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tribble_eater

Why choose to make a cache Premium only?

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My daughter and I are starting to really get into creating our own caches. We've placed one, and are planning several others. I'm trying to figure out what are the pros and cons of making a cache Premium. Why would one choose that option vs. letting everyone view and find a cache? I'd love to hear a variety of perspectives, both from geocachers and COs. 

Thanks!

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18 minutes ago, tribble_eater said:

My daughter and I are starting to really get into creating our own caches. We've placed one, and are planning several others. I'm trying to figure out what are the pros and cons of making a cache Premium. Why would one choose that option vs. letting everyone view and find a cache? I'd love to hear a variety of perspectives, both from geocachers and COs. 

Thanks!

You will find a million discussions about this in the forums. 

Everyone, PM or not, can log a PM cache. It's important to know that up front. 

 

I make some of my caches PM  to keep the new and weekend-and-done players from finding it, particularly if I'm adding nice swag. There are no guarantees, ever, but my experience shows that cachers more committed to the game are the ones most likely to fork over money for PM. You may not agree with that logic, but you asked for different perspectives and that's mine. 

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Thanks Max and 99. I tried searching for the topic, but maybe my search terms weren't very good because I couldn't seem to find a thread with the info I was looking for. I'll try searching again, and thanks for your perspective. 

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Years ago, Groundspeak supplied coords of caches by the hundreds of thousands to the makers of a toy GPS unit. Just coords.

 

I don't like my efforts being reduced to that, and I have a long memory. Thankfully, PMO was a workaround.

 

Plus, M&99's reason.

 

Edited by Viajero Perdido
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Some of my caches are premium members only and some aren't. Any cache I think is better than average I will make Premium Members only. It helps protect it. However, locally most geocachers are Premium Members, so this doesn't affect many people. There are plenty of non-Premium Member caches for beginners to try. I figure if someone can afford to pay for data on a phone, they can afford to support geocaching and get Premium Membership.

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Geez Viajero, I can totally understand that. I also just read that caches with a rating higher than 1.5/1.5 aren't available to people with free accounts using the official app. I know when I start a trackable I make sure to put it in a PMO cache because I want it to be found by someone who is more likely to send it on its way. M&99 thanks for the link, it's all good food for thought. 

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17 minutes ago, tribble_eater said:

Geez Viajero, I can totally understand that. I also just read that caches with a rating higher than 1.5/1.5 aren't available to people with free accounts using the official app.

 

That retriction was changed to 2/2 about a year ago. Also the app limits basic members to just traditionals and events.

 

Until just a couple of weeks ago, all my caches were non-PMO, but my latest one had its physical waypoint attacked just a few days after publication in, well, let's just say a non-family-friendly way. It was probably a muggle, as it was near a trail bike track through the forest, but it wasn't directly visible from the track so whoever did it would have had to have stopped at just the right place and gone poking around inside a fallen hollow tree a few metres into the bush. So I'm not entirely convinced it wasn't someone who knew there was something hidden there. There were a couple of episodes a year or so back in the Newcastle area of someone with a basic account and calling themselves the cache-smasher going out and destroying every cache they could find, so as a precaution I set my one to PMO before changing the waypoint location to somewhere a bit further from the track (and better concealed). I'll see how it goes over the coming months and, if it's still okay after the summer school holidays, I'll probably set it back to non-PMO, as my caches get few enough finds as it is without imposing additional restrictions.

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The Cache Pirates struck my area many years ago, stealing all contents and leaving their calling card. That prompted a lot of local cachers to change their caches to PMO.  The pirates' identities were eventually discovered, and it never happened again.

Being able to see who is looking at your cache page when it's PM is another benefit I forgot to mention earlier. 

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For me it's mostly about the cost involved in creating a cache.  The more money I invest in my cache, the more likely I am to make it premium.  I have a series that uses dominoes, Scrabble tiles, cards, dice, and bingo balls as part of a series leading to a final that has two locks and a bag of keys.  The caches themselves aren't anything special, other than being small to regular sized containers, and aren't overly difficult to find.  However, in order to prevent newer cachers, who have very little idea of what might be swag and what might not be swag, from being able to access them on the free app due to their D/T rating, I made them premium.  With the exception of muggling and the occasional moisture in the cache, I've not had to purchase any more pieces to keep this series alive, which is nice because all of these things needed for this series cost me money beyond the cost of the containers.  I also adopted others that were premium and told the COs I wasn't going to change anything, which included the premium status.  I have no idea as to why they made them premium.  Finally, I had two caches I made premium in the attempt to control the number of visitors.  One was on private property, for which permission was granted, and they didn't want a whole host of people frequently visiting the area so this was a way to somewhat limit that.  The other was on two lakes and in the channels connecting the two lakes and I didn't think the residents would appreciate a continual stream of boaters churning up the back waters (if they used motorized boats) to find the stages of the cache.

