Giving Up On FT

Naughty_Felid

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"If the reviews are meandering and dull then that is down to the writers, most of home are the same as the previous reviews editors writers.

You literally said

If you have issue with something on the board please use the PM function. "

Why would I PM anyone about the editorial quality of the magazine?
 

gordonrutter

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"If the reviews are meandering and dull then that is down to the writers, most of home are the same as the previous reviews editors writers.

You literally said

If you have issue with something on the board please use the PM function. "

Why would I PM anyone about the editorial quality of the magazine?
You said that you were unhappy with the magazine getting rid of the forums, I pointed out it was the publisher. You said you knew that, I showed were you were saying it was someone else who did it.

You then started complaining about the Forum and I reminded you that if you have issues the normal way is to address it by PM.
 

Naughty_Felid

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You said that you were unhappy with the magazine getting rid of the forums, I pointed out it was the publisher. You said you knew that, I showed were you were saying it was someone else who did it.

You then started complaining about the Forum and I reminded you that if you have issues the normal way is to address it by PM.
Sorry I've not made myself clear. I'm not criticizing the forums which I think has outgrown the magazine, Yes the publisher did the dirty deed. The mag is a bit shit and a shadow of its former self. That's obvious to anyone who's read it in the last 20 odd years.

Also, I'm not going to PM something when it should be shared and open for everyone. Usually, I do but with my civil war in the US thread, I was surprised by the mods duplicity.
 

gordonrutter

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I repeat, there is a complaints procedure in place, if you have an issue please follow the appropriate procedure.
 

Naughty_Felid

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I repeat, there is a complaints procedure in place, if you have an issue please follow the appropriate procedure.
thanks, Gordon - it's never easy being a Mod and I appreciate the work the Mods do. Insta locking a thread without explanation I felt was unjustified particularly when I didn't want a political angle just an explanation.

PMing often obscures the discussion from everyone, which I feel is important. I'm not complaining I'm just mystified why threads about a president's hands and a thread about a black celebrity's political aspirations are fine but troop movement into major US cities isn't.
 

Trevp666

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The mag is a bit shit....
The bit I think is a bit shit is the classical corner. Oh and alien zoo. And any extremely long (several pages) investigation into something like 'a talking mongoose' (sorry....learning disability goose).
Other than that it's pretty well put together and offers much more readable content than say....any 'lads mag'.....any newspaper....any mag in the 'grazia' camp.
 

Tempest63

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I must admit that I think the magazine has lost its way. I don’t know how many years I avidly bought it, first every couple of months then monthly, now I often feel it isn’t floating my boat anymore. The problem is the promo for the next month always offers me hope.
My biggest issue is that the magazine is full of articles, like the archeological ones as an example, where they tend to really stretch stuff to make it Fortean where, to my mind, they are clutching at straws.
From a personal perspective, I’m bored shitless with UFO’s and Bigfoot, Sasquatch, yetis. Bring on the ghosts, Demons and The Golden Dawn.
 

Analogue Boy

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Has there been any progress on this? I envision an MGM musical review for The FTMB Story... singing and dancing everywhere... laughter and tears... two fisted action... love flourishes... family feuds...
Boy have you got it wrong. It’s more like a lockdown project with us still up at 3am peering into our microscopes while the exasperated help comes in bearing a tray of thin soup and bread. ‘You must eat Professor. This mad work is taking over you and the people in the town are starting to talk in hushed whispers about your comings and goings.’
 

blessmycottonsocks

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I must admit that I think the magazine has lost its way. I don’t know how many years I avidly bought it, first every couple of months then monthly, now I often feel it isn’t floating my boat anymore. The problem is the promo for the next month always offers me hope.
My biggest issue is that the magazine is full of articles, like the archeological ones as an example, where they tend to really stretch stuff to make it Fortean where, to my mind, they are clutching at straws.
From a personal perspective, I’m bored shitless with UFO’s and Bigfoot, Sasquatch, yetis. Bring on the ghosts, Demons and The Golden Dawn.
I guess that's because it can't be easy trying to come up with new and genuinely Fortean editorials every month.
For my part, I 've found FT to be absolutely indispensable during lockdown.
I try to limit myself to just a few pages per night, so it will last me until the next edition.
Not all articles are interesting, but the majority grab me sufficiently to keep me coming back or to do some Googling to dig a bit deeper into the stories.
 

McAvennie

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I'm still ploughing through 2019 editions, and while as a collector and hoarder I am never likely to give up on the mag, I do feel some issues are tougher to get through than others. I have an OCD compulsion to read every page no matter how dull...

