1, 2, or 3 Times A Day? Blogging Frequency, Content, and Quality

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Did any of you catch Zesty’s awesome presentation on Blogging 101 either at the summit or watching it online? You can check it out here if you missed it. I listened to about 4 sessions on Saturday afternoon while I worked. It was so fun!

This afternoon I am going to talk a bit about an issue that I started thinking about after listening to Zesty’s presentation.

Zesty gave some great tips on how to make our blogs successful. I am not going to reiterate everything he said, but I will just point out a few of the take home messages that I found most helpful.

1) Content is the most important aspect of your blog

Content is what keeps people coming back again and again. It’s so true isn’t it? We need to have good content above anything else. It is important to find your own niche and how you can make your blog unique.

2) Quality

Remember that every time you hit publish, you are publishing a post for the world to see. Each post you put up will be online forever (unless you remove it/edit it), so make sure that everything you publish is your best work and is the best representation of your blog’s content.

3) Make sure you have a catchy title

Zesty says your title can make or break your post. Make your title captivating and you will attract readers and make them want to click on your blog.

My thoughts:

One message that hit home for myself was the point about content and quality. As you may know, I try to adhere to the 3-times-a-day posting framework for Oh She Glows. Morning, afternoon, evening posts are the norm for me on most days, unless I am away.

With that being said, I would be lying if I said that it wasn’t stressful at times. Given that the majority of my posts are writing-heavy posts (like my hot topics), the posts can take a lot of time to prepare and plan before it goes up. So some days I find myself in a rush to throw up the post so I can get back to my other work.

What is the result of rushing posts?

  • Poor content,
  • Lack of research,
  • Typos,
  • A generally ‘hurried’ or ‘rushed’ tone to the post.
  • Stress!

Now don’t get me wrong, I do think that some of these quick and rushed posts are real and reflect a real person behind the screen who is leading a busy life like the next person, but at the same time I stop and ask myself why I feel that I should adhere to this strict 3 times a day posting schedule. Is it because I think that I won’t have as many readers if I post less? Or people will think that I am not as dedicated to Oh She Glows?

I think that 3 times a day posting can work for a lot of food bloggers. They eat breakfast, lunch, and dinner, so it naturally can work for many people, but for others maybe once or twice a day works the best. For about 3 months I was posting 3 times a day while working full time in the workplace. This meant posting before work, on my lunch break, and after work. It was insane and I can’t believe I did it that frequently! Talk about being in a rush to get a post up. Yeesh.

When I tell people about OSG, I don’t tell them I am a food blogger. I tell them I have a healthy living blog where I write about various health and food topics. Yes, I do post pictures of what I eat, but I also write about fitness, health, beauty, food issues that appeal to myself and readers. So why this need to feel like I should post 3 times a day? I know for a fact that I could write higher quality posts if I gave myself the proper amount of time.

I think of many blogs that I absolutely love that are hugely successful- Vegan Yum Yum, Smitten Kitchen, and Bakerella- and they post once or twice PER week. I know, I can hear your *gasps* from here. Their posts are not rushed, I never see a typo, and they read beautifully.

They post whenever they damn well want to post, but you can be assured that when they do post it is good, ohhhh it is good.

A while back I did a poll on OSG to gather your thoughts. I remember being a bit taken aback by a couple comments I received that went something like this:

“Angela, I don’t think you should post 3 times a day. I have a hard time keeping up and I hate missing some of your posts!”

And I thought to myself, my readers want me to post LESS frequently? Huh? I couldn’t quite understand it. But now I think I see what they were getting at.

I have also talked to other bloggers who used to adhere to the 3 times a day posting framework and they got completely stressed out about it. They said they stressed about when they couldn’t post and they started not to like blogging anymore. Once they eased off a bit they found that they had content coming out of their wazoo and they were much happier.

Much like running, when I take a step back, I come back renewed and refreshed with lots of energy to give back.

Now this isn’t to say that I am going to stop posting 3 times a day or vanish from all eternity (although some days that sounds appealing! haha), but I do think that I need to stop and reflect on things more when I do feel that pressure to ‘throw up a post just for the sake of posting’. I have such a strong research background, but I hardly ever maximize it on this blog because I feel like I never quite have enough time in the day to do actual research in scholarly journals anymore. Perhaps, if I gave myself more time, I could do this more often (as I so enjoy doing health research). Makes sense, right?

