From the Desk of John Rourke – September 16th, 2015

Appreciate all the recent comments and discussions that have been happening in response to posts. Very insightful. I typically respond to comments every couple days.

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Well – Jade Helm has come and gone and martial law was not declared and the government didn’t take over Texas. All those out there that swore up and down this was IT and “get ready folks because it is getting ready to hit the fan”…..will throw some spin on it rather than say…”I was wrong”.

Every single year there is SOMETHING that is predicted to occur that will change life as we know it. Hey – I am human and have been sucked into some of these too. I do my best to use logic and common sense the best I can.

If you got swept up in the Jade Helm deal just mark it up as a learning experience.

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Movie actress Emily Blunt has recently stated that she regretted her decision to become a US citizen after watching the last GOP debate. I suggest she take her ass back to her home country and stay there.

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Looks like this weekend I will be heading to the range and testing my new AR pistol. A review report on that as well as the Canik TP9SA, Kel-Tec PMR30, and Taurus G2 Millennium coming soon.

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Have a question for everyone. Over the past couple months the readership for this site has declined quite a bit. At the highest point we had over 4000 visitors daily. This was shortly after the Sandy Hook event. Currently? Average is around 1500 per day. This is the lowest in years. I just wonder why. There must be a reason and if I know what it is I can fix/change it. Any suggestions or ideas feel free to share it. I have a few ideas but would like to hear from all of you.


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  1. Yes i live in Liberty south Carolina next to the Pickens country airport, there has been a lot of military helicopters flying over my house for the past several months. this is very unusual just would like to know if you have a comment on this?? we do have a nuke plant near by but this has never happened before… thanks

  2. I check all my Favorite Preparedness sites almost every night. In response to your Question. Some sites do not post anything new for a long time and I am close to deleting them. I don’t feel that is the problem on your site. Maybe people were just freaking out about everything going on at that time and were looking for some professional info. I have learned a lot on these sites and at age 54 I know I will never stop learning and try to learn the easy way. Thank you very much. Rod.

  3. I read your wight every day looking at you “from the desk of” notes. I agree with Rod that a lot of sights are not update daily like yours. I must admit I thought I was going to be turned off when your sight was sponsored but that never happened. You do a good job of posting new material. I think you have done a great job with the sight

  4. Dear Rourke- I imagine that the Sandy Hook event as any current significant happening would inspire more people to visit Prepping sites. I check and try to respond to Modern Survival daily.I am always excited when others post who we havent heard from in awhile.My sense is that many more readers are out there but not responding.I dont know why. Could it be a seasonal thing? I am looking forward to hearing your possible explanations. Have there been many new sites popping up? I only check yours so I dont know. Arlene

    Maybe you could post a question once every two weeks to get the momentum going again.

  5. It may be that people are just loosing interest in prepping again. As time goes on and we get further from a major indecent, people get less concerned. Others may be trying to lower their online presence. I know I have been scaling back on what sites I go to. I especially try to avoid the more radical sites, now. I don’t know if others have had trouble or not, but I seem to have problems posting comments to your site a lot. I post a comment and it never shows up. Have always used the same name and email, so not sure what is happening. Hope things pick back up for the site. I enjoy most of the posts and feedback.

  6. Also, never gave it much thought, but several people mentioned seasonal and that could be a major reason for drop in readers. I know I am online more in the winter than summer. Just so much going on during the summer.

  7. I think your site is great rourke, I myself have gotten behind on visits here because the economy is showing signs of improvement and I’m planning for a future without Doom, I’ve always been torn in this sense, I buy houses and rent them, well I only have two now, but want to do more for my retirement as well, but I also have well over 40k invested in preps, so I try to use my dad’s advice and add prepping to the equation, he always told me half for today, and half for tomorrow, meaning invest in your future, half your income is no small deed, but I’ve try to do it in thirds now, 1/3 prepping, 1/3 to retirement, 1/3 to living today, so it basically boils down to cost of living, cost of retirement, cost of not preparing (death) I think we all never want to see Society fall, but the smart ones prepare for the worst, but back to your question, I think because there’s more jobs and more opertunity that people are worrying less, which means their thinking about prepping less, in turn coming here to learn about preparedness less… I think you do a great job and shouldn’t change

  8. I can’t speak to the declining hits but as for me, your site is not on my daily list to visit. It should be because you have excellent content. I’ll fix that list right now. I am self employed and am having a similar problem with sales… declining.

