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Thread: New Pop-up Banner Ad at Bottom of Brower Screen?

  1. #1
    Evil and Sparkly. tiddlywinks's Avatar
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    Unhappy New Pop-up Banner Ad at Bottom of Brower Screen?

    Hi there,

    So, wondering if it's just me, or if there has been a recent change to the way Ads are now being displayed on AW? Now, in addition to the 3 banner ads at the top, I also have a pop up banner ad at the bottom of my screen that follows me down as I try to scroll through my settings, threads, etc. I close it out, but every time I move to a new page, a new thread, etc...it's back again. And it's having an effect on my browsing experience, not to mention the severe annoyance factor.

    I'm currently noting this on my laptop. Haven't checked yet to see if this is an issue on my Ipad, but it doesn't happen when I view the site in full mode on my phone in Safari.

    I operate with Mozilla Firefox - is there any way I can permanently shut down this latest banner ad addition? I totally get that you need to run Google banner ads at the top, but on top of the screen as well? This is really hampering my AW experience.

    Help? Just me?

    Please and thank you kindly.

    Winks
    Loves to tell stories. Finds editing a necessary evil. No longer fueled by coffee (again).
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  2. #2
    Herder of Hamsters AW Admin's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by tiddlywinks View Post
    Hi there,

    So, wondering if it's just me, or if there has been a recent change to the way Ads are now being displayed on AW? Now, in addition to the 3 banner ads at the top, I also have a pop up banner ad at the bottom of my screen that follows me down as I try to scroll through my settings, threads, etc. I close it out, but every time I move to a new page, a new thread, etc...it's back again. And it's having an effect on my browsing experience, not to mention the severe annoyance factor.

    We're trying a new Google Adsense kind of ad; it "sticks" to the bottom of the screen and moves with the page. It's not a popup per se; it's just stickie.

    Mostly we're testing the new kind of ad.
    Last edited by AW Admin; 05-20-2017 at 01:20 AM.

  3. #3
    Evil and Sparkly. tiddlywinks's Avatar
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    Ok, phew, I'm glad it's not just a "me" thing.

    That being said...is there a way to turn it off via my browser settings? Because my urge to kill my computer is rising.

    Thanks for the swift response, Lisa. I really appreciate this.
    Loves to tell stories. Finds editing a necessary evil. No longer fueled by coffee (again).
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  4. #4
    Herder of Hamsters AW Admin's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by tiddlywinks View Post
    Ok, phew, I'm glad it's not just a "me" thing.

    That being said...is there a way to turn it off via my browser settings? Because my urge to kill my computer is rising.

    Thanks for the swift response, Lisa. I really appreciate this.
    No, I'm afraid not. But I am expecting to turn it off pretty quickly if it really annoys peeps. Just waiting for Mac to say.

    There's a fine line between a ad that performs well and one that just pisses off users. The ad company is paying attention too and tweaking things, so let's see how it goes. They're really willing to work with us, which makes a big difference.
    Last edited by AW Admin; 05-20-2017 at 01:30 AM.

  5. #5
    Evil and Sparkly. tiddlywinks's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by AW Admin View Post
    No, I'm afraid not. But I am expecting to turn it off pretty quickly. Just waiting for Mac to say.

    There's a fine line between a ad that performs well and one that just pisses off users.
    I was afraid that was the answer re: turning it off.

    But I'm glad to hear that the end may be nigh for this particular ad test. I will happily dance over the ad test's grave or throw it in a bonfire, should you need assistance in that regard

    Thanks for looking out for our user experience!
    Loves to tell stories. Finds editing a necessary evil. No longer fueled by coffee (again).
    ------------

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    Pirate fantasy, Book 1 - Updated Chapter 1 (drafting)
    Russian ballerina vampire romance - Chapter 1 (polishing)
    UF romance with zombies, dwarves 'n biker chicks - Chapter 1 (querying)

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  6. #6
    Did...did I do that? cmhbob's Avatar
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    LOL - I JUST PMd you about this, Lisa.

    It's weird in that for me, it comes and goes. The "close" button is always there, but the ad doesn't always display.
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  7. #7
    Rewriting My Destiny Cyia's Avatar
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    I don't see it at all. I've got an adblocker, but I whitelist AW (except those disturbing Krampus pics at Christmas!), so I see the top ads. I don't see the bottom ad, though.

