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New Sorcery 101 and Update (aka how I was fired for Christmas)
 dannysdomain - (kellhound1365)
 
08:38pm 17/12/2009
 
 
kellhound1365 posting in Sorcery 101 Community
New Sorcery 101 is up

And here is an update on all things that affect this comic.

Firstly, I've found an apartment. I'm moving in right after the holidays.

Secondly, not only am I moving but Sorcery 101 and all the other Veiled Truths comics will be moving to different hosting. So if the site is glitchy at any point until the end of January it's because both sites are moving off Keenspot. Why? Well, because Keenspot fired me. I got the email two days ago. Why did they fire me? I asked that question as well and got the response "We have multiple reasons." None of which they will tell me. It happened right after Scott Kurtz's ustream where I talked said Keenspot was only good for the newsboxes (which is true and I'm not the only person on Keenspot who's said that) and I'd leave once the newsboxes stopped being useful. Because they are EXTREMELY unprofessional.

And before now I've never gone into specifics, but since I'm fired here's stuff people who were thinking of joining Keenspot should know.

- They lost my books the first day of San Diego Comic Con last year because they just forgot which box they were in. Fortunately, they were found the second day and I still sold out. But fact remains for a little while they lost 100 books.

- I hope you enjoyed those iPhone apps because they are getting taken down a few days from now. I never got a sales report on them, never mind paid for them in any way.

- I have talked to several Keenspot artists (not naming names so folks don't get in trouble) and found they have never gotten paid on time for their books.

- After the original excitement over iphone apps was over, Keenspot basically forgot they existed. They have been sitting on Sorcery 101 chapter 3 since before August. But I guess it's good it didn't go up since I wouldn't have gotten paid for that anyways. (All of the above are why I'm printing Sorcery 101 books myself and not letting Keenspot print them.)

- There is almost always a thread is the private forum for Keenspot creators which is asking "So when am I getting paid?"

- It could be days before tech problems are addressed. Ex: From Scratch is still not on Keenspot's front page and the comic drop down hasn't been updated in a year or so.

-Keenspots booth at Comic con was a disaster as far as planning went. They had banners advertising artists who weren't attending and none of those had Keenspots logo on it. People didn't even know what we were for. Someone asked an artist behind the Keenspot booth, "do guys know where the keenspot booth it?"

- Someone with access with Keenspot's official twitter used it to fight with Scott Kurtz making everyone involved with Keenspot look bad. Then it was used to lash out at a Keenspotter who used his personal twitter to tell them it's not cool to do that.

- The newsbox and Keenspot ads frequently get "stuck" on comics by the CEO's brother.

But Kurtz helped me find some good hosting because Sorcery 101 is too big for all the usual places people use starting out like dreamhost. And some keenspotters, Kris Straub, and a ton more people are all offering help with website stuff. But there may be bumps.

So pass this livejournal post to any keenspot comics you read or anyone to considering applying to Keenspot. So they know what's up. And if Sorcery 101 goes down or I lose my domain names I'll leave it to you guys to guess why.

As of this morning Keenspot has privately told me why.

Also, keep pledging to Kickstarter.
 
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(no subject)
 adelaiide_rocks
 
05:29am 18/12/2009 (UTC)
 
 
#23 Vanadium
I'm sorry to hear this. I love your comics- just today I recommended them to a friend.

I wish you luck finding a new host and I hope that everything works out for you. +hug+

~Adelaiide
 
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(no subject)
 okobi
 
05:54am 18/12/2009 (UTC)
 
 
okobi: random plunny attack!
That sucks balls. Talk about a dick move on their part. Haven't they heard of a little something called freedom of speech? I made sure just now to bookmark this LJ account for when your site goes down(surprised I didn't before, really).

I'm so glad you've been getting help with hosting and such already and I hope your new host treats you a lot better! *crosses fingers for you*
picword: random plunny attack!
 
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(no subject)
 capri_chan
 
05:55am 18/12/2009 (UTC)
 
 
Denise: Seth Angry
Wow. That sucks. At least you got something worked out, though.

Although, I wasn't aware Keenspot could fire webcomic creators. I thought you guys were customers or something. I guess I was wrong about that. I'm sure it would have been obvious if I had looked around some on their web site, but I mainly just focused on the comics I read.

Also, glad you found a place to live.

And I would totally pledge more toward the book if I could, because I want to see it done. Sadly, I'm lucky I can spare the $25 I already pledged.

Comic related: You "dropped" your knife, Seth? Even if I hadn't seen you give it to her, I still wouldn't believe you.
picword: Seth Angry
 
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(no subject)
 g_straighteners
 
06:47am 27/06/2010 (UTC)
 
 
g_straighteners
I am really interested in this topic.
 
