LIFT'08: David Brown Workshop — Teenagers and Generation Y [en]

[fr] Notes prises lors de LIFT'08. Workshop sous forme de table ronde avec 4 ados de 16-17 ans, étudiants à l'école internationale de Founex.

*I took these notes at LIFT’08 in February, and am only publishing them now, I’m afraid!*

*Workshop notes with real live teenagers! No guarantee as to how exact
my notes are… etc.*

Panel with real teenagers LIFT08

Four teenagers from the International School of Founex

Trying to formalize things. A bunch of themes/apps to approach this session:

Social networks, IM, Music, Video/Films, E-mail, Blogs, Niche Web2.0,
Location based, Connectivity (what hardware?), Phone SMS, Own tools,
Wow and virtual worlds… Real world.

Friends/social circle, buying/e-commerce/for free,
advertising/marketing/messages, geographical distance, homework,
privacy security personal data, organising, fragmentation

Going round the room to see who is who and what their interest in
teenagers and the net is.

*steph-note: worried that the approach here might be a little too
“adult-oriented”*

Teens (seem like a highly educated, very literate bunch, critical;
international school!):

Chloe: Facebook to communicate with teachers, a lot for school. Not a
gamer, more of a social/pictures person. Maths homework via internet
(Mathletics). 2h a night.

Luisa (?): 16 — Facebook to communicate with each other, organise
meetings, not a gamer.

Elliot: not much of a computer-user, heavy mobile phone user
(text/calling), would play games (was denied electronics until he was
12). Facebook: good way of archiving who your friends are and what
they look like — good way to communicate by replying in your own
time.

Liam: typical: video games, music (not a hardcore gamer though),
Facebook to keep track of friends (social circle online and offline
overlap). Wikipedia saves your life for homework.

Elliot: FB = great way of controlling the photos of you other people
are posting on the internet.

Liam: used to use MySpace but now really identified with Emos… so.

Chloe: used to have a skyblog, had lots of french-speaking friends. In
the international world, more Facebook. Was one of the first in her
school to have FB, as one of her best friends moved to the US and they
had it there.

ELuisa: FB really helps you keep up-to-date with people you’ve met
over the summer. With e-mail, your friendship wears out.

Liam: regular e-mail is good for attachments.

Luisa: it’s weird to have your teacher as your friend. *steph-note:
they don’t want to know too much about their teachers lives*

Chloe: concerned about providing stalker material (cleaned up and
deleted many people she didn’t really know). Didn’t realise that
everybody in the Switzerland network could see all her info — changed
the setting, and is spreading the word around her, even to her
teachers.

My parents use the internet to work/communicate (use FB e.g.) so quite
open-minded. Used to ask for her e-mail password in case anything
happened, but Chloe doesn’t really think it’s necessary.

Luisa: keeping up on FB gives you something to talk about when you go
back — you’re up-to-date.

Never considered using Skyblog as public, and parents uncomfortable.
FB: more control and privacy, feels comfortable with it.

Elliot: couple of friends of mine rejected from universities based on
their FB page.

Chloe: Rumors?

Elliot: heard that some employers now demand access to your FB page
(but could be untrue). FB information is rather light-hearted, likes
and dislikes, etc — not really the business of the school or the
employer.

My question:

– how much of a threat do sexual predators online seem to you?
– do you feel that holding back personal information keeps you safer?

Chloe: not that concerned (from what I understand), doesn’t think that
holding back information keeps her safer — weirdos can get that info
anyway. *steph-note: good for her!* Weird IM people: blocks them.

Luisa: less concerned than she feels she should.

Elliot: more concerned about internet fraud. (E-bay.)

Question: buying online?

Answer: not much (trust, likes going into shops and talking to people)

Chloe: doesn’t like the idea of paying by credit card.

Luisa: amazon++ that’s ok.

Q: concert tickets

Elliot: yeah, tickets often available only online — got semi-scammed once.

(The panel seems divided on online shopping.)

Luisa: convenience vs. safety (giving your credit card number)

Elliot: quite wary of using the credit cards he has, because he knows
he’s being tracked quite closely.

Comment: the teenagers here have little “positive” experience of using
their credit cards to counter-balance the media scare about issues
like fraud or identity theft — which can explain their general
wariness.

