New Project for New Year

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image by JasonRogers

I've been thinking about this idea for a long time and since new year is just few days away it is the perfect time to start with new project.

My idea is group blogging project blog with Society / Culture / Civilization niche. Several authors, one for each continent: S.America, N.America, Asia, Australia, Africa, Europe. If you want to join and write in the name of Asia, you must live in Asia, etc.

Every week all authors will write about same subject and posts will be published on different days. This means every author will need to write only 4 articles per month and blog will be updated every day! We will start with free Blogger platform blog and expand later. Revenues will be shared on performance basis.

If you want to join leave comment here or contact via e-mail gmbportal [at] gmail [dot] com

Project will start as soon as possible. Here is BC (BlogCatalog) discussion page.

image by JasonRogers.

Boost Your Twitter Followers Number

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If you don't have a clue what Twitter is, you are probably using Internet in small pockets, in that case check it out and explore entire new Twitter Universe. You can also become my follower by clicking here and will follow you back.

If you already know about it and if you using it, you are than aware how important is to have many followers if your goal is to use Twitter as marketing tool. There are many tips how to boost your Twitter followers number. One of them is to join different group within your interests. Group members are often open to follow back.

One group which members act like this is EntreCard Twitter Group. I have personally checked this fact since my followers number increased to 113. You have two options. First one is to add all EntreCard Twitter from the list and wait for them to add you. Another option (my choice) is to add yourself to the list and wait for them to add you, so you add them back right after.

This option is better in my opinion, because you avoid situation where you following number is much bigger than followers number. This is not always good, because some research shows how decision to follow someone or not depends on following / followers relation. Why? Because many Twitter users think you are spammer if you have much bigger following number.

Anyway, my new Twitter comrades who use EntreCard have been excellent in using Twitter, providing interesting links, good thoughts and funny lines. No spammers there.

5 Websites I Can't Live Without Anymore

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Since The Change, my bookmarks list has grown big time and I hope in 2009 it will grow even bigger. Here are top 5 websites I can't live without anymore:





This is the place where I search for inspiration, ways to improve and organize better, listen fellow freelancers about their paths. In days without new posts I browse archive and I always like to see new Freelance Freedom Comic.






Freelance Folder is complementary blog to previous one and when I can't satisfy myself with daily FS reading, Freelancer Folder comes to comfort me.








PSD Tuts and NET tuts are two more blogs from same envato network, just like Freelance Switch. Look, I'm not their evangelist, I just like their work. In fact, I didn't knew until recently FS and Tuts blogs are part of the same network. PSD Tuts and NET Tuts are blogs where I learn new stuff every day.

Finally, if everything above is not enough during my morning news and updates check I go to Pixel2Life, never ending list of tutorial in every category you can imagine, from 2D and 3D Graphics to Website Development and Desktop Programming.


Free Website Template, Ocean Awareness

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Based on previous free template Green Awareness, this new free website template is almost the same, except for few details.

This one is called Ocean Awareness and you may notice how colors are changed to suit the theme. Sidebar is slightly changed with addition of search field. Again, click on the image to see full size preview.


free website template ocean awareness

Since there was interest for my previous template, I decided to give all coming templates away for free. Only request is e-mail subscription (which is not much, you must admit). How to get this template? Easy, contact me via form or leave comment with your e-mail address and template request. When I confirm your e-mail address is on my subscription list I'll send you current template free of charge (or all of them if you wish!).

Next template I'm working on right now is 'soldiers template' and will be available shortly as PSD file.


Interactive jQuery plugin : QuickFlip

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Not everything related to jQuery is interesting to me. I'm not at all interested in writing my own plugins and messing with JavaScript. I'm not interested in regular expressions and I'm not gonna learn every single plugin out there. What I'm interested in are effects and how to use jQuery commands to simplify some tasks and templates issues. I can say I'm just regular user, not a developer.

One of the effects I like is interactive QuickFlip jQuery Plugin, created by Jon Raasch. This plugin is currently version 0.1 and it 'uses a CSS trick to cause a div, paragraph or any other piece of HTML markup to flip like a card'.

QuickFlip jQuery Plugin
After downloading the code, I tried to follow the instructions and create one simple example for myself and it didn't go well. I got the change but not the flip itself. I decided not to waste much time so I asked Jon for a quick standalone example and he zipped and email to me one. It worked like a charm and I could understand the code, also. I guess this effect can't be done using animate and queue commands.


