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How many variations of a domain name should you own?



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Finding the right number

If you’re thinking about starting a business online or just want your own blog or website, you’re likely looking at domain names. Knowing which variations of a domain name you should buy can be confusing because there are so many options. There is .com, .org, .net, .site, .shop, and the list goes on.

As you’re looking at the many options available to you, there’s a chance you might start considering purchasing multiple domains — just to make sure no one else takes the cool idea you have for a website.

The question is, how domain name variations should you own? And, is there any benefit or any downsides to owning more than one?

In this post, I’ll share why owning multiple domain variations is a good idea. On the flip side, I’ll also uncover the negatives of owning numerous domain name variations. Hopefully, this will help you to make the best decision for your unique needs.

If you believe your brand name will be a household name with a significant reach, how many variations to purchase may become a much more difficult question to answer. Of course, you cannot predict the future. But, you can at least consider the possibilities and make a better decision with more facts in hand. So let’s dive in!

What do I mean by domain name variations?

While domain name variations can mean purchasing typos of your domain name or your domain name with additional words or letters, that’s not the focus of this post. Though a case can certainly be made for purchasing typos of your domain name.

For example, I had a blogger friend who owned a pretty popular website, and a different blogger purchased an extremely similar version of her domain name (instead of it was, swiped most of her copy, and plummeted her search engine ranking.

Instead, when referring to domain name variations, I’m referring to the domain extensions you can purchase, and how many would be best to buy.

The question I’d like to help you answer is, rather than just buying, should you also purchase,,,, etc?

You can read GoDaddy’s full domain extensions guide to get some tips and ideas on which extensions are best for your business or brand. Then, come back here to settle the debate for yourself on how many extensions you should purchase.

Benefits of owning multiple domain variations

Statue busts in various colors and size

There are a handful of benefits to owning multiple domain name variations, even if your brand isn’t yet (and may not ever become) a household name. These benefits include, but aren’t limited to:

  • Protecting your brand name/company name
  • Helping with brand recognition
  • Assisting in effective content delivery

You may be wondering how exactly purchasing more than one domain variation can help you with things like this. Let’s break it down.

Multiple variations of a domain name help protect your brand name

It’s essential to build brand awareness with a business, and owning multiple domain variations is one way that will help you. When you own the most popular top-level domains (TLDs) for your brand, it reduces the chances that someone else will want to or try to purchase a variation of it.

For example, if you own the .com, .net, and .org, you’ve pretty much cornered the market on your domain name.

It’s also worth noting that there are cybersquatters who buy domain names with the intent to sell them for a profit. They have no intention of actually creating content under those domains. Instead, they buy them and hold them until someone purchases another domain extension. Then, they send you an email offering to sell you the domain.

I own and get a lot of emails offering to sell me, .org, .photo, etc.

Considering I pay less than $20 per year with GoDaddy for my .com domain, I can honestly tell you I have no interest in spending thousands for the other domain name variations people have emailed me about. Still, perhaps I could have saved myself the hassle if I’d purchased a few additional extensions of my intended domain when I bought the .com in 2008.

Cybersquatters and protecting your brand may be worth the investment in multiple domain name variations. This way, if someone tries to buy a domain variation that looks like your brand, they will be less likely to be able to do so.

Multiple domain name variations aid in brand recognition

Let’s say for some reason another person does purchase a domain extension for your website and starts posting content with it. Your brand now has the potential of being diluted.

When someone sees your business name, you want them to know it’s yours.

When you own multiple domain extensions you can rest a little easier knowing that when you share your website on social media and in marketing campaigns your brand is the one that will start to be recognized. And, by pointing the .net and .org variations of your domain to the .com you can help ensure that the people looking for your website find it.

Multiple variations of a domain name help you test different content delivery channels

You can use domain variations to test landing pages, different blogging platforms, etc. This can also be a great way to determine which combinations of keywords are most effective and if different sales copy works better with your audience.

Once you know this information, you can redirect all your domain name variations to one website and focus all of your energy on the highest-performing combinations.

Drawbacks of owning multiple variations of a domain name

As with everything in life, there are pros and cons to owning multiple domain name variations. With that in mind, now let’s explore why it might not be such a great idea to buy too many domain names.

