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6 Points To Ponder Before Using Automatic Status Updates

There have been continuous debates on how one shall use automated messaging in their networks. Having bombarded by auto-direct messages before I was never too keen into making this part of our discussions here. However, recently I was triggered to view it differently because I’ve seen how automatic scheduling can be a blessing to some when it is used wisely in social networking. After giving this a good thought then it hits me…


It’s All About Personal Ethics


Ethics to use automatic status updates

Let’s try look at it this way…

Link droppers constantly messed up our comment boards, did it stop us from commenting seriously? No, it didn’t.

Spam bots misuse Twitter to spam our streams with useless info, did we stop using Twitter then? No, we didn’t.

Some said do-follow will encourage spamming on blogs, does it mean do-follow blog directory is to be taken down? Heck no!

Seriously, if one tends to misuse the scheduling feature solely for Me!Me!Me factor, there’s much to concern about his or her network ethics. Blaming the application for the wrongdoings is far fetched. Since personal reputation is at risk here so I wouldn’t suggest you to jump into scheduling whirlpool before knowing what to expect.


Are We Encouraged to Try Automated Status Updates?

Again, we can’t control how one is running his social networks. Automated Status Updates is a feature, a CHOICE, not a must. Don’t use it if you don’t need it; but if you insist, then take responsibility and revise your purpose before doing so. Bear in mind that if you despise spammers, people will too. Knowing what to avoid and don’t get dependent on it will be a good start.

I have met several people who are using status-scheduling under special circumstances. I didn’t bias to shut them out before I get to know them better in person. They have the decency to not overuse but keep everything moderated. I agree that it helps in both productivity and online presence. It suits their purposes well and so far, no one is complaining.

So what else you need to consider before using automatic status updates?


6 Points To Ponder Before Using Automatic Status Updates

1. Moderate Your Scheduled Status Updates

More doesn’t mean better. Recurring updates are to be handled with care or it will hurt badly. Do not suffocate your followers with endless info, separate them into different time slots if must. It’s tiresome to filter our Twitter streams and live feeds, don’t make us annoyed and shut you down for good. We’re not saying you can’t promote your own stuffs, but keep them moderated at all times.


2. Don’t Put Others’ Reputations At Risk Just Because You Can’t Follow the Rules

Some people are using it in special circumstances: getting messages across about rescheduling a tweetup, alerting others to beware account impersonations, call to actions in meaningful causes etc. Just because you’re desperately to be heard, sabotaging your chance with repeating self-centered updates can alter people’s judgments for both the application and the person who uses it. Do not force the spamming marker to be placed on others simply because you can’t follow the rules.


3. Avoid Self-Promoting Link(s) in First Direct Message to New Friend or Fan

It’s the same nature why people dislike salesmen, they have only one purpose – to sell. If you’re not, why rushing to push products? Take time to engage, find out what your followers truly like. Wouldn’t that be a much better approach? Think ahead and don’t limit yourself shortsightedly. Sometimes it’s not just about the revenue, but the word of mouth, long-lasting trust and friendship that worth so much more in social networking. First impression counts, don’t ruin it.


4. Personalize and Edit Your Automatic Status Updates According to Relevancy

Sometimes  a pre-scheduled updates can be outdated or irrelevant. Make corrections and add values to them if needed. It should be as genuine as your other live tweets or news feeds. If the purpose of using online scheduler is for productivity, it shouldn’t be a problem for you are just as enthusiastic to enhance them for more retweets and bookmark-friendly. Make your updates count or no updates at all.


5. Knowing the Acceptance Limit of Your Audiences

Always, the acceptance limit of your followers or fans, not your own. Think on their behalf of how many updates are going their ways and how you shall engage with them during intervals. Many people forgetting the need to follow up and connect but depending lazily on online scheduler. People don’t want to talk or listen to a robot. My advise is, do not schedule too much updates before you  manage to get in and start conversations or reply to a feedback. A stream without engagement is monotonous. That’s the last thing you need in social networking.


6. Personality and Sincerity of Wanting to Connect Should Be Well Delivered

Forget about affiliate links, ‘visit me’ blog links, help-me-to-help-you type of messages. These will turn people off before they get to know you, which is a pity. It’s not too late to change, try apply a mixture of scheduling of post-sharing for blogger friends, collecting data from poll questions dedicated to people from different timezones, offering freebies or job positions that will end someone’s misery. It doesn’t sound all that bad now, does it? Good things do happen if you know when to use automatic status updates, and when to stop.


