Potography 2023 Updates: New Community Features Are Live!
Last April, we announced a handful of new features and updates coming to Potography.com including member profiles, forums, and technical improvements to the website. This year, we’re happy to announce that, as of June 2023, the bulk of the major site updates are officially complete!
After 3 years of monthly photo contests, we’re now turning our attention to filling up the site with new content, resources, and other helpful features for our community of cannabis content creators.
Not only will the new content add more value for our existing members, but we also hope it will help us attract and retain a steady flow of new members well into the future.
Since launching the contest in 2020, we’ve grown to almost 300 members with no marketing beyond the photo contest, so we’re excited to see how fast we’ll grow with all of the new content and features we’re rolling out this year.
In this post, we outlined some of the biggest updates we’ve made over the last year. It’s a bit on the long side, but it provides a complete overview of what we’ve been working on and what we have planned moving forward. As always, we’d love to hear your feedback, so don’t be afraid to leave your thoughts in the comments section below.
Potography’s mission is to be the most valuable online community and resource for cannabis content creators. As such, building out a strong set of community features has always been high on our priority list.
Last year, we finally devised a plan to build the community-focused platform we always imagined, and we immediately went to work designing and testing new features.
While we quickly discovered there’s a ton we can do with the new platform, this year we’re focusing on developing the community features that offer the most benefits for our members, starting with member profiles.
One of the most exciting community features coming to Potography.com is the new Member Profile pages. Profile pages are automatically created when you sign up for a free account, and your profile will also be listed in our brand-new Member Directory.
On your profile page, you’ll find a ton of new features. You can view all your photo contest entries and lifetime votes, and you can also upload custom photo albums, profile pictures, and cover photos that aren’t part of the contest. Along with photos, you can post links to your websites and social media profiles, configure privacy and notification settings, follow other members, and so much more.
Your Potography profile page is a lot like traditional social media profiles you’re used to (think a mix of Facebook and LinkedIn), but unlike the leading social media platforms, Potography will never censor a cannabis artist for making cannabis art. Our members can rest assured knowing we want you on our platform and, as a result, your audience will always know where to find you.
Member profiles are now live for all registered members! Once your sign up, just log in and visit your profile page to customize your profile however you’d like.
We have even more updates planned for member profiles including better integrations with the photo contest and our printing services and more opportunities for members to upload content beyond just photos, so be sure to finish setting up your profile today and check back regularly for updates!
While member profiles are especially great for our individual users, we’re even more excited about the new community features that will promote meaningful engagement and interaction between our members.
That’s why we’re delighted to present the new Potography Forums!
Call us old-fashioned, but we like forums because they allow users to create topic-specific discussion threads that have a longer lifespan than typical social media posts (everyone who uses the internet has had at least one question answered on a forum that’s more than 10 years old).
That’s why we think cannabis content creators deserve their own forum where they can ask and answer the questions most relevant to them and their craft. To add icing to the cake (hash to the doobie?), over time, other members can join the discussion and provide even more valuable insights and unique perspectives on a given topic.
It’s a great way to learn and share what you’ve learned with others, which are two things we’re big fans of here at Potography.
To keep things organized, the new forums are broken down into three main categories:
The Community Lounge is an all-purpose forum where members can start discussions on a wide range of cannabis and art-related topics. Use this forum to introduce yourself, talk about your favorite cannabis products, plan event meetups, or debate the philosophical meaning behind your favorite cannabis-inspired works of art.
The Cannabis Photography forum is for topics related directly to cannabis photography. Post tips and tutorials for fellow members, discuss the latest styles and trends, and ask for feedback from our community of cannabis photographers. We’re especially excited about The Sandbox, which is the forum where members can share and discuss their latest experiments in cannabis photography.
And finally, the Cannabis Creative Business forum is for all cannabis content creators looking to turn their craft into a source of income. Whether you want to have a low-stress photography side hustle or run a full-scale cannabis creative agency, the Cannabis Creative Business forum is for all things related to running a creative business serving the cannabis community.
We’ll be adding more forums and sub-forums over time, so what you see now is just the tip of the iceberg. Long term, the goal is for the forums to host a treasure trove of helpful insights from cannabis content creators of all disciplines, providing our members with a place to learn from and engage with other cannabis artists and creative business owners.
To compliment our new community features, the next big update coming to potography.com is a totally revamped content strategy. After 3 years of photo contests powered by user-generated submissions, we’re shifting our focus to producing more of our own in-house content while simultaneously expanding opportunities for members to upload and share more of their own content.