Sliding Boxes using jQuery

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Popular JavaScript framework jQuery has caught my attention just a month ago when I felt strong need to expand my web dev knowledge beyond XHTML / CSS. Surprisingly after one month, I still haven't heard any negative opinion on jQuery - none, and I'm on Twitter search stream every day.

Start was easy because framework's home page is full of tutorials, examples and links to external blogs. Community around it is very strong and is growing rapidly. So, jQuery is THE right choice. After basic syntax and methods learning first thing is to write some code, my own library to use in future projects. Among few effects one is good enough to share - sliding boxes effect.

This is very basic jQuery effect. It uses only 6 lines of code, but I find it to be useful for some website layouts design, specially magazine style templates. It can also be used as sidebar navigation.

We will use only one click function wrapped inside DOM ready function:

$(document).ready(function() {
... // click function here
});


We will use separate divs for boxes. To make difference with other, not sliding divs, we'll use class slidingBox:


$(".slidingBox").click(function() {
// effects here
});


All that's left are sliding jQuery command. Box content has two parts. First one is inside paragraph that is always visible, 'ptitle' class and second part is paragraph hidden by default and visible when clicked inside box, 'entirePost' class. We use this parameter to animate only currently clicked box. Here is final code:


$(this).find("p.entirePost:visible").slideUp("normal");
$(this).find("p.entirePost:hidden").slideDown("normal");


We have finished with jQuery code! Just few lines of code and we are done. Some css styling must take place including important display:hidden property within 'ptitle' class.


div.slidingBox {
color: #41505E;
padding: 1px;
width: 300px;
background-color: #DFE0AF;
border: 1px solid #569492;
}
p.ptitle {
text-align: center;
font-size: 1.2em;
}
p.entirePost {
display: none;
padding: 10px;
}


sliding boxes jQuery example
You can also easily change slideUp with fadeOut and slideDown with fadeIn, leave everything else the same and you have new Fading Boxes jQuery Example. Sweet!


download source code


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Green Awareness Website Template

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'Green Awareness' is first website template to present here. I hope many more will come shortly, every new better than the last one.

Green Awareness is basic website template with one content column and a sidebar (click image to see full size). Notice how sidebar navigation has small rectangle left from currently hovered link.


green awareness website template
Constructive comments are welcomed and appreciated! Thanks.


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Pure CSS Navigation

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One of the things I have been playing around lately is different blog navigation styles and specially how to create pure CSS navigation, without any JavaScript, external images and other stuff. This is what I have made so far. Check the code below and feel free to ask anything about it.

view live demo

pure CSS navigation


.bar, .ncontent {
font-family: Garamond, sans-serif;
}
.bar {
width: 200px;
border: 1px solid black;
background-color: #669999;
text-align: center;
font-weight: bold;
}
.bar+.ncontent {
display: none;
}
.bar:hover+.ncontent {
width: 200px;
border: 1px solid black;
display: block;
}
.ncontent:hover {
display: block !important;
width: 200px;
border: 1px solid black;
}
.bar:hover+.ncontent ul,
.ncontent:hover ul {
list-style-type: none;
padding: 0;
margin: 0;
}
.bar:hover+.ncontent li,
.ncontent:hover li {
text-decoration: none;
text-align: center;
padding: 3px;
font: Geneva, Helvetica;
font-size: 0.8em;
background-color: #E0DFB3;
}
.bar:hover+.ncontent li a,
.ncontent:hover li a {
text-decoration: underline;
color: #333333;
}

Class 'bar' is used for styling navigation sections and class 'ncontent' for navigation sub-content.

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Wind of Change

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Webomatik is nearly one year old (if we count active blogging period) and it's time for some changes. This blog deserves better structure and some new goals. Interests are not different, but only wider and because this blog is still about web2.0 enthusiasm new perspectives are appearing.

* * * * *

Final Contest is closed

Some time ago Webomatik started Final contest, monthly prizes giveaway, but since last two months winners of free 6 months ad spot haven't contacted me with details, I figured it doesn't make any sense to continue with contest.

Lifetime Drops is suspended

It was great fun to visit and 'drop' blogs on Lifetime Drops List in last few months. However list grew and I found myself spending at least one hour every single day doing this which is very time consuming. I will suspend Lifetime Drops List for a month to use that extra time on some new things and after that I hope I will continue with it.

