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December 5, 2018

Notary Rotary’s forum has really declined

Filed under: Social Media — admin @ 12:29 pm

Our forum has really shut down. We get a few comments from time to time. If I promote forum posts on Facebook or the newsletter I’ll get some play. But, it is more on my effort. Notary Rotary’s forum has always been the most active one. I’m not sure why. But, it is always the same people over there.

Lee/AR
Luckydog
MW/VA
Yoli
Linda H
NVL Slady
Cheryl Elliott

There were a few others. These (roughly) half dozen people are responsible for half the content on the forum these days. It used to be about three dozen regulars. What is happening to our industry? Our Facebook still gets good clicks, but does not have the commentary we used to get from Notaries. The whole industry is slowing down, and the old-timers are either not around or not contributing as much anymore.

Notary Rotary’s forum used to fill up two pages or more per day. Now it is two days per page. Things are so slow. July 2018 was the worst month I have had in my career since 2005.

Maybe one day things will pick up. But, they did have more than a dozen new companies over the last year who I added to my records, so at least there is some new blood in our business.

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November 23, 2018

Notaries on Facebook groups — the blind leading the blind

Filed under: Social Media — Tags: , — admin @ 10:31 am

I hear this from multiple sources. There are a lot of Notaries on a lot of private Facebook groups who get together and bash people. I am one of the people who gets bashed the most because those Notaries were rude to me or failed my test, or both. If you are rude to me, I normally let it slide the first time, but if you just don’t stop, then I get forceful in return and then the Notaries who receive my reciprocal wrath run to Facebook (like babies) to slander me. This is a pattern that has been going on a lot in the last year, and somewhat less before that. You can’t just cause trouble, run away and stab someone in the back online. Those type of people get kicked off my site, get no work and drop out of the industry — it is their karma.

Asking Questions on Facebook
Since bad Notaries hate me, and wouldn’t turn to their Notary Handbook for knowledge if God himself told them to at gunpoint, they resort to Facebook. I do not monitor my personal Facebook group, so asking questions there will get responses from those who do use it. This is a nice network for discussions and opinions, but not for law and practices related questions. Here is why asking questions on Facebook is a bad idea.

1. You do not know the competency or level of experience of the person answering you. Even those with 20 years signing experience fail my test the majority of the time. So, the more experience you have, the worse you usually are. You get stuck in this industry since no other industry will have you. You don’t even know the identity of the person you are corresponding with on Facebook either.

2. People who use Facebook will give you wrong answers to Notary questions more than half the time and probably give you bad marketing advice too.

3. People on Facebook do, however know where their business is coming from (if they keep track) and what the gossip is about who is paying, and who is mean (I am generally on that list even though I am nice to those who treat me with respect which is a factor never considered by slanderers.)

4. People on Facebook can tell you what their experience is. They might not interpret their experience in a way that makes sense, but they know what they experienced, and whether they liked it or not.

5. I recommend against asking technical questions on Facebook. The NNA, your Notary Division, or perhaps 123notary (we do not know state specific laws though.) are not bad entities to ask notary questions. 123notary steers people in the right direction all day long in many aspects of the notary profession. But, those on the private groups on Facebook choose to ignore our help which is free of charge and bash us instead. It tells you what type of people you are dealing with on the private groups.

Basically, private groups on Facebook are for frustrated low-IQ people to commiserate, bash people and exchange a lot of erroneous technical notary knowledge. I recommend that your first recourse is to consult your state notary handbook. The NNA might still have their hotline which has state specific knowledge. There are notary law primers available for most states. Additionally, there are many articles online about various notary topics — but beware, those articles might also have wrong or outdated information. So, if the information is for a job that has legal liability, your state is the only official source for up to date and correct information — not Facebook.

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October 15, 2018

Testimonial from Frank Tabacca

Filed under: Social Media — Tags: — admin @ 11:47 am

Hello Everyone

My name is Frank and I have been a Certified Signing Agent for over 9 years. Compared to some people out there that’s not a lot, but my point is this, after doing the same thing for a long time, many of us could get complacent. Well, I sure did.