Special Tip:

You can even add a special hashtag as in offline or a short message indicating you’re currently unavailable for chatting. Making it clear that it’s a good information you think worth a look, even you’re not there in person. In that case, no misunderstandings will put you in a difficult position but people will aware of your absence. Promise to feedback to them when you get online and keep your word. I have yet seen this been done anywhere but thought could be a considerable thing to do.

What advises do you think people need to hear before using automatic status updates? Kindly share your experience and constructive suggestions (no hate messages) in the comments below. We’re in this together to make our network a better and reliable place to be in, encourage correct mindsets and reduce unwanted noise with social media applications.


  1. I detest auto DM’s. To me they are not a hello, they are a robot. If you want to engage me on Twitter as a new follower, do it on my Twitter stream. As for scheduled tweets, I like your idea of a hashtag to inform people that you’re away. That’s about the only time I’d use them. I’ve seen a lot of people using Twitter horoscopes so their stream has some activity when they’re not online (I think). I don’t even get that idea. We all have to sleep or be offline once in a while!

    1. Connie,

      That’s true. Robotic messages are less attractive. I would hope that the feature will only allow relevant status updates but not DMs.

      Thank you so much for commenting. 🙂

  2. I’m a laggard when it comes to using automatic status updates. I have yet to use it. That’s not to say I don’t see any value in using this extra functionality. I’m just slow to adopt it. The points you’ve raised though are worthy to be considered to make sure we use our social media tools responsibly.
    .-= jan geronimo´s last blog ..When a Question Is the Answer =-.

    1. Jan,

      Same here. Quite a lot of changes here and there, guess we just need to figure out which fits us the best. ^^ Great to have you here!

  3. I think if you don’t use these automated responses and updates, you can do a fine job of building your network. I think auto responses add to the noise. Even if I receive a highly friendly, non-self promotional DM on Twitter, I still assume it’s a cold auto response because it doesn’t use my name and it’s generic. Messages I like to receive are, “Hi Gordie, I see you’re in China. How long have you been there? Is is difficult living there?” or something along those lines. To me that makes the person seem genuine.
    .-= Gordie´s last blog ..Short-Term Gains Are Shorter Term Than You Think. =-.

    1. Gordie,

      I think you brought up a very important factor – genuine. We love real time conversations because it’s real, it’s an interaction between 2 (or more) people at that very moment. ^^

      Kinda reminded me of the answering machine though. “I’m not home right now, but I’ll get back to you later”, even that sounds a little bit more friendlier. ha..

    1. Aswani,

      Yes, your condition explains it – it’s a choice. We all have freedom to decide how to use it or not. I really appreciate your feedback on this. Big thanks!

  4. I haven’t used this yet. I hate it when people send me an automated message about their stuff just after they’ve followed me. I usually remove them because I know if they can do it on their first ‘connection’ with me, they’ll do it all the time.
    You’ve raised some really good points that I think people who use this service should consider thoroughly
    .-= Anne Lyken-Garner´s last blog ..Spice Up Your Winter Health =-.

    1. Anne,

      First impression counts — I think you made a good point there. Some may not notice but just as we shook our hands with a new acquaintance, it’s the firm grip and eye contact that made the first impression. Same as the first DM.

      Thank you for expressing your thought.

  5. I’m not a fan of dm’s, and don’t quite understand the idea of automated messaging on Twitter. I like to be around, if possible, to respond to any replies generated by my Tweets. Doesn’t always work, but I try.

    However, just because I don’t like them and have no use for them doesn’t mean they wouldn’t be appropriate and useful for somebody else. If I were wanting to disseminate information, for example, it might make sense to arrange to get the information out there during the times I can’t do it personally, and hopefully reach a whole new audience.
    You hit the nail on the head – it’s all about ethics, and intention.
    .-= Heather Kephart´s last blog ..Slow Down, but Keep on Moving =-.

    1. Heather,

      Well shared and I’m very pleased to have you see this topic in both conditions. You’re right, it’s all about the ethics. May we all be the smart users of the apps, not another way around. 🙂

  6. Hi Ching Ya.

    Funny that you started out here relating automation to the Me!Me!Me! factor.

