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On-line media group supports San Diego troops
Submitted by: Navy Dispatch
Story Identification #: 200621493635
Story by - Scott Sutherland



SAN DIEGO (Feb. 10, 2006) -- Whether it's photos of a newborn infant or video clips of a baby's first steps, military fathers and mothers deployed overseas often need special moments to keep their morale high and to keep the emotional attachments with family during the separations.

In the old days, family members would send care packages that included photos depicting current events. But now, a San Diego-based internet company, DropShots.com, makes it easier than ever for deployed servicemembers to share memories with families via on-line media images.

Using research gathered from a study at the University of California-San Diego, DropShots spokesman Blake Prescott says the web-based company is the marriage between technology and human relationships, which he says "strengthens the emotional bonds between people."

That emotional bond is particularly fragile when families are separated.

"It's proven that technology brings comfort to servicemembers on deployment with videos and photos from family back home," said Prescott.

Prescott estimates that about 3,000 users, or roughly 4-5 percent of DropShots customers, are based in San Diego, and he says many of those have ties to the military.

"DropShots is not only the first photo and video sharing site designed for families," said DropShots CEO Darren Hardy, "but it's also a unique relational technology that improves and strengthens the relationships between people."

A three-year study at UCSD was culminated by the formation of DropShots. The study showed how advanced technology helped improve human interaction, leading to better quality of life and improved morale.

In a testimonial posted on the DropShots website, a Navy spouse said DropShots "provided such an easy and convenient way for me and my family to share pictures and videos. We don't live near any of our immediate family anymore because the military moves us around. It pleases the grandparents, aunts and uncles to be able to see our children grow up and feel like they are still a part of our kids' lives. Now that my husband is gone on deployment, using DropShots, he's able to see videos of his daughters doing everyday things that he misses so much. He sends photo and video messages of himself so they know he is thinking about them. This has meant so much to our family."

Gay Veale, stationed in England with the U.S. Air Force, said she just had her first baby and was looking for a way to share photos.

"I was desperate to find a site to host not only photos but videos of the little guy to share with family back home," said Veale. "I was surprised at how few sites there were. DropShots is perfect for me."

DropShots.com was engineered to be extremely simple and easy to use. To view, comment or interact, there is no registration or login required. Every process - uploading, sharing, sending, and writing comments - are always done in one-click or less. DropShots is a free service for uploading up to 500 pictures and 10 videos, after which a Star User account is only $4.95 a month for unlimited use.

According to information on DropShots.com, the site hosts over 2 million photos and 150,000 video clips, and is growing at a rate of over 35 percent each month.

Although traditional care packages mailed to deployed warriors deployed on ships or overseas will never be replaced, the service provided by DropShots goes a long way to keep the bonds of family snug and protected.

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Photos included with story: Entry not found in index