Chloe: her dad and her do grocery shopping online on LeShop.ch, and
she’s comfortable with that. Useful.

Luisa, Liam: really weird to go shopping for clothes and food on the internet.

Elliot: gets information in the store and order it online.

Our panel doesn’t seem that familiar with the “go in town, take
photos, post them on facebook, get feedback, buy online” method.

Luisa: more “funny” pictures from changing rooms, but wouldn’t really
put them on FB.

girls: ask opinion about shopping for clothes to offline friends with
them, but wouldn’t do it via the internet. So much more fun to do it
offline. No fun to do it over the internet.

My question: plagiarism in homework

Answer: systems in place in school to detect it, don’t do it — know
people who have gotten away with it, but this is more something the
younger grades do. Doesn’t make much sense because you can’t fake oral
presentations.

Elliot: wikipedia not regarded as a good source.

Liam: because anybody can write what they want on it.

Got to be careful with what you find in wikipedia. Experimented with
putting BS into pages just to see they could.

Music creation and writing on the computer. Picture editing.

Consensus: online doesn’t beat the real world.

Luisa: a good photographer is not somebody who’s skilled in photoshop,
it’s somebody who takes a good picture.

Some consensus here that digital art is “less” than using classical
techniques. Don’t feel “creative” in front of a computer.

Comment: you guys actually look down to things that are easy.
*steph-note: spot on*

*steph-note: interesting how fascinated we adults are to have a chance
to actually talk with teenagers!*

*steph-note: conversation is interesting but going off-topic as far as
I’m concerned (about being critical in general, having role-models).*

Elliot: technology makes it easier to be critical and determine if
what is said in a lecture is a widespread view or not, etc.

Question: do you have any role-models? *steph-note: imho badly
phrased… need to be more concrete: who do you look upto? admire?*

Discussion about music downloading. Awareness that they have the means
to buy the music they like (wealthy enough).

Luisa: “the internet isn’t the only way of spreading…(the word?)”.
Doing things for real (building a schoolroom in tanzania) has more
impact on me than buying a cow through the internet.

Not much webcam use (just Chloe, friends in the states).

*steph-note: sorry, tuning out — could have done with a break but
didn’t push for it.*

Discussion about creative commons and copyright. No perception that
photographs you find in Google are not free of rights. Seems to be a
lot of confusion about copyright regarding images/photographs.
Contrast with discourse about music downloading.

Blogs: a fashion that has gone past. *steph-note: confirms what I
thought, and also why I’m not asked in for talks in schools as much as
before. I think FB and social networking in general are “replacing”
blogs for teenagers. In francophonia though, I guess FB hasn’t taken
off, so it will still be Skyrock. But it’s called Skyrock now, and not
Skyblog…*

Less use of MSN, but Skype and Facebook.

Elliot: in the UK, Blackberry

This bunch are the student council, go on humanitarian trips, etc. Not
the most tech-savvy necessarily, but talkative!

Gambling.

Data usage: this is Switzerland! Data is horrendously expensive, and
it’s not in the culture to use it.

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Come to LIFT'08 [en]

[fr] Si vous ne pensiez pas aller à LIFT dans deux semaines, j'aimerais vous encourager à vous inscrire pour nous y rejoindre.

J'avoue qu'une des raisons que j'entends souvent de la part de gens qui me disent ne pas y aller, c'est le prix. Un peu plus qu'un iPhone, et moins qu'un vol à destination de San Francisco (à plus forte raison, meilleur marché également que deux grandes conférences technologiques ayant récemment eu lieu en Europe: Web2.0Expo et LeWeb3).

LIFT est un événement extraordinaire. 3 journées dont une de workshops, la fondue, deux événements supplémentaires gratuits (venture night et sustainable dev), ainsi que la fête -- et vous repartirez proprement "liftés". LIFT est une conférence qui change la vie des gens. Elle est au carrefour des questions de société et de la technologie, d'une pertinence incontestable par rapport aux problématiques de notre temps.

J'explique dans cet article plus en détail pourquoi je vous encourage absolument à venir à LIFT (il est encore temps). C'est un investissement qui sera largement récompensé. Quel que soit le domaine dans lequel vous travaillez, prendre 3 jours sur l'année pour s'informer à la source sur les problématiques de notre société liées à la technologie n'est pas un luxe.

