Sponsor Spotlight: Tweetcamp San Antonio goes to college at Trinity University

July 18, 2009 at 4:37 pm | Posted in Event News, San Antonio, Sponsor Spotlight, Sponsors | Leave a comment
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Trinity-University-A0C2AF6FDisclaimer: I attended Trinity University from 2004 – 2008 to earn my Bachelor’s degree in Communication and Marketing.

Today, hundreds will arrive at Trinity University to attend the biggest social media event of its kind to take place in our city – Tweetcamp San Antonio.

This is not a mere coincidence.

When the organizers of Tweetcamp were searching for a venue we had a checklist, nay, a list of demands that had to be fulfilled if Tweetcamp was going to be the rock star event we had in mind.

Our venue had to be wired. Or should we say unwired? Wireless internet access was a must since we expected most, if not all, of our attendees to bring their laptops with them to tweet, blog, stream and browse the internet throughout the event. Trinity is one of Intel’s top 10 most unwired college campuses. Check!

Our venue had to help us showcase the best of our city. Trinity University is located just a few minutes south of the airport and a few minutes north of downtown San Antonio. The area is full of shops, parks, restaurants, museums and homes that are part quaint, part modern and entirely worthy of an afternoon walk. With recent extension of San Antonio River, the world-famous River Walk is now 1.5 miles closer to Trinity. It won’t be long before the final portion of the Museum Reach extension is complete and the University becomes part a project that will revitalize the city and help new and old San Antonio reconnect seamlessly.

Bonus point: Trinity’s campus is modern and gorgeous in and of itself. See for yourself.

Fun fact: I happened to be a student tour guide at Trinity and know that the color of the brick that makes up the façade of all the buildings on campus is not just red – it’s Trinity Red.

Our venue had to be inside the social media loop. Trinity University contacted the organizers to be the official host of Tweetcamp San Antonio via – you guessed it – Twitter. You can follow @Trinity_U on Twitter and find several Trinity administrators and staff on Twitter as well. The University is actively making conscious efforts to learn from others, share thoughts and information, reach out to their constituents and participate in conversations via social media. WIN.

Our venue had to be free. Along with our other sponsors, Trinity University is to thank for helping us make this a free event open to the public.

So you see, your Tweetcamp San Antonio organizers are pretty high maintenance. Fortunately, Trinity has not only lived up to everything we expected from our venue – it has gone above and beyond.

And on a final note, Tweetcamp San Antonio going to college at Trinity University is an event in and of itself. Conferences are often held at hotels, meeting rooms and other venues that have no connection to the topic at hand. Ours is not the case.

Social media has gone mainstream. There is no doubt about that. And tools like Twitter are forcing industries and institutions to reinvent themselves. I only really started to figure out what I wanted in terms of a career when I got to college. If higher education institutions are not tuned into social media and introducing it in the classroom by this point, they are failing to educate students about the context of the world today or prepare them for what the world may look like in the near future. But higher education institutions willing to take the plunge into social media despite the lack of structure, constant state of flux and the predominance of application over theory are the ones that will turn out professionals that are truly prepared to take on our reinvented industries and inherit the new world.

TweetCampSA host and sponsor Trinity University is one of the “most unwired college campuses”

July 17, 2009 at 4:10 am | Posted in Event News, Sponsors | 2 Comments
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Be sure to bring your laptop with you to the campus of Trinity University this Saturday for TweetCampSA. TweetCampSA host and sponsor Trinity University was ranked among Intel’s Top 10 “Most Unwired College Campuses.”

We’ll provide the info you’ll need to access the wifi onsite. All you’ll need is your trusty laptop or netbook (and perhaps your power cord and a power strip or two to share the electric love with your fellow campers). You’ll be ready to tweet your way through TweetCampSA!

We’re just one day away from the biggest social media event in San Antonio. Check out our “things you need to know before you go” post about our location, parking, food, etc. More info is on the way so stay tuned to @TweetCampSA for updates and info.

