Credit, please, Apple Music

Credits where credits are due

You know the type, at the end of a movie, while everyone is rushing to the exits, queuing for the washrooms to complete the processes started by their incredibly oversize and overpriced sodas, there’s always a handful who sit patiently and watch the credits roll. They’ll do it even for movies not made by Marvel and don’t have the teaser for the next film right at the end.

Those people will all say approximately the same thing about what they’re doing. “A lot of people worked to make this film. This is my way of giving them some respect.” There are those out there, more than 40,000 of whom who have officially declared it thus far, who believe music should be given the same treatment.

While their numbers may not be as plentiful as a feature-length film, an album takes more than the work of the musicians in the band to produce. There are producers, mixers, engineers, graphic designers, guest performers, and a whole host of others whose contributions too often go unnoticed by the public, even when they are all mentioned in the liner notes. In this ever-increasingly digital age, there often isn’t even a liner upon which notes can be provided. That is the thrust behind this petition by Jon Burr.

To be delivered to Tim Cook, CEO, Apple Inc.

Album credits are the lifeblood of musicians. Musicians need them to be displayed when their music is played.
Showing the headline artist and track title only anonymizes and minimizes the contributions of all the others involved and forecloses opportunity.Please show the credits when music is played!

This opinion isn’t exactly a new one. In fact, the petition was started a year ago. It is, however, an important one and one I feel is worth revisiting as we focus so heavily on the names of those headlining artists and so often forget everyone else.

Six years ago, Don Was, a record producer with decades of experience, penned an editorial for Huffington Post entitled iTunes and the Death of Liner Notes in which he wrote “I’m at a loss to explain Apple’s ambivalence about upholding the quality and value of the product that has fueled the success of their hardware.”

But, as Was wrote, the blame doesn’t land solely at Apple’s feet. “Distracted by the tsunami of horrifying financial trends, maybe nobody in the music business is seriously addressing the possibilities for digital liner notes and the improvement of digital albums. We’re missing the point that, just like domestic automobiles, if we offer better records at a reasonable price maybe people will start buying them again!”

The petition, as of writing this, is less than 10,000 signatures from their goal of 50,000. Several of the signatories, as is common with online petitions, have given short statements of support in addition to their signature.

“As a former manager of a national and international act.. name recognition is as key as the song itself…musicians, producers and engineers need that recognition to survive,”

– Tom Feeleym, Keyport, NJ

“I am a freelance engineer who has been mis-credited or left off of Canadian gold and platinum selling albums. It is of dire importance for everyone to receive credit for their hard work!”

– Wayne Cochrane, Toronto, Ontario

“This would dramatically increase presentation and also help those involved in the production and recording of a piece of music maintain a portfolio while using the apple services.”

– Ricky Neff, Boyds, MD

Of course, for some this is just a good first step towards Apple treating the music industry as more than just a cash cow.

“This is just one of the many things Apple needs to do to improve Apple Music. Next will be fair payout.”

– Mark Jorgenson, Austin, TX

But that’s a whole other topic. First, let’s get Apple to step up and give credit where it’s due. It’s nigh impossible to have widespread success in today’s industry if you’re not on Apple Music or iTunes, but it is impossible without a strong team backing you. Give them a little credit. Please, Apple? (You, too, Spotify.)

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161 thoughts on “Credits where credits are due

  1. Oooooh, heady subject. Would the desired data simply be available on-click, for instance clicking on “the album cover”? (Because there can be a whole load of info, sometimes, starting with contributing artists, producer(s), technician(s), and so on.

    And good morning.

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  2. I”m reading an article entitled *Did the FBI just sink Clinton over emails?*, I got a belly laugh running across this statement:

    “The Washington Post upgraded its verdict on the veracity of Mrs Clinton’s classified information claims from two to four “Pinocchios”.”

    A good overview, and a (guesswork) conclusion, which is more than the reader often gets.

    http://www.bbc.com/news/world-us-canada-36719054

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  3. Very interesting read (helmets), Benoit. That’s a debate I still wage with myself. I rarely cycle anywhere, living in the country on a significantly busy 80 km/h road with gravel shoulders and crumbling asphalt. The point is moot for me, personally, at the moment.