  9. Oh! And the new program your posting on gets the entire article in the mail instead of logging on to finish reading you can read and move on with your mail, could that affect traffic?

  10. This is the first place I check each day. I am glad Jade Helm came and went. I was concerned and payed attention. Lets not forget history when the Roman Legions surrounded the city of Jerusalem the populaces freaked, Then the Romans left, the people should have fled for the Romans returned and laid siege to the city and many men, women and children perished.

    An War Sadat, Egypt’s leader sent his forces on large scale war games in the Sinai along the Israeli border, two times he did this, the Israel counter moved its forces and nothing happen, then on the third Egyptian war games, Israel stayed home and ignored it and then the trap was sprung, Egypt came across the border like angry fire ants on the third war game, its wasn’t a game anymore.

    A cat has all the time in the world to wait for the mouse to drop it’s guard

    Nothing happened with Jade Helm so far. Remember the Military/Govt will only tell you what they want you to know.
    Question is:
    In the history of the United States, never has the govt spent this much money, logistics specially at a time of military cuts has such a thing taken place, Why Now?

    Has all the equipment been returned to their Depots?
    Has the Turkish and British Forces and who ever else here for the exorcise returned to there countries?
    President Reagan said “Trust but verify”, have we done that?

    I have read that the Obama administration has been moving to nationalize the police force, time will tell. there are times when I am busy and I am not able to leave a comment as I have increased my preps.

    Here in Texas I have read that the state has up graded the gang (MS13) to Tier #1 threat level for the state, current size is 800 members, but they are recruiting. other gangs warned about is as follows “Texas Mexican Mafia (4,700 members), Tanglo Blast and Tanglo Cliques (15,000 members), Texas Syndicate (3,400 members)

    Mark Levine made a comment on the radio that 92.1% of middle eastern refugees are on Food Stamps and 74.2% are on Medicaid or Medical.

    ISIS issued a “kill list” of US cities
    Texas: Abilene, Bedford (my town), San Antonio, Wyle, Fort Hood, New Braunels
    Indiana: Bolivar, Michigan City
    Michigan: Lake Orion, Dearborn Hights
    Connecticut: Manchester, Barkhamsted
    Nevada: Reno
    Georgia: Griffen
    Maryland: Upper Marlboro, Warrensburg, Lexington Park
    Arizona: Phoenix
    Louisiana: Shreveport, Bossier City
    South Carolina: Daniel Island, Charleston
    North Carolina: New Bern, Feyetteville,
    Virginia: Burke, Virginia Beach, Suffolk, Springfield, Norfolk, Carlsbad
    Colorado: Colorado springs
    California: Manford, Solvang, San Ardo, Monterray, Newberry Park, Carlsbad
    New Mexico: Farmington
    North Dakota: Minot
    South Dakota: Rapid city
    Florida: Merrit Island, Palm Coast, Saint John Middleburg, Saint Augustine
    Washington: Colton, Cheney, Seattle, Spokane, Ancortes
    Illinois: Orland Park
    Rhode Island: Newport
    Idaho: Bonners Ferry

    I care for all of you in this community on Modernsurvival, You are of above average intelligence in my opinion, All of us as a collective bring much of life’s experience to the table and we are the richer for it.

  11. I think it’s true with most all sites. Incidents draw attention and panic. I try to hit this site at least daily but I have to admit I don’t always accomplish that. I like the constancy of this site. There’s not panic but caution…as you look at the past months and incidents that have occurred, a person can’t help but wonder what the heck our government is up to. It certainly isn’t the well being of the citizens per say.

    I work in emergency management…and just like my AO, there is no clear and present danger lurking overhead. So. People are not driven to answers. People are driven to…and don’t get me wrong…conspiracy theories. Incidents that have a dark side to,the outcome.

    Areas I see hitting us hard across the nation is influx of illegal, importing suspect terrorists under the guise of refugees, the upcoming election and of course the ultimate, TEOTWAWKI..

    Stand fast…if you have a consistent group of checking then your doing something right. I enjoy the lack,of panic and the discussion of potential problems w/o people going off on the deep end.