  8. #8
    Evil and Sparkly. tiddlywinks's Avatar
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    Same here, Bob. I think it's in between loading up ads when it sits blank.

    Either way, my eyes narrow and I think I may have muttered a few bad words out loud, given the dirty look I just received from someone sitting near me.

    ~Winks, who promises she's not going to go Ad-Hulk on her PC...though she may go do something else for a while rather than roam AW like she'd planned. Like that thing called writing...yeah...*urge to kill, shrinking*
    Loves to tell stories. Finds editing a necessary evil. No longer fueled by coffee (again).
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  9. #9
    Making Einstein cry since 1994 Maggie Maxwell's Avatar
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    Yeah, I have 0 problems with ads, but "popup" ads and ads that move with the page? No thank you.
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  10. #10
    MacAllister's Official Minion & Greeter AW Moderator Ari Meermans's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by AW Admin View Post
    No, I'm afraid not. But I am expecting to turn it off pretty quickly if it really annoys peeps. Just waiting for Mac to say.

    There's a fine line between a ad that performs well and one that just pisses off users. The ad company is paying attention too and tweaking things, so let's see how it goes. They're really willing to work with us, which makes a big difference.
    heh. I just ran chrome clean-up & malware bytes while I showered 'cause it was driving me slap-bang crazy.
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  11. #11
    Herder of Hamsters AW Admin's Avatar
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    They're tweaking the settings so that it won't always show up.

    We'll see. The ad company is really engaged, so that's good.

  12. #12
    MacAllister's Official Minion & Greeter AW Moderator Ari Meermans's Avatar
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    I was long overdue for cleanup, so all's good. And, I can learn to work with just about anything that brings in revenue and helps keep the lights on.
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  13. #13
    Not my first rodeo. Liz_V's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by AW Admin View Post
    No, I'm afraid not. But I am expecting to turn it off pretty quickly if it really annoys peeps. Just waiting for Mac to say.
    Well, if you're looking for votes yay/nay, chalk up another nay. Incidentally, all I'm seeing (in my slightly older version of Firefox) is the X to close it -- no ad shows, just a little box with an X floating over the text I'm trying to read. Although it *does* block me from clicking on anything in the area where the ad box would be if there was one -- I just had to scroll down so this reply box wouldn't be obstructed by the ad that isn't there when I tried to click on a previous line to fix something. Not, I agree with tiddlywinks, enhancing my browsing experience.

  14. #14
    The force is strong in this one. williemeikle's Avatar
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    It's very annoying as I use a netbook for writing / browsing AW, and any 'always there' ads take up far too much of my already limited viewing area. If we get a vote, mine is for No, thank you.
    Last edited by williemeikle; 05-20-2017 at 03:19 AM.

  15. #15
    Evil and Sparkly. tiddlywinks's Avatar
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    Okay, at the behest of Lisa, I'm coming back in to provide some additional feedback I sent her in private. And while I'm at it, I'm going to provide a polite, somewhat-extended set of notes (my brain wants to write "diatribe") on why this new ad just isn't working for me.

    Note: I see that the ads have temporarily stopped? (There's just a little x right now like Liz_V is noting...so I'm assuming there's behind the scenes discussions going on )

    Now, on to Winks rambling out loud...

    First of all, when I log in to AW, I'm coming here primarily for a forum experience wherein I can easily engage with my fellow writers, research writing tips and publishing questions I may have, post my own work for feedback and provide extended critiques of other writers' works. I don't want a lot of "noise" interfering with that experience. I'm in marketing myself, so I understand the need for ads; however, given my expectations for what I'm coming to AW, any "noise" in the form of ads that directly takes away from, distracts, and frankly interferes with my ability to engage on this forum is disruptive for me as a user and it makes me just a little more tempted to go see if there's some other writers' forum that doesn't have such annoying things taking away from my user experience I've come to expect and enjoy at AW. Please note: this is NOT me making threats. This is me explaining from a user's perspective the pitfalls and detrimental effects negative impacts to the user experience could have for AW's engaged user base...which could mean less users overall, less potential ad viewers, less share of voice for AW, yadda yadda.