And I know I can’t be alone. I know there are a ton of you bloggers out there who feel the same pressures to post. I also know that there are many readers out there who can’t keep up with all the posts they want to read because us bloggers are just posting-so-damn-much-all-the-time-when-do-we-sleep!

Thoughts? :D

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{ 79 comments… read them below or add one }

Courtney August 17, 2009

Thanks so much for posting this Angela! I’m a “lurker” on your blog and recently started my own healthy living blog as I document my training for a sprint tri. As I started to get more and more response to my blog I was feeling more and more pressure to post more and of course make it entertaining so people would continue to read. I was getting a little stressed and it wasn’t as fun as it originally was. However, I took a step back and decided to just keep my focus on fun recipes and my tri training and it became fun again.
Keep up the great work and thanks again!
Courtney
Adventures in Tri-ing

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Maureen August 17, 2009

I agree with the less blogging and I do not know how you keep up with 3 times a day. With all you are doing developing your business and baking I can certainly see where the stress would come in. Having sad that I do enjoy reading your morning blog with my breakfast so if you do reduce down to one this is the time I would choose.

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VeggieGirl August 17, 2009

People just need to post when they want, however much they want. Period.

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Lizzie August 17, 2009

Angela – have to agree with the person who said sometimes it is hard to keep up with three times a day. The problem is your topics are just so interesting that no one wants to miss anything!! :)

I only started reading blogs a couple of months ago – while I always like to read people’s new entries I think the only time when I have been tapping my feet impatiently for a new update is after they blog about an upcoming race/event/birth and I really want to find out how they did/outcome/baby pics. :)

If you feel that posting less would make you happier in terms of time management and quality of what you write (though I think the quality is great as is!) then don’t worry about loss of interest. Judging by the number of comments you get on here and the growth of your baking biz you deserve to reshuffle your schedule!! :)

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Nina August 17, 2009

Ange, you have hit the nail on the head. As a new blogger, I feel pressure to get as many posts up as I can (i am trying to adhere to the 3 a day framework myself), and sometimes I find myself posting just to get a post up. The post ends up being about well, nothing. I am still trying to find my niche in the blog world; I don’t want to say that I’m one type of blogger or another, but I learned a lot from Zesty’s presentation and I’m trying to put it to good use. It is extremely hard as I currently work about 60 hrs a week, on top of commuting and trying to have a life. It’s hard, and I don’t want to get stressed about trying to get a post up just for the sake of it.

Thank you for your insight (oh, and your globars, obviously).
:)

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Mara @ What's for Dinner? August 17, 2009

I’m with VeggieGirl. Since your posts are very word-heavy, it does get a bit intense if I say, miss your breakfast post, then read that AND lunch at the same time! If you don’t have something to post, don’t post! Since I’m a once-a-day poster, i’m a bit biased, but sometimes, I skip a day!

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Angela (Oh She Glows) August 17, 2009

Great thoughts ladies…I agree, blogging is not something that should stress us out! I think it is great that we are discussing this because I think it is sort of ‘kept in the closet’ and is something no one really talks about but I think it is very real. ~A

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Michelle August 17, 2009

I can’t agree more. I think quality always trumps over quantity, and it can get to be a bother to HAVE TO post so frequently. The reason you started this blog is because you were passionate about health and smart living, so why detract from that by being stressed out by it? You’re doing great, so feel free to give yourself a break!

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VeggieGirl August 17, 2009

It’s not that it’s “kept in the closet” – it’s that people are creating this unnecessary competition and trying to post 948305983409580349850345 times per day.

Quality trumps quantity.

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VeggieGirl August 17, 2009

P.S. – Michelle (commenter above me), I was reiterating your statement at the end of my comment, since it sums everything up perfectly. You said it best!! :-D

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Pam August 17, 2009

I feel very stressed when I feel that I HAVE to do something. I know people probably expect different things from blogs, but I blog because I like to do it when I feel I WANT to do it. This is why sometimes I just don’t feel like blogging, not that it’s not important to me, but because other priorities have come up or I just don’t want to be attached to the computer that much, so I back off a bit.

Blogging to me is meant to be FUN, not stressful! There’s enough stress in this world and I don’t choose to add to this!

Have an enjoyable day!

