Ponga Blog Post

Photo by Amy Reed on Unsplash
February 24, 2021

Who We Are and Why We're Here

We love a good story. Here’s one of ours.

Ponga has been a very personal journey for the founders.

We each brought our own experiences and family history to the company. Along the way, we discovered a shared passion. When we talk about Ponga, we’ve been astonished at how quickly audiences respond with their own versions of “our” story.

My childhood memories are rich with family storytelling.

Summers were spent on the farm. Those warm mid-western evenings on the porch among fireflies, fresh cut watermelon, and homemade ice cream listening to colorful anecdotes about my family’s past. Even today, when I hear the distinctive drawn out squeak of an old screen door opening and the crisp snap when it slams shut, I can almost see, hear and smell every detail of those days long past.

We were taught to know where we come from, but those days seem lost forever. Especially as family members seem to disappear every year taking these stories with them.

The family on the farm
The family on the farm

Time spent telling family stories is a rare luxury now.

These days we never have the time to spend in such leisurely pursuits. Social media, email and smartphones make interactions quick and easy but seem to make those deeper conversations more difficult to achieve. We always expect to make time for it later…but, it seems “later” never comes.

We created Ponga so that family stories could come to you through the memories locked up in your collection of photos.

If you’re like us, you probably have piles of pictures lying around somewhere. Maybe they’re in the garage, on a shelf, or under a bed. If you’ve already invested time and money in scanning, you probably have them in thousands of unorganized image files on an old drive or your computer.

For most of us, photos are just a hot mess. Organizing them is a chore…the project you planned after you clean out the garage … next month, or maybe next year.

That’s where we can help.

We designed Ponga to help you;

  • Quickly and easily organize those photos
  • Tell the stories and recall the memories behind the images and attach them to the relevant photos
  • Share them with others for their enjoyment and to add their own recollections

Just upload those photos and when you recognize a face, put a name to it. Once you’ve done that, we will collect every picture of that person into their own album. After you’ve put a name to a face, we’ll add it every time that person’s face pops up in a picture. Open those albums and you’ll find pictures of your aunts and uncles playing together as children or your grandparents in the Great War.

Now you can add your stories, recollections, and commentary to each photo. They could be voice recordings, written commentary, video clips, images of artifacts, maps of locations, even links to other content that has relevance to the picture.

Documents, certificates, maps, articles, presentations, and more can all add context and color to those snapshots fully capturing those moments in time. In Ponga, you just paste a link, and the content is embedded.

Then you can share them with anyone you want and restrict from those you don’t. You can invite as many guests as you like and they can view, listen, or add their own recollections to the photos and albums you share with them for free. Putting these images and stories in circulation for others to enjoy, listen to, and add their own point of view, is when it really becomes valuable and fun. The approach is simple and transparent, like hosting guests at your home.

And, if they want to upload their own pictures, they can become members as well so that they can share their pictures and stories with you.

That’s the core idea. We wanted to create a way to capture memories and stories, connect them to photographs and then share them with others.

It’s easy, quick, and fun.

Plus, the entire service is private.

At a time when social media services are overrun with politics and bad news on Twitter, keeping up with the Joneses on Instagram, and the heavy advertising supported and privacy abusing behaviors of others, YOU control everything regarding your content and images.

As a paid membership model, we will not sell your profile or data to other companies or advertisers so they can overrun you with useless and annoying ads. Ponga is a place for the authentic capturing and sharing of precious personal memories and confidential family histories with friends and loved ones with the knowledge that this information will stay private.

My father passed away a couple of years ago without my young son able to have a real relationship with his grandfather. In fact, my own knowledge of some of his history is sketchy because I thought he’d always be there to answer my questions. Now, much of that “color” is lost forever.

Cameron's dad in his military uniform.
Dad in his military uniform.

Imagine the power of my son being able to see a picture of his grandfather in his army uniform explaining, in his own voice attached to the photo, what it was like to be a paratrooper in the Korean War. The wonder and joy in his face as he hears the story firsthand is an experience that cannot be compared.

We wanted to build a way to share those stories, and bring that sense of belonging to something bigger than yourself, in today’s digitized world.

Stories matter. At Ponga, we believe pictures can be the best way to tell stories within families, across generations or among those of common interest. We are excited to be able to share this experience with you.

Cover Photo credit: Photo by Amy Reed on Unsplash

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