The [LIFT Conference](http://liftconference.com) is taking place in just two weeks from now in Geneva.

If you’re free on those dates and haven’t considered attending, I’d like to encourage you to [register](http://www.liftconference.com/lift08-registration) and come and join us. It’s really worthwhile. And if [the price tag](http://www.liftconference.com/pricing-students-etc-etc#comment-15) is making you hesitate, think again. Here’s what’s included in your registration fee for this three-day event:

– a full day of [workshops](http://www.liftconference.com/lift08-workshops)
– [two days of conference](http://www.liftconference.com/lift08-program-thursday-friday) (more about that below)
– nice buffet lunches (upgraded since last year!), [fondue](http://www.liftconference.com/lift08-program-thursday-friday#fondue) evening, open bar [party](http://www.liftconference.com/lift08-program-thursday-friday#fondue)
– [venture night](http://www.liftconference.com/lift08-venture-night) and [sustainable dev](http://www.liftconference.com/lift08-program-thursday-friday#wattwatt) sessions
– [lots of WiFi](http://www.liftconference.com/wifi-ugrade)

So, here we are. 850 CHF (that’s $781.50, 530.80€ or £396.30 [as of today](http://www.xe.com/ucc/convert.cgi)) for three days. Even though it is a sizeable chunk of money for many people (I’m not talking about you lucky ones who get sent to great events like LIFT by their employers), it’s not that expensive, when you think of it (just a little perspective):

– an iPhone: 399€
– the MacBook Air: $1799
– LeWeb3 (Paris): over 1000€
– Web2.0Expo (Berlin): over 1000€
– a cheap flight to San Francisco: $800 (you spend only 2 days on the plane, and it’s way less fun)

Now, as that is out of the way, let’s get to the meat. Why is LIFT worth so much more than what you pay for it? I’d like to add my two cents to [what the organizers already say](http://www.liftconference.com/12-reasons-come-lift):

– **new speakers:** the LIFT team goes to great lengths to introduce speakers that you haven’t already heard at all the other conferences you go to. I’m told it’s becoming a habit for other conference organizers to do their “speaker shopping” at LIFT. (Insider scoop, from Laurent himself: Eric Favre, the inventor of Nespresso, is one of the latest confirmed additions to the speaker list.)
– **great talk quality:** heard of [TED Talks](http://www.ted.com/talks)? They gather the best speakers around the world, and last year, started including talks from partner conferences. [LIFT is one of the four events](http://blog.ted.com/2007/11/talks_from_part.php) they chose to select talks from.
– **at the crossroads of Life and Technology:** this, I think, I the top reason I really love LIFT. It’s about technology, but it’s also about people, society, and the world we live in. It lacks the dryness of the all-tech conference. It’s visionary. It blows your mind and lifts you up. It changed my life, and I’m not the only one.
– **non-commercial:** though I’m not against profit ([Going Solo](http://going-solo.net) is, after all, a [commercial event](http://going-far.com/2007/11/13/im-starting-a-company/ “A little background.”)), the fact LIFT is a non-profit labour of love does reflect in the overall atmosphere and quality of the event. No pitches or sponsors on stage. It’s about ideas and about us. It’s friendly and welcoming and human.
– **more than the stage:** LIFT is about what happens during breaks, in corridors and doorways. Yes, the most value one gets out of an event is generally in networking. LIFT has however taken this awareness a step further, investing a lot in [LIFT+](http://www.liftconference.com/2007/lift+/), activities and exhibits that populate the “in-between” spaces.

I hope it’s obvious from what I’m describing: LIFT is truly an event beyond all others. It’s well-organized and touches topics which are over-important for understanding the world we live in: technology has taken an increasing place in our society (all societies, actually), and this is a chance for geeks and “humanists” both to take a few steps back and think about the “big picture”.

Still not 100% sure you want to [register](http://www.liftconference.com/lift08-registration)?

If you’re used to the conference circuit: LIFT will be a welcome change from what you’re used to.
If you don’t usually go to conferences: if you go to one event this year, it should be LIFT. (Well, you should give Going Solo a go too, but it’s [a rather different kind of conference](http://going-solo.net/2007/12/14/announcing-going-solo/).)