They include, but aren’t limited to:

  • It can be costly
  • It’s time consuming
  • Management can be a pain

Let’s break these cons down too, shall we?

Multiple domain name variations add up quickly

Pile of US dollars of varying denominations

This is perhaps the most obvious negative of owning multiple domain names, and it shouldn’t be ignored. You can end up spending a lot of money when you own multiple domains. This can eat into your profit margins — not just the first year, but every year. You also have to factor renewal of your domains, SSL certificates, hosting, and whether or not you want your domains private — you’ll have to pay extra for that as well.

Is the prospect of spending multiple hundreds of dollars worth it? This is where you have to get serious about your plans for the future. After all, if you end up with a global brand, the odds of competitors and cybersquatters scooping up the various extensions related to your domain will increase.

Multiple variations of a domain name can be time-consuming to deal with

That is if you actually use them for testing copy and content delivery. Keeping track of multiple sites can take a lot of time. Of course, you could just purchase them, and set them up to automatically redirect them to the main domain you intend to use. This will take a lot less time to manage because you can set it and forget it.

This leads me to the final disadvantage.

Multiple domain name variations can be difficult to manage

If you do opt to purchase multiple domain extensions, it’s a good idea to:

  • Have them all renewed on the same date
  • Have them set to auto-renewal, and
  • Purchase all the variations from the same domain provider

If you have multiple renewal dates, several logins, and have to “remember” to renew them, you could face the hassle of last-minute scrambling to make the purchase before the domain expires.

I’ve had this happen to me in the past, and it was not fun! I didn’t have my domain set up to auto-renew, and at zero hour I was trying to find my username and password so I could maintain ownership. I don’t recommend this.

Furthermore, set a reminder in your calendar of when your credit card on file expires. This way you’ll automatically be reminded to update credit card information for any billing accounts you have. I’m all about the automatic reminders for all the things!

How many variations of a domain name should you buy?

We’ve covered a lot in this post already. Now, the final question you probably have if you have decided to purchase multiple domain name variations is likely — how many should you get? The unfortunate thing is, this is a very difficult question to answer.

Based on all of my research, what I found is that the ideal bare minimum is three. It’s a good idea to purchase the .com, .net and .org extensions. After that, it’s really up to you. To come to the best conclusion for yourself, ask yourself the following questions:

  • Is this domain purchase for a business or hobby website?
    • You might not care if anyone purchases other extensions related to your domain if it’s just a hobby site. Then again, many hobbies can become businesses…
  • How much can I budget for these extensions?
    • The more you can budget, perhaps the more extensions you should purchase.
  • Do I anticipate a competitor trying to capitalize on my name?
    • The answer to this question, trademarking your brand name may be all you really need to do to protect yourself.
  • Does a fancy domain extension appeal to you?
    • Some ecommerce store owners may want to purchase extensions like .shop and entrepreneurs may want to grab .biz. Or, if you run a Facebook group or other online community, .club might make a lot of sense for your brand

Hopefully, after reading this, you at least are thinking more about the possibilities. While you shouldn’t overthink this too much, I’d advise you not to just blindly dismiss this either.

Consider the pros and cons of owning multiple domain names, research the best ones to buy, and the ones you should avoid. Just make sure you’re making the best purchasing decisions for your brand and budget.

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Growing a Business

5 Ways to Control Your Inventory So It Doesn’t Control You



Managing inventory is a task that can make or break your small business. With too much inventory, profits suffer and storerooms overflow. With too little, items get back-ordered, customers get frustrated and business is lost. And striking a balance is hard, especially with disruptions to the global supply chain in the last few years causing delayed deliveries.

While you can’t control the supply chain, you can take steps to prevent common problems like product shortages and excess stock. Here’s how.

1. Stick to the story

Donna Daniel owns and operates three connected small businesses in Claremont, California: The Grove Clothing, The Grove Home and The Outdoor Store, which sell women’s clothing, home goods and unisex adventure-themed gear, respectively. To run all three of her stores, Daniel needs to keep an impressive variety and quantity of inventory in stock — and ensure it moves quickly to make room for seasonal items and new shipments.