Take this as constructive criticism, I used to edit a reasonably successful football magazine in the early 2000s and I know the challenges of working with contributors, keeping things fresh and trying to please a wide audience. It was hard enough in the print media back then with the emerging online market. I cannot imagine the burden now with the additional rise of social media, so kudos to the team behind the delivery of the mag. Hats off and we appreciate the dedication.

I am the last person to advocate for dumbing down, but I do feel one of the problems is the magazine has become too academic, along with moving closer to the sceptical side.

There are definitely some articles that go way too far with their attempts to appear highbrow and it makes them inaccessible. I got into FT in the early 90s as a teenager, had I been handed a copy of today's FT I'd probably have regarded it in the way 13-year-old me would have regarded the New Scientist/Statesman...

The book reviews especially I feel could be presented in a shorter snappier format. The podcast review page is much more engaging than the four or five pages of book reviews that often seem like the reviewers taking the soapbox rather than reviewing the book.

I feel sometimes the band of writers are from a favoured clique and that some will just get whatever they submit published, which ultimately lowers the quality. However, I know FT is open to contribution. If you are only getting copy from the same faces and you need to fill your pages for deadline...

I also know the challenge if getting copy turned around. After moving on in my career away from print media I was determined to keep writing and remain a contributor to the football titles I had written for. However, between work, daily life etc... that rarely happened as I just never had the time. Nowadays, if you do have the time, you are most likely to self-publish on a blog - as I can assume freelancer rates will have plummeted from the low bar they were a decade ago.

I'd certainly appreciate more grass roots contributions rather than academics, if they can be found. Maybe an approach of reprinting interesting blogs, from the younger generation coming up might help bridge the gap? Interviews with some of those running podcasts and YouTube channels on Fortean topics?

I think another issue that ties into the increased scepticism is the growing age and cynicism of our readership. As a teenager getting into FT I was eager to believe and new to all this. 25 years later, having never experienced anything beyond a light in the sky and a few creepy bumps in the night, I'm certainly now of a mindset that there is a set number of things in heaven and earth. And they have all been covered at least 10 times by FT. We must not forget though those coming up behind us, for whom all we know is new. Perhaps a monthly feature giving a 101 of the classic topics? Something that speaks to the curious and youthful reader looking for that sense if wonder, while passing down the critical eye of those who have been round the block on the topic.

Of course, changes like those suggested will likely see calls if dumbing down from some quarters. But it might rekindle some of the fun in Forteana that we have forgotten as we have got old(er) and more cynical?

FT for me should be informative, fun and engaging, I feel at times it has become more curmudgeonly, aloof and stuffy.

I'll still buy it though... :)
 
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Naughty_Felid

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I'm still ploughing through 2019 editions, and while as a collector and hoarder I am never likely to give up on the mag, I do feel some issues are tougher to get through than others. I have an OCD compulsion to read every page no matter how dull...

Take this as constructive criticism, I used to edit a reasonably successful football magazine in the early 2000s and I know the challenges of working with contributors, keeping things fresh and trying to please a wide audience. It was hard enough in the print media back then with the emerging online market. I cannot imagine the burden now with the additional rise of social media, so kudos to the team behind the delivery of the mag. Hats off and we appreciate the dedication.

I am the last person to advocate for dumbing down, but I do feel one of the problems is the magazine has become too academic, along with moving closer to the sceptical side.

There are definitely some articles that go way too far with their attempts to appear highbrow and it makes them inaccessible. I got into FT in the early 90s as a teenager, had I been handed a copy of today's FT I'd probably have regarded it in the way 13-year-old me would have regarded the New Scientist/Statesman...

The book reviews especially I feel could be presented in a shorter snappier format. The podcast review page is much more engaging than the four or five pages of book reviews that often seem like the reviewers taking the soapbox rather than reviewing the book.

I feel sometimes the band of writers are from a favoured clique and that some will just get whatever they submit published, which ultimately lowers the quality. However, I know FT is open to contribution. If you are only getting copy from the same faces and you need to fill your pages for deadline...

I also know the challenge if getting copy turned around. After moving on in my career away from print media I was determined to keep writing and remain a contributor to the football titles I had written for. However, between work, daily life etc... that rarely happened as I just never had the time. Nowadays, if you do have the time, you are most likely to self-publish on a blog - as I can assume freelancer rates will have plummeted from the low bar they were a decade ago.

I'd certainly appreciate more grass roots contributions rather than academics, if they can be found. Maybe an approach of reprinting interesting blogs, from the younger generation coming up might help bridge the gap? Interviews with some of those running podcasts and YouTube channels on Fortean topics?

