For What It's Worth

Thursday, May 31, 2018

monthly wrap-up and look ahead

I am in such a reading/blogging funk right now.

~ There’s the GDPR thing, of course, but I got it done. Then after the May 25th deadline –  it seems like a string of things designed to irritate bloggers and make us quit has been happening. Blogger no longer emails me blog comment notifications so I don’t know when someone comments on a post unless I check back all the time.

~ And after WEEKS of "please reconfirm your subscription to this newsletter or you will die” notifications – I’m still getting all the newsletters that I didn’t confirm. I was all happy thinking I would finally get off all these lists but nope. What was the point????

~ I also keep getting review & guest post, sponsor post requests from people who clearly haven't read my policy. Like for - sleep aids & car locks O_O. I do respond to legitimate requests but not to those who aren't following my guidelines. And let me tell you - these people are determined. They keep emailing...and emailing...and emailing and they get increasingly demanding and irritated that they didn't hear back from me. I shouldn't have to answer emails for people who didn't take the time to read what I do and don't accept on the blog. I don't have time for that but even deleting them takes time. Do you guys deal with this? What do you do?

~ The usual book conference season drama has started and here comes the ARC selling. It shocks me that people still do this. WE SEE YOU. If you go to a conference – don’t be a dick. Problem solved.

~ Amazon apparently stopped allowing bloggers to post reviews for arc’s on their site. They required you to buy the book from them to leave one so it was a verified purchase review. Personally, this does not affect me. I rarely write reviews there because I’ve had many plagiarized and to me, Amazon is a business site – not a review site - so the requirement doesn't sound entirely far fetched to me. It was supposed to stop fake reviews & scammers so I get it. But I also get, because of Amazon’s algorithms, how this would hurt authors – especially indie and small press who rely on reviews. I guess they reversed it anyway so it doesn't matter.

~ But….that led to discussions about authors and tour groups requiring reviewers to only post 4-5 star reviews and debate as to whether bloggers should be paid for reviews. I’m in the no camp on that but I was surprised to see how many bloggers are for it now.

how is book blogging becoming so complicated??? Does it even matter anymore?

*has existential blogging crisis* lol

Then of course we have #cockygate – a romance author is trying to trademark the word cocky – go look up the hashtag on twitter if you haven’t heard about it. But refer to above – don’t be a dick.

So basically – drama and I’m just not in the mood for it right now and it made me cranky so I retreated to my other favorite hobby – gardening. It rained a lot but that’s kind of good for establishing new plants so it was worth the trade off to plant flowers in between rain bands. I also have quite a few Swallowtail Butterfly caterpillars munching away on my fennel. They just went to the chrysalis stage so I hope to have butterflies in a few weeks!

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And of course, what’s a holiday if I don’t do something embarrassing to Fonzi


Peace, Love & Fonzi












May reading and the June TBR:

I read 16 books in May – The Epic Crush of Genie Lo was my favorite.

I’ve read 77 books so far this year. My goal is 100 so whoop!


download (5)


So that's it for me....just a lot of whining lol I've learned to step away and take a break when I'm feeling like this so I may or may not have posts for next week but I have been keeping up with visiting blogs.

49 comments:

  1. Wow! Sure sounds like so much going on these days, and for bloggers it definitely can get irritating. I agree, it sure seems like talking about books with friends should be pretty simple, but life has changed for sure. It's your blog and you can share your feelings any way you want. We don't mind listening. (lol) Hugs and hope you have time to get a FREE donut somewhere in your world tomorrow. Hugs...RO

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    1. It really is just noise but sometimes it gets so loud I need to step away lol

      I for life of me can't understand why we don't just do our own thing and not worry about it.

      Delete
  2. Okay, so apparently I've been living under a rock. I deleted Twitter from my phone months ago, so I'm not current on what's going on in anything. I did hear about Cockygate, but that's it. I had no clue about Amazon or the ARC thing. What is wrong with people?! Don't be a dick is right! Geez. So much drama. I stopped reviewing books on my blog because I just didn't see the point anymore. I do a review on Goodreads and Amazon and that's it.

    I hope you find your way out of your book/blog funk. :)

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    1. I think the Amazon thing just happened yesterday maybe??

      Someone just got $350 for an ARC of The Wicked King by Holly Black on ebay.

      I didn't realize you had completely stopped reviewing. My friend and I have discussed this a lot lately. Is there any reason for reviews or our opinion anymore??

      Delete
  3. I'm sorry you're having such a tough time right now. I understand, though. It's annoying to deal with all the things you posted about. I do get review request who clearly don't read my policy and I just ignore them even if they keep emailing me. It's really the only advice I can give. :/ Hang in there.