    That’s my .02 worth…for what it’s worth. I’m a retired LEO…well semi retired. So,if I can help you shout out. Let’s face it…we are in this ride together, if your not concerned about what is going on. In our country, well then your part of the problem

    Be safe R

  12. You have one of the best most informative sites out there. The information collected here goes far beyond most “prepper” websites. However a couple of things come to mind.

    You erected a “Pay Wall”, which in and of itself is not a bad thing, but it gives the impression that “your in it for the money”, not to help others.
    You have had a lot of “guest articles”, yes I know it’s very hard to come up with something every day, but, IMHO, people want to hear from you. Guests are a great addition.
    I recently downloaded a little program called “Disconnect”, it monitors all the cookies and especially tracking requests. One click to your site shows no less than four (4) tracking requests. Preppers are a private lot and this might add to the problem of getting web traffic.
    Last, I have had all of my posts that were in the least critical of this site deleted. After a few times, you just get pissed and leave.

    Just my 2 cents.


    • Thanks TexasScout. I d not remember ever deleting any of your comments. It is extremely rare if I do. I just looked and had 92 comments that have been deleted over the past few years and there were not any from you. Doesn’t mean it didn’t happen but like I said – I rarely delete any. You nailed it on several fronts – the “pay wall”, tracking codes/cookies, guest posts, etc.

      It is a tough nut to crack as I spend A LOT of time with the website thus the “pay wall”. I have tried to be as minimal and “classy” with it as possible but it is what it is. i am always looking to change and improve it. i have folks wanting to pay me to place a banner across the top of the page or under the header but that I think it too much.

      The tracking codes thing – I will have to do some research on what the 4 findings are. The need for privacy by preppers can be a double edged sword. i was working with a local gun/hunting shop as they were interested in setting up an area for preppers. There was a concerned that although there are no doubt many preppers in the area there are many that would not walk into a store and buy preparedness products for fear they would be recognized and “tracked”. That is going overboard.

      Yes – the guest posts are often but not always treated as “fluff”. Some are fantastic and extremely informative while others are geared more towards the beginner. That is ok as both visit the site.

      Appreciate the comments and keep ’em coming. If one of your comments every disappear feel free to contact me.

      Thanks – Rourke

  13. In my perspective I think everyone’s thoughts and comments on down numbers are correct There could be many reasons and some declination may be, again…may be, due to the content. Most of all though I believe it’s the latter like most people said. There is a lot of things going on and people are getting ready on all levels. Really busy and mentally worn out. Or in other words…people are just to busy or tired to come visit as a result of being so busy. I go to a few “my sites” everyday and this would be one of the main ones.

    As far as suggestions? I’ve heard you mention it before and I will very carefully and skeptically make a suggestion, because I really do feel like the down numbers are do the current situation of our country. Perhaps you can try this…maybe add more articles on strictly focused on prepping. It’s really interesting, because some of the sites that get “ranked” as top prep sites.They are just websites with links…to other websites….pffft, no thanks. Likewise..the content of this website is not, just about prepping. It’s fellowship with like minded people. It allows us a safe place to regain our sanity, help us/others refocus, stay focused on the task and normal life. I’m sure people bounce back and forth between quite a few. I think it was pretty good of you to change the banner. Maybe look for a “new look” or “feel” with the color scheme of the website? I think people might like more responses from you on daily basis instead of every now and then. Which this would be my I don’t know how you do it thought, meaning no time. I’m sure your time is very limited and very precious.

    Emily? BINGO!…hit the nail on the head. My immediate thought was..Get the Hell out then!

    Jade Helm? I know for a fact, (will gladly provide links if requested) that the military has everything they need on bases to do the realistic training the need already. Initially, for the first few weeks I was up in arms and concerned with the masses about martial law coming to fruition immediately, but because I came here and fellowshipped with other people. Exchange of information brought things to a calm. As you and others pointed out there were some deceptive sky is falling people that really made a convincing argument. But clearly…this was an exercise. It wasn’t an exercise to just “exercise” for nothing at all. It’s done for the fact that they themselves said..for practice. They even tell you that themselves. Okay then..exercise for what? There…lies the problem with me for what…they are getting ready for. What are they getting ready for? I believe it was a dry run for what’s going to take place here in the US. It’s what I would do as an officer in the military or any leadership position. They have inside information to what we are only seeing on the outside? They would be fools not to practice.