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  4. Morning! My first reaction was who cares it’t in the meta data… Not having apple music I looked to Spottify to have a nifty way to see the liner notes/meta data but there isn’t one I could find. That’s too bad; it should be corrected. It should also be dead simple to find. However, the consumer of the content (except for these odd fifty thousand) don’t seem to care eiher. Maybe this is something artists need on their websites? Or a Wikipedia challenge for people who are into that sort of thing? It seems to me having proper metadata with all that information available would go a long way. Sorting music by producer would be a neat way to see some links in your music you may not have known about.

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  5. T.O.O.L., yeah, makes sense (you, 80 kph road, bad asphalt). I wouldn’t either, and I’m an intrepid cyclist. Never have worn a helmet much (bought one when I got a mountain bike, in case of going into mountains, which didn’t really happen). Also, I don’t like hats much, and I do like shedding heat through the head.

    But also also (I’m tenuously connected to the competitive cycling world, low-level, through my friend the bike mechanic-engineer), racers have gradually been forced by sponsors (any helmet-makers??? let me see…) and “safety”-conscious organisations to wear them, over the years. They themselves knew that you can get killed with or without a helmet, as the previous article underscores.

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  6. tiny edit: They themselves *have always known* that you can get killed with or without a helmet, as the previous article underscores.

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  7. More talking to myself

    The “Artists” linkety thing on the new CBCMusic site has been de-greyed, and “activated”.

    First impression is not great: I typed in Sam Roberts, and it gave me S.R. Band (so far so good), but on another screen (which was to play *concurrently* with the stR3am), offering me the single choice of *Brother Down*.

    That’s it.

    To repeat, it started playing simultaneously with R3, which will probably be corrected at some point I suppose.

    But really: where the heck’s the selection? (Oh right: the new site will not allow playlists…) So, 49,000+ artists, and no user flexibility beyond “PRESS”.

    (I still got to new CBCMusic through Chrome, but it took two tries to escape the rotating thing.)

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  8. On topic:

    The only argument I can see being made against including liner nots is that not many people would use it. But there would be a not-insignificant number who would and they would greatly appreciate the effort.
    After initial programming all the work would be done by the labels so costs would be minimal. There’s no reason they shouldn’t do it.

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  9. More opinion pieces! I like hearing people’s opinions.

    Especially when I agree with them, like this time. People who work on albums should get credit for their work.

    (and I’m totally a movie credit watcher. I hate that Netflix minimizes the screen as soon as they start in its attempts to make you watch SOMETHING ELSE RIGHT NOW)

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  10. Zammy: not as such, as far as I know. There’s an Internet Broadway Database that does the IMDB thing with musical theatre (and theatre in general), but I don’t know of a definitive database of “popular” music. That would be a pretty daunting task, but it would sure be useful.

    Wikipedia is about the best resource we have for that stuff, probably.

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  11. Good morning folks. Pedaled in to work again this morning. When I got onto Hwy 1, I saw someone else pedaling ahead of me and made it my goal to catch up to them….to absolutely no avail. They just kept gaining distance on me. Oh well.

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  12. re: Netflix minimizing the credits, they’re just carrying on a trend started by TV years ago, squishing the credits down to illegible size and running them at 8x speed so they can fit more advertising or whatever. The epitome of this I think was on YTV, like, 10+ years ago probably… as soon as the credits started rolling they cut to a host break, some guy yammering about the next show or whatever, and the credits were playing on a TV screen actually mounted *inside a toilet bowl* hanging on the wall over the guy’s shoulder. Seemed like a rather on-the-nose allegory for much respect broadcasters have for content creators.

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  13. woah. just read about the latest shooting in the good old u s of a.

    sorry southern amigos, but i think you’re country is going to implode very soon. It can’t keep going on like this.

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  14. I use AllMusic to discover new releases all the time. Garfield is right, it’s probably the best option as an “IMDB for music,” but it’s kind of clunky to use. I wish they would redesign it.

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  15. (tiffy) I think a number of (mostly) white US officers have conflated a lot of aggression with a lot of fear. (I also blame the “protect yourself at all costs” philosophy cops have been trained with for generations now.)