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    1. Most of it doesn't even affect me but the negativity is so annoying and hard to drown out sometimes.

      It's fine though. I just take my breaks now and don't worry about it then I feel refreshed when I come back.

      Delete
  4. I'm the opposite of Brandie—I deleted Facebook from the phone, but I look at Twitter. I know too much about cock stuff and nothing at all about my FB people's drama. I'll take that tradeoff lol

    It does honestly seem there's always a lot going on in the blogging world. More hoops to jump through and dumb people making it harder for everyone. I don't miss that at all! Fwiw, I don't think bloggers should be paid for reviews. I remember the pressure for good reviews, and I don't think that breeds honesty.

    But, as always, your approach to blogging is the best.

    I love that you garden to get away. I head out to my plants every time I get stressed out about politics and whether or not I'm going to die in a nuclear war. My plants look amazing 🤣

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    1. Oh yeah - I got rid of FB a loooong time ago. I never go on there. For some reason I'm better at blocking out twitter and if I'm really annoyed, I mute half my feed for a few days lol

      The whole landscape has changed and I honestly don't know how much longer it will last. I know I rarely take review books anymore (although I a going to ALA in June) and it's mostly bloggers commenting on other bloggers. There aren't many people outside of our group.

      I LOVE my garden! Of course, I will hate it by the end of June when it's sweltering lol But hopefully enough of it will be in place that I can sit back and watch my butterflies and hummingbirds without a lot of work.

      I miss you Andrea! I love when we get to chat here or on Twitter.

      Delete
  5. Quote: "They keep emailing...and emailing...and emailing and they get increasingly demanding and irritated that they didn't hear back from me."
    This doesn't happen to me because I'm SO SMALL, but I understand it can be a nightmare. Even if you only read their emails without replying, you lose so much time JUST BECAUSE THEY'RE ARSEHOLES AND WON'T MAKE THE EFFORT TO READ YOUR POLICY - but of course you have to make the effort to reply...

    It's funny how we let Amazon become so relevant. Why do reviews posted on it mean so much more than reviews posted on other popular sites like Goodreads, where people can review whatever they want? I know, GR and the likes don't have any control on fake reviews etc., and since they don't sell books, people can't automatically click and buy when they read a glowing review, but so what? is it so hard to look for a book on Amazon when you've read its reviews elsewhere? I think that, at this point, both authors and readers should put Amazon in perspective. I understand that indie/self pub authors are hurt by its policy, but on the other hand, AMAZON IS NOT GOD. Let's just stop treating it as if it was.

    Quote: "debate as to whether bloggers should be paid for reviews. I’m in the no camp on that but I was surprised to see how many bloggers are for it now."
    That's sad. But that some publishers/authors would ask for it is even sadder...

    Even "I" have heard of the cockygate LOL. That woman is so delusional.

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    1. It' snot even about being a bigger blog. This is for car locks, sleeping aids...just ridiculous things that have nothing to do with me or my blog. I delete them without even reading but their tenacity is something to behold.

      Most of the non bloggers I know use Amazon reviews so I don't know. It's one of those things that it's just the way it's done so everyone jumps through those hoops. When I talk to my family (outside of Kevin ) they don't know anything about fake reviews etc.

      As for the paid reviews - it's not the publishers. I'm sure THEY don't want it lol but a lot more bloggers want to be paid. I saw one comparison to fashion bloggers on twitter today. They get paid for blogging/instagramming about products so why not books? Personally, I don't like that either and the same goes for them - I only trust people I know.

      There are authors who pay *review farms* to post hundreds of fake reviews on Amazon. And I guess that's what they were trying to stop. I dunno...the whole thing is making me pissy so I'm taking a break lol

      Delete
  6. Oh man, #booksfortrade has been an absolute MESS with people asking if people can get them things from BEA. The selling bothers me too, but the begging really gets me! It's like people don't realize what it actually takes to get to a conference, wait in lines, and get books. It really isn't just grab and go! I didn't know that about Amazon! I stopped posting reviews there awhile back because anything under 5 stars would be downvoted into oblivion. Yikes :/

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    1. It is hard at the cons. You can be in line for hours. You don't just flit around like a fairy grabbing books falling like rain lol

      I'm going to ALA this year but I didn't go to anything last year. I used to go to BEA all the time. Are you going to either?

      Delete
  7. I am SO annoyed at blogger. I kept wondering where my comments are, and I never remember to check them instead I leave it to the end of the day and then I have a ton to do

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    1. It drives me crazy because it's easy to check on new posts but I've had people comment on older posts and I can't be going through all my old posts.