I think another issue that ties into the increased scepticism is the growing age and cynicism of our readership. As a teenager getting into FT I was eager to believe and new to all this. 25 years later, having never experienced anything beyond a light in the sky and a few creepy bumps in the night, I'm certainly now of a mindset that there is a set number of things in heaven and earth. And they have all been covered at least 10 times by FT. We must not forget though those coming up behind us, for whom all we know is new. Perhaps a monthly feature giving a 101 of the classic topics? Something that speaks to the curious and youthful reader looking for that sense if wonder, while passing down the critical eye of those who have been round the block on the topic.

Of course, changes like those suggested will likely see calls if dumbing down from some quarters. But it might rekindle some of the fun in Forteana that we have forgotten as we have got old(er) and more cynical?

FT for me should be informative, fun and engaging, I feel at times it has become more curmudgeonly, aloof and stuffy.

I'll still buy it though... :)
Very good. You've done more to explain how I feel than I could have ever done.
 

Comfortably Numb

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Perhaps a pertinent opportunity to enquire re some associated, background history. It's simply borne of a long-standing realisation I have never seen the following explained.

Is the forum's direct association with, 'Fortean Times', effectively granted at the discretion of Dennis Publishing?

Does the company provide all necessary funding to operate this forum, including investment in technology and staff/operating expenses? If not so, then who else assists with the running costs?

Essentially, who pays and why!?

I have previously highlighted the eclectic array of Charles Fort memorabilia for sale online. Outwith the magazine's title, is there any copyright on Charles Fort related merchandise, or, say, use of the terminology, 'fortean'?
 

escargot

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Perhaps a pertinent opportunity to enquire re some associated, background history. It's simply borne of a long-standing realisation I have never seen the following explained.

Is the forum's direct association with, 'Fortean Times', effectively granted at the discretion of Dennis Publishing?

Does the company provide all necessary funding to operate this forum, including investment in technology and staff/operating expenses? If not so, then who else assists with the running costs?

Essentially, who pays and why!?

I have previously highlighted the eclectic array of Charles Fort memorabilia for sale online. Outwith the magazine's title, is there any copyright on Charles Fort related merchandise, or, say, use of the terminology, 'fortean'?
This forum has no association with the magazine. It did at first and was accessed from the magazine'e website, which is how I first came across it. Not any longer though.
 

gordonrutter

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Perhaps a pertinent opportunity to enquire re some associated, background history. It's simply borne of a long-standing realisation I have never seen the following explained.

Is the forum's direct association with, 'Fortean Times', effectively granted at the discretion of Dennis Publishing?

Does the company provide all necessary funding to operate this forum, including investment in technology and staff/operating expenses? If not so, then who else assists with the running costs?

Essentially, who pays and why!?

I have previously highlighted the eclectic array of Charles Fort memorabilia for sale online. Outwith the magazine's title, is there any copyright on Charles Fort related merchandise, or, say, use of the terminology, 'fortean'?
The Forum no longer has anything to do with Fortean Times
 

catseye

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I had to cut costs to the bone a couple of years ago. FT was the only subscription that made it out the other side.

Yes, some articles can 'go on a bit', but for every one I stop reading and turn the page on, I bet there are dozens of people glued to the mag reading with interest. We can't all be into the same bits of Forteana.

I love FT. Keeps me sane. Well, sane-ish. Well, mostly sane-ish.
 

MrRING

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I'm still ploughing through 2019 editions, and while as a collector and hoarder I am never likely to give up on the mag, I do feel some issues are tougher to get through than others. I have an OCD compulsion to read every page no matter how dull...

Take this as constructive criticism, I used to edit a reasonably successful football magazine in the early 2000s and I know the challenges of working with contributors, keeping things fresh and trying to please a wide audience. It was hard enough in the print media back then with the emerging online market. I cannot imagine the burden now with the additional rise of social media, so kudos to the team behind the delivery of the mag. Hats off and we appreciate the dedication.

I am the last person to advocate for dumbing down, but I do feel one of the problems is the magazine has become too academic, along with moving closer to the sceptical side.

There are definitely some articles that go way too far with their attempts to appear highbrow and it makes them inaccessible. I got into FT in the early 90s as a teenager, had I been handed a copy of today's FT I'd probably have regarded it in the way 13-year-old me would have regarded the New Scientist/Statesman...

The book reviews especially I feel could be presented in a shorter snappier format. The podcast review page is much more engaging than the four or five pages of book reviews that often seem like the reviewers taking the soapbox rather than reviewing the book.

I feel sometimes the band of writers are from a favoured clique and that some will just get whatever they submit published, which ultimately lowers the quality. However, I know FT is open to contribution. If you are only getting copy from the same faces and you need to fill your pages for deadline...