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Angela (Oh She Glows) August 17, 2009

I do think it is kept in the closet because so many readers have this impression that bloggers perfectly manage and organize their time sans stress. I have spoken to so many bloggers that feel so much pressure to post. No one really talks about it out in the open. I think if we did this more, that many of us would realize how rediculous it really is. And yes quality trumps quantity for sure. ~A

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Hallie August 17, 2009

Thanks for posting this! When I started my blog I was posting every other day, and now I post maybe twice a week. I do wish I had the time to post more but also, sometimes I just feel like I don’t have anything to say! I don’t think I’ve found my niche yet so I feel like my blog is kinda random, but at the end of the day, it’s my hobby not my job, so I feel like I have the freedom to do with it what I wish. It took awhile for me to get to that point, however.

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leslie August 17, 2009

i love that you brought this up. when i started my blog, i knew posting three times a day wasn’t going to happen. i knew i might only post once or twice on weekends. and i knew i could never (and had no desire to) post everything i eat. blogging should be fun, enjoyable, a creative outlet, a place to share things we are passionate about. especially in the food blogging community, i definitely think there is pressure to match up to the most successful bloggers, who seem to all post three times a day. but you’re right angela, we each need to find our niche and do what works for us. one of the things i love about your blog is how varied your content is – it covers so many things i am interested in, and it’s different from the norm. but because you have so much content (and are building a business at the same time!), i don’t know how you keep up with your posting schedule! :) if it’s becoming stressful, you should definitely take a step back. do what works for you! i’m sure you won’t lose a single reader.

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Heather McD (Heather Eats Almond Butter) August 17, 2009

Thanks for being honest Angela. I say post whenever you want to – you obviously love blogging, but again it’s your blog. You do what you need to do to stay grounded and happy. More stress = less fun.

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AGS August 17, 2009

I, for one, haven’t a clue how you manage the bakery start-up business + blog.

I very much enjoy your blog, both the more serious posts and the, well, sillier/faster posts.

I know that *I* do best when I have some kind of a schedule. If you are that way, then keep to a schedule, but perhaps make it more flexible. For the wedding, I couldn’t follow all the posts — one longer recap would have been fine for me. But you should do what works for YOU! The blog is a two-way street.

And thank you for always taking your logyal readers so seriously. I appreciate that very much.

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Ryan @ Greens for Good August 17, 2009

Thanks for posting this! I recently did a complete rehaul of my old blog and as part of it, made the decision to post multiple times per day instead of once. For me, as a food blogger, this is MUCH easier because it keeps me from doing marathon posts at the end of the day that were leaving me completely exhausted and burnt out from blogging. I don’t beat myself up if I can’t post 3 times per day, but overall it’s a goal because it keeps me structured and helps me with time management at the end of a long day when the last thing I want to do is write a huge post. Just another point of view :)

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Lindsey (Mrs. LC) August 17, 2009

I’ve gone back and forth over this. On one hand, I sometimes think frequent posting can be obsessive. There are some blogs who post frequently who you can tell they just log in, post a pic and description of their meal, log out. However there are some blogs that follow the 3-a-day framework that I really enjoy – they provide good content, and even the ones that do post every meal I don’t mind – it’s almost like with their friendly tone and openness, I feel like I’m just catching up with a friend. (This is especially true with bloggers I actually know in “real life” lol).

However, there are definitely bloggers like you mentioned (Bakerella, Smitten Kitchen) who don’t post often, but when they do, it is freaking awesome.

Then there are other bloggers (Pioneer Woman) who crack me up, cover a wide variety of topics, post often and whom I adore.

It’s all about balance and everyone finding what works best for you! :) If you like your blog and have fun doing it, then no matter what others will like your blog, too. :)

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elliebelle August 17, 2009

I think this is a great topic to talk about. I don’t have a food or healthy lifestyle blog, but I do have a sewing/craft blog that I hardly even update once a week! I can’t imagine updating 3 times a day! I wouldn’t know what to say. Granted, I also have to make time to sew or make a project, then photograph it, and edit the photos. I think you do a wonderful job posting interesting topics – but if you did it only once a day instead of 3 times, that would be ok too. Thanks for the great insight. :)

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Jolene August 17, 2009

I totally agree with you! I recently started a blog, and I don’t feel like I am posting enough even though when I wasn’t away I posted probably 2 or maybe 3 times a day.

