Ponga Help

How to offer an invitation to your Ponga picture or album from a web form

A Ponga picture can be offered, much like a white paper, to those who complete a simple form. Just collect the email and send the invite.

Ponga pictures and albums can carry all kinds of private information from emotion-laden memories shared in a family to documentation that validates historical facts. While Ponga pictures are private and can't be posted to public sites, members can post information to public sites telling people about a picture and selectively offering access to it through an invitation.

There are a variety of situations where you might want to share Ponga pictures and albums with people whose email addresses you don't yet know. For example:

  • Family history, ancestry research, and DNA discovery networks and circles where you are sharing general information about your family as a means to meet others with a similar background.
  • Historical interest groups where information and research are crowd-sourced from individuals and experts.
  • Family and alumni reunion groups where you may not yet have the contact information for everyone you wish to include.

In this way, a Ponga picture can be an added-value, call-to-action deliverable offered to prospective clients by experts and consultants who want to share examples of their work.

All you need is an email address

To invite someone to a Ponga picture, all you need is an email address. In today's web-based world, all you really need is a form to collect the email address and have that form be specific to the picture or album. Form-builder tools all include means or integrations to provide notifications when requests are made. Here are three simple examples

Website builder tools

WordPress, Squarespace, Wix, and any number of website builder tools all include means to create forms. This is a great solution when you are already driving traffic to the website and you want to offer an invitation to a picture much as you would an invitation to an event. From the footer at victoriaspress.com

Another example from Ponga's own pages makes an offer to invite anyone to a picture of ours that describes how content can be added to a Ponga picture. See our blog post about adding media and other types of content.

Simple embeddable forms

There are other interesting use cases where individuals may well not have their own website, but still want to reach out to connect with others, by invitation, through a Ponga picture. Use cases include:

  • Someone who is looking to connect with others on a Facebook, genealogy, historical or similar group.
  • A blogger using a blogging platform like Blogger or Medium without direct control over the platform.

This approach can also be useful to Ponga members and guests because it makes it easy to include an invitation TO a picture or album IN a picture. You might do this if you are interested in offering:  

  1. Invitations to related content in pictures or albums.
  2. Inviting guests to suggest others who might find the content helpful.

Form builder tools like Google Forms, Jotform, or Typeform all produce forms that can be shared as links. A Ponga invitation request can be as simple as a one-field form that asks:

"What is your email address?"

Each of these tools is distinct. The more sophisticated tools like Typeform offer a range of features for configuration, reporting, and previewing content. They are also very limited in their free versions.

Google Forms

The simplest tool (and generally the least expensive) is  Google Forms that's included with any free or paid Google Gmail account. While fairly rudimentary in terms of functions, it offers:

  • Full integration into a Ponga picture or embedding into other media like Medium (here's an example from tips.ponga.com.)
  • It offers some interesting special features like the ability to add a video to a form.
  • In a Ponga picture, it embeds nicely by simply pasting a link, like this which allow a form to be filled without leaving the Ponga picture.

Desktop AND Mobile

Because the invitation request form can be opened from any device, a link to the form can be shared as a URL OR as a convenient QR code. Creating a QR code is a cinch from either a webpage URL or a form builder URL.

The easiest way to create a QR code is to go to one of many sites that will create them for you for free such as goqr.me. Just select type URL (the globe) paste in your URL and hit submit. Out pops a QR Code in JPG or PNG format you can download and add to business cards, marketing materials, and even mugs. GoQR will even print those kinds of materials for you.

If you have further questions about these kinds of special tricks, just reach out. We're always interested in special use cases for Ponga.

Last updated:
September 5, 2022
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