I thought I knew more than most people in this business. I lost that excitement, like when you first started out. My desire to learn wasn’t like it used to be.

At first, I really did feel like reading the material, but once I started, I couldn’t stop, because I was learning things I should have known. I began to feel the desire to read more and learn more. As corny as this may sound, I feel like I’m back again. I feel like it gave me the jump start I needed that I didn’t know I needed.

I am self employed. This is my business and my company and if I don’t treat it as such, it will not produce the way it should or could.

We are all captains of our own ship. We have to lead not follow. I shouldn’t need someone else to get me motivated. We should all have the self desire to read this material and continue to review and search for any information that could help us increase our bottom line.

Since then, I have been vigorously pursuing the desperately needed updating of everything related my business, including my 123notary profile, other profiles with my clients, my own website, marketing, business tools and more.

I needed this.

I am glad 123notary decided to retest everyone. Especially ME!!

Thank you 123notary.

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August 21, 2018

Comments I liked on the Blog August 2018

Filed under: Social Media — admin @ 10:48 am

Some of the comments we get on our blog are really interesting, and learning tools for myself and the rest of us. Here are a few that I liked and/or found fascinating.

Here are comments I liked. With all the grief Carmen and I go through, it is nice that people appreciate the good things we do.

General Response
“Always good friend no. Like the humor it keeps me alert”

General Response
“I love your articles…you put such a funny twist on stuff. Makes me laugh!!”

General Response
“Good review Jeremy, keep these coming, these are helpful tools to keep us sharp. Thank you.”

General Response
“Notaries are careless and sloppy. Over the last 10 years I’ve assisted about 30 second signers on documents, usually refinances. I believe just one or two were error free… either a mistake by the notary, or missing a mistake by the signer accounted for the others. Frequently two or more errors refinanced.Lenders are even worse.”

General Response
“Indeed. 123notary is a refreshing site for sure. I love it!!!! And – I definitely love your (Ken Edelstein) comments and notarial instructions–thank you! And I do appreciate Jeremy holding notaries to a higher standard. I was at a signing not long ago as a Witness. An attorney conducted the signing and did NOT swear the Borrowers in and did not do a Journal entry though he acted as the Notary. I was agape and aghast.

I do think the readers should stay away from red vans and northern Massachusetts back roads where there are lurking slippery seals in an oil spill due to offshore drilling that Harvey Weinstein undoubtedly caused and the Buddhist nuns condoned. The café that Jeremy described is most likely haunted by notaries who do not listen, do not care, do not swear people in, do not keep a Journal, and who rarely pick up their phones unless it is Harvey calling them, and, generally, who ain’t right and ain’t gonna get right. There are most certainly better roads and cafes in Gwinnett County, Georgia, where you are apt to find Your Favorite Mobile Notary enjoying a cuppa and studying Professor Closen’s new book. /Penny ”

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The way you treat Jeremy might be the same way you treat title. Response
http://blog.123notary.com/?p=19590
“I hope 123notary staff realize how thankful this notary is for all that you do! Hope to never be perceived as rude or ungrateful….so wanted to publicly acknowledge this job generating venue.”

Notary Public 101 Vocabulary Response

Notary Public 101 — Basic Notary Vocabulary


“Good info Jeremy! You even made it interesting with the random additional information! I”m curious, could one of those be on the test as well??”

Letter to Donald Trump response.
http://blog.123notary.com/?p=19908
“I agree wholeheartedly with the case Larry has stated above. Over-regulation does not make an industry better, it cripples it. That why President Trump has rescinded so many hundreds of regulations ion so many areas. It no longer takes 19 years to get approval to build a road, for example. All the regulations in California need to stay right there and not infect the Great State of Florida. How much of the qualifiers are really in the interests of the notary industry, the notaries or in the interests of those trying to regulate.”

My best 100 days and Carmen’s worst Reply
http://blog.123notary.com/?p=20030
“Seems to be plenty of business if you seek it out. Most notaries do not treat their business as a business.”