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3 minutes ago, coachstahly said:

For me it's mostly about the cost involved in creating a cache.  

 

Yes cost for a big factor for me, the other was effort spent creating the cache. 

Some of the caches I created took many days to build and usually one-of-a-kind, and total cost was generally around $20. 

 

 

 

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I sometimes removed PMO status once the rush was over and finds began to trickle in. 

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6 hours ago, barefootjeff said:

That retriction was changed to 2/2 about a year ago.

Yes, and then some geocachers raised their ratings to the T/D2. It was obvious that those caches weren't 1.5 stars. (Many aren't 2T/D either.) They want to please new/non paying members, without a thought about how annoying they are to paying members.

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57 minutes ago, Goldenwattle said:
7 hours ago, barefootjeff said:

That retriction was changed to 2/2 about a year ago.

Yes, and then some geocachers raised their ratings to the T/D2. It was obvious that those caches weren't 1.5 stars. (Many aren't 2T/D either.) They want to please new/non paying members, without a thought about how annoying they are to paying members.

 

And disrespectful to those who have mobility restrictions. They rely on accurate T ratings as outlined by the D/T chart.  

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1 hour ago, L0ne.R said:

And disrespectful to those who have mobility restrictions. They rely on accurate T ratings as outlined by the D/T chart

Yes, one example cache I found was marked 1.5T&D. To find it I needed to teeter on a stool on top of a picnic table with my arm outstretched with a mirror, just to see the cache.  The next person who came along said they were too old for this and didn't find it. The CO was known for marking no caches above 1.5. Now it's been increased to 2, they have raised many of their caches to 2, even though some are still higher than that. That's why it would be good to have an average finders' rating for the cache, as well as the COs. Especially with terrain, to assist those less physically able.

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10 hours ago, tribble_eater said:

I know when I start a trackable I make sure to put it in a PMO cache because I want it to be found by someone who is more likely to send it on its way. M&99 thanks for the link, it's all good food for thought. 

 

That's odd, most of the top hoarders known in this hobby were premium members.

A cache thief in our area, only stealing ammo cans, was a premium member.

Premium membership doesn't make one more trustworthy or knowledgeable. 

We have one here (over ten years a PM) who still trades trackables for swag. 

Here, most new phone users are PM upon joining the hobby.  

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9 hours ago, Max and 99 said:

The Cache Pirates struck my area many years ago, stealing all contents and leaving their calling card. That prompted a lot of local cachers to change their caches to PMO.  The pirates' identities were eventually discovered, and it never happened again.

Being able to see who is looking at your cache page when it's PM is another benefit I forgot to mention earlier. 

 

How many people in this hobby don't PQ or bookmark  in this hobby for caches ?  

They all bypass the audit.  Unless it's now fixed, just using a phone bypasses the audit.     :D

The only way the audit function works is if you access a cache through the site...

Edited by cerberus1
sentence didn' carry. Odd...
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2 hours ago, cerberus1 said:

 

How many people in this hobby don't PQ or bookmark  in this hobby for caches ?  

They all bypass the audit.  Unless it's now fixed, just using a phone bypasses the audit.     :D

The only way the audit function works is if you access a cache through the site...

 

That audit function is creepy. I'm saying that as someone who currently has PM account and we had one for our 'couple' account where we listed out hides. Never looked at the audit account because it felt wrong.  Never found it useful. 

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27 minutes ago, L0ne.R said:

That audit function is creepy. I'm saying that as someone who currently has PM account and we had one for our 'couple' account where we listed out hides. Never looked at the audit account because it felt wrong.  Never found it useful. 

 

Stopped doing PMO hides years ago over micromanaging COs using the audit for some weird purposes.

One continued emailing why I was watching his cache and still haven't found it yet. 

 - If I had it on watch, he'd have never known ...   :)

Some actually believe they can tell who caused an issue with their caches by it, when it easily could have been another.

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6 hours ago, cerberus1 said:

 

How many people in this hobby don't PQ or bookmark  in this hobby for caches ?  