    In summary, I would like to thank all my constituents…..heh. No really, so maybe change the color scheme, daily responses, perhaps slip a few more give-aways, include more links to other preps?, and you chillax with a beer 🙂 Regardless..KEEP from the desk! Also, for what’s it worth. It should be noted..even of the visit hits are not up. The comments sections is very active. I think that requires some credit ranking also. I’ve only seen off the wall nutter websites that have more comments than your website. So, for a good sight that you maintain and the active participation says something.

    • Excellent thoughts Capt. Michaels. I appreciate all of them.

      I do see some seasonality to traffic and when things seem to be going “well” in this country traffic goes down. There was a huge spike after Sandy Hook and then once gun control measures failed in Congress the traffic dropped to normal levels.

      As far as Jade Helm I agree with you 100%. My biggest issue with the entire Jade Helm thing was the doom and gloom that many put out there. I felt from the start it was a training exercise and if the doomers had said that it was a dry run – well…..that would have been much more believable.

      Appreciate it!

  14. Interesting, If I use IE11 to look at this site, the articles of Ron, myself , and the Capt. appear just fine. If I use FireFox, they are not there.

  15. John, I guess I’m one of the weird ones. Not only do I check your site every morning, I never delete them from the e-mail. I file them in a folder for future reference. I go to probably 4 at most 5 sites. Each have a little different flavor. Yours is more local, in my mind, to SC. At least I feel that way.

    Probably the reason the hits are down is that there is no new crisis out there for the prepper wannabe’s to feed on. Also, some of the sites seem to have changed recently and gotten a little more “glitter” to grab the eye, although it doesn’t change the content. And then, one of two of the sites have stories or ad’s that are in my mind are of the nature of having flashy titles but on reading, are … well let’s be nice and call them lacking in credibility or just fall into a category of… who cares.

    I’d rather be educated by a site instead of entertained. You try to educate. Some of the other sites are for entertainment only…takes less than a half of cup of coffee to read their entire content, where yours typically stimulates thought.

    Hope this has helped a little.


  16. @TexasScout I have the same problem to and I use Firefox. However, I know the reason why…heh. It’s because I lock Firefox down with “https everywhere” from the EFF which encrypts all my traffic and I use “Privacy Badger” from the EFF

    Good point Oren. I’m surprised GoingGray hasn’t chimed in/posted anything yet. Yes..I’m poking you Gray..heh. Let’s see if he’s paying attention today.

    You know..also after most people pointed some things out I realized the other reason I like coming here. They same thing they said..the level of maturity and level headedness, (is that a word?)

  17. I have followed your site daily for about a year now. Your common sense, patriotic and calm reserve approach is what has drawn me here. Keep up the good work.

  18. Rourke, you know I’ve been following for years…I especially enjoy ‘from the desk of’ and the discussions provoked. I don’t comment often, but do read daily. Yours is one of a few sites that I try to visit daily. Of course, life sometimes gets in the way. I agree with others that lack of a ‘major’ event has lulled the sheeple into complacency again. Those sheeple never got the value of the community that’s developed here, that the rest of us treasure.

  19. Rourke, I don’t know exactly how you are able to determine the readership… I read your information daily, but often only in the email form, without actually coming to the site. If many others do this too, wouldn’t this account for the “lower” number of hits? For me, If an email creates more interest, then I will open up the site specifically to read the comments section. I’m more of a “lurker” and rarely post comments, although I read many of them, as I enjoy the input of your “regular” posters… For what it’s worth, your’s is the only “prepper” site I consistently follow, for the same reasons as several have stated above; levelheadedness, (yes, Capt. Michaels, it is a word…!) courtesy, thoughtfulness, etc. etc.