To keep her inventory cohesive within each store, she arranges it in themed displays — or what she calls “stories” — which tie together dozens of different items to appeal to a color, season or activity.

“I don’t buy anything outside of the stories,” she says, which helps her collect data on sales and seasonal trends, and keeps her stock to what’s most likely to sell.

She keeps most of her inventory on the shop floor, with stock in each store’s backroom and larger items in a nearby storage unit. In the backrooms and warehouse, she stores items according to product type and size — not by story — so employees can easily restock displays and substitute a similar item if necessary.

2. Double down on your reliable inventory

“Just-in-time inventory is much more difficult to do today,” says Mark Baxa, president and CEO of the Council of Supply Chain Management Professionals, a global trade association for supply chain professionals. Baxa adds that since the supply chain is less stable than it was pre-pandemic, businesses may need to lean on their most reliable products and vendors.

Courtney Cowan, owner and founder of Los Angeles bakery Milk Jar Cookies, keeps supply needs and consumer demand stable with a very consistent product line. Her 16-flavor menu has “changed very little” in the bakery’s nine-year history, though she leaves room for a rare seasonal standout to join the rotation. Since her store pre-mixes and preserves dough in a deep freezer, she can ensure that her bestsellers are always in stock.

Though some businesses may prefer a bit more variety, in uncertain times — over-ordering on go-to products with a dependable profit margin can help fill the gaps and keep sales steady.

3. Keep products moving

Longtime retailers know that while running out of inventory is bad, having too much can be worse. “Too much backstock eats up all your capital,” Daniel says. She prevents this from happening by planning ahead and using sales sections to make room for new merchandise.

Daniel reorders seasonal inventory as far as a year ahead by using recent sales reports as a baseline. But with this commitment to hundreds of new products arriving every month, she makes sure that items don’t sit on shelves for more than a few weeks.

“I do not like merchandise hanging around,” she says, explaining that if an item isn’t clearing out quickly enough, she’ll move it to the sales rack and discount it until it’s gone.

Though selling an item for a fraction of its original price may seem painful, it may be worth doing to keep inventory moving and keep customers coming back for new products.

4. Get to know your supply chain

Especially in periods of supply chain disruption, getting to know your vendors can make a big difference in your day-to-day operations. “Hold your supplier base accountable,” Baxa says. He suggests finding the “shortest path” possible, including finding local and sustainable suppliers, to help ensure consistent, reliable supply.

Daniel follows the same principle, sourcing her inventory from mostly local vendors so she can pick up items instead of shipping. She weighs several factors, including production time, available quantity and shelf life to figure out how much to order and how often.

Cowan’s inventory is perishable, so she needs her wholesale ingredients to arrive on a tight schedule. Her bakery receives truck deliveries directly from the restaurant supplier Sysco and wholesale store Costco, which keeps her supply chain close to home.

“We keep it as centralized as possible,” Cowan says. For special ingredients like nuts and candy, she places advance orders with small online vendors.

Clear communication with vendors can help business owners figure out limitations, plan ahead and mitigate risk.

5. Use a point-of-sale system with inventory management tools

For the past five years, Daniel has been using Lightspeed, a POS system with standout inventory management tools. The software can track her inventory across all three of her stores, and it generates reports that help her analyze seasonal sales data and follow her businesses’ growth.

This data is essential for her to plan reorder points and determine which items will reliably sell. Especially with a small staff and multiple locations, an all-in-one POS system can help minimize costs and labor.

Best POS for inventory management

Lightspeed Retail POS

Cost: Software $69 per month (billed annually) and up. Hardware quote-based.

Lightspeed’s retail point-of-sale system is built for inventory management. It can keep detailed records of your products across multiple locations and set automatic reorder points, so you don’t run out. The software also offers employee and customer relationship management tools, as well as advanced analytics features on its higher-priced plans.

You have the option to use a third-party payment processor, or Lightspeed’s in-house processor with per-transaction fees at 2.6% plus 10 cents for swipe, dip and contactless payments and 2.6% plus 30 cents for keyed-in transactions.

Square for Retail

Cost: Software free and up. Hardware from free card reader to $799 terminal and up.

Square’s retail-specific POS software offers inventory management tools and multi-location capabilities as well. The free version has a variety of other useful features including reporting tools, customer and employee management. Email marketing, loyalty programs and payroll are available with a higher-priced plan or as a paid add-on.