They all bypass the audit.  Unless it's now fixed, just using a phone bypasses the audit.     :D

The only way the audit function works is if you access a cache through the site...

 

The new map search must also pretty much nullify the audit log - anything other than the coordinates (which, frankly, can be approximately derived easily enough) can be seen in tha sidebar.

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5 hours ago, cerberus1 said:

Stopped doing PMO hides years ago over micromanaging COs using the audit for some weird purposes.

One continued emailing why I was watching his cache and still haven't found it yet. 

I find that behavior odd. 

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20 hours ago, Max and 99 said:

The Cache Pirates struck my area many years ago, stealing all contents and leaving their calling card. That prompted a lot of local cachers to change their caches to PMO.  The pirates' identities were eventually discovered, and it never happened again.

Being able to see who is looking at your cache page when it's PM is another benefit I forgot to mention earlier. 

I would actually love to hear more about the pirates.

I was going to add that there may be some edge cases where you'd want to use the audit feature.

For myself, I made a letterbox cache and put a lot of effort into it with a custom stamp, etc, and decided to make it PMO because I was worried that new cachers might not understand and take the stamp. I can't really tell you if my fear was well-founded, but that was the thinking at the time.

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On 9/9/2019 at 6:57 AM, tribble_eater said:

My daughter and I are starting to really get into creating our own caches. We've placed one, and are planning several others. I'm trying to figure out what are the pros and cons of making a cache Premium.

 

I have never listed a cache PMO and I tell you why:

 

There are "dangers" to a cache and yes, beginners might be some kind of danger, but some (!) power cachers may be a danger or annoyance, too. They don't have time to read the listing and they don't have time to take good care about the cache as they need to find 27000 other caches that day. And of course they have no time for a nice log as they need to copy and paste those 27000 cache logs as they found to many. And in fact these cachers are almost always PM so it does not help against them.

 

In the non PM group there are often families (like you may be) that just do one multi cache at a time with their children. They take their time and they treat the caches with care. Why should I get rid of those?

 

Always remember: someone being premium member is not better than someone being a member. The word "premium" is wrong, it should be "paying member" and as a paying member you have many benefits helping you (like pocket queries and filtering options). But I don't think that those advantages should be more caches.

 

Greetings

Jochen

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All the points back and forth about why to make caches PMO and why it's harmful are valid.

 

Yes, there are decent, caring Basic Members.
Yes, there are sloppy, uncaring, abusive Premium Members.

 

A single security feature can't address all threats, just as a single public policy can't address  all facets of a social issue.

 

The ONLY thing being protected against by setting a cache to PMO status is the newbie, one-and-doner, "Hey, what's this app", "Look, I found toys!" and gone next weekend.

 

This means that the ONLY weapon we COs have is, unfortunately, that paywall that we HOPE just might indicate that a specific cacher is more serious, more informed or more committed to our community. That's it. There's no way to, for example, only show a specific cache to people with a certain find-count.

 

But, it's 'people' we're dealing with, so all bets are off.

 

The effective outcome is that if I make a cache PMO, on which I spent many hours and dollars designing, crafting and site-selecting, the PMO status WILL limit it's access to SOME of the people who, by PROFILE, are most likely to not know enough to, say, 'trade up or trade even'.

 

One solution for one specific threat. It won't have any effect on those other security issues, and it isn't meant to.

 

"People," as my daddy used to tell me, "suck."

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3 minutes ago, TeamRabbitRun said:

The ONLY thing being protected against by setting a cache to PMO status is the newbie, one-and-doner, "Hey, what's this app", "Look, I found toys!" and gone next weekend.

 

The best protection is called mystery or multi cache. Perhaps that is why I have no problems with this kind of people. ;-)

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1 hour ago, TeamRabbitRun said:

All the points back and forth about why to make caches PMO and why it's harmful are valid.

 

Yes, there are decent, caring Basic Members.
Yes, there are sloppy, uncaring, abusive Premium Members.

 

A single security feature can't address all threats, just as a single public policy can't address  all facets of a social issue.

 

The ONLY thing being protected against by setting a cache to PMO status is the newbie, one-and-doner, "Hey, what's this app", "Look, I found toys!" and gone next weekend.

 

This means that the ONLY weapon we COs have is, unfortunately, that paywall that we HOPE just might indicate that a specific cacher is more serious, more informed or more committed to our community. That's it. There's no way to, for example, only show a specific cache to people with a certain find-count.