    You do a great job running this site Rourke, and I’m sure you put in countless hours with little appreciation to show for your efforts. Kudos! and thank you…. Maybe your hits are reflecting the “quality” not “quantity” of your readers; I’ll take the former every time…


  20. Morning John, I just read your latest post on wondering why the readership may be down lately. I look at several sites and yours is one that does post new and many times news worthy items.
    I’m thinking that people checking out prepping/survival sites will have a natural ebb and flow as current events happen. Right now the news focus is primarily on Europe and their “invasion” of hundreds of thousands of people from muslim countries and most of the readers who are “kind of, sort of, maybe someday, OMG it just hit the fan” prepper/survivalists don’t see this as effecting them (WRONG!).
    1,500 average readers to me would appear to be those of us whom are dedicated to preparing for an event that will/could impact our lives in an adverse way for an unknown amount of time.
    On that note for years I’ve been one of the dedicated type. I’ve been getting my home ready to sell for the past couple of months and I’ve come to see that jumping up and bugging out is by far and away near impossible.
    Yes I have and keep each vehicle “stocked” with BOBs, spare gas and all the essentials I would need to bug out.
    BUT all of my food (short term and long term) basic gear for doing anything if the power goes out, clothes for different seasons and “other” defense items has taken me almost two and half weeks working 8-10 hours a day and several pickup truck loads to pack up and move to storage (I’m retired). I’m moving to Idaho to set up a (as my daughter put it) my pine box home, meaning the last time I’m going to move until I die. Seeing as I have no interest in becoming a “refuge” if things go south I will be taking a good long look at where and what my new home will have along those lines of staying in place.
    I did find it interesting at how much I have accumulated over the years some of which I will be getting rid of because of upgrades and “upgrades” in my skills and knowledge.
    Keep up the good work John you have a steady hand on the tiller.

  21. Rourke and everyone- great to see so many exc. responses.After thinking more on why folks arent responding-possible issue is that since Senior citizen site has gone a lot of your
    issues are gun and equipment related which draws more men in general. Its necessary but as a woman I like to see more on all aspects of prepping. I read your site every day.
    I would think with the current state of ISIS and our impotent Adm. and our economy and weather crises that the site would be hopping.
    Soon John P and I may be putting up a post that will get your attention for sure-dont want to spoil the future inf. but I believe it will make folks prep harder than ever.
    You do an exc. job Rourke. Arlene

  22. Regarding readership numbers, I’m a reader and I can’t be counted (I don’t think)
    Do you count email subscribers? I don’t subscribe or hardly visit the site. I use Google Reader, now Feedly

  23. Regarding Jade Helm – I considered it a large-scale field problem that reflected the need for the singular item that military bases lack – great expanses of real estate. Training on Fort Hood is not the same as training across several states and the latter is much more representative of what US forces will encounter when they operate within entire countries.

    Regarding Ms. Blunt – she is an American citizen now and has every right to bash the country. I enjoy it when people let their truly feelings about the country show; it helps me to determine which movies to avoid, what places of business will NOT receive my hard-earned money, and what opinions I can disregard out of hand, based on the source.

    Regarding the fall-off of browsers – I am selective in the sites I frequent. More than anything, I am looking for thoughtful questions regarding the state of affairs in the country and the rest of the world and how we with similar perspectives, may view them. I find that here and I appreciate it.

  24. I still visit the site daily but not as much as I use to. This is mainly because I have explored it as much as possible and just wait for the next update to come through. Before I would come to this site first and go to other sites you recommend. I thought I would visit it less after the monthly subscription stuff started because I assumed nonpaying visitors would get less content. I have not really noticed a decrease in quality or content. If it was not for this site I would not have a better understanding of preparedness like I do now. I believe this site has great substance without feeding into the hype. I do miss the writing contests though. I personally think a lot of people are getting there info from youtube. For me I enjoy the content of the people I subscribe to and usually watch that stuff like I would the evening news or a tv series. It would be nice to see that from this site but I am not sure how you could break into it without being just another product review prep channel. I will say this site has frequent updates with good articles then many other sites I have seen. I almost always read them when I see the updates come through the facebook feed.