    In the latest killing of a black man in his car (in view of girlfriend and child), he seems to have been doing exactly what the law says he should have. And it got him shot and killed.

    W.T.F.

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  16. @tiffyleeson: I dunno, it’s been going on like that for quite a while now. Seems to be business as usual really.

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  17. @bfo – the ever so precious second amendment is literally killing the country.

    I used to feel really outraged and bad, but you can only watch terrible decisions happen so many times before you kinda just become numb.

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  18. Mmmm, I think things will change: cops are being caught on camera more and more often. Also, police bodycams — of which, in this latest homicide, both “fell off” during the struggle.

    Two things: 1) shenanigans! 2) S’gonna happen less and less, because you can’t keep on using such a thin pretext. Use a bigger safety pin…

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  19. OK, thinking about Trump and gun control and shit is putting me in a bad mood, so instead I’m going to tell a story about Canadian indie music.

    Not a good story mind you. Not really a story at all, more of an anecdote. Actually not so much an anecdode as brief pointless rambling.

    Just before they binned the old R3 site, I was going through my playlist one last time, and I heard a song I didn’t recognize — obviously I’d heard it once, added it, and forgotten about it — so I checked the player to see what it was. Wintersleep, Trace Decay. Cool, I thought, I’ll have to look that up again later. And so it came to pass that a few days later, I had part of the song stuck in my head and actually remembered what it was, so I went to pull it up on Youtube. And I was all like, “What the hell is this shit? This isn’t the song I was thinking of”. But I kept it playing anyway, and then like 3 minutes in, bam, it was the song I was thinking of!

    The beginning of that song is pretty different from the end, is what I’m saying. Also some versions are longer than others.

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  20. Hey-o!

    My one counter point is that when you buy an album on iTunes there is a “digital booklet” which is essentially the liner notes in pdf. Of course you don’t get this if you buy a single or if you use Apple music’s streaming service, but it’s not entirely negligected.

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  21. Time for the Jim Jefferies bit about gun control. His reference to Port Arthur being the worst massacre ever isn’t accurate anymore, unfortunately, since Orlando

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  22. I’m just listening to a band from Victoria called The Laundronauts. Every song title is a laundry reference.
    It’s pretty great, you guys. Their music doesn’t suck, either!

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  23. my friend is a black dude who drives a big black suv. he gets pulled over all the time, racial profiling style, but at least he doesn’t live in the usa… I fear he’d be a statistic/hashtag by now

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  24. good morning
    @b from @ #1393 love the TOOL abbreviation. How does Top of our Lungs feel about being called a tool? maybe there has been convo around it but i am on my first sips of tea and just started reading …

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  25. so, you just need to know how to use the anchor tag in HTML
    a href=”paste URL here” > put link text here

    and put a < before that first a.
    If I do that, it'll take it as a tag and you won't see the text

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  26. oh, and a /a enclosed in at the end, too. I had that there and WP took it and tried to do something with it

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  27. Donna. I did see the Pup article but haven’t read it yet. I’m sooooo happy for them. I really hope they make the Polaris short list.

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  28. @Loozrboy – Interesting rambling. I like that song but I am a Wintersleep fan and don’t find any of the song shit. I get your point though. I have had that with the playlists. Songs I don’t remember at all but I added on at some point because I liked it. It is interesting to go back and listen to them. I have also had songs that you need to give them a chance before you stop them. It actually frustrates me when people listen to the first couple seconds and don’t try listening to more. Bears in Hazenmore had a song in Searchlight with a really slow build. I wondered how many people gave it a long enough listen to get to the “good part”.

    Anyways, that is my pointless rambling to add to your post.

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  29. reginula: I hope PUP make the Polaris shortlist, too! I’m a fan of the album. Also, that is very interesting about Beatrice and Laura Jane Grace. Good for them!

    Darbar: I also hate it when people give up on songs after a few seconds. I feel the same way about people giving up on books or TV shows or movies because they’re “too slow” or something. What does that even mean, anyway?

    Krib: opening tabs in a new window would be ideal, and I was just wracking my brain trying to remember how to do that.