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My best test questions are from Carmen, but… response
http://blog.123notary.com/?p=19676
“Quite frankly, I too have had the testing call. The problem is not your questions. The problem is most of your questions are state specific with the calls being made between 5pm and 9pm. Personally I don’t want to answer a pop quiz when I have been closing loans all day and am trying to fix supper or relax or even heading out the door for an evening loan closing. You surprise most people when you call because a subscription service like yours should not be “vetting” their notaries. So most people at least for the first few seconds are trying to wrap their head around why you are calling. We pay for this service and do not wish to be harassed then berated on a public forum if we dont answer your questions within a few seconds.

My advice to you? Calm down, assist notaries with their education vs. a pop quiz. Help with marketing solutions. Provide tips with a state law or one of your questions/ideas. I realize that there are many notaries that need more education, and there are a lot of really great notaries out there as well. If you require a measurement of their ability, then lobby for a signing agent state license vs. a certificate similar to a title agent or mortgage broker.

And please, please, please quit putting down the very people that keep you in business!”

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Some of you people have a few screws loose response
http://blog.123notary.com/?p=19473
“Jeremy, I too don’t want to get on your bad side and totally respect your standards that notaries need to study and keep up to date.

However, in the trenches things are much different than being asked questions over the phone at a time you are not mentally prepared for. When I am going to a signing and before ( even at the time of making the appointment) I begin reshearsing, thinking, and planning for the possible events of the signing. I have more the one form of employment, so it takes me a moment or two to get in my Notary frame of mind. Honestly, answering question after question over the phone is not a full measure of the quality of a notaries knowledge or expertise. That said, you provide a valuable service to all and I applaud you. I know my phone call to test is coming, I only hope its in the am and you don’t mind my long pauses to think! jk”

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August 23, 2017

Letter to the NNA about Notary Testing

Filed under: Popular on Linked In,Popular Overall,Social Media — admin @ 12:10 am

Dear NNA,
It has come to my attention that the focus that both of our organizations have put on loan document knowledge seems to be a somewhat wasted focus for two reasons. First, the people we both have certified don’t know their loan documents that well. Second, Notaries tend to know their loan documents better than they know their Notary procedures.

When we get complaints about our Notaries, the complaints are normally that a Notary was rude, left someone high and dry after a botched signing not returning emails or calls, or that the notary made a Notary mistake (more common with beginners) or did not follow directions.

To certify someone as a loan signer who cannot function as a Notary is a mistake we have both made. I can show you many examples of individuals who have an intimate and flawless understanding of loan documents who cannot answer basic Notary questions.

For example, if you called your members up one by one and asked them the difference between an Acknowledgment and a Jurat two things would happen. First, they would be offended that you called them and second, 90% would not give a thorough or correct answer according to my findings.

Notary knowledge trumps loan signing knowledge as the most common errors that happen at a loan signing are notary errors. Notaries commonly stamp where they see the word “seal” whether there is notarial wording or not. Notaries stamp over wording. Many Notaries decline legal requests for foreign language notarizations in California. The most common misunderstanding is that in 44 states, an Acknowledged signature can be signed prior to appearing before the Notary Public. There are many other issues as well.

The main point of this letter is to let you know that we are testing people on the wrong things. We need to know if someone is a good Notary and if they have a good attitude first. If they don’t know the difference between an Occupancy Affidavit and a Compliance Agreement, that will probably not come back to haunt anyone. But, if you identify someone incorrectly and notarize someone with an ID that says John Smith as John W Smith simply becuase you are “supposed to” have the person sign as their named is typed in the document, you could end up in court on an identity theft case for months without pay, and possibly be named as a defendent in addition to merely being a witness.

Last but not least, journal thumbprints are a hot topic of debate among myself and the Notaries. Many Notaries are being discouraged from taking thumbprints simply because it seems invasive or offensive to some Notary customers. However, the thumbprint has been the one piece of information that has helped the FBI nail some really scary ponzi schemers and identity thiefs. Not all states require journal thumbprints yet, but people who lead Notary organizations should do more to encourage people to take thumbprints as a measure to protect society from frauds.