New interests

You can expect to read some new stuff here about web development. This will include subjects like XHTML/CSS techniques and layouts development, Blogger and website templates, maybe even Flash and JavaScript stuff like frameworks and tutorials. Old interests in free web services will remain important part of Webomatik experience.

You are invited to join the team.

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Free Twitter Avatar Hack

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Some think it is very important what we do with our online profiles and how do we present ourselves to do wider audience. It doesn't matter what service we are talking about every one of social services has profile page where you can write short bio, put link to your blog or email and upload your photo or avatar. There are differences between services, but basic options are often similar.

Whenever you can, change default profile image, specially if you use Twitter and you want to build bigger network of followers, because default image tells about yourself more than you think in negative way.

If you don't want to upload your own photo, for some reason, you can create avatar, graphic representation of yourself using some of free avatar generator services. One of those is Face Your Manga, Flash based application where you can make thousands unique combinations by choosing sex, hair style, color, face lines, face parts, clothes and many others.


free twitter avatar
They require some data from you like email address, age, name if you want to download your avatar. But you can easily hack this service if you don't like unwanted spam or just you can't be bothered. When you finish creating your avatar, just press PrintScreen keyboard key (Windows users), open your favorite (open source) graphic editor and paste your creation. Small hack to make life easier.

When you finish updating your Twitter profile, feel free to add me as a friend, I want to see what kind of avatar you have created.


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Become Co-Author

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Webomatik is dedicated to blogosphere exploration, finding quality online content and making new and interesting connections between web services and end users. We find ways how to automate everyday online work, how to work less and be more productive. If you see yourself as web2.0 enthusiast and persistent web nomad, this blog might be the right place for you to express your ideas.

You can become co-author and write for Webomatik. Submit your articles via contact form. All content must be unique and not previously published. Your benefits:

1. two backlinks to your blog(s),

2. our support in article promotion


If you want to join the team, don't hesitate to contact and start contributing right away.


teamwork photo
image by eamoncurry123


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Free Promotion Web Service

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If you are designer and icon creator you probably already know some ways how to promote your work online. One of the ways to get your work in front of wider audience is to use free web services available out there like Free Icons Download. You will have to accept some terms: adult related or low quality icons will not be approved, so be sure your work is valuable, upload only icons, logos, prints, software and web UI resources and you have to be original author of the content, don't cheat.

Best solution is to submit small subset of your icons collection. You will have to accept one of 3 licenses, free for personal and non-commercial use, free for public non-commercial use or creative commons attribution 3.0 license.

Here is one example, Halloween Vista Icons set created by iconshock.

free halloween icons

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My Blogging Experience

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This is pretty much how I feel about my blogging and blogosphere most of the time.

my blogging experiencephoto by JonF119


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Final Contest October Edition

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Another month, another opportunity for you to win some prizes here with Webomatik. Today we have new winners of Final Contest, October Edition, monthly contest where you can win 6 months free ad spot or free EntreCard credits. To participate, you have to subscribe to this blog via e-mail and to confirm your subscription.

image by .craig

Due to recent EC changes, since it is not allowed to send more than 1.000 credits, our second prize will change to 1.000 credits. We have 25 participants this month who qualified with active email subscription.


Randomly chosen Winners are:

1. rumio_4ever [at] hotmail [dot] com - 6 months free homepage ad spot
2. Tomcat1228 [at] msn [dot] com - 1.000 free EntreCard credits


Congrats to Winners, others more luck next month!
rumio_4ever should provide link and desired anchor text.

Participants are counted by email which means if someone subscribe with two different email addresses and confirm both of them, he has two tickets and more chances to win. I'm considering more prizes and if you have any suggestions feel free to comment about it.

Changes for November Edition: until now you could have one ticket if you subscribe and confirm email subscription. From now, you have a chance to get one more ticket for monthly contest if you write about Webomatik on your blog. Post about contest or write blog review with at least one link back to home page which will bring you another ticket and double your chances to win. Posts are good for one month, leave comment with your link. Don't forget, you are participant every month, it doesn't matter if you already won a prize.


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Ajax loader icon generator

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Webomatik's main focus is web2.0, interesting web services and if those are free to use even better! You will not see any ads on this blog (at least not before 2010) and everything written here is original content from a pen of single web technologies enthusiast. You can make a connection with me at StumbleUpon, Digg, Twitter, BlogCatalog or Technorati. I'm trying to be as active as possible.