Though its inventory management isn’t quite as deep as Lightspeed’s, Square’s user-friendly interface and accessible pricing make it a great choice for most retail businesses. Payment processing fees vary per plan, but with the free retail plan, costs are 2.6% plus 10 cents per in-person transaction, 2.9% plus 30 cents per online transaction and 3.5% plus 15 cents per keyed transaction.

Shopify POS

Cost: Software $29 to $299 and up. Hardware $49 and up.

Shopify’s point-of-sale system is geared for businesses that primarily sell online. The software tracks inventory, hides out-of-stock products on your website and offers basic inventory analysis. It also facilitates drop-shipping, curbside pickup and local delivery options, plus access to vendors and third-party applications.

Shopify helps businesses manage inventory across online and in-store locations. Its Pro version can create purchase orders, run inventory counts, perform advanced inventory analysis and generate low-stock reports. However, it’s not ideal for a business that only sells in store. Payment processing varies by plan, with in-person fees starting at 2.4% with Shopify POS Lite.


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Growing a Business

14 community management tips for meaningful connections with customers



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Community building blocks

The idea for sharing community management tips came to me about a year ago. That’s when I synced up with the GoDaddy Community team to host a webinar for small business owners. As hundreds of attendees rolled into the Zoom, I had a realization: “GoDaddy has a strong community.”

Behind every good brand and business, there’s a solid community of supporters, stakeholders, and sometimes, even haters.

But building a community and maintaining connections is one of the most misunderstood and least talked about topics within the small business world. For a business with fewer than five employees and a handful of customers, community building might seem like just another marketing tactic that is just out of reach.

To help small businesses build and manage an online community, I asked other business owners and marketers what community management tips they had for creating meaningful connections with customers.

14 community management tips to create meaningful customer connections

Given that creating and maintaining a strong community can help retain and attract customers, consider following these 14 community management tips:

  1. Be quick to address negative experiences
  2. Filter out spam
  3. Showcase success
  4. Send a postcard
  5. Get your customers involved in important decisions
  6. Bring Up topics that encourage engagement
  7. Provide talking points and engage with your community
  8. Engage regularly
  9. Be the face of your brand
  10. Choose a channel that works
  11. Create content that addresses customers’ specific needs
  12. Consider a brand ambassador program
  13. Reward loyalty
  14. Recognize the importance of inclusivity

Read on to learn more.

1. Be quick to address negative experiences

A bad customer experience can quickly escalate to a brand reputation crisis, and the company’s response must be fast to revert the situation.

Monitoring social channel mentions is an easy way to keep an eye on conversations surrounding your brand and detect potential concerns.

Once a customer posts a comment that threatens your brand reputation, listen, honestly apologize and be willing to solve the issue in the best possible way. Your unsatisfied customer will feel appreciated and perhaps even become a brand advocate.

-Rebeca Sena,

2. Filter out spam

The most important thing you should be doing in regards to community management is interacting with your community, and you cannot do that properly if you have to work through a bunch of spam. There are many programs out there, even some within the different social media sites, that can filter out spam in your comments and messages so you can focus on addressing your community. Plus, getting rid of the spam and moderating harmful comments creates a better space for your community to contact you through.

-Jacob Dayan, Community Tax

3. Showcase success

Develop case studies from your successful community members. This is a practical way of propagating the core values of your online community and encouraging new users to join your community.

The more these members contribute to the community, the more impact these case studies have. You can start by creating basic reports to identify the members who are actively contributing high-quality content, assisting other members, and elevating the community.

-Hasan Farahani, Yocale

4. Send a postcard

postcard with other travel items

Many of my customers spend $15–$20K on medical care in Latin America. I send my customers handwritten postcards to remind them of their journey, thank them for their business, and to stay engaged while they recover from procedures like dental implants or plastic surgery.

The cost in time and money is very low, but a human touch in the healthcare space is increasingly rare.

-Wesley Jacobs, Apollo Medical Travel

5. Get your customers involved in important decisions

Taking the time to follow up with your most active customers and getting their insights on important decisions makes them feel like their opinions are truly valued and cared for.