    My wife and I have a nephew with a speech disability, and period all he said most off the time was Me!Me!Me!

    But like you point out it is actually possible to change this pattern with proper guidance.

    And we have to remember that not all automation is evil.

    I followed John Haydons training at http://johnhaydon.com and he gave some brilliant suggestion for how to use automation. With SocialOopmh (former Tweetlater) he send automated DMs with a Thank You note and then he mention some of his friends that could be worth follow. He also uses Twitterfeed to promote his friends blogs. Of course the friends he mention and promote he have know for a while, and know they provide value both true Twitter and on their blogs.

    Yes, there are bots, trains, chains, people and programs that abuse the purpose of automation.

    And at the moment I am able to do most of my processes manually, but I can see that there will come to a point where I will have to automate some of my efforts.

    Cheers.. Are
    .-= Are Morch´s last blog ..7 Reasons You Need a Blog to Tweet =-.

    1. Are,

      Good point there. Yes, I too have visited John’s site, actually his post inspired me to think over about automation (a link love for him in the post). ^^

      What a coincidence. Me!Me!Me! — yeah, but I’m sure your nephew is a lot cuter when he says it. 🙂

  7. I don’t mind people sending me auto-DM tweets .. – because I route all email acknowledgements to my SPAM filter and trash, and never look at the DM’s nor do I ever respond to any (unless they’re from you Wchingya of course!~ :D) //

    Actually, that’s only true sometimes – I get lucky and accidentally click the DM button on the twitter page and notice occasionally.

    However – I do see and read and often respond in real time to everybody sending @PetLvr public tweets.

    And, speaking of Facebook I felt very sad and guilty for un-friending a person who usually posts about 50 “quotes” a day in addition to the automated posts and other normally automated status updates. But, that person had a fan page and was replicating the posts in both places so I lucked out I guess.
    .-= HART (1-800-HART)´s last blog ..A Few Significant Advantages Of Crating A Dog =-.

    1. HART,

      First of all, thank you for reading my manual-DMs. lol.. appreciate it a lot.

      I think that’s an example of how one is mis-using the automatic & integrating feature. Maybe he/she was not aware or intentioned to do so.. sometimes I wonder shall we let them know.. it’ll be easier if we know the person well though. What do you think?

  8. I am actually a fan of scheduling. Don’t get me wrong here, but at first it was easy to handle a long stream, but as blogging and twitter became more time consuming. Twitter was adversely affecting my productivity. I just schedule what i like the best. It can be a page i found on a blog or form stumbleupon or from my fellow tweeters
    .-= gautam hans´s last blog ..5 reasons why bloggers quit blogging =-.

    1. Gautam,

      Thank you so much for sharing. 🙂 Finally we have a representative from the auto-scheduling user. Indeed, I believe each person has his/her way of using scheduling feature. As long it’s not a real-time conversation to another, I think that still acceptable IMO. I appreciate your visit here!

  9. I am at the point where I don’t bother to open my DM box on Twitter anymore. And I’ve had to unfriend those on facebook that auto update their status every 5 seconds (literally) with self promoting links. When I see the same avatar 10 times in a row with in a one minute span they get nixed automatically.

    Great post! 🙂
    .-= Ms. Freeman´s last blog ..Don’t Scrap Your Goals Just Re-Evaluate Them =-.

    1. Ms Freeman,

      Oh yes, busy streams from one particular account is very disturbing. Let this be a reminder to us, never flood people’s stream with too much info. Be moderate.

      Thanks for commenting. ^^

  10. Thanks for these tips Ching Ya. By automatic updates though, do you mean getting ads (or something related) every time you leave your email or post a comment by automatic updates? If so, then yes, they can such a pain… Like someone said from above, they are not real people, but robots. I would prefer getting a message from somebody real. I think most people do. 🙂 Great article!
    .-= Hulbert´s last blog ..Improving on Time, Character, Mentality, Emotions, and Health =-.

    1. Hi Hulbert,

      The automatic status updates is referring to Twitter/Facebook updates, including auto direct messages. Interesting too, as for spam bots to trash our comment boards can be something automated too, that’s not pretty either. ^^

      Thanks so much for visiting. Do visit again.