Recently I found small but interesting web service, Ajax loader icon generator. You can choose from over 35 indicator types, set background and foreground color and download your GIF file. Simple but useful.

Ajax loading icon generator web2.0 service
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Africa 2.0

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Africa is second largest continent in the world by population, but yet only 5.3% of Africans use Internet. On the other hand, Africa has one of the largest usage growth 2000-2008 of over 1.000% and today there are over 50M Internet users in Africa.

Web2.0 wave in Africa is also strong as anywhere in the world and in this case borders or oceans doesn't make a difference.


Africa Web2.0 services
image by whiteafrican


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Post everything using e-mail with Posterous

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free blogging web service logo

Posterous is free blogging platform. This will be the end of the story if Posterous doesn't have many more amazing features.

Main thing here is you post via e-mail. No need for robust web blog editors, just pack your e-mail and you are ready to go. You can include jpg, gif and png images, doc, ppt and pdf files, mp3 music or even avi and mpg video files. They will take care of the content. If you send more photos, they will convert them to nice photo gallery! Links are auto-converted, but not only that: write YouTube link and result is video it links to. Besides YouTube you can use Google Video, Hulu, Vimeo, GodTube and many more.

Best of all, when you post on Posterous, they will instantly autopost on Twitter, Flickr, Tumblr, Blogger, WordPress, TypePad,... if you add your accounts. This feature is really the next level of blogging (one service to rule them all)! Is this everything? Not at all! Posterous is still work in progress and new features will be added, including API. Don't forget it has a social dimension too, because you can subscribe to other people's profiles and they can also follow you. Posterous gives you 1Gb of free space and pages are ads free.

This blogging web service is great solution for dial-up Internet users around the world. They don't have to be online while compiling the post, thus connection time is reduced and costs are lower. Off course in this case text and smaller images are preferred content.

Already got an account with Posterous? Share it with Webomatik along with your experience.


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Music Search Engine : MixTurtle

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Nothing much to tell here. Simple web2.0 application acts as music search engine. Listen music right away or register, login and create playlists you can share, you even get your own sub-domain.

Controls are simple. There aren't any controls, just play and pause! How long this one will last, we'll see.

music search engine screenshot
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Fight Spam - Web2.0 Way

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For those of you who think spam has killed web experience, new web applications might offer few possible solutions. One solution is to use free temporary e-mail address. Problem with this one is your address lasts very short period of time, for 15 minutes or so.

When you leave your e-mail address at forums, in blog comments or anywhere else, bots and spiders are there to harvest it, so spammers can use it. Very often people use masking techniques and instead of me@email.com they write something like me {at} email {dot} com or any other parenthesis, but I think this is not enough since all you need is smarter bot to harvest this one too.


Tinymail.me uses combination of URL shortening service and reCaptcha, free anti-bot service to protect your email address from automated harvesters. In fact reCaptcha has it's own similar service. Both of them have Application Programming Interface.


This web service will protect your email address from automated harvesters but can't do anything against human spammers, they can get your email address with a single click, so there is no 100% spam protection. Another thing I found missing with Tinymail is unsubscribe link, there is no way (yet) to delete your email address from their database.


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Blogger Top Commentators via JSON

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One of the solutions to include Top Commentators widget for (new XML) Blogger is via JSON, which stands for JavaScript Object Notation. This solution uses Yahoo pipes to render RSS comments feed available from your Blogspot blog. You don't have to worry about technical details since making this widget a reality is actually a piece of cake and if you do want to learn a little bit about JavaScript Object Notation then goToAndRead Mastering JSON.

Take a look at the left sidebar column of this blog and locate Top Commentators title at the end. This is simple HTML/JavaScript widget and code you need to enter for your blog to generate same widget is displayed on image below. Replace red color BLOGNAME with your blog name and YOURNAME with your name used in comments to filter your own comments (optional). You can also change num=10 from the last line to some other number if you want to display different number of commentators. Don't forget that src parameter should be one line without blank spaces.

Blogger Top Commentators Widget Code

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YouAre Microblogging Platform

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youare microblogging platform logoWhen you say microblogging, first thought is most probably Twitter. But there are many new startups using same web2.0 form, trying to bring microblogging to the next level. One of those startups is YouAre.


