Search Results for: linkedin

Build your own website and stop using Twitter, Facebook, and LinkedIn for your personal online persona.

There’s another option for developing an online presence that doesn’t leak any data you don’t want it to, if you’re willing to put in the effort: a personal website. Last year, a Vice reporter, Jason Koebler, made a compelling case for bringing personal websites back into style. Before Facebook, setting up your own page on sites like Xanga or LiveJournal was common, and the data controls were simple. This technology is still available to us, easier to use then ever, and gives you control over the privacy levers. Just don’t share a résumé with your phone number on it.

Source: Opinion | Build an Online Presence Without Giving Up Privacy – The New York Times

Can Non-Profits Benefit from LinkedIn?


One of my favorite clients had this question on our weekly call this morning.

I excitedly said “YES!” which feels a little odd. Going back through my blog archives here, you’ll see lots of instances over the last 10 years where I’ve written that LinkedIn “sucks” is “terrible” and “should not be used.”

However, LinkedIn can be a fabulous tool for groups and nonprofits looking to make an impact within a certain influencer group. I offered a couple of different thoughts on how to do that in our call this morning, but the highlights are that you should be posting updates and your posts should be “mobile-first” (short, narrative, and text). Secondly, use their native video feature to share QUICK and focused updates via mobile video, especially if you’re doing outreach or looking to connect with parties in your community.

There’s a great list of other ideas here from Social Media Examiner that I found while doing some research:

Keep it short. No one wants to read walls of text. Also, on LinkedIn mobile, a See More link appears on text updates longer than five lines. On the desktop version, your post is cut off after only three lines. With these limits in mind, if you use a storytelling approach, put a compelling hook in the first line to encourage people to read the whole post.

via How to Improve Your LinkedIn Engagement : Social Media Examiner

LinkedIn Still Sucks


bla bla bla.

LinkedIn is still a PITA…

LinkedIn Means Business With New Application Platform: “LinkedIn has launched its new OpenSocial-based application platform called InApps – an answer to the platforms found on social networks like Facebook and MySpace, but without the clutter and ‘junk’ apps that plague those sites. Unlike most other social networks, LinkedIn apps must go through an approval process before they will go live on the store, and all apps must be deemed ‘professional’ in purpose to appear on the business-oriented social network. To prevent an overwhelming amount of clutter, users will be restricted to including a maximum of 15 applications on their main profile pages, though they will eventually have the option to install more apps on a separate page.”

Sorry, but I wish it would just die.

Please, don’t add me on LinkedIn. kthxbye.


Services I (Prefer to) Offer:

  • Branding and strategic marketing consulting: Logos and marketing material focused on branding
  • Website speed improvements: WordPress site enhancements for improved instant loading speed
  • Website server management: Tuning of existing server or using our own hosting solution to deliver a faster and safer website experience
  • UI/UX direction: How to improve WordPress (or other platforms) sites by user experience and interactions (colors, typography, spacing, structure page flow)
  • Developer audit: I will audit your theme, plugin, or service and provide insight on how it can be built and marketed better for your target audience. Additionally, I’ll produce a report on recommendations for speed, security, UX/UI, and site reliability
  • Web design: I’ll work with you on designing a custom website design that is both efficient but also contemporary with the latest research to back up decisions
  • Web development: I do this on a limited basis and I’m pricey. Includes complete design and development of a 5-10 page (more pages increases the price) WordPress website that we’ll host and maintain for you.
  • Training for web or social media teams. 

Tech Skills:

  • Web development (WordPress Engineer since 2005)
  • Website hosting server management
  • WordPress security
  • WordPress speed enhancements
  • Marketing strategy
  • Traditional marketing/branding, ad campaigns
  • SEO
  • Paid Search (Google Ads, Facebook & Instagram Ads, LinkedIn Promotions, Pinterest Ads)
  • Social media marketing (Facebook, Instagram, Pinterest, LinkedIn, Twitter, Youtube)
  • Website design 
  • Logo and branding design and development
  • UI/UX direction
  • E-commerce (WooCommerce/Shopify)
  • Affiliate marketing
  • Newsletter management (Mailchimp, SendGrid, Constant Contact, Mailerlite


Sam’s team is equipped to help your church succeed with strategic, concrete results. In particular, Merianna brings keen insight into helping churches navigate the waters on issues such as conflict resolution, bi-vocational opportunities, and young minister counseling. Her experience in church growth strategies meets everyday needs that churches across the spectrum are trying to negotiate. For practical help for complex problems, Merianna, Sam, and the folks at the Sam Harrelson Consulting will help your church meet its full Kingdom potential.”