Thumbprinting should be encouraged by scaring Notaries into realizing that without a thumbprint, they might be in court for a very long time, or named as a defendent and conspirator in an identity theft ring. Unlikely or not, the truth is that the FBI does treat Notaries like suspects as a matter of practice whenever anything goes wrong that requires their attention. Keeping good records is a way to wrap up situations quickly and without being blamed as a shoddy record keeper.

So, let’s both invest more in testing Notaries better on what really matters which is the fact that Notary knowledge takes precident over loan signing knowledge, and that following directions, getting back to people and being nice in the face of adversity are the most important things! Knowing the details of the Correction Agreement is actually the least important thing to know. According to lenders I know, the POA is the only document in a loan package which they stress that I test people on!

Thanks for your support, and I recommend your Notary educational products to all although I am out of touch with what the current names for your courses are as I studied from you in 1997. I think the Notary Essentials is what people have mentioned they were studying.

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You might also like:

My bad karma from testing people by phone
http://blog.123notary.com/?p=19447

But, I’m not comfortable answering questions over the phone
http://blog.123notary.com/?p=19646

10 reasons why the State Notary divisions should be nationalized
http://blog.123notary.com/?p=19487

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July 26, 2017

Most of what Jeremy & Carmen at 123notary offer all day is FREE.

Filed under: Social Media — admin @ 10:54 am

People complain that prices on 123notary are expensive. But, they are complaining that the top placements are expensive. They should be. There can only be a single #1 spot in any particular area, and lots of people want it. Limited supply, and plenty of demand. But, lots of other things on 123notary are free. Here are some free things that 123notary offers.

Helpline
We have no official helpline, but customers call in and talk to Carmen, and write in seeking help with technical Notary and signing agent issues as well as marketing strategy. We are happy to help because that is our reason for being (in addition to having the sea bass tempura sushi roll at Robata Grill down the street — my other reason for being.)

Free listings
People who are not sure about 123notary can usually get a free listing. We restrict free listings in busy areas, but we do make exceptions if you write a great notes section for your future listing. Whomever said there is nothing for free out there doesn’t understand the directory business. Most online directories offer most of their listings for free, but not the good listings at the top. Your free listings also offer you freedom — another way to be free, as you can write what you like in your notes section as long as it is appropriate, topical, and as long as big brother doesn’t mind.

Notes Makeovers
Jeremy is happy to give your notes section a free lookover and make suggestions on what to add, or reorganize it for you. People who get makeovers get about 50% more clicks on average simple because their listing makes a much better impression after the fact and is so much easier to process the data when organized well. Notes makeovers are free — get one today! (eyeliner and foundation sold separately)

Blogucation
Most Notaries have to pay to get courses so they can learn something. However, at 123notary, we feel that what people learn in courses is not enough. If you take a course, your brain will close up after you finish studying. It is better that you keep learning and learn a broad diversification of Notary and Signing Agent topics. Our blog covers marketing, technical, industry news, Notary comedy and much more to keep you at the top of your game. Many Notaries learn more from our blog than they learned from any course — and it’s free! We should probably create a test based purely on blog topics to make sure people are reading! Just don’t get your mind “blogged down” by overdosing on our content!

Contacting Delinquent Listings
Jeremy contacts people daily who have not logged into their free or paid listing. We also contact people with blank notes sections. If anything is wrong with your listing, we will eventually contact you. We are always watching. It’s easier if you just login to your listing more than a logger named Tim Burr does logging in to his listing (if they have listings.)

Answering dumb questions for the public
Since we have such a comprehensive list of signing companies, and since our number is on the left site of the page template, we get dumb people calling in all day assuming we are FASS, or Nation’s Direct. It takes a lot of reasoning to convince them that we are not, and that if they want to sue a particular signing company for not paying them, to have their Attorney find the correct signing company to sue and to stop bothering us. This work is courtesy of Carmen. Part of the problem is that we don’t always list the phone numbers for the signing companies on our listings, while we do list the address and web address. Maybe we should be more comprehensive.