    So, how specifically is the new stickie ad disrupting my personal user experience? Well, I normally visit AW on my laptop, which is a smaller, compact screen - we're talking 11" baby. It's also a touch-screen computer. Alternatively, I sometimes use my IPad for AW participation, which is an even smaller screen, and is also touch screen. So, bearing that in mind, this results in several things: 1) that moving ad takes up significant real estate on my screens, which makes it harder for me to read on the page I'm on AND reply in the Quick Reply box at the bottom of threads, which is my go-to spot of choice. Extremely annoying. And what does Winks do? She turns the ad off. Or tries to.

    This leads to 2) where I've breathed a sigh of relief because no more ad, right? (After I've probably fat-fingered it on my touch screen and accidentally gone to the ad when I really didn't want to in the first place because I don't want other marketers thinking I'm interested in that skiing thingy or that movie ad or whatever and then spending the next several days retargeting me with those same ads in all the OTHER banner ads I see at the top...*cough*). Back to that sigh of relief when I turned it off. Now I happily click on the view next page in thread, or I go to "What's New" or my "Settings" or anywhere else...aaaaaaand the Ad's back again. And I have to turn it off to see anything. Again. Given this is a writer's forum and I'm probably on here researching things, responding to other writers, and browsing my bookmarked threads, that's going to get real annoying, real fast. *picture Winks' eye starting to twitch a little as she stabs at her computer screen*

    3) Now, as I try to load and browse screens like I usually do in that speedy load time I've come to expect on AW, that extra sticky ad also hampers my scroll - my browser freezes up a little as I try to scroll while the Ad takes its sweet time deciding to load, and oh look, I accidentally stabbed the Ad open again when I tried to close it so I could scroll properly and hope my browser didn't slow down. *Winks starts to glare and mutter*

    4) I think, oh, hey, I'll just zoom out on my browser so I can see around the Ad as it's getting really annoying to close it every.single.time.i.switch.pages...but hey, that means I'm trying to squint and read eensy weensy font because I'm on 11" or less screens, remember? And I already have glasses. I don't need to make my eyesight worse.

    This finally results in me politely starting this thread asking about the Ad, hoping it's a test and that I'll get my super awesome AW user experience back that I'm used to. Also, as a fellow marketer, if I'm already pissed off and stabbing at the ad to close it because it's interfering with what I came here to do, I'm MUCH less liable to be inclined to click on said ad for a buying experience. Said ad has already wrecked one user/customer experience I was having - why would I possibly want to buy something from the harbinger of said Winks-almost-goes-Hulk-on-her-computer experience?

    So yes, this is really a diatribe in disguise, but this is not directed at Lisa or Mac. I just want to share my frustrations and I appreciate the openness and encouragement on this forum to do so, hoping that it will bear fruit in the form of constructive dialogue with the ad company so as to maintain the integrity of the user experience we have all come to enjoy on AW. I know Lisa works her butt off to make sure AW works well from a technical perspective; please don't let Ads like this detract from the usability of the forums. This sounds like a flounce to say this, but the lurkers in my reppies agree about the distractions this is causing. And I would hate to see those critters migrate to other sites for a better user experience based on some ad, or come in to crit work in SYW less often because the ads are too distracting.

    Hope this helps and is taken in the spirit it is offered. Happy to clarify on anything I've said. And hey, if others disagree or have had different experiences today with the pilot ad, chime in. Data points are very useful when it comes to testing these kinds of things out. Marketers like data so that they can be sneaky and get you to buy stuff, without being annoying

    Good luck sorting this out, Lisa and Mac. And thanks again for listening to your user base.

    Sincerely,

    Winks, who really hopes Ari isn't snickering and taking out her red pen on this post.
    Loves to tell stories. Finds editing a necessary evil. No longer fueled by coffee (again).
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    Pirate fantasy, Book 1 - Updated Chapter 1 (drafting)
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  16. #16
    MacAllister's Official Minion & Greeter AW Moderator Ari Meermans's Avatar
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    No red pens and no snickering, winks. Promise.

    Apologies to Mac & Lisa upfront, but here's a thing or three:

    Just over a year ago, Mac posted this: http://absolutewrite.com/forums/show...lter-quandary) and things haven't gotten any better.