Garrin Hill
Pastor, First Baptist Church of Forest City, NC

I am amazed at Sam’s knowledge and creative thought process in delivering a fantastic, cutting edge website! He is a great and honest person who truly cares about what you are trying to carry out. It doesn’t just end with website construction, his knowledge of marketing in the digital age is second to none! What has impressed me the most is his motto of “Your success equals my success!”

Josh Pollock
CEO, Visionary Solutions U.S.

One of the rare breeds of intellectuals that are hard to find these days. Hard working, future thinking, and extremely creative. I often turn to Sam for critical insights. Sam is extremely in touch with emerging web technologies like blogging, social networking, and RSS. His background in academia is invaluable.”

Wayne Porter
CEO and Security Expert

I have known Sam for years. Always diversified and on top of new trends. Well connected and knows how to stick and move in an ever-changing industry. He is a great networker, great guy, and a must contact to have in your database. Resourceful, honest, and well-respected in the online arena.”

Rick Lea
CEO, m3

Contact Sam:


Office: 803-567-5020

Social Media Marketing’s Decline

“It feels weird admitting this, too: We as a Buffer marketing team—working on a product that helps people succeed on social media—have yet to figure out how to get things working on Facebook (especially), Twitter, Pinterest, and more.

And that’s super scary to admit.”

Source: We’ve Lost Nearly Half Our Social Referral Traffic in the Last 12 Months

Brutally honest (but incredibly smart) post by the Buffer marketing team. If you don’t know, Buffer is one of the services out there that allows you to easily share your content from one place to another by hooking everything up together. It’s a great service (I use competitor here but I do use Buffer with a few clients).

So often I have these sorts of conversations with existing or potential clients that have to do with the dwindling returns on using Facebook, Twitter, or LinkedIn to try and get more pageviews back to a site or newsletter.

Part of the problem has to do with the nature of metrics and how things are changing, part has to do with the maturity of social media, and part has to do with the realization of businesses that if you really want to get a vast number of clicks back to your site, you’re going to have to pay for them (organic reach via social is all but dead if you’re not willing to invest in a social media manager or a consultant like me… just saying). Social media has changed and evolved. Social media is not an umbrella. You can’t blast out a post to Twitter and Facebook and wait for the clicks to come.

… and you shouldn’t be waiting for clicks.

Blogging Still Matters in a Social Media World

One of the main things I want to do more in 2014 is post on my blog. It’s a daily fight with Facebook, Instagram, Twitter etc.

However, this has been my web home for over ten years now an I need to start treating it better.

Great post by Matt…

Blogging is harder than it used to be. We’ve gotten better at counting and worse at paying attention to what really counts. Every time I press Publish the post is publicized to Facebook, Twitter, LinkedIn, Path, and Google+, each with their own mechanisms for enumerating how much people like it.

via The Intrinsic Value of Blogging | Matt Mullenweg.

Stranger Than Fiction

This is just getting weird…

The truly amazing thing about this is just how pedestrian the NSA’s efforts are – according to NRC, they’re essentially running the same kind of phishing scams with false email requests that you’ll see from any other purveyor of malicious software. As an example, NRC points to how the British GCHQ used false LinkedIn pages to lure and infect Belgacom network employees. Just one more good reason to never click on anything sent from anyone ever.

via TechCrunch

Pinterest Gets Analytics

Pinterest has announced their iteration of web analytics for bloggers, businesses and groups with a verified website in the profile of the popular sharing service:

Introducing Pinterest Web Analytics – Pinterest Blog: “Bloggers, businesses, and organizations often ask us, “what are people pinning from my websites?” These website owners help create the content on Pinterest and we wanted to help them understand which pieces of content people find most interesting. Today, we’re pleased to announce Pinterest Web Analytics, a first step towards doing just that. Web Analytics gives site owners insights into how people are interacting with pins that originate from their websites.”

Getting your website verified by Pinterest is a pretty painless and straightforward process involving dropping some code into the header of your site.