If you are attending, it’s still time to spread a bit of [link love](http://climbtothestars.org/archives/2008/01/22/going-solo-venues-open-stage-and-link-love/) for LIFT — have you done it yet?

I’m looking forward to seeing you there. I’m part of the [electronic media crowd](http://www.liftconference.com/electronic-media-crowd), though, so if you see me [live-blogging](http://climbtothestars.org/archives/2007/08/01/on-liveblogging/) like mad, don’t be [offended](http://blog.nicolamattina.it/?p=536) if I’m [not very chatty](http://climbtothestars.org/archives/2007/10/06/too-many-people/).

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Being Lifter 20: I'm the "Star" Networker! [en]

[fr] Après LIFT l'an dernier, un questionnaire a été soumis au participants dans le but de déterminer quel impact la conférence avait eu sur leur réseau. J'y ai répondu, avec 27 autres personnes (un assez petit échantillon, à mon avis). Il se trouve que je suis la "super-réseauteuse" de l'étude. Quelques remarques.

Eleven months ago, I [participated and encouraged you to participate in a survey](http://climbtothestars.org/archives/2007/02/16/lift07-social-networking-map-experiment/) which aimed to map social networking between participants of the [LIFT’07 conference](http://2007.liftconference.com/). As I was browsing around after submitting my [workshop proposal](http://www.liftconference.com/get-started-blogging), I saw that [the report based on that survey](http://intelligentmeasurement.wordpress.com/2008/01/14/conference-evaluation-and-network-mapping/) had been published. On the LIFT site, you can see [screenshots of the graphs](http://www.liftconference.com/lift-will-double-your-network) (yes, this is what I call a “social graph”!) before and after the conference.

Go and look.

LIFT'07 Network Mapping Report

Notice the node somewhat to the left, that seems to be connected to a whole bunch of people? Yeah, that’s me. I’m “lifter 20”. How do I know? Well, not hard to guess — I have a rather atypical profile compared to the other people who took the survey.

So, as the “star” networker in this story, I do have a few thoughts/comments on some of the conclusions drawn from the survey. Don’t get me wrong — I think it’s very interesting, and that we need this kind of research (and more of it!) but as [Glenn](http://intelligentmeasurement.files.wordpress.com) says himself in the [1Mb PDF report](http://intelligentmeasurement.files.wordpress.com/2008/01/lift07_networkmapping_report_owlre_final1.pdf), it’s important to bear in mind the limitations of this study. (All the quotes in this blog post are taken form the PDF, unless I say otherwise.)

> The limitations of this study needs to be understood before considering the findings: This
study maps networks from the point of view of the 28 participants. Consequently, it is
only a partial map of the networks established at LIFT07.

In this study, I’m the “star” networker: the person with the most connections before and after the conference.

> Before the conference, participant Lifter20 had the largest network (59 attendees)
which was increased by 25 attendees after the conference.

Bearing that in mind, I would personally have removed myself from the “average” calculations (I don’t think that was done), because I’m too a-typical compared to the other people in the survey. Typically, I would find it interesting to be given figures with extremes removed here:

> There was a large range in the size of the individual networks before LIFT07 (from 0 to
59) and a smaller range in the number of people added to networks after the conference
(from 0 to 28). However, on average, participants had seven people in their network
before LIFT07 and added nine more people after the conference – leading to the
conclusion that people at least doubled their network by attending LIFT07.

As mentioned earlier, 28 people took the survey. I know I’m not the most networked person at LIFT. In my “network of red nodes” (people not in the survey) there are people like [Robert Scoble](http://scobleizer.com), Stowe Boyd, or Laurent Haug — who clearly did not take the survey, or I wouldn’t be the “star networker” here. So, they are a little red node somewhere in the graph. Which makes me take the following remark with a big grain of salt:

> Before the conference, several “red” attendees (i.e. those attendees nominated as
part of the network of the 28 participants) were significant relay nodes in the network
receiving considerable incoming links – notably the red node to the right of Lifter 12
and the red node to the left of Lifter 16. In both cases, the number of links to these
nodes increased after the conference.