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(no subject)
 alicebentley
 
06:04am 18/12/2009 (UTC)
 
 
Alice Bentley: You don't say!
Wow, what a terrible (and sad) end to a long business relationship. I've loved following your comics, and will search out wherever you land up next!
picword: You don't say!
 
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Keenspot's response
 tericrosby
 
06:52am 18/12/2009 (UTC)
 
 
We wholeheartedly agree that every creator should research their options carefully before joining any group. That said, I'd like to respond to a few points.

"They lost my books the first day of San Diego Comic Con last year because they just forgot which box they were in."

First I'd like to note that your 48-page full color SORCERY 101 sampler book was paid for by us as a Comic-Con exclusive promotional item at our suggestion. You told us so you could only afford to print about two-dozen copies on your own, so we volunteered to print 100 copies, not expecting to make a profit on it (we told you that you could give away as many copies as you'd like). You delivered the files to us on July 1st and the copies were sitting at our Comic-Con booth on July 22nd. We are sorry that the 100 copies initially couldn't be found in the many of boxes of books and merchandise at our booth, but they were there.

"I hope you enjoyed those iPhone apps because they are getting taken down a few days from now. I never got a sales report on them, never mind paid for them in any way."

Your first iPhone app that Keenspot charged users for, SORCERY 101 #2 ($0.99), debuted on sale roughly four months ago. Apple takes a quarter or more to generate complete worldwide sales report and to pay the iPhone Developer for those sales, so Keenspot is just now starting to calculate initial sales revenue on your apps. We send reports with payment after that is complete and your apps have shown a profit.

"I have talked to several Keenspot artists (not naming names so folks don't get in trouble) and found they have never gotten paid on time for their books."

Keenspot is a small company with no staff to speak of outside of the owners (i.e. no accountant on staff), and because of that it generally takes us longer than we would like to produce exact revenue calculations, whether they be from book distributors or the many ad networks and advertisers we work with daily. However, we have always offered Keenspot members an advance payment. and have never refused an advance to a Keenspot member who asks, whether they're owed money or not.

"After the original excitement over iphone apps was over, Keenspot basically forgot they existed. They have been sitting on Sorcery 101 chapter 3 since before August."

When it comes to iPhone applications, we've been sitting on EVERYTHING since August. We've been in the process of completely restructuring the way we do things with regards to iPhone apps. The announcement on NEWSARAMA today about who we've signed with for distribution on their popular app being the first step in that restructuring.

The fact that there were no further iPhone app issues of LAST BLOOD published after #2 in July does not mean we have a grudge against creators Chris and Bobby Crosby.

"...the comic drop down hasn't been updated in a year or so."

That's not true, it was last updated earlier this week. It's not updated as often as it should be, but it's updated regularly.

[CONTINUED]
 
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Re: Keenspot's response
 tericrosby
 
06:52am 18/12/2009 (UTC)
 
 
[CONTINUED FROM PREVIOUS MESSAGE]

"They had banners advertising artists who weren't attending and none of those had Keenspots logo on it."

All the stand-ups advertised comics by creators who were attending. These were 2009's booth banners:
http://blatantcomics.com/mockup1-boothbackdrop2009-lowres.jpg

DREAMLESS (ATTENDING: writer: Bobby Crosby)
MARRY ME (ATTENDING: illustrator Remy "Eisu" Mokhtar, creator/writer Bobby Crosby)
LAST BLOOD (ATTENDING: writer Bobby Crosby)
NO PINK PONIES (ATTENDING: cartoonist Remy "Eisu" Mokhtar, debuting NPP VOL. 1 at con)
THE FIRST DAUGHTER (ATTENDING: writer Mike Rosenzweig, promoting the made-for-mobile comic that premiered this week)

It should be noted that Keenspot officially comprises only one half of the 10x20 booth, the other taken up by Blatant Comics, a comic book company we have owned since 1997 that currently exclusively publishes in print the work of Bobby Crosby (all of which are also webcomics hosted on Keenspot). And it should also be said that Keenspot is not a democratic collective, it is a publishing company, and we have the right to promote whatever titles we see fit. You also have the right to dislike that, of course.

"People didn't even know what we were for. Someone asked an artist behind the Keenspot booth, 'do guys know where the keenspot booth it?'"

We readily admit that the con booth was not run well, we had an 8-foot long Keenspot logo for the table that was not displayed until later into the con for some reason.

"The newsbox and Keenspot ads frequently get 'stuck' on comics by the CEO's brother."

