Ponga Blog Post

Photo by Amy Reed on Unsplash
August 17, 2021

Can I Get My Stuff Back?

A really good and honest question. Short answer: Absolutely!

Longer answer: Yes, and here’s why…

When you use pictures to tell stories in Ponga, your stories are told in a combination of pictures, words, media, and context. The material you use to tell your stories is a combination of photographs, words, recorded media, and linked material from anywhere on the internet. If you ask us to, we can return all of your content and provide you a tabular reference you can use to understand the context connecting the materials.

Ponga Tells a Story with Associations

To understand that reference, it’s helpful to understand how stories are told in Ponga. Consider a traditional print magazine or a tabloid newspaper story that leads with a photograph. The image itself says something, the headline, subhead, caption, and body copy add context and tell you more. The juxtaposition of pictures, even an inset of a picture in a picture, can create additional meaning even if there are no words to explain.

Ponga creates meaning and tells stories with not only the uploaded image file, but also a juxtaposition of details in that image with the titles, descriptions, and written comments. The organization of your pictures by the people in each picture is also an important component of the content you add, and we technically treat that as part of the content you associate with the pictures you upload. Over time, these stories become very precious and you will quite reasonably want to be reassured that you can have them back.

The key to our approach is to keep the image files you upload and the content you add to a Ponga picture accessible in their original form. When you use Ponga to organize your pictures and weave content into them, our software magic is in creating the cross-references. The files themselves remain separate and can be returned in their original form.

Your Ponga Picture Image Files

Let’s start with the image files you upload to your Ponga account. These image files are in PNG, JPG, or TIF format and can be of any size and aspect ratio. When you upload your images, we take your original file and make a working copy. We archive your original file in long-term storage. If you should want to close your account and request the return of your files, we’ll destroy our working copy and return this original.

While we include an upload budget of 1,000 images on a monthly plan or 12,000 images on an annual plan, there are no separate fees for storage. If you exceed the budget, our rates are simply $10 per 1,000 images above the budget regardless of size.

Content Added to Ponga Pictures

The second category is the content you add to your pictures. Since Ponga doesn’t change the format of the content you add to your pictures, it’s pretty straightforward for us to return that content. Text is text, images are images, and audio recordings are kept in standards-based sound files.

An example: When you add YouTube recordings of that time your grandfather was on the Ed Sullivan show, it can add new meaning to that picture of him in a recording studio. From Ponga’s perspective, the YouTube recording is a link or URL. The compelling element of our software is the embedding that allows that standards-based link to magically become a playable video. What you see in Ponga is that video juxtaposed with your photograph. If you ask for your content back, we’ll return the photograph, with the pixel range of the selections and the link URL for the YouTube video.

All of your content is stored separately

All of your content, including links are stored in our servers separate from your Ponga picture image. Our systems maintain the pixel ranges for every selection at the highest level of zoom. When you use our software to put names to faces, we create reference portraits to use as previews for each person’s face. Those labels and the selections are added to your pictures as your comments, again they are part of your content with a link to the reference portrait which is also stored on a separate server.

For external content like videos, podcasts, PDF documents, and other materials stored as links, we do our best with a standards-based web technology to embed that material so it can be viewed contextually with your uploaded Ponga picture.

What If I Just Want to Delete It?

As explained in our Terms of Service and Privacy Policy, your content is your content. You own it, and you can delete it at any time. In our support center, the article What Happens if I Cancel or Close My Account goes into some detail about our policy if you choose to delete your account or simply don’t renew your membership.

Quite simply, if you delete your account, we’ll delete your content. Period.

What If I Just Pause My Membership?

If your membership renewal is not completed for some reason (like you canceled your credit card after your wallet was stolen, or you simply want to pause your membership subscription, for example,) we will not destroy your content.

We will simply pause the members-only features of your account. You won’t be able to upload pictures, and your shared images will be inaccessible to your guests. You can still log in to view your account and re-activate it later. There’s no time limit on this.

What If I Just Want It All Back?

If you want your corpus of content back, we can get that for you too. The images you uploaded will be in their original format from our archives.

Your comments, links, and those others added to your pictures will be in their original text and URL formats. Images attached to selections will be image files. Audio recordings will be provided in the standards-based .ogg format they were recorded in. The cross-reference to selections on your images will be provided with precise pixel references.

Dog sitting protectively beside a box of old family photos
Listening for his master’s voice.

If you’re concerned about content stored on external links remaining over a long arc of time, we’d recommend consolidating that content into cloud-based storage sites you control such as Dropbox, Google Drive, Permanent, and others. This might be useful to stay ahead of changes at active user-generated content sites like Wikipedia, for example.

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Have questions?

If you have specific ideas of capabilities and features you’d like to see, reach out and let us know. You can always reach us using the Live Chat button at the bottom Left ⏎ or emailing us at support@ponga.com.

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