 

But, it's 'people' we're dealing with, so all bets are off.

 

The effective outcome is that if I make a cache PMO, on which I spent many hours and dollars designing, crafting and site-selecting, the PMO status WILL limit it's access to SOME of the people who, by PROFILE, are most likely to not know enough to, say, 'trade up or trade even'.

 

One solution for one specific threat. It won't have any effect on those other security issues, and it isn't meant to.

 

"People," as my daddy used to tell me, "suck."

I agree with all you've said and have witnessed first-hand the two types of Members you describe. But I chuckled when reading what your Dad used to say. Mine said, "I hate people", lol.

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8 minutes ago, frostengel said:

 

The best protection is called mystery or multi cache. Perhaps that is why I have no problems with this kind of people. ;-)

I agree with you, completely.

But, sometimes you just want to put out a cache, and NOT make it a big deal, like a Mystery or a Multi.

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1 minute ago, luvvinbird said:

I agree with all you've said and have witnessed first-hand the two types of Members you describe. But I chuckled when reading what your Dad used to say. Mine said, "I hate people", lol.

 

It's a family thing, passed down. It's the prevailing attitude of my son's Dad, too.

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4 hours ago, TeamRabbitRun said:

I agree with you, completely.

But, sometimes you just want to put out a cache, and NOT make it a big deal, like a Mystery or a Multi.

 

My experience is that the caches which are just put out without a big deal usually aren't the caches that are too hard or expensive to replace.

I understand what you mean but if I see the nano cache behind the street sign (imported from another thread ;-)) being listed as PMO then I don't understand it. If it gets lost because of some ****ing noobs I'd just replace it.

 

Perhaps the limit to D2/T2 and traditional caches (?) in the app for members isn't as bad as I always thought. These caches should be good for beginners and I think if someone lists a cache that is visible to beginners in the official app why should he hide it?

So perhaps this limit is the same kind of protection as the "paying wall"? (I like that name of the PMO status. ;-))

 

But of course anyone can decide himself (or herself, of course) if the cache is available for all the cachers or only the premium members. That is just my opinion and I do not like "PMO". (And as someone told above: the stalking tool "audit log" is just creepy. ;-))

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5 hours ago, frostengel said:

 

The best protection is called mystery or multi cache. Perhaps that is why I have no problems with this kind of people. ;-)

I agree too. Almost all of my 80 or so caches are PMO. I have a few Multis and a Mystery that receive only a fraction of the finds of my Traditionals.

I'm guessing that about 90% of active cachers in my area are PMO anyway. Is there a way of knowing this?

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On 9/9/2019 at 9:07 AM, cerberus1 said:

 

That's odd, most of the top hoarders known in this hobby were premium members.

A cache thief in our area, only stealing ammo cans, was a premium member.

Premium membership doesn't make one more trustworthy or knowledgeable. 

We have one here (over ten years a PM) who still trades trackables for swag. 

Here, most new phone users are PM upon joining the hobby.  

 

Hmmmmm. I guess I was just thinking that a newer member or a one and done type might not recognize a trackable from swag and take and keep the trackable, whereas if someone was paying then they might at least know what a trackable is and understand the concept. I honestly didn't realize there were hoarders.  

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8 hours ago, colleda said:

I'm guessing that about 90% of active cachers in my area are PMO anyway. Is there a way of knowing this?

 

I had a long answer written and when I wanted to send it the forums were down for maintenance and the post was gone. :-( Little shorter version:

 

There can't be an automatism to find out how many cachers are there in your area anyway as home coordinates are hidden to everyone else. So you can't find out about member/premium member as well. But you can easily find an approximation of the ratio of member/premium member logs with your caches:

 

I used your hidden statistics of project-gc. It says you have about 8700 logs on your caches and 342 favourite points earned which are 4.5 % of the PM logs.

4.5% = 342 logs so 100% = 7600 logs (4.5% is just an approximation of course).

So you have about 7600 PM logs and about 1100 "normal" members logs. That's about 87% of PM logs.

(edit: Be careful to use this if you have owned events. They do not count either in this percentage of PM logs and you have to filter those finds out. No problem with you, colleda.)

 

BUT that does not mean that 87% of the cachers visiting your caches are PM. Over all a PM should be more actice than M (exceptions exist of course) and if you have PMO caches this ratio means even less. But this ratio might help you. :-)

 

What do you mean by "active" anyone? If the family makes one multi cache every two weeks on sunday they don't produce many logs but I would name them active (enough). When a PM logs 9 caches in this time you have the 90% ratio of PM logs though the ratio of PM vs. M is 1-1.