In short, most of what Jeremy and Carmen do all day is free for the public. So, how do we make our money? People buy fancy top listings from us. Ask us if a top spot is available in your area. And remember, if a tree falls in the forest and nobody heard it fall, it didn’t really make a noise. And if you have a listing at the bottom of the list that nobody sees, it is as good as not existing until you upgrade to the top spot!

Also Read: What are Jeremy’s favorite blog entries?
http://blog.123notary.com/?p=18837

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May 15, 2017

Instead of people finding you on Facebook…

I used to think that Facebook is a place where Notaries wanted to advertise their services. Facebook is not a good place to advertise. However, you should periodically put that you are a Notary just in case someone who follows you who is nearby needs one.

On the other hand, people who visit 123notary or other directories want to know a little more about you. If you include a link to a website that makes for great reading material, particularly if you have an interesting site. I recommend against spending lots of money on websites. However, if you can get something cheap that looks good, you might impress clients. I got picked many times back over a decade ago because I had an interesting feng-shui site. It was not even related to Notary work, but they liked the art work and liked how intricate and well planned the site was. The site impressed them.

What if you use your Facebook as a place where people find you somewhere else, but then get routed to? This is a social media strategy that actually makes sense. Some people are sloppy about what goes on their Facebook page. They post photos that are not appropriate. Then their boss goes snooping around, finds inappropriate content and fires them — or doesn’t hire them in the first place.

The face is that you don’t know who is viewing your Facebook, so keep it professional and personal. Post interesting content, and keep it mixed up. If you post interesting content about what you did over the weekend and then some facts about a controversial notary request and how you handled it, you will attract. People like to get to know the personal and work sides of your life. However, if you post nothing about work other than complaints and post raunchy photos of you and your friends drunk or practically naked, you might turn a few people off.

Try to connect your networks in a logical way. The flow of traffic is always from point A to point B. The question is, which direction of traffic makes the most sense. For 123notary it is from Facebook.

You might also like:

7 ways to use Facebook to market your notary services.
http://blog.123notary.com/?p=5396

Comments I liked on the Blog August 2018
http://blog.123notary.com/?p=21060

What if notaries wrote blogs?
http://blog.123notary.com/?p=19084

123notary behind the scenes
http://blog.123notary.com/?p=2499

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February 16, 2017

What if Notaries wrote blogs?

Filed under: Popular on Linked In,Social Media — Tags: , — admin @ 7:40 am

Can you imagine what the world would be like if Notaries wrote blogs? Most of the blogs out there are written by the NNA, Ken, Myself or Andy our comedy writer. There are about five or six others in the industry who have a blog or write a bit. But, for the most part, there is a lot of silence out there.

Blogging demonstrates your leadership and competence. Followers do not blog as a general rule. Those who blog are leaders by definition. And you can’t lead without knowledge or the capability of conveying your knowledge using the written word.

In the beginning there was the word and the word was blog — or at least would be written in a blog at one point in time. This line is a corrupted form of what is in the Hindu Vedas that is a phrase that Jesus borrowed. Maybe Jesus like hanging out in India during his missing years? Can’t beat the curry, but the humidity is a killer!

If Notaries wrote blogs, they would attract clients better. Clients are impressed by knowledge. They are impressed if you are the one out of a thousand who gets up and says something worth hearing that is thought inspiring and interesting or informative. Most Notaries just get on the forums and complain, but how many create worthwhile content?

Additionally, it would be more interesting as a reader if there were more people with more unique points of views publishing content. My life would be better because I like to read what is out there.

Many businesses have blogs as a matter of good practices, but the content they put on their blogs isn’t always so interesting. Their SEO guy made them do it, but how often do they update their content. If you do blogging, you should really write regularly. You need to have brainstorming sessions, a weekly time to write, and a way to get your work published. We will publish your work here at 123notary if it is any good. So, now you have a venue! Creating your own blog costs hosting money and programming money for wordpress. You will be out between $500 and $2000 depending on who you hire. It’s cheaper to get the work done in India — humidity or no humidity.