What’s missing here is that these red nodes might very well be super networkers like Stowe or Robert. The fact they receive significant incoming links would then take a different meaning: only a very small part of their role in the global LIFT networking ecosystem is visible. (Yes, the study here only talks about a small part of this ecosystem, but it’s worth repeating.)

I think that most heavy networkers are not very likely to fill in such a survey. The more people you know, the more time it takes. I’m easily a bit obsessive, and I think this kind of study is really interesting, so I took the trouble to do it — but I’m sure many people with a smaller network than mine didn’t even consider doing it because it’s “too much work”. I suspect participation in such a survey is skewed towards people with smaller networks (“sure, I just know 5-10 people, I’ll quickly fill it in”).

Here’s a comment about the ratio of new contacts made during LIFT’07:

> For example, the “star” networker, Lifter20 has a ratio of 1:0.4. In
other words, for every third person in her existing network, she met one new person.
Whereas, Lifter18 had the highest ratio of 1:7. In other words, for every person in her
existing network, she met seven new people.

I think it’s important to note that, as I said in [my previous post about this experiment](http://climbtothestars.org/archives/2007/02/16/lift07-social-networking-map-experiment/), knowing many people from the LIFT community beforehand, the increase in my network (proportionally) was bound to be less impressive, than, say, when I came to LIFT’06 two years ago (I basically knew 3 people before going: Anne Dominique, Laurent, Marc-Olivier — and maybe Roberto… and walked out with *a ton* of new people). I’m sure [Dunbar’s number](http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Dunbar’s_number) kicks in somewhere too, and I would expect that the more people you know initially, the lower your ratio of new contacts should be.

On page 8 of the survey there is a list of participants and the number of before/after contacts they entered in the survey. So, if you took the survey and have a rough idea of how many people you knew before LIFT, and how many you met there, you should be able to identify who you are.

This is interesting:

> The “star” networker, Lifter 20 had seven links to other participants before LIFT07
which grew to ten after the conference, giving her the most central position in the
network of participants.

So, basically, 10 people I know took the survey — out of 28 total. I know I blogged about the survey and actively encouraged people in my network to take it. This would skew the sample, of course, making it closer to “my network at LIFT”. If we know each other and you took the survey, can you identify which number you are? it would be interesting to put faces on the numbers to interpret the data (for me, in any case, as I know the people). For example, if you’re a person I brought to LIFT, chances are your “new connections” will overlap mine quite a bit — more than if you came to LIFT independently.

A chapter of the report is devoted to the “star” networker (in other words, little me).

> Interestingly, many of the
people that she connected to, both before and after LIFT07, were not part of the
networks of the other 27 participants of the study, indicating a certain isolation of parts of
her network.

> […]

> Before the conference, a significant number of contacts (35) of Lifter20 had no
connections with any of the other 27 participants of the study.

> After the conference, a number of contacts (14) made by Lifter20 had no connections
with any of the other 27 participants of the study.

The first remark be turned the other way: maybe all these “unconnected” people are actually quite connected within the “global LIFT network”, and it is the *sample* of 28 people who answered the survey which have isolated networks. Of course, isolation is a relative notion, but the way things are phrased here makes it look like I have an isolated network… which I don’t really believe to be the case — a great part of my network is actually very interconnected, only it doesn’t show in the graph because the people in question did not take the survey. Friend Wheel for Stephanie Booth - Facebook Friend Relationships My friend wheel (see screenshot) from Facebook gives a better impression of what it looks like. (No, no, I’m not taking this personally! I’m not.)

> Lifter20 shares a number of contacts with one other participant (Lifter13 – the blue
node horizontally to the right in the “after” diagram).

Who is Lifter 13? (14 before, met 7 at LIFT’07) Somebody I knew before LIFT’07. I’m curious.

I’d also love to know who Lifter 18 (the “booster” networker) and Lifter 11 (the “clique” networker) were, though the graph indicates I know neither.

In conclusion, I’d say this is a really interesting study, but the anonymized data would gain to be interpreted in the light of who the actual people were and what their networks were like. I think it would allow to evaluate where this kind of analysis works well and works less well.

