that were actually GOOD most of the time. As one of your commentators noted, I could find a dozen pretty quickly, and yes, I agree — yours WOULD be one. Thanks for writing and ranting! Keep it up!


    • Thanks for that. I agree the idea of consistently good posts on a blog would be better than just one, because then you think, mmm, interesting blog. I suspect also that those of us who write general blogs are less likely to get pressed than the obvious ones, eg cookery, travel, and also art, photography, architecture. They seem a bit keen on memoirs too.

      I made such a diligent attempt to become freshly pressed on Saturday too over at roughseas
      I followed all the rules, but no. The glory escaped me πŸ˜‰

      If they did choose good blogs, then it might be nice to be FPed. But I don’t see much satisfaction in being chosen with a load of dross. Bit of a back-handed compliment. I’d probably be wondering what I was doing wrong with my blog!


      • Sunny says:

        No worries, seems to me you are doing everything right with your blog. There are so many that just don’t follow the most basic rules of English grammar, and often those are on the “featured” page! What???? Really??? Good grief. The quickest way to get me to leave a blog before I ever read much of it is to use bad grammar. Blech. Anyway…always glad to read you whether here or at Rough Seas.


        • I can live with bad grammar, spelling, because I understand people have poor education, dyslexia and a myriad of other issues. But you can normally tell from writing whether or not that is the cause, just sloppy grammar and proof-reading (mine, I hate proofing on screen) is different.

          I think I have three main ‘No!s’ – slow loading, long paragraphs, and poor construction, which can include bad grammar (I won’t even get into text speak), too much slang, pretentious writing – well, you get the idea πŸ˜€

          And thanks, Sunny.


  13. Pingback: Saturday sarcasm | roughseasinthemed

  14. sandradan1 says:

    Wow, you let the genie out of the bottle with this one! It made me smile, thx! SD


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