I also know the challenge if getting copy turned around. After moving on in my career away from print media I was determined to keep writing and remain a contributor to the football titles I had written for. However, between work, daily life etc... that rarely happened as I just never had the time. Nowadays, if you do have the time, you are most likely to self-publish on a blog - as I can assume freelancer rates will have plummeted from the low bar they were a decade ago.

I'd certainly appreciate more grass roots contributions rather than academics, if they can be found. Maybe an approach of reprinting interesting blogs, from the younger generation coming up might help bridge the gap? Interviews with some of those running podcasts and YouTube channels on Fortean topics?

I think another issue that ties into the increased scepticism is the growing age and cynicism of our readership. As a teenager getting into FT I was eager to believe and new to all this. 25 years later, having never experienced anything beyond a light in the sky and a few creepy bumps in the night, I'm certainly now of a mindset that there is a set number of things in heaven and earth. And they have all been covered at least 10 times by FT. We must not forget though those coming up behind us, for whom all we know is new. Perhaps a monthly feature giving a 101 of the classic topics? Something that speaks to the curious and youthful reader looking for that sense if wonder, while passing down the critical eye of those who have been round the block on the topic.

Of course, changes like those suggested will likely see calls if dumbing down from some quarters. But it might rekindle some of the fun in Forteana that we have forgotten as we have got old(er) and more cynical?

FT for me should be informative, fun and engaging, I feel at times it has become more curmudgeonly, aloof and stuffy.

I'll still buy it though... :)
You've said a great deal here that I agree with, such as:

- Too skeptical... that is definitely the case from my reading. And the solution you suggest might be the right track, of having more introductory 101-style articles introducing classic cases. But another thing that might be helpful to alleviate the overwhelming skepticism is to editorially ensure that each issue has more variety than one more skeptical, dismissive article after another... if the lead article is skeptical, or you can tell from the pitch that skepticism is the direction that the writer is going in, ensure there is also a believer article as well as what I call a Fortean article (something that tries to pull together different strands of the material not to merely believe or be skeptical, but present a new way of thinking about the subject). There is a surprising lack of actual Forteanism in the mag for my taste!
- Too academic... maybe bring some other kinds of writing styles to the forefront to mix things up. Gonzo journalism on a trip to Stonehenge? Diarist style staying in a proported haunted house? Straight up interview with various people?
- More fun versus stuffy... that is really it in a nutshell... maybe having another cartoonist add material could help...

And another thing occurs to me. There are too many grudges by some of the long-standing columnists against other personalities that have bubbled up over the last 10 issues or so that I got. It seems like some of that is a case of trying to settle scores, or trying to have the last word about various long-standing phenomena or stories... I don't really get much from reading such things, and it helps make a feeling of not being part of a club, and not being welcome to join the party. I'm sure there are people who find such matters the highlight of their reading, but I'm not a fan of it. Another option could be: instead of letting a columnist feel they have the last word on a situation, have a column called "Tower of Babel" where a topic is presented (for instance, the Roswell crash) and get opinions skeptical, believerly, and Fortean, so there is no last word, but a scattershot of opinion that might, in itself, lead to further though and discourse.
 

McAvennie

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if the lead article is skeptical, or you can tell from the pitch that skepticism is the direction that the writer is going in, ensure there is also a believer article as well as what I call a Fortean article (something that tries to pull together different strands of the material not to merely believe or be skeptical, but present a new way of thinking about the subject). There is a surprising lack of actual Forteanism in the mag for my taste!
Something that works well here is to use a short sidebar offering the alternative voice alongside an article. If you have a piece that is inherently skeptical on a topic then invite another writer to offer a rebuttal of sorts, or to put together a short piece that highlights the one aspect of the case that remains unexplainable or mysterious.

Of course, this ties back to finding willing freelancers, and those who write at a good enough level to be able to match the main writer. Extra work for the FT editorial team, and especially difficult if you need to liaise between the two writers so they are able to avoid overlapping points. Usually you would need to let the sidebar writer see the draft of the main article before they submit their piece.
 

Mythopoeika

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Does the company provide all necessary funding to operate this forum, including investment in technology and staff/operating expenses? If not so, then who else assists with the running costs?