Most interesting is the ability to see stats on not just your pins but also repins as well as impressions and clicks. This should make many of the marketers and businesses that have been eyeing Pinterest but not sold on the platform because lack of analytics happy.

This isn’t a good thing for sites such as PinReach that have sprung up to fulfill the need for analytics and insight into Pinterest trends. However, much like Twitter’s once flourishing API coral reef (still a great post six years later), these sites can become interesting platforms to dig deeper or look at other types of social engagement outside of what Pinterest itself offers.

Pinterest is definitely upping the social media involvement ante with businesses as it continues to scale its user base and explore areas of monetization and ad serving in a different path than either Twitter or Facebook.

Instead, look to LinkedIn and Twitter for further innovation in the social networking monetization space.

Spreading Too Thin on Social Sites

Spreading videos you’ve already made (and the ones you haven’t made yet) to social channels is one of the common sense things that many marketers don’t do well.

On top of that, making sure to do more than just link or embed your videos on sites as if you’re simply broadcasting is something most marketers just simply ignore.

Yes, spread your videos around but don’t just dilute your message online by blasting your posts or videos or podcasts everywhere… just as when you are learning in school, it’s better to go deeper than wider when applying social media strategies. Don’t have time for LinkedIn? Don’t post there. Think Twitter is silly? Don’t tweet. Have no clue why Pinterest is a big deal? Don’t pin.

Find the balance between spreading your content (posts, video, audio, pics etc) but don’t spread yourself too thin on sites that you’re not authentically using and engaging…

Leverage Your Existing Videos on Your Social Media Sites | SoMedia Video Marketing Blog: “LinkedIn, YouTube, Facebook, Google+ are all great places to post your videos—in fact I think LinkedIn and Google+ are going to be big destinations for online business video in the near future—which is the key point here: once you’ve created a video, you need to ensure you leverage it beyond your website. Don’t just hide it on your website, consider all the places where your target audience is online, stake your claim, and post the video there.”

via Tris Hussey on Twitter

Tara Hunt Explains the Secret to Great Social Content

Tara lays it out with a nice analogy and rock solid advice at the end:

The Secret to Great Social Content – Tara Hunt on LinkedIn: “Quite often, people seek out things like formulas and best practices and all sorts of ways to ensure the best outcomes. Books and posts and articles and infographics are gobbled up whole in order to satisfy an eager marketers desire to implement a ‘highly impactful’ content strategy. These types are Hedgehogs. They will see a popular 700×700 inspirational quote being passed around Facebook like wildfire and think, “A-ha! That’s the key! We need to create more square inspirational quotes!'”

Head over and read the post, it’s worth your time to reflect on how you’re making content for social media tied to your marketing campaigns and efforts and how effective you’re really being with your words and images.

Marketing in 2013 requires heart to be successful and marketers all-too-often forget that.

All Traffic is Not Good Traffic

Affiliate Summit published its latest webinar today on the topic of traffic generation. Evan speaks for an hour about how he generates traffic and “fans” organically through search, via social media such as LinkedIn and Facebook, with email and paid search…

10 Proven Ways to Drive Traffic to Your Affiliate Website: “Affiliate Summit ran a free webinar featuring Evan Weber, of online marketing agency Experience Advertising, on 10 Proven Ways to Drive Traffic to Your Affiliate Website, and it’s now available to watch on demand.”

It’s an interesting video for people new to the area of affiliate marketing and Evan does a good job of showing how to get traffic via tried and true techniques that do increase page views.

However, my reminder to advertisers and publishers I work with (especially folks new to the industry) is that not all traffic is good traffic.

For instance, is spam (still waiting for the mud fight, Kim). It’s a fantastic tool if you’re looking to broadcast like you’re Dan Rather, but that’s not what the effective media tactic of 2011 looks like and you’re not CBS.

In Evan’s webinar, he makes great use of tools like, a Chrome extension for blasting out links to Digg, LinkedIn, Reddit, Delicious, Facebook, Twitter,, Plurk and God knows what else, but most, if not all, of the traffic gained from such blasting will do little to help you conversion numbers and in fact drive the type of dilution that could lead you to make poor choices about ad placements, keyword buys etc.

In other words, this type of traffic generation is great if you’re doing CPM advertising, but CPA and PayPerSale in 2011 requires different strategies based on community growth in the long term.