      Why are they making everything so hard????

      Delete
  8. I stopped getting blog notification emails too. So irritating. I stopped reviewing anything on Amazon a couple of years ago. I only review on my blog now so when companies email me and I tell them that the review for whatever they want to send me will only be on my blog, they usually stop sending me emails. It's hard to believe that so many bloggers sell their ARC's. I've seen a few on FB who have no problem doing that and when I see it, I just unfriend them. Don't be a dick is right. Fonzi is so cute.

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    1. So much unnecessary drama. And the fallout affects every other blogger.

      Delete
  9. Yeah lots of blog nonsense going on. I try to ignore it although I tried for the GDPR thing. Sure I screwed it up though. Love that Fonzi picture!! Enjoy your June TBR!

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    1. Thanks :-) He's a ham lol

      I think we all got it wrong in some way but they don't really care so will let it slide. I'm still getting newsletters and the deadline has passed. i just got one offering incentives to get me to click the button. I mean...I didn't click the button weeks ago...that's your answer! lol

      Delete
  10. I'm still getting all the ones I didn't confirm too soooo what the heck was the point of spamming everyone if they're not going to follow through? haha Your dog is soooo adorable!!! Love that pic

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  11. Blogging is certainly not boring at the moment, I'll say that! And I have to laugh at things like #cockygate- I mean really? The ARC selling... *sigh* there's always someone. As for requests, unless it is specifically for books I review or authors I know, I just delete it. I don't even feel bad anymore. The only reason I don't change my review policy to "I am currently not accepting requests" lol is because I do have a few authors I correspond with and if I do that they might not send me anything! Ha self serving I know. :)

    Love the gardening pics! There's something oddly comforting and relaxing about spending time outdoors/ gardening/ yard work/ whatever, although it helps when it's not 1000 degrees like it has been here the last few days. :) I've always liked those globe things/ gazing balls...

    Fonzi seems pretty chill about the whole thing. :)

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    1. The emails are mostly from product companies. For example one was for a sleep aid. They wanted to guest post. I deleted it. 2 days later...hey in case you didn't notice the previous email we sent. Delete. 2 more emails now with catchier subject lines like...Karen, did you fall asleep?.

      Then another one wanted me to replace a link I had going to a free photo site with his link to his free photo site. I deleted the email...sent 5 more emails.

      I did delete them all but WTF people? NO! I did not respond. NO. It has nothing to do with my blog. NOOOOOOOO lol

      Delete
    2. That's funny! "Karen did you fall asleep?" lol. Talk about persistent *rolls eyes*

      At least we can laugh about it. It's so ridiculous though...

      Delete
  12. yup I HEAR YOU Karen about the whole GDPR thingy! so irritating indeed especially since I'm in the middle of my busiest RL time and therefore my seasonal reading/blogging slump UGH UGH UGH! Thenkfully I think Hotmail took care of many of the "please reconfirm your subscription to this newsletter or you will die” notifications for me by sending them to the junk box LOL
    I get very irritated with the requests that show that clearly they ignored my review policy! :)

    ARC selling. yes ugh and shocking!

    I didn't know that about amazon. It must be very recent because I posted two reviews for books I don't have last week [I think lol]

    I'm totally with you in this *existential blogging crisis* XD SO HAPPY you have a garden to escape too. I should do the same! it is beautiful Karen!

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  13. The Amazon thing just happened and they reverted back the next day. I think they now limit it to 5 per week??

    I thought the GDPR thing would at least be useful for getting off mailing lists but I guess not lol

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  14. I can definitely understand about the mailing thing. If I don't like it or if they're not following my guidelines too, I delete the email right away. I don't care if they get angry or irritated, hah! That's their problem, blee!

    I'm still catching up with all the new updates though, so I'm quite surprise about the #cockygate, hah!

    Btw, I am loving Fonzi's picture. Awww <3

    xx
    Vanessa
    Blushing Geek

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    1. This is even beyond guidelines. It's for products I don't even talk about on the blog. I just delete them but they keep emailing a scary number of times anyway until they get an answer. Lol

      Delete
  15. Congrats on your reading going so well this year. I have a ARC of From Twinkle with Love, so I'm interested in what you think of that.

    Tori @ In Tori Lex

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  16. I'm trying to avoid all the blogging drama. Yes, I get angry when people sell ARCs, but they don't care. They're going to do it as long as there are people are there willing to buy them. Stop buying ARCs and they'll have nothing to sell.