In the long run, this forges a strong connection between you and your audience that relies on more than simply a transaction.

An added benefit of doing this is that you may even get some eye-opening suggestions and creative ideas that could end up benefiting your business.

-Harry Morton, Lower Street 

6. Bring up topics that encourage engagement

Meaningful connections need to originate from a common source that offers a moment of relatability, which can further build brand trust. Social platforms offer numerous opportunities for these types of exchanges. When managing your social community, bring up topics that encourage engagement so you can connect on a level that goes beyond the basic company/customer relationship. In doing so, the consumer will feel more at ease to comment, ask questions and even provide more detailed feedback.

-Lindsay McCormick, Bite 

7. Provide talking points and engage with your community

It’s important to recognize that community management is an ongoing responsibility. If you want to see your community thrive, you must create opportunities for customers to voice their opinion, communicate with other community members and provide you with feedback. Finding success is contingent on your ability to encourage participation from users, so you must provide talking points and give them plenty of avenues to stay involved.

If you leave your community dormant without your administrative oversight, engagement will start to dwindle as fewer users initiate conversations and take part.

Communities rarely function autonomously, so be sure to play an active role as you connect with and safeguard your community.

This gives you a chance to speak with your customers on a personal level, helping you learn about their likes, dislikes, objections and pain points directly—all of which are crucial in building meaningful connections with customers.

-Mike Grossman, GoodHire

8. Engage regularly

The best community management tip is to engage regularly and don’t neglect questions or threads you didn’t start—even better if they aren’t getting a lot of feedback. If you’re lucky enough to have the opportunity to regularly interact with your customers, make sure you’re commenting often and have a badge next to your name letting them know you’re a moderator or part of the company. That will really cement that feeling of connection and letting members feel heard. Plus, we’ve found that a community manager can really breathe life into a topic by offering input and pushing it to the front of that community for more engagement.

-Sylvia Kang, Mira

9. Be the face of your brand

Revealing the human side of your brand is without a shadow of a doubt an efficient strategy to boost your customers’ connection. It conveys transparency and accountability, building a stronger human bond. Consumers tend to trust people more than a company, and showcasing real people will make you and your brand easier to remember and trust.

-Chiara Sternardi,

10. Choose a channel that works

social media apps on iphone

The best way to build an authentic community is to have everyone communicate using the same social media platform. Make that a crucial part of your strategy.

If it’s a professional audience that you’re going after, choose LinkedIn. If it’s a broader audience, use Facebook or Instagram. If it’s a young audience, try Snapchat or WhatsApp. If it’s a politically charged audience, maybe try Twitter.

YouTube is a great way to encourage people to watch videos that provide clear instructions on how a product or service works.

Users flock to YouTube for instructions on everything from how to change batteries on a device to playing scales on a guitar. The comment section can be useful for feedback purposes, and it also can be a way for customers to communicate with one another.

-Joel Jackson, Lifeforce

11. Create content that addresses customers’ specific needs

By creating audience and buyer personas based on different client categories, content marketers can create social content that speaks to people rather than just industries. Learn where your customers hang out online using your social media demographics. Then, narrow those results using audience research to help you define a specific audience and channel. You can then customize communications by researching the LinkedIn profiles of potential customers. Doing so will allow you to identify different stakeholders within the organization and determine their pain points. You can then create better content that addresses their challenges. But it’s all about finding an interesting angle for each segment.

Content that is too broad won’t result in authentic engagement with your followers.

Social media posts that offer helpful information are guaranteed to stand out in your clients’ feeds, resulting in more likes, shares and leads.

-Daniel Tejada, Straight Up Growth

12. Consider a brand ambassador program

A great way to create authentic connections with customers is with an acquisition and advocacy program like a brand ambassador program. For example, if a user can get five people to sign up for a service or product, they become an ambassador.

These brand ambassadors can help your business acquire new users. You can reward them with swag and access to special products or services … maybe even a special event!

-Jennifer Pieniazek, Resume Now

13. Reward loyalty

You can create meaningful connections by rewarding loyal customers to show how much you appreciate them. Just like any relationship, whether it’s personal or professional, people appreciate rewards. Show your customers that they matter and are top of mind in your decision-making. That’s how you create a stronger, more loyal customer base—one that will continue to pay attention for new initiatives and future rewards.