A much more realistic strategy for effective and sustained traffic and conversions generation is to hyper-focus. Build out the profile of your ideal user. What networks do they use? What things do they search for? What will lead them to your site, make an action on your site and then refer your site to others and come back at least once in the coming three months? What do they look like? Where do they live (don’t be creepy)? What do they wear? What kind of pets do they have? What games do they play? What do they drive? Be obsessive. Sweat the details and do your research.

Take the portfolio of that person you create and work incessantly to sell your story to that person. It’s not easy, but it will pay off. If you get that one person to your site, you’ve made it.

Stop reaching for millions of page views via artificial keyword buys and blasted out social media messages and thousands of indexed pages with forums that no one uses and work to convert that one person that you’ve created.

At least that’s what works for me and why you’re reading this now.

I Love Disqus

The comment solution I use here at CostPerNews is called Disqus. It’s fantastic and the best of both worlds for building a community out of your commenters.

Today, Disqus is announcing a new funding round and a slew of new (and very cool) features that enhances the platform:

Disqus Blog » Disqus releases Beta 2 – New features, lots of bug fixes, improved performance: “Bloggers are some of the most opinionated and vocal people out there. So when creating a product for bloggers, expect them to significantly shape the thing every step of the way.

Disqus is very much such a product. Late last week, we release what we dubbed Beta 2. That’s the label we’re giving to one of the biggest Disqus updates in a long time. And credit goes to you, wonderful Disqus user, for all the help in improving your favorite discussion service.”

So what’s new?

For one the forum look-and-feel is gone and replaced by very nice “Community Pages.” Everything is much more coherently organized and easier to browse. You can see the CPN Comments Page here for an example.

Disqus is also making it easier for commenters to create their own profiles and add social networks like Twitter, Facebook, LinkedIn to that profile fairly easily. Since the crowd here tends to be the same commenters, this could be a neat feature for this particular blog and help you get some traffic to your other social networking spaces. That profile travels with you to other blogs that use Disqus.

There’s lots of additional goodness on the backend for blog owners that I won’t bore you with, but it’s easier to configure the look and feel of the place and easier to bake in the Disqus comments into the originating blog.

For example, the biggest request I had was for a “Recent Comments” widget that would display new comments here on the blog that were reflective of the forum. That’s baked in now, thank goodness.

So, if you’re a blogger and looking for something to spice the place up and bring in extra functionality for your readers and commenters, I highly suggest Disqus.

Yahoo Just Got Cool Again

Yahoo is embracing semantic web standards / microformats…

Yahoo Embraces The Semantic Web – Expect The Internet To Organize Itself In A Hurry: “What does all this mean? It means we can expect the web to get itself organized, in a hurry. At stake is a significant amount of traffic from Yahoo search, and anyone else that may choose to build applications on top of this data.”

In other words, all those random social networks and places of content creation that you have joined or participated in (MySpace, LinkedIn,, etc) are going to be more easily incorporated into Yahoo search because the data will be properly structured on the backend.

This is huge and has been a coming avalanche one snowflake at a time.

Hats off to Yahoo and all the open standards evangelists like Chris Messina that have made this happen.

Updated: Marshall Kirkpatrick has a great piece about what this all means on RWW

Anti-Social Media

Loren Feldman hates “social media.” Why should you care? Because he makes good points about crowd mentality.
I would get into semantics and explain how social media and wisdom of the sheep/crowds are two different things, but it’s irrelevant to the point he’s making. He does make some very valid points about the place of creativity and individuality. Of course I strongly disagree with him on some issues, but you’ll have to make your own mind up on where you stand.

I think the categories he uses below the video are the best part. Ze Frank? Mark Cuban? Nice.

The following link may contain strong language, tattoos, gold chains, half naked unshaven men and vitriolic hyperbole offensive to some viewers and will make any children nearby cry (and pay no attention to his LinkedIn or MyBlogLog links on the right or the YouTube logo in the video)…

Loren Feldman on Social Media

Sphere and Jaxtr


Popular sites such as, Dow Jones Market Watch, ZDNet, TechCrunch and GigaOM utilize the Sphere widget in order to allow users relevant and personalized search platforms based on their own interests and reading habits.