 

Jochen

Edited by frostengel

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On 9/11/2019 at 2:28 AM, frostengel said:

 

I had a long answer written and when I wanted to send it the forums were down for maintenance and the post was gone. :-( Little shorter version:

 

[Explanation of calculations used to arrive at # of Premium Members using colleda's stats]

Ouch! This hurt my head; I needed another cup of coffee before I tried that again.  ;) 

 

What you did there makes sense; however, for my area that formula does not give a true representation of active Premium vs. Basic Members.  (Here, I'm using "active" as any logs in the past couple of years.)

 

Keeping in mind that our population (thus, caching community) is pretty sparse, as far as I can tell, I'm the only full-time resident who's an active PM in my home area of 20 mi radius.  (There are two more who visit so frequently that I'd call them part-time residents.)  Increasing that radius to 20-50 miles out, though, the percentage of PM/M (I see why you used that single initial there - ha!) jumps significantly.  This is where most of the PM logs come from.  Other PM logs are from cachers who happen to be traveling through on their way to the mountains or to a major geocaching event. So the majority of cachers here are newer, basic members.

 

It was that "calculation" on my part that drove my decision to make two caches in residential areas PMO:  I knew that it would impact the flow of cachers searching for the cache.  This made the residents much more comfortable with the idea.  (Now, they ask me where all the cachers are.  :) Kinda cool.)  Also, the PMs that frequently hunt caches here are sensible and respectful, so I had less worries about the horror stories of PMs' actions expressed by others .

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9 minutes ago, VAVAPAM said:

Ouch! This hurt my head; I needed another cup of coffee before I tried that again.  ;)

 

Luckily enough this was the short version of my post. I remember writing "The rest is simple maths." in the first one which got lost in forums maintenance. ;-)

 

Here's some more coffee for you::omnomnom:

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I never had any PMO caches, until recently.  Someone decided to steal all the logs in one of our cache series, leaving a note that geocaching is littering.  But they didn't get all of the caches, just the ones that had ratings available in the app to basic members.  They walked right by one that had a higher T rating, since it was 2 meters up a pole.  So I knew it wasn't a premium member.

 

My initial response was to replace the logs and hope they'd had their fun.  But then they returned and stole cache containers.  Not all the containers, mind you - the PET preforms and decon containers were left alone.  They just stole all the ammo cans.  They were "replaced" with glass jars and pill bottles.

 

So I picked up the containers that remained, and archived that series.  But before they moved on to other of our caches in the area, I made them all PMO.

 

I still have several ammo cans in reserve from a case lot sale I picked up in Virginia, but I don't see my role in the local caching community as being free ammo can supplier to some jerk.  So when I hid a new series of all ammo cans, I made that series PMO as well.

 

Hopefully the next time we move, we will be free from this experience and can make all our caches available to all members.  Fingers crossed.

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On ‎9‎/‎10‎/‎2019 at 6:02 PM, colleda said:

Almost all of my 80 or so caches are PMO. I have a few Multis and a Mystery that receive only a fraction of the finds of my Traditionals.

I'm guessing that about 90% of active cachers in my area are PMO anyway.

 

Multis are still one of my favorite, if they just weren't pmo...

Now that most people can bypass the audit easily, some have asked us why I still refuse to do their pmo hides.

I'm simply sticking to my guns, after the years of hassles in a couple states, I just don't need to be "surprised" by one again.  :)

The downside is that some odd reason most 5T hides are pmo, the only reason I can see is not wanting to "correct" fake logs (as if PMs don't fake logs :D ). 

Letterboxes I can see covered by that, and I really miss them too.  Now I'm finding more true letterboxes though...

 

 If I accidentally hit a link to a cache here in the forums  (because the poster never said it was pmo...),  I'm on that audit as viewing it.

 - Yet I can watch that cache for it's entire life, and it's now possible that the CO never finds out who I am.   

Go figure...        ;)

I like the idea of a "Premium Member Only" cache,  just not that audit.  

If the site ever finally "gets it" and cans that invasive function, I'll probably do them again.

 

I'm not sure what "active" means.  Please explain.  Thanks.

If I do a cache or two a month am I still  "active" ?    I'd like to think so.

We have a friend who doesn't cache at all anymore,  but maintains their caches, and has a lot of trackables they keep track of.  Active ?

 

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