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  30. well, someone who knows more than me will have to tell me why it’s stripping out the target tag. maybe there’s a CSS setting that overrides it, or it’s been deprecated or something

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  31. @loweeda – I know! I also feel that way about so many things. Give things a chance before you give up on it/them/whatever and decide you hate it.

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  32. I am doing a different position at RFF this year. It will be more work but I get more perks. I hope it works out.

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  33. Krib: well, gee thanks! And re RFF: ughhh, I don’t know. The thing is, Insterstellar Rodeo is happening in Winnipeg the next weekend, so that’s another whole trip with expenses, etc. and I’m just not made of money, you know? Why don’t you just come to Winnipeg? Pat’s gonna have a party!

    Zammy: I love my premium Spotify account. Get one! Do eeet!

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  34. @krib – A little bit. Just an assistant team lead this year, so I still get bossed around by the Lead but get to boss around other volunteers.

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  35. @Donna I’m currently reading a book that is requiring an extra effort from me but I don’t feel like quitting! I guess starting a book with the wrong expectations can add an extra burden.

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  36. It’s been pouring rain here all morning, too, tiffy, and on top of that I left my two (2!) umbrellas at work yesterday, so this morning I had to wear my BRIGHT ORANGE RAIN PONCHO to work. I am fashion-forward.

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  37. Sorry tiffy not feeling well.

    I am looking forward to Interstellar Rodeo. August is going to be a busy in a good way month for me. RFF then Interstellar and then camping the next week.

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  38. I’m really enjoying the paid Spotify but mine (as in, it’s a Mexican account) doesn’t have a lot of cool things 😦 I maaaay have to ask one of you to be my “Canadian address” so I can have a Canadian spotify.

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  39. Krib: I think she’s planning on going, still. I haven’t told her my position yet (because I haven’t completely decided) so no spoilers, please!

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  40. I am on the Environment Team this year. Basically dealing with trash and recycling. We are composting this year and I am excited about that addition.

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  41. @darbar: well perhaps “shit” was a little harsh, I do like the song, but I definitely find the second half catchier than the first.

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  42. Someone asked yesterday about how we find new music. Another avenue for discovering new music is Noisetrade. They send me emails of artists to check out and you can download them for free and tip them if you like.

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  43. I get that Loozrboy.

    My R3 stream knows when I talk about a band. So many times that happens I am starting to really believe that. hehe

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  44. Krib, remember that opening scene in the James Bond movie with the Day of the dead carnival?

    WE DON’T HAVE THAT
    BUT NOW WE WILL BECAUSE OF THE MOVIE.

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  45. @krib: That would be a security feature in WordPress, it only allows a small whitelisted subset of HTML entities and attributes. Seems like target should be safe to allow, but I don’t know if there’s a straightforward way to change the list.

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  46. For those who want new music:
    They aren’t Canadian –They are from Michigan–, but I just discovered this album and it’s nice. Folk stuff.

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  47. Extra, extra, read all about it!

    TooL threatens bloggies with extra-long playlist!

    (R3 looks on, thinking “playlist? what the heck’s a playlist good for?)

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  48. Both times I’ve seen The Tragically Hip have been in the US — long before the events of 9-11, when you could get into the States simply with a driver’s licence.
    One time was a summer outdoor show at Sugarbush Mountain, in Vermont. It was perfect (except for trying to get out after the show): great summer evening weather, cool crowd and no worries, and you could set yourself up as much or as little as you wanted up the (ski) hill, and get good sound without it being really too loud. And it was a natural, open amphitheatre. Really nice.

    The other time was in Rochester, NY, in that old Capitol (?) Theatre they have. Third row from the top. Again, a great show. And a doable drive back home.

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  49. So I just overreacted about a couple of spammy comments on an Instagram pic I posted a hour or so ago and (temporarily) deactivated my account… :/ Now the task at hand is not to berate myself for such silliness. I’m having a rough few days, it happens, and I just have to get through… Good thing you’re all here providing links and playlists to distract me! What would I do without you guys? 🙂

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  50. I have never seen the Hip and now never will. ( ._.) Watching the live show will be cool! If Samara learned a lot, I haz to haz.