    Mac HAS to keep looking for revenue. Anyone notice how we don't see her so much anymore? Jobs. Mac doesn't confide in me, so I don't know how many jobs she's holding down these days just to keep the joint up and running. It's a sorry fact that someone has to pay the bills and since Mac owns AW, that falls squarely on her. So, she keeps looking for sources of revenue. Some will work out, some won't.

    We all simply need to be patient . . . or . . . yanno read the link above or follow the link I've had in my sig for over a year.
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  17. #17
    Evil and Sparkly. tiddlywinks's Avatar
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    Hey, I totally get what you are saying, Ari, and don't take this as "Winks hating on all ads". It's not that. It's just about the format in which they appear fundamentally hampering the user experience on AW that makes my little eye twitch.

    I appreciate what Lisa and Mac do to keep AW going, and yes, a little $$ love isn't out of line when we enjoy the site. Slight derail: Do we ever do a fundraising drive for the site and I've just totally missed it? Yanno, like a 1 day or 1 week "If you love AW, please send $3 so Mac have mint chocolate chip ice cream while she makes AW even more awesome" kind of thing? (Mac, I promise I'm not filling that ice cream container with ice and tricking you either. ) Now THAT would be a temporary banner I'd be okay clicking on

    /end derail

    Winks, who swears she isn't a brown-noser
    Last edited by tiddlywinks; 05-20-2017 at 06:40 AM.
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  18. #18
    MacAllister's Official Minion & Greeter AW Moderator Ari Meermans's Avatar
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    Winks, I HATE ads. just sayin' But . . . BUT, I recognize the necessity. I also have a monthly donation set up to come out every month on the same day.

    Some kind of drive would be great. Another thing that helps some is clicking on AW's Amazon store link at the top of the page. Buy your AWer books and "writerly" gifts through that link. Every little bit helps.
    Last edited by Ari Meermans; 05-20-2017 at 05:43 AM.
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  19. #19
    Evil and Sparkly. tiddlywinks's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by Ari Meermans View Post
    Some kind of drive would be great. Another thing that helps some is clicking on AW's Amazon store link at the top of the page. Buy your AWer books and "writerly" gifts through that link. Every little bit helps.
    Ooh, now THAT is an Ad I actually like - the book store link. I have clicked on that before to buy AW peep books.

    Hmm. Okay, I'm going to take some of the ideas I'm thinking of here into that thread of Mac's and be a necro-thread-mancer

    I don't want to distract from the main thrust of this thread, which is about the current sticky ad format. Wanna talk alternatives to advertising? I'll be raising that other thread from the dead...because some of you know how much I like zombies!
    Loves to tell stories. Finds editing a necessary evil. No longer fueled by coffee (again).
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    Pirate fantasy, Book 1 - Updated Chapter 1 (drafting)
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  20. #20
    AW's Most Adorable Sociopath TedTheewen's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by Ari Meermans View Post
    Winks, I HATE ads. just sayin' But . . . BUT, I recognize the necessity. I also have a monthly donation set up to come out every month on the same day.

    Some kind of drive would be great. Another thing that helps some is clicking on AW's Amazon store link at the top of the page. Buy your AWer books and "writerly" gifts through that link. Every little bit helps.
    If there was a drive on AW to raise money, I would make every effort to get something sent in, because AW is important.

    As for the ads at the bottom of the screen, I keep opting out and sometimes that works, sometimes it doesn't. Right now, all I get is the "X" to close the ad, but no ad.

  21. #21
    Herder of Hamsters AW Admin's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by TedTheewen View Post
    If there was a drive on AW to raise money, I would make every effort to get something sent in, because AW is important.

    As for the ads at the bottom of the screen, I keep opting out and sometimes that works, sometimes it doesn't. Right now, all I get is the "X" to close the ad, but no ad.
    The advertising company is going to be tweaking the ads; so you'll likely see some changes.
    Last edited by AW Admin; 05-20-2017 at 05:58 AM.