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Janie August 17, 2009

I definitely have a hard time keeping up with the three time a day bloggers, yourself included:) I read a lot of blogs, but I find I do a lot of skimming when there are 3 new posts in a day. I think if bloggers posted less, I would read more thoroughly.

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kim August 17, 2009

I tried to blog, b/c I think I have a lot to say. But I got really STRESSED trying to keep up with posting all the time. Mainly b/c of school, work, ect. I didn’t feel like I had the time to write a well thought out, photojournaled, post. Posting 1 or 2x a week would have been MUCH better for me, but I didn’t really think that was an option. But now that you mention it, I do love Bakerella and it is not a daily blog at all! I do want to blog, I think every once in a while I have something I could share with the world. And thinking about doing it less frequently to have better content is food for thought. I think if you feel like you want to post fewer posts, go for it! I’m a huge fan of the blog, but I understand you are one busy woman! I’d rather you posted fewer posts and kept the blog going, then get burned out and stop it all together.

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katecooks August 17, 2009

i cant even imagine posting 3 times a day! i leave my house at 745 AM for work and often dont get back until 8 PM. Posting breakfast and lunch would mean downloading images and posting on my work computer, which i don’t really like to do. honestly, i am sometimes hard pressed to post ONCE a day, especially when my computer is running slowly and it can take hours just to get a daily recap online. i was MAJORLY stressing every time i missed a post but lately i have been taking a step back and posting when i can and it has made all the difference! i am much happier and enjoy blogging so much more when i dont feel like i am losing sleep or missing out on fun activities (hello, real life!!!) so that i can get up a post. if 3 a day is too much, i definitely say post when you can! most people are probably reading several of your posts at once anyway, and might not be able to give each as much focus. for myself, i might see a post you have that is very interesting but i feel like i cant comment because even though you might have just posted it 12 hours ago, there are 4 posts since then and i am assuming the other post is over and done with by that point!

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TorontoGirloutWest August 17, 2009

Here’s the thing – I would LOVE to post more often but the truth of the matter is I simply can’t always squeeze it in.

I’m a lawyer and sometimes I work long hours. And even when I don’t I often come home so mentally drained I can’t bare the thought of sitting in front of a computer.

But I do want to blog! In fact I think of so many blog posts I have such a hard time getting around to writing! :(

Part of the problem is that Barney (my computer) has practically no memory left. So when I go to post I can’t just whip through it – posting often takes an hour which is insane!!! I’m going to try posting from the fiance’s computer and hopefully that will help matters along.

But yes I feel the pressure. I also feel the guilt. Bad, huh?

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Kelly August 17, 2009

I definitely only post when I have time. My blog is really more like my own personal cookbook that people occasionally read, though. LOL
I do find I struggle to keep up with my “healthy living blogs” (basically the healthy living summit gals and yourself) because they post 3x a day.
I work all day, gym, walk the dog, make dinner, prep bfast snacks and lunch for the next day — I’m lucky to sit down at 9:30 and relax for a bit before bed! I try to read the blogs at work, but that isn’t always an option.
I loooove reading your blog, and I’ll continue to read, regardless of whether you post once a week, or 10 times a day :)

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Sarah August 17, 2009

Goodness girl, 3 times a day is a lot! I love reading your posts though; I can’t even imagine how much time it takes you between posting the links and pictures, etc. I can barely keep up one a day, and my best friend co-blogs with me at Life:Prosper. live prosperously.

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Runeatrepeat August 17, 2009

I feel the same way sometimes…that I better get up that lunch post or else! And it stresses me out. I like how you compared it to running.

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Paige @ Running Around Normal August 17, 2009

Great re-cap! I usually aim for 2-3 posts a day. You’re right, though, doing three while working full time can get stressful, so I let myself slide by with two a lot.

AS far as reading blogs goes…it depends if it’s a slow day at work or not ;-)

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Maria August 17, 2009

I’m very much in the Bakerella/Smitten Kitchen camp – I post when it resonates with me; usually once or twice a week, and it’s a reflective process. I love this lack of structure, and it keeps my joy for blogging.

That said, the goal of my blog is different from most lifestyle bloggers: it’s just a space to store my words – not grow a brand or generate advertisments, so perhaps the push to “publish or perish” (as we say in the academic world) is different …

I say do what makes you feel good. When a hobby becomes a chore, where is the joy? :)

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Alison August 17, 2009

I think posting frequently when you first start out can be a great way to attract new readers – but once you’ve got a base of readers and a lot of content in your archives you can cut back – like Smitten Kitchen, and Fat Free Vegan too.