I’ve just partnered with Sphere to also implement the widget here on CostPerNews to help facilitate conversation and promote good content. I consider Sphere a cross of StumbleUpon and Technorati with a dash of Techmeme thrown in for good measure.

What I do enjoy about Sphere, and the reason I encourage all of you to use it, is the fact that smaller blogs with less traffic but higher quality are easily discovered using Sphere. About a third of the feeds I subscribe to are a direct result of my use of Sphere. These are blogs with well constructed and highly interesting content about Sumerian archaeology, string theory, pencil fetishes (I’m a pencil/pen collector), and of course, online marketing and the social web.

To get the Sphere widget placed on your site is a complicated process involving personal emails with the Sphere team and a regular check of the content you are producing. This is especially true for WordPress blogs. That does help keep the quality of “sphere’d” sites high, though.

So, give Sphere a go and enjoy some new blogs you haven’t found yet.

I’ve also installed a button for the Jaxtr service over on the far right sidebar. The service is still in an invite-only private beta, but I’ve enjoyed the tests I’ve been running through Jaxtr. Basically, if you have VOIP set up on your computer, you can click to “call me” on my mobile without having to go through Skype or a similar service. Behind Jaxtr is a founder of LinkedIn, so I have faith in the service.

Jaxtr is intended for the MySpace/Friendster crowd. When you contact a person through the Jaxtr button on their site, neither the caller nor the recepient of the call has their number displayed, so it is ideal for some types of affiliate marketing programs as well.

Yes, I know it is problematic for some to throw out that kind of immediate access and contact (my number is 803-413-6834 for good measure), but when I’m not at my computer, I have my mobile with me, and it’s a convenient way to reach me.

So, give that a try. It’s for you to use and abuse as you see fit (though please do more of the former than the latter).

Let me know if you have any other ideas to make this site the best possible place for discussion and information!


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Dreamer on the Loose

photo.jpgSo, the rumors are true.

I am without employment.

I secured an angel investor (and a prominent member of the online marketing community) a few months back who has been keeping me and my growing family afloat while I expound on all things online, affiliate and marketing. However, that arrangement has dissolved and Cost Per Love hasn’t been paying the bills like I hoped it would.

CostPerNews is doing well (check Alexa or Technorati if you’re fool heartedly interested in page views and rank), but it’s not making money. I’m providing consistent daily and high quality content, but no one (besides Shawn and Missy) is paying up. Maybe I haven’t found my philanthropist-in-shining-armor yet, but things are not looking well for the future of this blog at the current pace.

I’d like to keep it going, but funding is required.

So, I have a few questions and I need serious answers asap…

1) Does CostPerNews requisite me keeping it going despite my attempts to stay neutral in tone and objective in nature? In other words, is it worth it for the community?

2) Do you know anyone that is hiring? You’ve seen my content here and at I’m a problem solving dreamer who knows how to put the practical to the pedal. If you have doubts, check out my LinkedIn profile.

3) Is there anyone in the space who would hire me and allow me to keep this going? CPA networks, affilaite networks, publishers, online marketers, et al… I’m interested.

People tell me I’m an idiot and that I should charge for the content provided here a la Marketing Sherpa. I don’t think so. I don’t believe that. Information and knowledge should be free and openly available. But I have to eat.

So, please… let me know your thoughts. Or, if you need a problem solving forward thinker (a la Jason Calacanis or Robert Scoble) in your network, affiliate program or marketing platform, please let me know.

Comment below or send thoughts to

Are Affiliate Bloggers Worth Their Salt?

salt-shakerthumbnail.jpgRecently, there have been numerous discussions of hysterics, drama and link baiting by those in the affiliate marketing industry who blog. This discussion has run its course in other sectors of the online marketing and advertising spheres (think TechCrunch, TechMeme and the “echo chamber” discussion if you follow those conversations in the blogosphere).

In the spirit of FTC full disclosure: I think links are dead (that’s not hysterics and extends well outside of “affiliate” marketing), and view link baiting as pretty much worthless. The traffic you get from such antics rarely results in a conversion to reader based on the metrics and experiments I’ve run on my personal blog, so I prefer to engage people’s attention rather than their browser url. My LinkedIn profile is open to full view, so please take a look at that if you want to see where I’ve been, what I’ve done and what it might tell you about my own worldview within the context of affiliate marketing.