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You might also like:

The five food groups of blogging
http://blog.123notary.com/?p=14671

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December 1, 2016

I eat, breathe and sleep 123notary

Filed under: Social Media — Tags: , — admin @ 11:50 pm

For those of you who wonder what it is like running 123notary, it is non-stop work. I eat, breathe and sleep 123notary.com. I even have dreams about 123notary.com when I’m asleep. I also dreamt that my housemate was listening to loud salsa music, but that’s a different story.

When I wake up in the morning, the first thing I do is to roll out of bed, visit the bathroom, and then sit down at my computer for a few hours. There are emails to answer, orders to process, phone calls to call, tweets to tweet, and other things to do as well. I normally take a walk every afternoon and I think about 123notary during the entire walk. Experts claim that taking long walks calms you down and makes you smarter. Some of the greatest artists, composers and thinkers of all time took long walks daily. I include myself in this category of people as I compose great music in my head during walks, but never write it down such as a concerto for orchestra and unaccompanied jazz saxophone (not sure if that would sound so good in real life, but worth a try.)

When I go out with friends, we always discuss 123notary, among other things. I went to the symphony today, not to hear music, but to sit in the lobby and absorb their “qi” energy to benefit 123notary. Yes, feng-shui really does work if you know how to do it right. Basically, everything I do, I do for 123.

As Carmen once put it (sounds like an MTV commercial)

I want my 123

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July 23, 2015

See 123notary’s new Pinterest, Stumbleupon, Tumblr and more…

Filed under: Social Media — Tags: , , , — admin @ 9:56 am

123notary has been active on social media since 2009. We did a lot with Facebook and Twitter at first, and then got heavily into blogging. Later we added Linked In, Google+, Pinterest, Stumblepon, and Tumblr. Social media is kind of fun. To be honest it is our Facebook that is getting the majority of the traffic. But, we have very intelligent conversations on Linked In which is wonderful. Below are some links to our new accounts.

Pinterest
123notary’s Pinterest profile is not like the others. Pinterest has a very low count of notary profiles. So, we are trying to appeal to a more general business community in hopes that maybe they will need a notary. We also have travel posts, entrepreneur posts, and more. I love how Pinterest makes it possible to divide your posts into different boards. I have not seen any other social media platform have that feature.
https://www.pinterest.com/123notary/

Tumblr
As with Pinterest, there are very few notaries on Tumblr. However, we post general articles of interest. Recently we posted about Route 66, what Starbucks knows about America, and how Google created a built-in mortgage calculator.
http://123notary.tumblr.com/

Stumbleupon
Stumbleupon is a very small social media network. We posted general articles of interest. 50 questions to get to know someone. Negotiation tactics, 31 places everyone should visit before they die. We posts notary content from time to time, but the audience on Stumbleupon prefers travel and business strategy articles — so, we give them what they like!
http://www.stumbleupon.com/stumbler/123notary

Google+ Notary Community — yet another forum!
We have been working up a storm on Google+ and have built up several personal groups as well as a 123notary profile and Notary, Real Estate, and Mortgage community with over 600 members. We hope to grow the group to 5000 over the next year or two. Wish us luck. We’re posting about various notary and real estate topics for the most part on Google+. There are about 30,000 Realtors on that medium, so we are reaching out to them in hopes that they will join our community and one day be a 123notary member.
https://plus.google.com/communities/110089682668516585285

123notary on Google+
This is our company profile. It is a little different from the community.
https://plus.google.com/115707701763602775915/posts

123notary on LinkedIn
Our Linked In profile offers in my opinion the highest quality of notary discussions. Users tend to be the most practical and businesslike of any of our networks and have very interesting discussions daily!
https://www.linkedin.com/groups/123Notary-Notary-directory-information-discussions-4139192

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You might also like:

Ann Handley changed my life by introducing the five food groups of blogging
http://blog.123notary.com/?p=14671

I don’t Facebook I don’t tweet
http://blog.123notary.com/?p=14130

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