I think 28 people is a rather small sample for such a study — it’s a pity more people didn’t participate in the survey. How could we motivate people to participate? I think one of the issues, mainly, is that people don’t *get* anything directly out of participating. So… maybe some goodie incentive for doing it, next time? Also, I remember the interface was a bit raw. What I did is go through the participant list and type the names. It’s almost impossible to just think back at “so, who did I meet at LIFT this year?” — either you’re going to take a stack of business cards your brought home, or you’re going to go through a list and see what names ring a bell.

Maybe the survey organisation could take that into account. Provide participants in the survey with a (searchable, ajaxy) list of attendees with checkboxes. Then you could add smart stuff to help out like Dopplr’s “travellers you may know” (based on a “contacts of your contacts” algorithm).

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Badges at Conferences [en]

Laurent Haug blogs about [conference badges](http://liftlab.com/think/laurent/2007/12/13/badges/) and his desire to make [LIFT](http://www.liftconference.com/) a badge-free conference.

Funny, I was also thinking of badges at LeWeb3. But actually, the main thing I was thinking was: when are conference organisers going to stop making one-sided badges dangling at the end of a thingy that is designed to let them rotate freely?

I personally like badges and would be quite unhappy without them, because I’m a *very* bad physionomist. I index “person data” by name. Dozens of times at conferences, people come up to me saying “hey, Steph, how’ve you been?” — sometimes their face looks familiar, others it doesn’t even ring a bell. Half the time, I’m saved by the badge. I catch a glimpse of their name, and all I know about them, our shared history if we have one, comes back to me. I index people by name.

So, take away the badges, and I have to use the awkward “excuse me, before we say anything more, would you mind telling me your name, because I’m so bad with faces?” — I do it (I’m not one of these people who can pretend very well), but I really prefer the badges. I’m one of these rude people who’ll turn your badge around to read your name — but the presence of the badge makes it easier, because it suggests that we’re going around reading people’s names.

Also, I know a lot of people online without knowing their faces, and badges do help with that.

There are things I do not like about badges, though. I’d like to highlight two of the “cons” Laurent points to, because I agree with him:

> – Chest navigators. People who walk through the conference starring at badges looking for keywords like “CEO”, “Facebook” or “Press”, usually for bad reasons. You end up losing your time with these 95% of the time.
> – Misconceptions from titles. This is especially painful for people working for big companies where you HAVE to have a lousy and arrogant title. From a really cool dude I met at Leweb working for Microsoft: “People see Microsoft on my badge, so their crap filter goes up one level. Then they see Marketing and they start to draw strategies to get away from me”. The guy is brilliant, open, helpful, all the opposite of the stereotype that his badge could push you into.

Laurent Haug, “Badges”

I would definitely go for the following:

– get rid of “castes” on badges
– get rid of formal company names or job titles: let people choose what they want written on their badge
– print them on both sides!
– look for creating solutions like headwear — or maybe stranglers?! — to get badges off people’s chests
– absolutely avoid pin-on or sticky badges (as a woman, I have to say I really don’t like putting them smack on my breasts, I’d rather have something hanging around my neck)

Some thoughts in the “Devil’s advocate” department, though:

– there are situations where it *is* useful to know what company the person you’re talking to works for, or what position they have
– badges printed on only one side are handy: write something on the back, stick business cards in, or the programme of the day
– no badges adds serendipity to networking, which is good.

Feel free to share your badge thoughts and experiences.

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Travel Plans [en]

[fr] Prochains voyages: Lisbonne puis Vienne à la fin du mois de septembre, et peut-être l'Inde cet hiver si j'ai les sous.

– (25)26-30th September: [Shift](http://wiki.shift.pt/) in Lisbon, Portugal
– 1st-3rd October: [BlogTalk](http://blogtalk.net/) in Vienna, Austria

I’ve more or less got the trip to Lisbon and the return from Vienna sorted out. I’m in trouble for getting from Lisbon to Vienna during the week-end without emptying my bank account. Anybody else doing this? Got ideas where I should look? (Trains, planes, coaches?)

I’m also tempted to go to India for two months over December-January (get back here in time for [Lift](http://lift07.org/) early February). The problem there is finances: I don’t know yet if I’ll be able to afford it. One idea would be to try and get some consulting work over there (Delhi, Pune, Bangalore…) — if the rates in the industry are worth it. Anybody know what opportunities a videshi bloggy consultant might find there?

Do speak up if we’re going to be in the same place at the same time!

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