Sponsor Spotlight: Six Questions with Firecat Studio

July 15, 2009 at 5:51 pm | Posted in Sponsor Spotlight, Sponsors | Leave a comment
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In addition to listing them on our Sponsors page, TweetCampSA sponsors will also be featured on our blog so we can introduce you to the companies making TweetCampSA possible. Check them out and follow them on Twitter! TweetCampSA sponsors are the cutting-edge businesses in our community who understand, appreciate and make use of microblogging as part of their overall communications strategies.

firecatIntroducing TweetCampSA Sponsor Firecat Studio (questions answered by Susan Price, @FirecatSue)

1. How do you use microblogging?

Every which way! I’ve ridden technology trends my whole career and social media is the most exciting, society-transforming one yet.

I tweet a mix of business and personal stuff as @firecatsue, and conduct social media campaigns for a variety of clients. We focus on creating and maintaining relationships rather than doing heavy-duty marketing – and that approach has served us and our clients well.

An all-business stream gets boring, and an all-personal stream is boring, too — except to your significant other or your parole officer. Twitter is an excellent way to get to know more people, and to get to know the ones you already know, better. Over time, you learn what makes people tick, what excites them, and what they have in common with you. That magic mix of personal and business flavor is something you learn over time. I don’t always get it pitch-perfect; no one does. But that’s the goal.

2. How has microblogging changed your business?

Our participation in social media causes us to be more human, honest and transparent in our dealings with clients, colleagues and competitors – and in turn, they’re more human and open with us. Their needs are more real, their opinions matter more to us. Everything moves faster. It’s fabulous! We’re actively creating the world I want to live in, every day.

Because we specialize in online strategy, we watch trends in communications technology very closely. As with computers, desktop publishing and the web, early adopters and risk takers are rewarded with strategic advantages. We’ve always spent a good bit of time in research, but with the explosion of tools and techniques, an even greater percentage of our time has to be devoted to R&D, simply to keep up. We’ve created some events that allow us to mix marketing with this “keeping up” – participating in Social Media Club, sponsoring Coworking and brownbag lunches.

Social media and microblogging have become a standard part of our online presence and marketing mix. We think a lot more about mobile access.

Because there are NO Twitter holidays, we’ve had to adapt some of our processes and schedules to accommodate more evening and weekend business activity.

Twitter and other social media tools have become very important to the Search Engine Optimization (SEO) projects we handle.

And the websites we design have become more “social media” in nature, generally built on a content management system (CMS) to enable that all-important two-way dialog. Our design templates include Twitter feeds and Share This! widgets.

3. What makes you follow some people/businesses over others?

I autofollow, and then vet followers periodically throughout the week. I look first at the quality of tweets. Are they helping people? Are they engaging in dialog? If self-promos predominate their stream, I unfollow. If they’re heavily reliant on quotes of others or retweets, I unfollow if there’s no originality or value-add.

Although I almost never exclude someone on the basis of their twitter “handle,” sometimes those trigger an unfollow; e.g., @godofmoney or @affiliatewhore.

I used to look at followers/following ratio, but find that’s less helpful than it used to be. If you follow 10,000 people, you can’t be listening to them all, so there’s no special merit in maintaining a 1:1 balance over a certain number of followers.

4. Who would you like to see on Twitter who isn’t there already?

Wise elders! I just signed up to teach a seniors class in social media; I find their voices missing for the most part. My web industry gurus were all early adopters, so they’re in good supply. My creativity needs constant restocking, so I love seeing little inspirational bursts from pure creatives — songwriters, musicians, designers, artists, directors, comedians. Is Matt Groening on Twitter? Robin Williams? Weird Al? I’m happy to be following John Cleese. Is Terry Gilliam tweeting yet? And kids. I’d love to see kid drawings, or hear kid voices.

5. Why are you sponsoring TweetCampSA?

As we integrate social media into our everyday lives, it can be scary and even disruptive. We’re evolving the “norms” of the new online society as we go, and I prefer being purposeful about that — intentionally creating the culture the way I want it to be. Welcoming, inclusive, honest, supportive. Also, it’s hard to keep up, so I like meeting and comparing notes with other smart people.