Sometimes I do fall behind on your posts and end up having to skim. But everyone is at different places. I remember when I found healthy food blogs I LOVED that Kath (the first healthy blog I followed) posted 3x a day. Now that I’m more comfortable with healthy eating and it’s a normal part of my life, I don’t “need” three posts a day anymore, ya know?

I think it’s normal to expect that your blog will grow and change as time passes, just like people!

Remember that it’s YOUR BLOG and do what makes you happy. Your loyal readers will come along for the ride, no matter which path you take.

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Marilyn August 17, 2009

Great post, Angela! I’m just trying to start my own blog about my interests–fashion/makeup, art, exercise and food, so it’s probably not as focused as it needs to be. However, I don’t want to run 3-4 blogs, one with each topic because that’s just too many blogs for me to maintain… but it might get me more readers that way! It’s pretty stressful and I only post now and then… I think I’ll do the multiple blog thing soon though.

I feel like blogging frequency is definitely something that must be compatible with the blogger. I personally love that you blog so often–OSG is probably my favorite blog to read!

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Holly August 17, 2009

I agree – 3 times a day is a LOT! I had an insanely busy weekend and now I have sooooo many blogs to catch up on reading that it’s stressful in and of itself! I do NOT think people need to post 3 times a day.

On the other side of the coin, I’ve been wanting to get into food blogging some – but I think I’d be more like you, a mixture of exercise, food, and life. But I just know I can’t post on my lunch break – I can’t go home and I often don’t leave my place of employment at all.

I will still love you just as much with only one post a day. Or less. ;)

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Angela (Oh She Glows) August 17, 2009

So many awesome points of view! Thanks for sharing :) I TOTALLY get what you all mean by skimming posts because you can’t keep up! I too wish that some of my favourite blogs posted less. Funny isnt it? ~A

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Sheri August 17, 2009

I just recently started my own healthy living blog and I work full-time so posting 3 times a day for me is just not going to happen! It might some days but for the most part it will not. I just simply don’t have that much time plus I am a Mom as well so I usually wait until the little guy is in bed before I catch up on blogs and post.

Thanks for this post…you made some great points.

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Amy August 17, 2009

If I didn’t have a full time job, I would be all over the 3 times a day posting! :)

I can’t access my blog from work (or any @blogspot blogs) so I’m limited to my posting.

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brandi August 17, 2009

Great topic! I’ve been thinking about this a lot lately, too. I love posting my meals since that’s mainly why I started my blog – to share meals and recipes with my family. I don’t usually mind posting 3 times a day and I normally have time for it, but I try not to worry about it if I don’t get one up or I have *gasp* don’t take pictures of a meal out or with friends where I just don’t feel like taking my camera out.

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melissa August 17, 2009

Hey Angela,

Great post. I have been a long time lover of your blog. But I must admit, sometimes there is way more content than I can absorb or find time to read. Which makes me feel guilty when you obviously put so much time into your meaty posts. Just to be totally honest, I would be able to read and capture more of your posts if there weren’t quite so many.

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trish (girlatgym) August 17, 2009

I work a full time job AND a part time job – for me, posting 3X per day would be impossible. I could not keep up with it. I try to post at least once per week. And I try to only post when I have something interesting to put up.

I also have to agree that keeping up with 3x per day as a reader can be tough. If it’s just quick ones, it’s not so bad. I’d rather quality over quantity though – that gets my vote. Fewer posts would be okay by me – too much to keep up with otherwise!

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JessinNYC August 17, 2009

This talk given by Zesty was fantastic! As a new blogger I’ve often wonder how to make it happen. Prior to hearing Zesty’s stance on this, both my sister and husband had advised the exact same things. I’m in Zesty’s camp, quality over quantity.

Plus when there are so many posts going out on a regular basis I feel that I miss out on reading the best posts, because its impossible to keep up (this is bloggers in general not specific to you).

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April August 17, 2009

I don’t post on Sundays, that’s my rule. Unless I am bored. I only post once a day and right now that’s only because i’m jobless. When I return to the working world once a day will NOT happen. Life is more about sitting behind a computer. Don’t get me wrong I LOVE your posts and learn from them.

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