    1. Hesham,

      Manual can work just fine too. 🙂 But I think the fun part is that you never know how far you can reach if not trying out some new strategies.

      Pleasure to see you here my friend.

  11. I’m not into the automated stuff unless I have complete control The only thing I do automatically is have Feedburner tweet a new post. I figure, seeing as how I usually only post every other day it’s not a great burden on my followers.

    Other than that I only tweet interesting things I come across. I hate it when I follow someone, because they followed me first, only to get a sales pitch as their first tweet,
    .-= Sire´s last blog ..The Morning Glory Cloud And Anna Creek Station =-.

    1. Sire,

      lol.. yeah, feedburner auto update for our latest post, I have that as well. It’s under moderation so I think won’t be a problem; plus it’s more like an integration, we’re actually online too when we hit ‘publish’. Automation works everywhere, yes, even integrations.

      Dislike the first tweet = sales pitch either. Never feel that’s a good strategy. I really hope to ask them: how many sales you generate from it? How many people unfollow you afterwards? That could be some research to do.

      Enlightening comment, Sire, as always. 🙂

    1. Elmost,

      Actually here we are referring to Twitter/Facebook updates. Do you mean spam bots instead? Yes, that ain’t pretty too.

    1. Mathdelane,

      Depending on the user’s preferences and styles of communicating, definitely it’s a choice. 🙂 Appreciate you stopping by, Math.

  12. Ching Ya,

    My advice is to experiment. If we listen only to the opinions of others, we fail to discover ways in which technology can help or hurt us.

    Of course, opinions are important, as they give a frame of reference for new, unfamiliar concepts.

    In my personal experience, I have experimented with auto-follow on Twitter, but never liked the idea of auto-DM. After playing with SocialOomph (back when it was TweetLater), I realized that it did absolutely nothing for me.

    So now, when I offer my opinions, I can back it up with blog posts and stats 🙂

    I appreciate your opinions and use them to help me focus my experimentation.

    For now, I limit the automation to sending a “Just posted” tweet whenever I update my blog. This works for me because Twitter and Facebook allow my tweets to show up on my Wall in FaceBook. I spend 99% of my networking time on FaceBook.


    .-= Mitchell Allen´s last blog ..WordPress Site Maps – Three Ideas =-.

    1. Mitch,

      Thank you so much for sharing this! 🙂 Experimenting and decide what’s right or not — something worth considering. I’m happy to see that your strategy let you engage more instead, a good example when one is using Facebook with moderation and skill. Auto-DM is a put off but scheduled updates still have chances to shine if used correctly.

      I appreciate your feedback. Do visit again.

    1. Rathan,

      We are actually discussing about auto-updating for social media sites. How do you plan on using them then? Mind to share?

    1. Arafat,

      Yes, may we all remember to use all things for good. 🙂 No more spamming, flooding and destroying own reputations via massive auto messages. Use it wisely or don’t use it at all.

      Thank you for visiting.

  13. I’m with the others who don’t care much for auto DM’s or DM’s in general. Unless there is a specific purpose I don’t usually see them until well after they are received. It is better to talk to me in my stream on Twitter [if I’m on which is rare]. I do have my blog posts automatically tweeted out, but that is pretty standard on Twitter. All other updates on Twitter or Facebook are all me.

    I like your use of ethics. I always say ethics is a personal choice and one person’s ethics should not be imposed on another, but maybe it’s not our ethics we should be concerned with. Maybe we should think about the ethics of those we wish to engage. After all, it’s about attracting visitors, commenters, potential contacts, friends, etc.
    .-= Anne´s last blog ..Buzzed Driving is Drunk Driving =-.

    1. Well put, Anne. I think you made a clear, thoughtful point. One person’s ethics can be very much different from another that’s true. We gotta know when to stop, where’s the limit before we are labeled as self-absorbed snobs. ^^

      Never go too far with all apps, I’ll say. Appreciate your comment, a good one!

  14. OMG when I was first on Twitter I didn’t understand why all I could see sometimes was two women in particular, tweet after tweet after tweet. Quotes, sales, quotes, more quotes. They were ALWAYS THERE, NIGHT OR DAY. Lol, they had just scheduled a lot of auto-pushy-noise. I finally unfollowed those two to make the streams going by a lot more meaningful! I think your point about time zones was a good one though – I can see one or two quality tweets scheduled for an odd time – just not several in a row.
    .-= Christie´s last blog ..How introverted do I want my life to be? =-.