I’ve learned a ton of vital information from every single San Antonio “Camp” event so far, from PodCamp to BarCamp to FreelanceCamp to AccessCamp to GreenCamp.

6. Give us an elevator pitch about your business.

Firecat Studio helps your business leverage new and emerging technologies. We design websites, brand identities, eMail and eNews campaigns, social media strategies, as well as print and video pieces. We excel at the strategy work that ties marketing efforts together and creates synergy between them.

Like our name suggests, working with Firecat is a curiously transformative experience. We examine your business and your goals holistically to help you transform and adapt, burn away the nonessential and drive the business you want. We work with you and your staff to create sustainable, positive business processes that continue to deliver value for years to come.

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Colleen Pence is one of three organizers of TweetCampSA. A Twitter addict since summer 2007, she previously managed marketing and public relations campaigns for the San Antonio Symphony, Marmon Mok and BluePhoenix ASNA. She now owns Social Media Mentoring, a consulting company teaching businesses and individuals the benefits and nuances of using social media. She’s authored her personal blog for four years and blogs for the San Antonio Express-News.

Sponsor Spotlight: Six Questions with VideoPublishing.com

July 13, 2009 at 7:13 pm | Posted in San Antonio, Sponsor Spotlight, Sponsors | Leave a comment
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In addition to listing them on our Sponsors page, TweetCampSA sponsors will also be featured on our blog so we can introduce you to the companies making TweetCampSA possible. Check them out and follow them on Twitter! TweetCampSA sponsors are the cutting-edge businesses in our community who understand, appreciate and make use of microblogging as part of their overall communications strategies.

VideoPublishing LogoIntroducing TweetCampSA Sponsor VideoPublishing.com (questions answered by Andrew Trickett, managing director of VideoPublishing.com, @videopublishing)

1. How do you use microblogging?

We try to use it to establish a “connection” with our customers and partners. We’re on Twitter, Facebook and WordPress.

2. How has microblogging changed your business?

We’re fairly new at it and need to get more active. But we have already seen that it develops a sense of “intimacy” with clients. The unexpected benefit is how excited employees get when they see us post. They love seeing the information and discussions too.

3. Who are your fave follows?

As a business, we like to follow @fredwilson. He is a venture capitalist who often gives fantastic insights on technology business…and often, life.

4. What’s your criteria for RTs?

We try to be somewhat selective, picking things that we think will be of use to a lot of our followers and *somewhat* related to our business, especially because we’re more of a B2B company than B2C.

5. Why are you sponsoring TweetCampSA?

Because we believe in the idea and we’re reaching the thought leaders of the San Antonio online industry

6. Give us an elevator pitch about your business.

We provide a hosted system for online videos that will be used for professional purposes, such as company promotions and higher-end filmmaking. We have a lot of important capabilities for video professionals that you won’t get with “the usual suspects.” We also do live video, streaming music, and can digitize old film.

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Colleen Pence is one of three organizers of TweetCampSA. A Twitter addict since summer 2007, she previously managed marketing and public relations campaigns for the San Antonio Symphony, Marmon Mok and BluePhoenix ASNA. She now owns Social Media Mentoring, a consulting company teaching businesses and individuals the benefits and nuances of using social media. She’s authored her personal blog for four years and blogs for the San Antonio Express-News.

Sponsor Spotlight: Six Questions with Alan Weinkrantz

July 9, 2009 at 5:01 am | Posted in Sponsor Spotlight, Sponsors | Leave a comment
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In addition to listing them on our Sponsors page, TweetCampSA sponsors will also be featured on our blog so we can introduce you to the companies making TweetCampSA possible. Check them out and follow them on Twitter! TweetCampSA sponsors are the cutting-edge businesses in our community who understand, appreciate and make use of microblogging as part of their overall communications strategies.

weinkrantz3Introducing TweetCampSA Sponsor Alan Weinkrantz (questions answered by Alan Weinkrantz, @alanweinkrantz).