The Newsbox frequently gets "stuck" every once in awhile, and believe it or not, anytime it happens when a comic written by Bobby is being displayed is a coincidence (we can only think of one time this happened). Just as an example of "Newsbox fairness," from October 1st to today, YOUR comics have had 9 appearances in the Newsbox. Bobby's comics have had 3 appearances. Bobby produces four comics, as do you.

As we've assured you privately numerous times already, we will continue to host your sites for as long as you need us to, however long that is. I believe the dozens of members who have moved on from Keenspot in the past can back that up.

Thank you for being a member of Keenspot the past few years, and for letting us respond. We are sorry it had to end this way. As we've said before, we only wish you the best of luck as an independent cartoonist.

Smiles,
Teri Crosby, COO/CFO/co-Owner
KEENSPOT ENTERTAINMENT
 
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 rosscott
 
03:51pm 18/12/2009 (UTC)
 
 
rosscott
I remember when I was just starting out I wanted to get onto Keenspot because it seemed like the cool kids table. About 3 years ago I remember having the thought "oh, are they still around?" I looked around and they were in fact "still around", but every piece of news I heard about them was bad news bears. I think independence will suit you just fine. While you seem to have it covered, I'm a web designer by day so if I can help in any way just let me know. Otherwise, see you round the webs,and good luck with the new site!

Rosscott
http://www.systemcomic.com/
 
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Hosting
 https://www.google.com/accounts/o8/id?id=AItOawnP2sH_erTHYxKTpe_PdNV-p_nUDrk8w3c
 
08:26pm 18/12/2009 (UTC)
 
 
On the subject of web hosting: if you're comfortable running the server yourself, Slicehost does dedicated virtual servers for 20 bucks a month. It's more expensive than just a Wordpress or Blogger frontend, but lets you install any damn thing you want, which has been a great plus for me.
 
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Re: Hosting - (Anonymous) Expand
(no subject)
 pablowapsi
 
08:49pm 18/12/2009 (UTC)
 
 
pablowapsi
I'm spreading the news on my Twitter as well. That sucks man, but speaking from personal experience, you'll be in a better spot away from them.
 
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(no subject)
 stealthuser
 
08:59pm 18/12/2009 (UTC)
 
 
Th3a
So.............................why?

You can't set us up on that long a post and then not deliver if they actually answered you with a specific reason.
 
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(no subject)
 kellhound1365
 
09:08pm 18/12/2009 (UTC)
 
 
kellhound1365
Keenspot doesn't want it public and I'm going to respect that request.
 
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(no subject)
 ironbite
 
10:11pm 18/12/2009 (UTC)
 
 
ironbite
Hi. Name's Ironbite. Long time reader first time poster. I have to say that this seems to be a situation that alot of comics reach at some point with Keenspot. No offense intended to anyone who's connected to both sides of the issue but there used to be alot of awsome comics on here. Now, there's only a handful of really dedicated artists who actually update on schedule. It seems alot of guys have just given up on Keenspot and move on to bigger and better things. I don't know what'll happen with Keenspot as it is one of my favorite webcomic directory and I visit it almost every single day without fail.

But whatever. It's a crappy situation and I wish you the best Kel and look forward to the day I add Sorcery 101 to my Webcomics fav list.
 
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(no subject)
 phyr_nyt
 
11:20pm 18/12/2009 (UTC)
 
 
Phyr
you took a risk with what you stated here:
It happened right after Scott Kurtz's ustream where I talked said Keenspot was only good for the newsboxes (which is true and I'm not the only person on Keenspot who's said that) and I'd leave once the newsboxes stopped being useful.

nothing big to you but something like that can cause a loss of business to them. other companies will fire people for talking bad about their employers. unfortunately it's a part of life.
 
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(no subject)
 kellhound1365
 
11:28pm 18/12/2009 (UTC)
 
 
kellhound1365
That was what I assumed I was being fired for. If they had told me upfront and been professional about it, they would have been sparred a lot of bad press. They told me the reason after this all this blew up and it was completely reasonable. They just didn't feel like telling me until everyone pointed out how it is in their contract that they need to.
 
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Just discovered your comic.
 (Anonymous)
 
10:45am 19/12/2009 (UTC)
 
 
I just discovered your comic thanks to this thread, looks good!
 
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 bobbycrosby
 
01:18am 19/12/2009 (UTC)
 
 
Bobby Crosby
Almost everything that Kell, Kurtz and Straub said were lies, and Kurtz almost certainly wrote most of what Kell said for her. And when they're not lying, they're insinuating other lies, like that Keenspot would conceivably take down her site out of spite, when they've never once done that to the dozens of other Keenspot members who were fired or left, most of which left under far worse terms than this situation.