Essentially, who pays and why!?
Well, some of us have made donations to the Charles Fort Institute.
There's a link on their website.
Which reminds me, I must make another donation.
 

stu neville

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Has there been any progress on this? I envision an MGM musical review for The FTMB Story... singing and dancing everywhere... laughter and tears... two fisted action... love flourishes... family feuds...
:) - I had to suspend work on it as a host of other stuff came up. Back on it now.
...And any extremely long (several pages) investigation into something like 'a talking mongoose' (sorry....learning disability goose).
Yes, we did notice. Don't be a tit.
Something that works well here is to use a short sidebar offering the alternative voice alongside an article. If you have a piece that is inherently skeptical on a topic then invite another writer to offer a rebuttal of sorts, or to put together a short piece that highlights the one aspect of the case that remains unexplainable or mysterious.
Extremely difficult for a whole host of reasons, as you point out, with the added issue that many of these topics require very deep background research and/or prior knowledge as they're (in general terms) obscure: if you want a sidebar arguing with Chris Jossiffe about Gef then good luck finding someone equally knowledgeable. Also, given that the mag team these days is as skeleton as skeleton can be it would be logistically a nightmare. As is, the Letters page is the only real recourse, but given how long issues can take to get to readers they regularly receive feedback and rebuttals several months after publication. That said you do often get parallel articles that explore different angles or aspects.
 

Spookdaddy

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Over the years I have come to realise that I am much more Montaigne’s man than Fort’s. Montaigne would have gobbled up everything Fort wrote, and would have adored the Fortean Times, but – and this might get me into a lot of trouble - I fear his warmth, affability and generosity of intellectual spirit is something I don’t really find in the more modern writer.

To Montaigne, everything was full of wonder – and nothing was boring; solutions were not closed doors, knowledge was not a full stop.

So, as a Montaignian, none of its content feels out of place, and I continue love the magazine.

Of course, people will say - it’s the Fortean not the Montaignian Times. But I don’t care. It works very much for me.
 
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stu neville

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but – and this might get me into a lot of trouble - I fear his warmth, affability and generosity of intellectual spirit is something I don’t really find in the more modern writer.
I think it's something that many would acknowledge. Montaigne;s flaneur attitude is more relatable. This is not for second to demean Fort and his work - we owe him a great deal! - but it's not a one-horse field, and I personally feel that encompassing other approaches isn't some sort of heresy. Maybe Forteanism in its most orthodox sense has become something that was the proper thing to wear, for a while.
 

Comfortably Numb

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An encompassing expression of gratitude for the responses.

Fascinating that I have always envisaged a scenario, whereby there was a structure still related to Dennis Publishing, although in a limited capacity.

Is it in fact similar to, for example, a sizable football fans forum, entirely dependent upon the dedication of supporters, who operate it solely for others sharing the same captivation?

There surely remains nonetheless, some running costs, such as software licensing, plus an occasional requirement for investment in technology upgrades.

How then is the forum being funded?

Back of my mind here, is the question of providing some assistance, whether financial or otherwise.

How does that possibility sit right now?

This also inherently leads to a final query; who is actually responsible for making any such management decisions?

One simply enquires, having realised I can't be alone in having absolutely no idea!

Is it a committee, or do we have a singular figure with overall authority?

IMG_20200725_175059_resize_90.jpg
 

EnolaGaia

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Fascinating that I have always envisaged a scenario, whereby there was a structure still related to Dennis Publishing, although in a limited capacity.
No ... The autumn 2018 negotiated agreement involved a complete divorce of the forum (as an ongoing operation) from the magazine and the publisher. In effect, Dennis divested itself of the forum in a complete and final manner. In return, those of us who were to continue the forum operation agreed to explicitly renounce any formal connections to FT and Dennis and desist from suggesting any such connections continued.


Is it in fact similar to, for example, a sizable football fans forum, entirely dependent upon the dedication of supporters, who operate it solely for others sharing the same captivation?
The forum operation was adopted by the Charles Fort Institute (CFI), which is now its formal sponsor.


There surely remains nonetheless, some running costs, such as software licensing, plus an occasional requirement for investment in technology upgrades.
How then is the forum being funded?
There are expenses. To date they've been covered by voluntary donations of time, effort and funds.


Back of my mind here, is the question of providing some assistance, whether financial or otherwise.
How does that possibility sit right now?
Contributing to the forum's ongoing viability can be done by donations to the Charles Fort Institute:

https://www.forteana.org


This also inherently leads to a final query; who is actually responsible for making any such management decisions?
One simply enquires, having realised I can't be alone in having absolutely no idea!
Is it a committee, or do we have a singular figure with overall authority?
The team who negotiated and executed the 2018 emergency migration continue to manage the forum. At the tactical (everyday) operational level, most responses to emergent issues are decided among the team.
 

Naughty_Felid

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Contributing to the forum's ongoing viability can be done by donations to the Charles Fort Institute:

https://www.forteana.org
This wasn't known to me. I would have liked to have known that I could donate to the forums. I'm not rich but I can and will contribute more so than a subscription to the magazine.
 
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