1. How do you use microblogging?

Re-publish news and information that I think will be useful and helpful to my followers

Re-publish news about client information

Have fun and bring some sense of humor into the conversation

2. How has microblogging changed your business?

I use it for new business development. I am also using it to pitch members of the media on story ideas. And finally, as the Media Representative for @jeffpulver‘s 140 Characters Conference, it has given me the opportunity to work with leading members of the media to cover the broader and cultural aspects of how Twitter is disrupting the traditional news cycle.

3. What makes you follow some people/businesses over others?

Useful content and unique insights into principles of business and life.

4. Who would you like to see on Twitter who isn’t there already?

It’s not who is going to be on Twitter that’s important. It’s how people use it to be useful and helpful. I wish more people were focused on that.

5. Why are you sponsoring TweetCampSA?

Because it’s going to be a blast, and my kids like the T-shirts they get.

6. Give us an elevator pitch about your business.

Alan Weinkrantz is a Public Relations and Social Media Consultant with clients in the U.S. and Israel. With over 25 years of experience, Weinkrantz links business strategy to communications strategy in order to help clients achieve business goals.

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Colleen Pence is one of three organizers of TweetCampSA. A Twitter addict since summer 2007, she previously managed marketing and public relations campaigns for the San Antonio Symphony, Marmon Mok and BluePhoenix ASNA. She now owns Social Media Mentoring, a consulting company teaching businesses and individuals the benefits and nuances of using social media. She’s authored her personal blog for four years and blogs for the San Antonio Express-News.

Sponsor Spotlight: Six Questions with FunPearls.com

July 8, 2009 at 7:21 pm | Posted in Sponsor Spotlight, Sponsors | Leave a comment
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In addition to listing them on our Sponsors page, TweetCampSA sponsors will also be featured on our blog so we can introduce you to the companies making TweetCampSA possible. Check them out and follow them on Twitter! TweetCampSA sponsors are the cutting-edge businesses in our community who understand, appreciate and make use of microblogging as part of their overall communications strategies.

funpearlsIntroducing TweetCampSA Sponsor FunPearls.com (questions answered by Lisa Bastian, your own personal pearl merchant and principal of Bastian PR@FunPearls).

1. How does FunPearls.com use microblogging?

Presently FunPearls.com uses microblogging to announce the “Daily Pearl Jewelry Deal.” This single tweet promotes one item from our unique collection of 300+ jewelry pieces. After each “Deal” tweet, I review FunPearls.com site stats to learn what percent of the store’s Twitter followers decided to check out the featured item that day, and then how many sales were generated by that tweet as compared to non-tweet means.

While the company is five years old, our new online store is just six weeks old. When its numerous educational sections (still under construction) are complete, we’ll be sending “conversational” tweets about diverse info; e.g., how to select jewelry (by recipient and occasion), understand how pearls are made, types of pearls, etc. FunPearls.com wants to be the trusted personal pearl merchant for Pearl Girls everywhere, and Twitter is becoming an important tool to achieving that goal.

2. How has microblogging changed your business?

I’m very new at this, but already I can see that microblogging is an asset to my overall marketing strategy and will remain part of the mix. Unlike google ads, I can directly go to my customers and potential customers and have a conversation (although brief) with them, offer them “specials”, etc.– that’s exciting “real-time” messaging! My Daily Tweets also help me gauge what types and categories of pearl jewelry are more popular with customers. As this info is analyzed, I’ll use it to adjust the positioning and type of items in the store. I do know there are tons more things I can and should do, but I haven’t had the time to explore them yet.

I also am principal of Bastian Public Relations. What I learn via FunPearls.com will carry over into any microblogging advice I give my clients.

3. What makes you follow some people/businesses over others?

I follow an important segment of my customer base: future brides and bridal publications reaching them. I also follow fashion influencers and fashion media too. I want to understand what’s important to them via their tweets and associated Web sites found via their profiles. Others I follow include people in the pearl and general jewelry business–peers, competitors and knowledge brokers. Additionally I follow individuals who can instruct me about how to microblog effectively and so not become an annoyance by accident!

4. Who would you like to see on Twitter who isn’t there already?

My family in Ohio.