    1. Tell me about it, Christie! I wouldn’t hesitate to do the same too. As much I dislike to unfollow someone but as the stream getting busier, can’t help but to clear the noise for good.

      I just received another auto-DM yesterday and I was thinking whether or not to send the person this post link. lol.. I doubt the person will ever read it.

    1. Thank you Jimi, it’s encouraging to know you like the idea of strategizing it for a better use. I actually kinda enjoy testing out and acknowledging some people with it. Info-sharing can never be easier, but may we all not forgetting the personal touch right after some responses to our tweets. 🙂

      Thank you so much for dropping by!

  15. Ching, This automated messaging has gotten me a whole full DM inbox on twitter..and i detest it.
    I especially dont like the automated messages with a link.. I never ever check them out…more out of irritation. I feel like its too self promotional…Like you said..its all about ethics..
    Its like greetings someone with a hello..but someone else saying hello in your place…Not cool…
    I dont use automated now…nor will i in the future…

    1. Zeenat,

      I never clicked any links that are sending my way on first DM, ever. Aside from cautiousness, maybe I’m just not interested. Kinda reminds me of forum signatures, why bother to click it if no correlation from the both? Networking is what matters.

      Well said, my friend.

  16. Great post!

    Love your #3 & 6. I only respond to those who send a friendly hello or thanks. Automatically DM’s with a sales pitch are rude. Interacting a few times before trying to sell is a more genuine and useful approach, and certainly less desperate.

    I use the Twitter connect with FB. Still testing it; so far, there hasn’t been any complaints or confusion. When posting on the Here We Are FB page, I try to write content that reads well & makes sense on Twitter, too. Sometimes this is achieved and other times, not so much. The important thing is to appreciate your fans/friends/followers and let them know it even if there isn’t an important link or tidbit involved in the post.
    .-= Luci Weston´s last blog ..February: Warm and Fuzzy =-.

    1. Luci,

      I love your input about appreciating your fans, so true. 🙂 True, it’s such a turn off to have the salesman standing right in front of your face when all you need is a simple greeting and get to know the person better. No more promo and sales pitch before you even get to know someone and what they like. Be sincere, at least.

      Thank you so much for the comment!

  17. I have to admit that the terminology is somewhat throwing me off, Ching Ya, because it looks like you’re talking about a couple of different things here.

    I hate auto DMs with a passion. If I see someone has signed up to follow me and I get a DM, often I’ll end up dropping them almost immediately. That’s because almost all of them send me something to visit, buy, or download, even if it’s free. Since I don’t add anyone I don’t check out first, I’ve already done my homework; I don’t need a follow up on that homework.

    If you’re talking about those people who have something set up to automatically do their advertising for them every so many hours, I hate that also. I will go and check someone’s account who I’ve been following, and if all I see are automated messages, and the same message over and over, I drop those people. If they’re sometimes actually being social, then I might keep them.

    I figure when I advertise, which is extremely rare, I’m posting it while I’m on Twitter, and follow it up with something real that I’m either sharing or talking to someone. My blog posts are automated, which I’ll own up to, mainly because often I write my posts days in advance and have them post automatically, and since I’m not always around for that and want to make sure people see my blog links, I go that route. But that’s the extent for me.
    .-= Mitch´s last blog ..Content Is An Electronic Emperor =-.

    1. I truly appreciate your feedback, Mitch. Your approach is well planned and I don’t have anything against that. 🙂 To have our posts delivered a couple of times more in different time range is acceptable, I’m ok with that too.

      Yes, always keep DM sociable. ^^

  18. For me the worst thing about auto-DMs at Twitter is not knowing which messages could be from someone waiting on an answer and which are automated.

    Many Twitter users who have tons of followers like I do almost have to ignore DMs so if you want us to see them send an @User message to let us know to check for them.

    There are solutions like CoTweet that can make them more manageable but I haven’t gotten into the habit of using them consistently yet.

    I do recommend using CoTweet to schedule Twitter RTs and replies because they keep you from flooding the timelines of followers who don’t follow very many people. That is a common complaint and spreading out your Tweets is a more polite way of being active and avoiding that issue.