-Alyssa Berman-Waugh, Level Home, Inc.

14. Recognize the importance of inclusivity

To create meaningful connections with customers, recognize and accept diversities within your community. Each of your customers will differ in terms of their culture, orientation, ability and life experience. It’s imperative that you celebrate these differences and welcome input from individuals of all walks of life as you advocate for equity and inclusivity. This will develop your community’s reputation and attract diverse groups in greater numbers.

Communities that cater to just one group of people almost always become echo chambers, creating a suboptimal environment for connections to form and important discussions to take place.

By listening, asking questions, and welcoming input from diverse groups of individuals, you’ll cement your community as a welcoming place for diversity and insight to flourish.

In doing so, your ability to build a rapport and create meaningful, lasting connections with your customers will blossom.

-Patrick Casey, Felix

The community management tips used in this article were gathered using Terkel.
Terkel creates community-driven content featuring expert insights. Sign up at to answer questions and get published.

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Growing a Business

How Online Presence Makes Your Business More Trustworthy



Have you ever made a dining decision based on a review you saw on the internet? You may have picked a product because it seemed “more trustworthy” online. It’s also a deal breaker if it isn’t handled correctly.

Customers are more inclined to believe in your company if it presents itself well on the internet. Whether a startup or a large corporation, your online appearance and behaviour matter to your consumers if you own an offline or online company.

Online presence

Why Should Your Business Go Online?

In addition to being available for your consumers, here are other reasons to consider your online presence.

It Improves Your Company’s Accessibility

When you don’t sell anything online, a solid online presence can help you make more money from the internet if you aren’t engaged on social media.

Before making a purchase, most consumers do internet research to learn more about the company and the goods. Being at the right place at the right time is simply good business.

It Takes Care of Your Marketing and Branding

An internet presence provides a steady supply of customers for your company. Customer feedback and social media participation may help boost purchases. It’s easier for consumers to identify your online presence with a website or social media account.

It May Boosts Your Company’s Credibility

Having an online presence is essential for your organisation to be taken seriously. A startup might have difficulty being accepted as a legitimate organisation in its early stages. It’s essential to have a strong internet presence before people take you seriously. It’s easier to get quick loans at to expand your company.

It Aids in the Comprehension of Your Target Market

When you have an online presence, you can engage with your audience in a two-way conversation to get valuable feedback or evaluations. In addition, it helps you learn more about your prospective consumers and the things they’re looking for. If a restaurant uses polls on its Facebook page, it may determine which specials and goods are most popular with its patrons.

Businesswoman building an online presence

How Can You Evaluate and Enhance Your Company’s Web Presence?

Analysing your online reputation simply means monitoring what others say about you online. Then you make it work for you.

You can monitor and enhance your company’s online appearance by following these three steps.:

Monitor Mentions of Your Business

Monitoring your company’s internet mentions can help you track what’s being said about you and mitigate unfavourable publicity. This can also help you identify communication gaps.

Google Alerts can help you track online references of your company. Set up notifications for your business/product name and relevant keywords, and you’ll be alerted promptly whenever you’re mentioned anyplace online.

Analyse Your Website Traffic

The source of your traffic (and how much) might assist you in evaluating your internet presence. It may be necessary to expand your internet activities beyond your website. For example, low social media traffic might imply a poor social presence.

Tracking your website’s traffic with Google Analytics might reveal secret traffic sources that your Google search may have overlooked. It will also help you find unnoticed remarks or backlinks.

Assess Your Social Media Engagement

Your social media presence affects your online reputation as well. Active consumers on your social media platforms help build trust and confidence.

Consider checking a company’s and a competitor’s Facebook accounts. You may observe that one firm interacts with clients while the other has a few likes but no comments. Which do you prefer?

Social media presence for startup

Bottom Line

An active social media presence gives the impression of reliability while also conveying a sense of humanity and authenticity. Your audience will be more engaged as your social media presence improves.

To keep up with your target audience, you need to be one step ahead of them online. The first step is to become well-versed in everything your consumers discover about your company through the internet. Your internet presence must be understood, monitored, and improved to reach this goal.

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