5. Why is FunPearls.com sponsoring TweetCampSA?

Although FunPearls.com is a five-year-old business, http://www.funpearls.com now takes visitors to a newly branded store that went live in June. It needs greater exposure not only in San Antonio but throughout the nation, and in turn more customers and people to sign up for the e-newsletter. I also am now seeking “Pearl Girl Ambassadors” at various colleges/high schools to wear free pearls and promote the store to their friends.

6. Give us an elevator pitch about FunPearls.com.

FunPearl.com sells 300+ affordable and stylish pearl and coral jewelry pieces to jazz up casual, career and special occasion outfits. All earrings, bracelets and necklaces are handmade by our Asian pearl design partners. http://www.funpearls.com.

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Colleen Pence is one of three organizers of TweetCampSA. A Twitter addict since summer 2007, she previously managed marketing and public relations campaigns for the San Antonio Symphony, Marmon Mok and BluePhoenix ASNA. She now owns Social Media Mentoring, a consulting company teaching businesses and individuals the benefits and nuances of using social media. She’s authored her personal blog for four years and blogs for the San Antonio Express-News.

Sponsor Spotlight: Six Questions with the San Antonio Express-News

May 7, 2009 at 5:00 am | Posted in San Antonio, Sponsor Spotlight, Sponsors | Leave a comment
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mysaIn addition to listing them on our Sponsors page, TweetCampSA sponsors will also be featured on our blog so we can introduce you to the companies making TweetCampSA possible. Check them out and follow them on Twitter! TweetCampSA sponsors are the cutting-edge businesses in our community who understand, appreciate and make use of microblogging as part of their overall communications strategies.

Introducing TweetCampSA Sponsor San Antonio Express-News / mySA.com (questions answered by Eric Braun, director of digital media at MySA.com – @ebraun and @mySA).

1. How does the Express-News use microblogging?

We use it in several different ways. We push breaking news stories and weather forecasts out on a regular basis, but we don’t find that that’s really a huge traffic driver for us. It does drive a few extra clicks but it’s not a game-changer unless it’s something that takes off across networks. We really use it more as a CRM tool. It’s been much more about connecting with our readers and developing relationships with them. It provides both instant feedback and helps reporters develop sources. We also use Twitter as a way to aggregate sources of information quickly. During the swine flu outbreak we used CoverItLive to aggregate feeds from official and non-official sources including our medical bloggers.

2. How has microblogging changed your business?

Twitter has been the first application that has really grabbed the imagination of the newsroom. I don’t recall any social interaction tool that has been more widely accepted in newsrooms, not just at the Express-News but across the industry. Story comments and forums have always been something reporters have hesitated jumping into, but because the dialogue on twitter is more controlled, civil and ultimately useful, our staff has engaged with it in a big way. You can see by our staff list of twitter accounts how true that is.

3. What makes you follow some people/businesses over others?

I avoid twitterfeeds and people who promise to make me rich. I generally avoid a lot of rough language because we like to break tweets out in various places on the site.

4. Who would you like to see on Twitter who isn’t there already?

The rest of our staff who isn’t using twitter yet. I’d like to see more local politicians use it beyond campaign seasons. Maybe after this election they will. I’d also like to see more restaurants and clubs talking about specials and schedules. Half of the time when I think of someone I’d like to see on twitter, I search for them and they are there.

5. Why is the Express-News sponsoring TweetCampSA?

We’re always interested in learning best practices on how to use Twitter and other social media apps. We also desire to be a part of the social media community in San Antonio because it’s good for us as a business to be connected to people who are making a difference in our city. These things are hard to make happen without funding, so we’re happy to help make it work.

6. Give us an elevator pitch about the Express-News.

The E-N and mySA.com combined have third deepest market penetration of any newspaper in the country, we have the largest newsroom in town by a large margin and day in and day out provide relevant, important content on a variety of platforms. Not only do we provide a wealth of content day in and day out but we are also interested in helping our community reach broader audiences. Users can contribute blogs, tweets, photos, videos and stories to our site to tell their stories and deliver their messages. Of course, selling advertisements is another way we help our customers reach a broad audience and we have a lot of very bright sales people who can help plan an ad campaign on our sites and help devise a search engine marketing campaign.