As I’ll discuss more in the Technical Updates section, this was a goal we set last year only to find we had tons of technical limitations standing in our way, so we needed to prioritize some back-end upgrades before letting content take center stage. That said, the technical updates have been completed, and we’re finally ready to move forward with…
The forums, profile pages, and photo contests are the primary places where users can upload and share their own content, and we’ll continue looking for fun new ways for members to share their work. In addition to these new and improved features, we’ve completely overhauled our blog to carve out a dedicated space where we can post more of our own original Potography content!
Moving forward, we’ll be producing new content of all types from written material to photography and graphics, and all of it will be shared on our brand-new blog. The new blog expands our existing blog by adding several new categories that correspond with the other new sections of the site (like the forums).
The 4 main categories for the new Potography blog are Cannabis Photography, Cannabis Creative Business, Cannabis Art and Culture, and Potography News, with each category containing its own group of more specific subcategories.
Here’s a brief description of each new blog category:
The Cannabis Photography blog category is for articles relating directly to the practice of cannabis photography, from tips and tutorials to general industry trends. This is where we’ll dive deep into the technical side of photography, with a specific focus on the styles, tools, and techniques applicable to cannabis photography. We’ll also use this category to share inspiring work from artists within our community and from around the world, along with other photography-related topics that will help get your creative juices flowing.
In the Cannabis Creative Business category, readers will find articles that focus more on the business side of cannabis content creation. While the focus will be on photography, this section will be helpful to cannabis content creators of all disciplines since it’s more about running a creative business than it is about the creative work itself.
Articles in this category are meant to help aspiring cannabis creatives at all stages of their business journey, whether they do cannabis art as a side hustle or as a full-time profession.
Speaking of cannabis art, we’ve always been fans of all types of cannabis art, not just photography. And, because there’s so much overlap in the worlds of cannabis, art, and culture, we decided to add a blog section specifically for this topic. The Cannabis Art and Culture category is where we’ll share noteworthy cannabis-inspired art purely for appreciation and regardless of its medium. We’ll also use this space to share thoughts and reflections on how cannabis has shaped and been portrayed in artistic and cultural works over the centuries (yep, centuries!).
Finally, the Potography News category is where we’ll share all the latest updates in the worlds of Potography, cannabis, and art. Users can check here for the latest news about our monthly photo contests, platform features, product releases, and community events. We’ll also be using this section to share cannabis-related news relevant to our community of cannabis content creators.
And that does it for the content and features updates for 2023! We can’t wait to start rolling out content for the new blog and forums. If you’re as excited as we are, you can skip the rest of this article and create your Potography profile right now! Once you sign up, you’ll have full access to all the new content and community features.
If you’re still with us, and for all the computer nerds out there, keep reading to learn a bit more about the technical improvements we made last year so we could implement the new features discussed in this article.
As an online community, we’re always making small updates to our platform to improve the user experience and add new features, but this most recent round of updates was the biggest yet by far.
That’s why before we did anything in terms of new content and features, we first had to make some major upgrades to our website infrastructure.
Last year, we started the upgrade process by migrating our web servers to the cloud, which vastly improved the website performance and opened the door for us to build out the new community features we outlined in this post.
This year, we completely overhauled the website architecture, which means it’s now easier for users and search engines to navigate the site and find what they’re looking for. It also means that all of the content we plan to create has a home waiting for it, and we don’t have to build the plane on the runway, so to speak.
With the critical technical updates completed, we’re now finishing up some aesthetic fine-tuning to make the website design more cohesive and reduce the amount of code each page needs to load. This makes users happy by providing them with a visually-appealing and fast-loading website, and it also helps our site rank better with search engines.
Wrapping (and rolling) up
With the updates outlined in this post, Potography is better-positioned for growth than ever before. Our website is properly configured to handle all of the new content and media we and our users will generate, and it’s structured in a way that makes it easy for users and search engines to navigate.
The current form of Potography is something we’ve envisioned for a long time, and as excited as we are to have completed this recent round of updates, there’s still so much more to come.
Keep an eye out for exclusive new cannabis photography content on our new blog and don’t forget to create your own free Potography profile while you’re here. Once you’re registered, join the photo contest or check out the forums to start or join a discussion.
And last, but definitely not least, we’d like to extend a HUGE thank you to our members and everyone who’s supported this project in any way, shape, or form since we launched the contest in 2020. To everyone who’s liked a photo on IG, entered the contest, voted, or told a friend to check us out, we love you, and we’re deeply grateful for your support.
We hope we can continue providing value to our community of cannabis content creators, and we can’t wait to see where another 3 years will take us!