The lie about how my comics get more newsbox times than others is really disgusting, since they almost certainly get the least, and Kell's get three times as many, as pointed out earlier. "+EV" hasn't had one since August.

I don't understand how someone can post so many lies, have them PROVEN WRONG, and then still have people supporting them. It makes no sense to me. Kell says things like "They had banners advertising artists who weren't attending and none of those had Keenspots logo on it," then Keenspot shows that all the banners were advertising artists who WERE IN ATTENDANCE, who she SPENT A WEEK SITTING NEXT TO, and they show an image of the banners which clearly shows the Keenspot logo twice, and no one even posts an "lol" in response? I thought it was pretty funny and is yet another thing that shows how paranoid and out of touch Kell is with the world around her -- possibly even more than me. She apparently even asked "numerous times" about if her site would be taken down before she can move it, and was of course assured that it wouldn't, and then she decided to insinuate publicly that Keenspot is of course going to take down her site because they're such assholes. It's disgusting.

"Even with these rebuttals withstanding, there is a reason why Keenspot gets such a bad rap . . ."

Yes, even with how Keenspot just called out Kell on all her public lies in a way too nice manner, there is a reason why they get such a bad rap, and that reason is you and your buddy telling non stop lies about Keenspot to everyone who makes comics, and you guys have been doing this for many years. You can't stop yourselves. I can't imagine you even know why you're doing it anymore. Just something to do on a Friday night, I guess.

"iPhone app payouts, revenue calculations, etc: when people ask, do you say there are delays, or do you just ignore them?"

I'm told that Kell asked only once about her iPhone stats and she was told everything that was known about them at the time.

CONTINUED . . .
 
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(no subject)
 bobbycrosby
 
01:18am 19/12/2009 (UTC)
 
 
Bobby Crosby
"Hire an accountant!! That is an absurd way to run a business that makes as much money as Keenspot is purported to."

Where in the world did you hear that Keenspot makes a lot of money? The whole insane argument from Kurtz and Straub seems to be that KEENSPOT = WAL-MART -- no, worse than that. Your argument is that Keenspot is a sweat shop, making money off of KIDS, even though the average age of a Keenspot member is over 30. Why would a company that makes pennies hire an accountant??? The whole point of Keenspot is apparently to simply be extremely nice to people who make comics and try to help them make money off their work. I've been calling for Keenspot to shut down for many years because of this, because it's a ton of work to make practically nothing and its only purpose is helping people who are "at best unenthusiastic, and at worst miserable," mostly because of lies spread by Kurtz and Straub. The reason people on Keenspot are unenthusiastic and miserable is because they're CONSTANTLY being told by people that they for some reason respect that they're a member of a horrible company and that they're almost certainly being stolen from, and don't forget the fact that they're also being told that they're little children when in fact they're 45 years old (for example).

"You can't make payments to your creators on time because you're short-handed? That is still your problem."

Did you miss the part where Keenspot has always paid advances to anyone who asks for one, even those who are losing money and often have no hope of ever making money? Did you miss the part where Keenspot graciously printed 100 copies of a promotional book for Kell and gave her booth space at the biggest convention in the world for free and then she publicly tells everyone that Keenspot is only good for its newsbox??? It's flat out disgusting, bordering on evil/heartless.

"Would this restructuring and its delays be a continuation of the restructuring and delays that spurred six of us to leave in 2005? Or is this a new restructuring?"

What the flying fuck. Were iPhone apps around in 2005, Straub? Because you were quoting from this sentence: "We've been in the process of completely restructuring the way we do things with regards to iPhone apps." The lengths you guys go to in order to spread lies about Keenspot are just retarded. You assume that everyone who reads these posts are complete and total morons, knowing you can fool them with lies, so you find as many ways as possible to lie to them, and for what purpose? To take down a company you're in competition with, I guess, but ugh, it's disgusting that the world of webcomics has people like that in them, people motivated simply by greed over pennies, or at best revenge for who knows what.

CONTINUED . . .
 
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 (Anonymous)
 
01:55am 19/12/2009 (UTC)
 
 
From the sound of things, you may be better off on your own. You have some great comics and I'll bet most if not all of your fans will follow you wherever you end up. Good luck!
 
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Keenspot
 (Anonymous)
 
01:20pm 19/12/2009 (UTC)
 
 
Bobbycrosby just spent 2 posts making Kel's argument for her. Congrats Bobby!
You're a jack off!
 