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Colleen Pence is one of three organizers of TweetCampSA. A Twitter addict since summer 2007, she previously managed marketing and public relations campaigns for the San Antonio Symphony, Marmon Mok and BluePhoenix ASNA. She now owns Social Media Mentoring, a consulting company teaching businesses and individuals the benefits and nuances of using social media. She’s authored her personal blog for four years and blogs for the San Antonio Express-News.

Sponsor Spotlight: 6 questions with Creative Noggin

May 3, 2009 at 5:18 am | Posted in San Antonio, Sponsor Spotlight, Sponsors | Leave a comment
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cnlogoc7In addition to listing them on our Sponsors page, TweetCampSA sponsors will also be featured on our blog so we can introduce you to the companies making TweetCampSA possible. Check them out and follow them on Twitter! TweetCampSA sponsors are the cutting-edge businesses in our community who understand, appreciate and make use of microblogging as part of their overall communications strategies.

Introducing TweetCampSA Sponsor Creative Noggin (@creativenoggin)!

1. How does Creative Noggin use microblogging?

Currently, we’re using it primarily to build our company and personal brands within the industry and community. We also teach our clients the benefits and how to utilize microblogging to build their own brands.

2. Has microblogging changed your business?

Oh, definitely. Prior to microblogging moving into the limelight, we were more of a traditional marketing and advertising agency. But since one of our big value propositions is helping our clients find ways to get better results with their marketing as well as finding ways to stretch their budgets, microblogging and social media have a much larger part of their overall marketing plans. Especially as we have learned the strong impact that inbound marketing/the internet can have on an organization’s success.

3. Who are Creative Noggin’s fave follows?

@chrisbrogan, @AmberCadabra, @alanweinkrantz, @writeontime, @colleenpence

4. What’s your criteria for RTs?

It just has to be information that is either unique, interesting, relevant or just darned funny!

5. Why is Creative Noggin sponsoring TweetCampSA?

We love helping to support something that will further educate interested folks in San Antonio about how awesome microblogging can be for business, keeping up with colleagues/friends, staying on top of what people in your industry are saying on a topic or even just staying social if you’re working from home. It’s an incredible resource. We continue to learn more and more about it every day and hope to help others do the same!

6. Give us an elevator pitch about Creative Noggin.

We’re a full service marketing agency that is 100% virtual. No offices = no overhead. That means that we can afford to hire the best and brightest talent in San Antonio for our clients and still charge less than traditional agencies. We’re a lean, mean branding machine. We use all of the tricks of the trade and more from incredible advertising, design, direct response, broadcast and PR to being masters of the internet, using a combo of SEO, awesome site design and social media tools to create phenomenal marketing plans for those we serve. And best of all, our business structure makes us extremely agile and able to move very quickly to help our clients.

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Colleen Pence is one of three organizers of TweetCampSA. A Twitter addict since summer 2007, she previously managed marketing and public relations campaigns for the San Antonio Symphony, Marmon Mok and BluePhoenix ASNA. She now owns Social Media Mentoring, a consulting company teaching businesses and individuals the benefits and nuances of using social media. She’s authored her personal blog for four years and blogs for the San Antonio Express-News.

Announcing our first TweetCampSA Sponsor!

April 15, 2009 at 4:09 pm | Posted in Event News, Sponsors | 6 Comments
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cnlogoc2Thank you to Creative Noggin for their generous sponsorship of TweetCampSA! You can read more about Creative Noggin on our Sponsors page or visit their web site or Twitter profile from the links on our sidebar to catch up with them. You can also talk to them in person at TweetCampSA!

TweetCampSanAntonio is only possible through generous support from company sponsorship and individual donations. You help make TweetCampSanAntonio a success. Please visit our Sponsors page if you are interested in becoming a sponsor or feel free to contact us at tweetcampsa at gmail dot com.

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