Ponga Blog Post

Photo by Amy Reed on Unsplash
March 3, 2022

Choose Connection

Re-establishing personally shared experiences in the digital world

I was very excited to hear that RootsTech landed on ‘Choose Connection’ for their conference theme this year. Never has any other conference theme tied so closely to who we are at Ponga and how our world is navigating a two-year pandemic.

Simply put, we started Ponga to enable our members to develop connections within our product. As a digital storytelling company, we want you to utilize your photos as a platform to capture and document, and create history through our intelligent photo organization software. We want our members to have that one place where they can quickly and privately comment or crowdsource key recollections to discover details that once may have been lost.

Whether it’s by learning about ancestors, traveling to homelands steeped in your heritage, or even discovering how you’re related to your friends, you can make powerful connections to the people and places that matter most to you. — RootsTech 2022

Our connections build and reflect our identity.

Today, we live in a different world. We communicate without talking in person. We consume information faster. We celebrate milestones with digital hearts and thumbs-up emojis. It’s typically “of the moment” …we hit send and on the next thing. It’s hard to turn back to anything that isn’t digital. Digital interactions will keep rising, and it’s no surprise that we’re losing in-person human connection as a result. How do we make those digital interactions more meaningful and lasting?

Choosing connections through digital means can only work if we make it work for us and not against us. What if we take the short text messages, video clips, and comments and wrap them around a photo of a loved one who may be suffering from memory loss or someone whom we have lost? This act alone enables the deep bond to be seen and valued.

Cameron Crowe’s dad in his military uniform
Cameron Crowe’s dad in his military uniform.

After losing my father I realized my son really knew little of him. Imagine the power of my young son being able to see a picture of his grandfather in his army uniform explaining the role of a paratrooper in the Korean war; in his own voice attached to the photo? As he hears the story firsthand, the wonder and joy in his face is a human connection made, our identity further defined and relevant.

Photos Matter!

Photos matter, whether film or digital. They capture the moments in a lifetime. If you look beyond the face in the pictures, there are deeper meanings and stories in these images. You are able to capture social history, cultural, and even world events. These stories are the essence of creating our family history.

Book cover "Plane Talk: Cessna Export Tales" By Eyvinn Hansen Schoenberg

For example, a Ponga member wanted to locate information about her father’s work ferrying single and twin-engine airplanes worldwide. Through one of our webinars, our member discovered a new way of making a connection with a photo she had of her dad standing beside a twin-engine Cessna. Using the search term, Cessna + Kansas resulted in the location of an autobiography written by one of her father’s acquaintances with three chapters in the book devoted to him. This discovery connected her to a father that she didn’t know well growing up. It brought value to her story, his story and created “the story” around her photo. This book and photo now live in Ponga for her family to cherish forever.

It is amazing how a photo can easily get these “conversations” and connections started!

A member in Australia re-connected with a cousin, after decades of non-communication, over a photo that was used to crowdsource information about relatives long gone and about little of which was known. They came together again through Ponga and collaborated to fill in the blanks in their own recollections. They added critical family knowledge and history and re-established their relationship through this effort in a way that might not have occurred otherwise.

See us at RootsTech 2022

We’ll be highlighting some of these amazing stories in our Fireside Chat with two genealogy experts, Tami Mize of Conferencekeeper.org and Lisa Lisson, Are you My Cousin?.

Or join us for an open conversation sharing ideas, stories, product feedback, and building community on the Porch Swing.

Porch swing event promo

As a paid membership model, Ponga is a place to capture and share precious personal memories and confidential family histories and allows you to keep them private and off-limits to those in social media that want to exchange your personal information for commercial gain. We believe photos are deep repositories of our history and mark the milestones of our lives. They are the best way to tell stories within families, across generations, or among those of common interest.

We are excited to share this experience with you at RootsTech 2022. Be sure to register, it’s free! Then stop by our booth and see how our software empowers you to choose connections.

We call it the magic of Ponga…Come and enjoy it with us!

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