  22. #22
    practical experience, FTW sockycat's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by williemeikle View Post
    It's very annoying as I use a netbook for writing / browsing AW, and any 'always there' ads take up far too much of my already limited viewing area. If we get a vote, mine is for No, thank you.
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  23. #23
    Bartender, gimme a Linux Mint Matera the Mad's Avatar
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    Hm. I think my dedicated Filthy Social Browser must be blocking it. FlashPeak SlimJet is a Chrome cousin which, although it suffers from certain of that family's me-unfriendly traits, has its own cool features that keep me on its side for now. Comes with ad-blocking, and a few other nice tricks. So I haven't seen the Creeping Thing - good thing, because shiat that moves with the page drives me to SCREAMing.
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  24. #24
    practical experience, FTW
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    i vote for turning it off!

  25. #25
    Preparing for winter VeryBigBeard's Avatar
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    I disabled ad-blocking on AW back around when the MetaFilter thread was posted and have been happy to continue that way because I know how much work goes into the ad choices here and they aren't intrusive. I don't want to come across as whiny here, because I totally get the need for revenue, but I feel like the pop-up ad might slowly push me back to at least partial ad-blocking. I'm willing to try and avoid that because an ad company that will tweak is valuable, but yeah.

    Two other thoughts spring to mind:

    From a UX perspective, one of the problems with the ad is it's abstracted from the interface. So it operates like an overlay rather than a natural part of the page--like having a Heads-Up Display when you're playing a video game. We talk a lot in game design about abstraction. It used to be super popular for a long time but the trend has been to move away from it fairly sharply because research and testing consistently shows it distracts rather than complements the interaction design. Different context, and I get that with online advertising a certain amount of distraction is in fact the goal. But I'm a big believer in seamless UX being the most effective UX and given posts on AW tend towards the lengthy even by forum standards it is really hard to read with that ad there, blocking half a poster's extended ramble. Whereas I've actually found myself drawn to click the site-top ad once or twice not only if it's a book I think I might like (i.e., community-relevant ad) but also because it fits that spot so well: you open AW and here's a different book or book-service before we get to the forums about books. I realize that won't keep the lights on alone, but I wonder if there's a way to make the new ad more a part of AW's natural interface instead of sitting on top.

    Second thought is about ad-tech. For a couple personal reasons I've been doing more reading on ad-tech and online advertising lately. I had some nagging curiosity after a couple jobs and that got me to Bob Hoffman's "Ad Contrarian" site as well as Doc Searls' Twitter feed. There's obviously a lot of debate on the efficacy of online advertising, but much of what I've read suggests fairly strongly, and with some fairly compelling evidence (at least to me), that online algorithmic advertising returns are very, very marginal in most cases, especially with large publishers or communities. The mainstream media has tried for years to survive on ever-more-sophisticated ad-tech and it doesn't work. This also jives with my extremely limited personal experience working, briefly, doing some digital advertising. The reach usually just isn't there. Perhaps I'm overly cynical, but for a site of AW's size, with as diverse a community as it is here (a real asset in writing terms but a hurdle in ad-targeting terms) I kinda question whether online ads are ever going to really work, particularly given I've so far seen ads down there for Expedia and Las Vegas casinos neither of which I am remotely interested in and neither of which seems to jive with the broader audience here. Granted I'm running a fair number of anti-tracking extensions so I typically don't get many targeted ads, but as that becomes more and more common ad-tech becomes ever less effective.

    I totally get the financial decision, even if it's just to defray costs. I also admit I'm no expert on these things, just a curious reader. It seems to me that the best and also most secure approach is what Ari suggests: members need to donate and or do a funding drive. If my financial situation was even slightly better I'd be donating already. I hope to be able to in the not-to-distant future. In the mean-time, best of luck to Mac and Lisa in figuring this out. Thanks for keeping us all in mind.

    ETA: Just noticed another UX thing as I was editing my post: when I go into the editor or refresh the page, the ad frame changes as well. It actually seems a little unstable (maybe the ongoing tweaks?). It also seems to change really quickly, adding to the distraction. If I'm anything like a lot of the more, er, dedicated posters, we refresh pages a lot and we reply quickly. At the moment, quick changes seem to be playing havoc with the ad. It feels like it's built for reading/scrolling but a lot of AWers spend a lot of time writing here. I know this thing would be driving me batty if I was doing a LBL crit right now.
    Last edited by VeryBigBeard; 05-20-2017 at 08:42 AM. Reason: missed an it's/its--is it possible to target ads to people who notice stuff like that?

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