Are you old enough to remember being subjected to the “slideshow”? Maybe subjected is a tad too harsh… let's go with “presented.” Old Uncle Derrick’s road trip from Montreal to Disney World in Florida… all nicely and chronologically organised on the slide carousel of the projector.
If you were born before 1975… I’m thinking you know this story.
Lights go down, you’re told to hush, you might learn something you’re told, and then it starts… The sound of the projector fan comes on and click, Uncle D begins his travel monologue, each slide being moved forward with a remote! A remote… how novel.
By the time Uncle D hits the mountains of Appalachia we’re all twitching, even our parents are adjusting their positions on the plastic-covered sofa, the ice in their cocktails well and truly melted.
It was going to be a long night.
Put your hand up if a loved one has threatened you with “death by PowerPoint,” the modern update to a slide “show.” Okay… I can’t count that high, put your hands down!
The slide show might well have been the precursor to today’s social media in that sharing was elevated to a performance.
For me, sharing is one of the most personal experiences we, as humans, can participate in. We share the food on our tables, our acquired knowledge, our secret dreams, our most treasured memories… and our own unique stories.
Treasured memories and unique stories are what hold us together as a family, and as friend groups. Going through experiences together means we share what the feelings were at the time. Anyone who experienced trauma or tragedy feels a natural bond with those who shared the experience with them. It can take years to understand shared national experiences like war or acts of terrorism.
Photographs, by capturing the light and mood of a moment can capture much of what was there—but not all. The stories behind the visible facts are so easily lost. This is where
Ponga software comes in. Ponga creates a way to connect the dots in the image and finish each other’s stories. Taken together, a larger story develops. The little story from this picture of hand-me-downs “in action” seems like a snapshot. But it’s so much more. It plays a role in the narrative curve of the family.
Social media is incredibly useful for many things. In fact, you probably found this article because of a link on social media. But is that really about creating a connection?
Did you notice that we don’t really “share” on social media, we “post” about what we’re doing as if it were on a bulletin board?
When your cousin Jessica posts a bathing suit image of herself on vacation to Social Media does it start a conversation? Not likely. It’s more like a performance, “Look where I am, living the life.” It probably doesn’t even start a conversation the way “I wish you were here” did in old-time postcards where the cards would trigger tales when the traveler returned.
In my previous posts for the Ponga Tips blog, I’ve talked about how I use Ponga, for
Then, the other day it dawned on me… my travel albums would be great fun if they were interactive. They belong on Ponga too!
So off I went, converting the pictures I’d taken while on a trip to France a few years ago into Ponga, “Pongaporting,” as I call it. The result? See for yourself… magic…
As I’m writing this, the COVID-19 pandemic has brought domestic and international travel to a standstill. Rather than dwell on today’s limitations, I wanted to focus on what we have done already. We’ve done a lot!
…if there are pictures of it, there are stories to share.
It doesn’t matter if the trip was across the lake or overseas, if there are pictures of it, there are stories to share. I can pretty much guarantee that those stories… are going to inspire interaction and open conversations. All you need to do is share them. Ponga creates the privacy missing in social media. It also creates a safe environment that’s preserved and valued so that your family knows that their comments will matter.
Let’s get sharing and saving stories.
On a personal note: My parents would have loved this. They drew great pleasure from the travel they did in their retirement. After my own retirement, I too started traveling. Sadly, except for the occasional email, I didn’t think to share the experience with my parents. They are both gone now. How I wish I could share this with them. So… don’t wait… get going and build some Ponga albums and share the stories of your adventures.
As we share the details we find in pictures, clues lead from one story to the next. Connecting the dots with context and memories we soon reconnect as a family. Having reached out to my tier-one and tier-two relatives, siblings, cousins, nieces, and nephews, I experienced pure unadulterated joy. Their comments, remembrances, and reconnections have been beyond amazing. I invited my family to the storyboard albums I’d created, …Then… I remembered Myrna. The game was afoot!
Following these steps will help you get your photos in order. Once you have the physical artifacts organized, you can digitize your collection and will be ready to get your digital collection into Ponga where you automatically organize them by person and start sharing your photos and the stories that go with them.
How does identifying the individual(s) in one photograph benefit my research? It’s more than curiosity. I want to be able to tell those individuals’ stories! I want to know the family stories contained within those old family photographs.