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Long Time Reader motivated to post...
 (Anonymous)
 
10:31am 19/12/2009 (UTC)
 
 
I have to say this, after reading the entire thread, I've been reasonably impressed with everything said by both Kell and Terri, and mostly offended by Bobby. I don't know any of you, but as a reader, I have noticed the problems with most comics on Keenspot.

It's hard to run any business by your self (I do it and sometimes want to scream), so I can see Terri's point about being short handed. But if it's not getting done, and it's part of your business, it is your problem. Even if it is getting done, the perception that it isn't or that it wouldn't have been, is still your problem. The perception that you are bad is a problem, period, the Truth is irrelevant.

Terri, Excellent rebuttal and point for point, just do it sooner. It's never good to have a great response after the fact because the points are moot in the court of public opinion. I like the idea of Keenspot, but as another poster said "...figure out what you want Keenspot to be..." If you want to promote Bobby's comics, then do that. If you want to host webcomics for up and coming artists, do that. If you want to become a host for professional artists do that. However, the last two items demand that you radically change the way you do business, or at least the way you are perceived to do business.

Bobby, have you tried being civil? Going on a large rant, even if you are right, only makes you seem like an a** (especially if that's people's criticism of you). More to the point, people simply ignore you when you froth at the mouth. Try smaller posts, and cutting out personal attacks. I understand that this is something that you care deeply about because it's not only a family business, but also because you have been personally involved; but it's precisely that reason that you must get your emotions and ego out of the argument and be rational lest your logical points and factual corrections are lost in mire of an emotional mess.

Kell, I wish you the best of luck, and I'll look forward to updating my webcomics bookmarks.

In any event, I'm just a reader posting for the first, and probably the last time, motivated only by what I've read here. Think about the impressions you've created and if you really want to be known for them.
 
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Re: Long Time Reader motivated to post...
 ryuko_midori
 
07:55pm 19/12/2009 (UTC)
 
 
The Green Avenger
On the plus side, you won't have to update your bookmarks, because she owns her own domain! It should stay the same :)
 
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seriously?
 h3m0rrh4g3
 
11:49am 20/12/2009 (UTC)
 
 
h3m0rrh4g3
i have got to say, besides the fact that they host a lot of good comics, I've never heard anything good about keenspot, I always hear about the screw-ups which after awhile made me question do they do that little correct? or do we never hear about the good that they do? but after this I'm heavily leaning towards the rarely do anything right. Now since you will be free from them shortly I must absolutely suggest contacting the guys at Blind Ferret, great host and more importantly a great group of guys.
 
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Re: seriously?
 kellhound1365
 
09:17pm 24/12/2009 (UTC)
 
 
kellhound1365
That is pretty much exactly what I'm doing. Kurtz introduced me to them.
 
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Pft, Fired From Keenspot? Been there, done that. ;)
 troutman
 
02:11am 21/12/2009 (UTC)
 
 
John Troutman
Welcome to the club! HIGH-FIVE!
 
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(no subject)
 (Anonymous)
 
04:50am 21/12/2009 (UTC)
 
 
I enjoy your comics and hope things will work out for the better because of this happening.

Bobby sounds like that annoying 14 year old geek with nothing better to do than start internet wars.

Yes, I can Laugh Out Loud too.
 
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(no subject)
 flemco
 
12:09am 24/12/2009 (UTC)
 
 
J. M. F. Grant
Holy fucking shit.

Got here via FLEEN.

This is epic post, with epic comments.

I'm going to reserve my opinions outright, or at least for the most part. I WILL state that I think you'll do well on your own, Kel, and we hope to keep seeing you at cons. Stealing wheelchairs and all that.

In the end, there's big shaking going down at Keen, and Mel and I are having to make decisions. Interesting times!
 
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Ye gods...
 vxo
 
01:47am 24/12/2009 (UTC)
 
 
yet another duct tape ninja
I used to use Keenspace in its early days... and personally found a bug that caused problems sitewide ranging from update failure to completely scrambling all files on the user's account when they tried to update that day. (The problem was merely that I uploaded a corrupted .jpg!)

I bailed on Keenspace when they began to serve up adware downloads through the advertisement system (they use a different one now). Fun times... blech.

The company never seemed particularly on the ball. At the time, it seemed to just be more of an experiment by Darren Bleuel, with no real goal or standards in mind. It seemed to me like it'd be great if it shaped up into something... but that never happened.
 
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The Move
 sillymagpie
 
12:39am 02/01/2010 (UTC)
 
 
Maggie
Your comic is one of the better ones on Keenspot. Just tell us where you move,and we'll follow you there. :-)
 
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