So, here are my questions and you’re free to add more:

  • Is there a place for blogging in the affiliate world?
  • Should it be all practical based or should there also be some speculation, theories and future thinking?
  • Is there a litmus test for who you read based on their experience in the industry?

Do Social Networks Work in Affiliate Marketing?

thumb-socialnetworks.jpgDave at the Affiliate Programs Blog made an interesting post about reaching terminal velocity with social networks…

“I love social networks, I truly do. I use nearly all of the top services on a regular basis, from Digg, Delicious, Newsvine, Myspace, LinkedIn, and others. I’m actively participating in over 10 social networks in one way or another (and I’m not counting forums that I participate on or email lists I belong to). But in all reality, I’m reaching a social networking terminal velocity.”

The phenomenon of social networking has certainly spread into the everyday existence of affiliate and online marketers.  Rarely are contacts or potential partners not available for linking on a platform such as LinkedIn or MySpace.  Many marketers are also pointing to RepVine as a potential place for finding contacts and keeping in touch.

However, in reality what sort of business or potential business deals are done on these networking sites?  Are they worth the time invested in terms of realized actions that result from participating?  How has your program or site benefited from participating on LinkedIn or MySpace or RepVine?

Wayne Porter Offers Robert Scoble a Monkey Phone Call

Here’s the plot summary: Yesterday on the Weekly Insight Podcast, there was a discussion of a Monkey Phone Call that Microsoft MVP and Google VIP Wayne Porter had sent my way. He then hatched the plan to send one to Robert Scoble because we were discussing LinkedIn and I brought up Scoble’s infamous post on his hatred of that platform. The rest follows from that. You have to read this for yourself (Ender’s Game meets On the Road).

btw, I’m building an API for WordPress that will translate Porter-ese in the future…

“Hi Scoble, hey, few of us on a podcast (not drunk although I suspect someone hit the rubber cement a bit- host)…It should be coming out soon perhaps when Tipper Gore is done labeling it. In truth, really it is that long and I advise you just to skip to the last 10 minutes where there is some real insight into AIs affecting algorithms (unlike this totally ridiculous crap on broadmatch) and save the other valuable time in your life to do anything else….or listen to the monkey phone call piece.

One guy, that Ze Frank loving- Summerian babbeling (ok listen to podcast for that) was on too- Sam Harrelson. Sam and I were wondering did you get get the monkey phone call I sent over earlier? If so- how was it? Was it performed well for the $10 bucks? (I prefer Lindex$)

Scale of of 1 to 10 with 1 being equal to having your linkedin url scrawled on a restroom wall of a Second Life Gor convention and a 10 having naked conversations hit the bestseller list and only to find you had accidentally encoded the location of the Holy Grail and even random passages of the Da Vinci Code….(btw I’ll work on a way to make LinkedIn fun for you- I did it for spam- I can do it for dry business networks.)

Thanks for the time.. if you have a moment to give us a numeral- we need a number to settle the bet (it decides the amount of times I get to punch Jeff with my MSFT MVP pin in his eye)…if you haven’t gotten the call yet (Sam Harrelson got his and it worked out pretty well, but he said it was kinda weird and I think in a fatal attraction kind of way) Please tell me so I can ensure the call was delivered. see

I’ll work hard on your christmas gift maybe something you can blow up in a podcast or an old Apple PC- no real difference really. Btw- if you know Rubel’s cell number please let me know (I’ll treat it respectfully- well most of the time- I swear never to put on the wall of a truckstop)- we figure the whole Edelman- Walmart thing has Rubel down a bit, like from A to B – status maybe a C…. It really isn’t him totally- I have dealt with various aspects of Edelman over the years and well…idiots pretty much.

So I think three or four monkeycalls in a row has got to make him smile or have a transient ischemiac attack…which could erase the memory….or perhaps get me sued by Edelman. Both equally entertaining given Edelman’s lawsuit would probably get kicked out when they figured out they sent in one-two year graduates to do jury manipulation lies halycon laced drinks influence…. really if you are going to do it- do it with style, nothing worse then bad WOM- it doesn’t even approach memetics.

Anyway thanks and so long for all the fish. Note- 42 is no good… need integer from 1 to 10.

Listen to Podcast in MP3

“Working on a way to create a strain of syphillis to transmit in a VRML environment”.”