From their press kit > YouAre is a free service to share what you are doing, your interests and your professional profile with your friends and colleagues -- and anyone you want to connect with. On YouAre, you can share what you are doing and your interests using text, video, and images in a fast and concise way using 140 characters.

You can promote your professional skills and services, and get to know more people in your online network, local area, or target audience. You can control which updates you receive to include just real life friends, online friends, acquaintances, co-workers, colleagues, and family. You can also import content from your YouTube, Flickr, and Del.icio.us accounts. SMS communication is something they are working on.

YouAre is Blogs Media products, Spanish company (which is very refreshing to see) founded by Jose Luis Antunez (CEO), man behind successful CSSMania.com

What I really like is professional section of settings where you can add your education, employment history, CV etc. This is in my opinion entire new dimension for microblogging which brings functionality of LinkedIn. Don't forget YouAre is still in deep beta, some bugs may be present and not all functionality is released yet. Check my updates and add me as a friend: http://youare.com/webomatik (sorry, I don't have any invitations).


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Blogger Templates Tweaks and Blogger Showcase

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Blogging experience is much more appealing if your work is recognized by wider audience. Popularity can be measured in different ways, with traffic amount, number of comments, earnings or number of back links from other bloggers.

In my opinion, blog template is very important in achieving such goals and choosing right template is sometimes not enough, whether you use Blogger, WordPress or anything else. Template tweaks and constant modifications are also important because they can bring needed advantage.

blogger showcase logo

Blogger Showcase is template and blogs gallery of Blogger platform blogs (blogspot). They showcase the best original blogger designs, content blogs and modified free themes of blogger. In few cases you will be surprised how much blogspot blog can be great both with design and functionality. It's all a question of commitment to improve. Blogger Showcase will give you a chance to vote for your favorite blog, so be a friend and vote for Webomatik. You can vote for multiple blogs if you like. Comments are welcomed.

best blogger templates

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Twitter Data Mining Tips

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Great thing about Twitter (and other microblogging platforms) is accessibility of real-time informations, available at the moment of happening to whole world. This amazing feature has few impressive implications on how we see and use web services. We shouldn't ignore Twitter search engine, it is much more than simple search form because informations available are instant and if used properly we can transform this into real-time data mining tool.

Two modes of Twitter search engine are available, advanced search page and Twitter search operators. Search plugin for Firefox is available and if you are familiar with operators, this is the best searching solution. Actually, advanced search form gives same functionality as operators, but you need to load the page. Ah!

Advanced Twitter Search

Advanced Twitter search gives you an opportunity to find tweets based on words, people, places, dates, attitudes and presence of links. Operators do the same. Query : web2.0 directory will find all tweets containing both terms web2.0 and directory. Searching for phrase is same as with Google, you need to use quotes. Operator OR is logical operator of two queries. Operator - (minus) is logical operator that works similar as logical NOT. Other operators are : # - hashtag, from:, to:, @, near:, within:, since:, until:, :), :(, ? and operator filter:links.

Let's see some examples. If you want to find out who needs or offers help with web design use: web design help ? Now if you want to include only those who live near NYC use near and within: web design help ? near:London within:200mi. Notice how this query is very specific and you may get just few results. If you want to find out who wants to sell his house near New Orleans from some unexplained reason, try this query: sell house near:NewOrleans within:200mi. Now, what kind of car people buy these days? Try this query: "my new car" filter:links. Interesting results, don't you think?

Care to share what query did you use to help you find valuable informations?

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Final Contest September Edition

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Today, Webomatik is proud to announce winners of Final Contest September Edition, monthly contest where you can win 6 months free ad spot and 50% of all current Webomatik's EntreCard credits. To participate, you have to subscribe to this blog via e-mail and to confirm your subscription.

We have 26 participants this month who qualified with active email subscription. Randomly chosen Winners are:


1. extremeezine [at] gmail [dt] com - 6 months free homepage ad spot
2. jsguru3 [at] gmail [dt] com - 1.450 EntreCard credits


Congrats to Winners, others more luck next month!
extremeezine should provide link and desired anchor text.

Participants are counted by email which means if someone subscribe with two different email addresses and confirm both of them, he has two tickets and more chances to win. I'm considering more prizes and if you have any suggestions feel free to comment about it. Thanks.

free ad spots entrecard credits contest banner
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