    Automating some things can be good; however, it is complicated to make sure you don’t overwhelm people or use them in annoying ways.
    .-= Gail from GrowMap´s last blog ..MEME: LinkLuv in Support of Small Businesses =-.

    1. Gail,

      Thanks for bringing up the DM/mention conditions — I didn’t realize that when Hart mentioned earlier in his comment but only now it rings a bell. I never had that much followers so unaware of the possibilities of people ignoring DMs but pay more attention on @mentions. I’ll be sure to keep this in mind, double check with them just so they’ve read it. ^^

      Very fine tips given, I’m grateful for your insightful comment. Do visit again.

  19. “long-lasting trust and friendship that worth so much more in social networking.” That’s how I feel about blogging!L

    I still am not as much into tweeting and such as you professionals are, but I do recognize a Tweetmeme now and have been clicking that when I like my friends’ posts. But I do not schedule updates, never even considered that. I guess this is all big social media business, eh?


    1. Jannie,

      As the demand increases, there comes the applications. 🙂 Have you seen Google Buzz yet? That’s another hot one going on there.

      Tweetmeme is one handy tool isn’t it? Hope you like it. I didn’t get to catch up with you on Twitter yet, different time zone maybe? It seems like easier to locate you at your blog. ha.. love the latest post with the pictures too.

      Thank you so much for dropping by, always! 🙂

  20. Hi Ching,

    You could use automatic updates sparingly, if there is no other way to do it and if you’ll be in a long hiatus, but to use it daily and indiscriminately is not good for me. There should be at least active interaction online. I always appreciate how you go out of your way to visit blogs and leave very significant comments. It’s an indication that you’ve really read the post and that you genuinely wanted friendship. You are a blogger that all should emulate.

    There was one time I was at twitter and I send several messages to someone thinking he was online, because of several tweets, but he was not. It turned out they were automatic updates. These sometimes rob you of what could have been a person to person fruitful conversation.

    Thanks for the enlightening post.
    .-= Jena Isle´s last blog ..Travel Destination: Angeles City =-.

    1. Jena,

      Yes, that is inevitable. We can’t be online 24 hours/day, especially when blog-visiting is another passion of ours right? 🙂

      Real time conversations are extremely important. Unfortunately even though I don’t use scheduling sometimes but I still log in/out from time to time, causing the delay in replying too. It’s hard to really tell when someone is really online or not. But I do make sure to reply no matter what. Late is better than not replying. ^^

      Wonderfully shared, Jena.

  21. Hi Ching. Wow, you have a fantastic website. I’m going to be coming back often. I’m not sure I understood all of it but I know it will be helpful to me.
    Thank you so much……Gail
    .-= Baileesmom´s last blog ..Comments =-.

    1. Gail,

      It’s great to see you here! What a pleasant surprise. 🙂 Feel free to drop me a message anytime. Maybe the kitties are ready to venture into Twitter or Facebook any time sooner? Let me know.

    1. Thank you and welcome, Himmat.

      Danger? Do you mean the mass-updating that flood the followers’ live streams?

      Appreciate you liking the post. ^^

  22. I have seen people sending me promotional Direct messages on our very first encounter. It gives me the feeling that they are on twitter only to promote their product rather than actually networking or making friends. Why don’t they understand that making friends will help them for their entire life rather than promoting a particular product for a short while.
    .-= Rohit Sane´s last blog ..How to Change your Facebook vanity URL username [to get more SEO and Promotional Advantage] =-.

    1. Rohit,

      Perhaps most marketers still using the conventional method to push products. Ethical marketing is what matters now, it takes time to have them separate true networking from promoting. Thank you for visiting. 🙂

    1. Marko,

      I’m glad I didn’t do that when DM you earlier. lol.. Yes, it’s more polite to be sociable when meet. So happy to see you here and hopefully this won’t be your last visit. Nice meeting you.

  23. I feel that everything needs to be done within reasonable limits. A constant stream of advertising is not going to make you keep your friends, but is rather going to chase them away.

    You need to give away about 80% good free value vs 20% hard sales, whether it is in your email marketing strategy, or in your sponsored tweets or other social updates, in order to keep your audience happing, while still getting the buy in you are aiming for via your internet marketing efforts.

  24. I use Twitter as part feed stream for my site for people who do not like to read RSS or check their email frequently ~ I suspect a lot of other blogs/websites are doing the same

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