  25. As for the site’s readership or number of daily hits being down, I attribute that to the sheer volume of crap we have to wade through to get to GOOD sites like this one. Not your fault at all. However, I have grown weary of the sites that don’t filter the posts for profanity, and name calling, as I can get that on any mainstream media outlet in existence, and I am tired of their garbage.
    I prefer intelligent, dignified and especially NON-hysterical sites that give excellent information, as this one does. Do I agree with your posts on your site all the time? Nope, that doesn’t diminish one bit the amount of, and degree of excellent resources you put out. It merely means we are “different” in certain approaches, but agree on the end result.
    I prefer the more reasonable approach you have strived to have throughout this site. I find it refreshing and enjoy reading “From the desk of…” even when I don’t agree necessarily with what you have written. I STILL enjoy reading it, as it doesn’t insult my intelligence! Call me a cynical pessimist(I am), but this is one of the best sites going. Never fear, your efforts are NOT un appreciated!
    Faith, not fear. Never let the illegitmi grind you down!

  26. Hey Rourke, I also get Email updates every day and read most articles. Being in school full time as well as working full time keep me pretty busy right now. Keep up the good work and I will try harder to reply more and visit the sight more.

  27. I work a weird schedule at work (straight nights but work a few off a few). I don’t do internet often at home, so come here sporadically while working. Get lots of great information, so keep up the good work. With ISIS and all the garbage our fearless leader is dropping on our country I need all the pointers I can get. Keep up the good work and thanks.

  28. I read your site almost daily. Great info and common sense rolled into one. Keep up the good work. Kinda new to the prepping thing but your site gives me some good ideas and good links. I live in the upstate of South Carolina and not many prep peers here that I know of, if you know of a group near here let me know(Greenville area)

  29. Rourke, again today my comments disappeared from your latest post. I always use the same email and name, so don’t know why the server removes them. If this is happening to others, it may be a reason why they just quit going to your site. I read this site daily and usually go back and reread to catch up on all of the latest comments.

    • Is this your comment JAS?

      Syria, Coming to a vacant house near you. They are saying 10,000 will be brought in,but I suspect the final tally will be far greater. I fully expect that the feds will start housing these refugees in foreclosed, Fan Mae and Freddie Mac houses all over the country. Any time you see a house for sale with a Homepath placard on the sign, it means that it is a foreclosed Fannie Mae home and the government has put special restrictions on its sale. I don’t know about where you live, but here in Florida, every other foreclosed house on the market has a Homepath placard on it. Some neighborhoods could literally be taken over by these refuges in the near future. Free house, free food, free healthcare and then they will expect us to change, so as not to offend them.

  30. John, this is my main site for information from you and the others that are here and it is informative. I can only get on the computer every 3-4 days so I do get behind but I do go over each daily post. Some may be on vacation or others may think nothing has happened so nothing will happen( my wife’s thought), but I keep prepping the best that I can, keep up the good work and do not become discouraged.

  31. Yes, did it finally show up or was it in spam for some reason. When i go back to a lot of the comments I have made, they seem to be gone, along with other’s comments that I had previously read

  32. Rourke, I’ve followed your blog for several years now. I used to enjoy it most because it was *your* story — little snippets about you and your family and your path to preparedness. But over the years, it’s become an info source for preppers. That’s a good thing; just not what I need or look for in a blog. Through practical personal experience, I’ve come further than general articles — they are no longer informative. What I like to read in those rare moments when I’m at a computer and not DOING something preparedness-related, is other folks’ personal stories (like Rural Revolution). I still care about your family’s journey, but those posts are now few and far between, and that’s a primary reason I’m no longer an avid reader on your website.

    Also, I read via RSS — just make sure you are counting stats through RSS too. This is the first post that’s brought me to your website in a year or two, just to make this comment.

    I hope that helps add a perspective. You are still providing a wonderful service to novice preppers and those looking for information. There just comes a point for some of us where not even Survival Blog is informative anymore (too much talking, not enough doing, you know? Grin.)


    ~ Sandy

  33. This is a long shot, because most of my posts don’t go through any more. I frequently have trouble even opening this site. Other than that, I’ve just been working too many hours lately. I got another promotion at the company that saved me when I was unemployed, and I’m part of a start-up team at a new location. We’ve been working 10-16 hour days for 7 to 20-day stretches, so it’s rare that I have time to sit down and just surf.

  34. I personally prefer using RSS – no need to check all these interesting pages daily, no need for big bookmark folder (yes, I have all these sites bookmarked but just as backup), no need for avoiding/blocking ads (sorry, I am just being honest! ads loaded from 3rd sites usually means tracking).

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