    I haven't been as active on my blog lately--slow to comment and visit posts, less reading means fewer reviews. It's the summer blues for me! I always get in a funk around this time, and it just need a break before getting back into it. However, I started the audiobook for Royally Screwed, AND I'M LOVING IT. It's exactly what I needed.

    GDPR--I'm not going to stress about it until I someone mentions a problem. I didn't always review books on Amazon, but I'm trying to now. I know it helps authors even though it's a pain to do. I didn't realize they were making all those changes, but I have a list of books that need to be reviewed on their release date (since it doesn't allow me to post them before then). It's hard to keep up with sometimes.

    Your garden is gorgeous! Our vegetables are finally popping up, and I cannot wait to put them in my mouth! I hope you don't stay irritated with the world for too long. I do know something that will cheer you up...

    L @ Do You Dog-ear?

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    1. Yup, everyone is doing what they do so I'm trying to stay away from all the ranting about it all.
      Im just tired and it rained for a week so I get cranky. It's just a phase lol
      So do tell... what will make me happy?

      Delete
  17. I'm dodging the blogging drama. I'm firmly in the camp of stay on your blog, do your thing and avoid making it more complicated than it needs to be.

    With the Amazon thing... I find that a couple of bloggers (out of, what, hundreds? Thousands?) experiences problems, rants about it, then more people jump in on the bash Amazon train and things get blown WAY out of proportion like its a conspiracy and amazon is out to sink authors and reviewers. People LOVE to make Amazon the big bad when they're just... Amazon. They're the asshats they've always been and they are the reason we have the self-publishing industry we have today, imo. *shrugs* I rarely have any problems with them - with purchasing or reviewing - and when I do it's easily resolvable.

    There's nothing as queer as folk... And folk love their drama. I just can't be bothered by it. If I had a nice garden, I'd totally retreat to it but mine is currently a building site! lol (I mean literally...)

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    1. I left Amazon years ago as far as reviewing because I had several reviews plagiarized from there.
      Staying away from drama is the best bet. I usually do but there are days you can't escape unless you stay totally offline. Hence, the gardening lol

      Delete
  18. it looks like we got the same box of books from macmillan. i'm hoping to read similar titles this summer. i'm especially excited for summer skin.

    Michelle @ Undeniably Book Nerdy

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    1. Yes, the Macmillan box lol

      That's the one I'm looking forward to as well. I'm reading Twinkle right now.

      Delete
  19. Oh gosh, GDPR was so confusing and I'm pretty sure I'm still getting all the emails I always got. So who knows? LOL I think people were confused and thought they HAD to re-ask and then realized if people had signed up themselves, they didn't have to re-ask. Who knows? Maybe they just did it to be "correct" but didn't do anything about taking people off their lists unless you wrote them. I feel like I have everything I need, so I'm trying not to think about it too much anymore.

    The whole cockygate thing is so dumb. You cannot copyright that word. It's way too common and in TONS of books. Sorry you're series has a common title, but I think most of her fans can figure it out. The fact that the author was saying her fans were essentially dumb definitely rubbed me the wrong way. Yes, some books get confused for others...but it happens to all books, in different genres. I mean, there are two books called Looking for Alaska!! (totally different types of books, but still...it happens).

    Aw, Fonzi is too cute!! Hopefully a lot of the online drama will die down soon. BEA is almost over (well, Book Con this weekend, I guess) but after awhile that all goes away again for the year. haha

    -Lauren
    www.shootingstarsmag.net

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    1. It's just that time of year when it's better to step away lol

      I do not understand her cocky argument since she wasn't even the first person to use it in a series. So couldn't those readers theoretically think they are reading the earlier series and be ripped off by her? I dunno - her arguments are so weird and wrong.

      At least she lost her first round in court.

      Delete
  20. GDPR will be the death of me! I'm sorry about blogger sucking. I use disquis and haven't seen a difference. They do have an updated privacy policy if you're interested in switching over. And if I never have to re-subscribe to a newsletter I'll be happy. There were some I just didn't subscribe too because lazy.

    And BookExpo is exhausting, who are these people who are BENT on selling ARCs for hundreds (and who is buying them??!!!). And I didn't know that about Amazon, wtf? I haven't posted a review since May 22 and didn't notice a difference. I guess I'll see what the new requirements are on June 5. Ugh. The universe is being an ass to the book community.

    And I clearly missed cockygate! I saw forevergate. That is absolutely hilarious, the internet has been a mess. You're my official news source now Karen.

    Fonzi is adorable, I love that photo!

    AND WAHOO! You're more than 50% to your goal, you got this!