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  51. @Samara Noooo! Hugs your way. Let me know if you need someone to talk to.

    (PS I LOVE YOUR INSTA, so I’ll go kick those spammers’ butts)

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  52. I think we all can sometimes forget to “forgive ourselves for being human”. It’s perhaps the most useful and positive aspect of humility.

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  53. Here, Samara: you’ll like this pix, I’m convinced. From reddit, it’s Death Valley sand dunes catching the first light of day.
    (The pix is MUCH LESS wordy)

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  54. @reginula thank you. I should have just reported the spam… but I spammed out my own brain thinking too much about whether or not I am up for having a public insta profile and blah blah blah… I really appreciate your virtual hugs! I send hugs to you too. 🙂 I will be okay, and I am learning from this mistake. Er, I mean, experience! 😉 haha

    @Benoit True dat.

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  55. Does anyone else feel some reluctance to spread the word about Our Basement because they don’t reeealllly want everyone they know showing up here? I do… I am torn… on one hand I so badly want to tell people to come here and CHECK IT OUT because it’s so GREAT! but on the other, I don’t want them reading my blithering comments. 😛

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  56. @samara – I have thought the same thing. I haven’t shared it yet because I want us to properly settle in. Which is going to happen soon. But it’s aesthetically not where I want to invite people to just yet.

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  57. @tiffy cool, I’m glad I’m not alone – though your reluctance is more reasonable than mine, since you are a designer and want to have this site look up to your professional standards.
    That said, I love this site just as it is and will love it as it changes, too. You have all done an amazing job! It will only get better and better.

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  58. A “simple” site like this one has the advantage of being restful for the eyes, not only because of the black background, but also because your eyes aren’t being screamed at by three or six colour images plus text.

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  59. @Samara – I get what you mean. I will definitely be editing myself a lot more with more people here.

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  60. Also, your instagram images are fantastic. You are bound to get people looking and drawing spam as well. I hope it doesn’t scare you off of there.

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  61. When we make fools of ourselves, probably more people than we suspect find out, but: a) people notice things much less, and are much less judgmental, than we often are about ourselves (for many people, anyway; not in the case of da Trump…); b) people are usually far more understanding, or forgiving, of you-me than one would think.

    Anyway. I must be feeling sentencious or something.

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  62. @darbar that so nice of you to say, thank you. I think my overreaction today has made me think hard and recognize that over all I have actually had a good experiences connecting with people on Instagram, so I should not let some creepy spam put me off… I’m actually having my first “Insta-meet” (or whatever it’s called) this Saturday! I would never have been up for something like that if not for getting to know you all over on the R3 blog and the resulting real-life meetings and friendships which have been so fun. I can’t wait to meet you one day, darbstar!! 🙂

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  63. but I still block. Did it all the time on twitter, too, until I kind of stopped using twitter as well

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  64. I get what you feel about not being sure to share the site with more people (I have to censor myself when typing comments here, for example) but I do hope it’ll reach more people. ( ._.)

    (People feel that way about bands and stuff they like all the time, so I understand)

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  65. @Reg 1:55pm,

    It might be a bit late with tomorrow being the last day and we’re probably not ready for prime time yet anyway but it would have been a nice promo.

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  66. @Samara – How exciting to have an insta-meet! I hope to be able to meet you some day as well. That would be fabulous.

    @tiffy – I did not want to watch that video. Just too disturbing. Now I am glad I didn’t .

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  67. I have had to block a few on instagram lately as well. There seemed to be a spike in them in the last week or so.

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  68. And Samara, I know what you mean, too. I went to a spontaneous games night Sunday with complete strangers, one of whom I’d been chatting with online. I never would have had the guts to do that if it weren’t for R3

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  69. I have returned to Instagram and although I deleted the pic with the spam (it was sleazy stuff and I didn’t want my mum to see it) I will leave my profile public and just try not to take the increasing number of spam comments and follows (which are happening all over IG) personally. 😛

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  70. @Benoit I’m just seeing this now on my phone (dinner wasn’t keen to make itself) and the link is not cooperative so I’ll have to hope it’s still the same tomorrow. 😦 It’s a t-shirt? I’m so curious!

    Like

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