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    1. I saw that Disquis will delete all your old comments though. I'm still pondering that lol

      cockygate was first and then someone tried forever and backed right tf off since people were primed for battle lol

      Delete
  21. Gah, the Amazon thing will definitely hold back potential success of authors, which just SUCKS. I've never actually posted a review on there before, but this is just... really irritating. And those emails should be marked as spam, gah. On the other hand, you read quite a LOT which is amazing. How do you read so fast!? D: My 50-book goal is laughing at me. D:

    - Aimee @ Aimee, Always

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    1. I don't post there either but hearing all that's going on there to scam the rankings is pretty disheartening. Especially for authors who try to do things the right way.

      Delete
  22. I know quite a few folks are getting down because of GDPR. I honestly don't think it applies to bloggers as strictly unless you've monetarized your blog in the form of ads and affiliate links but honestly I decided to say screw it to all. As soon as I put up my privacy policy I was done, people can send the ICO after me if they want, I don't even care anymore. I'd also gotten excited about having a few less emails but sadly that doesn't seem to have happened, go figure.

    I had avouded a lot of the other drama though. I saw some folks mentioning selling ARCs but I hadn't realised how bad it had gotten. Honestly, I don't get it. You're right, it's simple, don't be a dick and everyone is happy. I honestly think some people don't think... at all. And I saw cockygate and I can't even with that author. They don't have the right to the trademark for a word when their series is not well known enough to justify it, a continued word in a title does not make a brand. I read the court transcript though and damn straight are romance readers a sophisticated audience, don't try and make us seem dumb that folks can't read an author name on the cover! I hadn't realised Amazon had stopped non verified reviews, though. This shows I've not been good and left short little reviews of late, that sucks for the authors as most verified purchasers won't review and then it's authors losing out.

    Hopefully you'll get out of your funk soon, blogging is supposed to be fun after all.

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    1. The GDPR does apply t everyone because any time someone visits your site information is being collected. having said that - I don't think we're who they are going after so a privacy policy and cookie bar seems to be all we need to do.

      I'm not worrying about it anymore and figure someone will inform me if I need to add or tweak what I have.

      Some of my mood is weather related. Lots of rain and humidity makes me cranky lol

      Delete
  23. I understand why the GDPR happened, I think it was because of what happened with FB and them collecting private info that many people did not consent to but for some sites I feel like it's a no brainer. If I go on a site, comment and leave me info willingly I know it's going to be saved on that site.

    I deal with people who do not pay attention to my blogger review rules or statement by ignoring them. I had one person that would NOT stop emailing me and at that point I just started automatically deleting or sending them to spam, it's harsh but I have a policy not for nothing.

    The amazon thing.. when did that happen? I was able to post reviews on May 30th hummm def not fair for some authors.

    I think if you are asking to post a 4-5 star reviews only you should be paid, but at that point you are prob lying so... Overall, us bloggers get paid in books and that is the way it should remain.

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  24. Seriously, it's always the people whose request has nothing to do with your blog who keep hounding you, demanding a response. Usually I just get tired of the emails and finally tell them no.

    I didn't hear that about Amazon? But I just posted a review for an ARC on Friday with no problem, so I guess either it was reversed or it was another one of those things where everyone starts freaking out over something that turns out to not even be correct.

    I read some of the court transcripts for cockygate, and idk how the judge and attorneys even kept straight faces lol.

    Your garden looks lovely!

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  25. Fonzi is so precious, I was showing my young niece your Instagram the other day, having Collie dogs growing up too and she was delighted by Fonzi. He's such a lovely pupper.

    Holy shit, what is it with all the damn subscriptions. I resubscribed to one website and they're all sending them again anyway. I don't understand what the point of all this malarkey was in the first place! The garden is looking great Karen, I love your rustic paving. It's so difficult to get that look, been trying for years. ♥♥♥

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  26. There has been so much fuckery in the blogging and reading world lately, I can't even with it all. GDPR, Bea/BookCon drama (ugh), and the inevitable ARC selling. Don't even get me started on the ludicrousness of cockygate lol. Hooray for The Epic Crush of Genie Lo, I loved that book! I even got my guy to read it (he's not a huge reader) and he loved it too.

    Fonzi is such a cute dog! He may not always appreciate them, but I love his seasonal outfits. 😂

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  27. There's so much blogger drama lately that it's hard to escape it. It makes me not want to blog at all. The bitchery, the fuckery, the jealousy, the author antics, the rule police. Ugh, my head! This is supposed to be fun but people make it the opposite.

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  28. Fonzi cuteness! Eh I'm over the blogger and author world. I do my own thing. Screw anyone who doesn't like it or wants me to do something different. lol

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