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Sony's Alpha Imaging Collective hopes to harness the power of influencers

Looking to further cement itself as a leader in the world of photography, Sony today revealed a significant update to its Alpha Universe web portal. The new site features expanded educational content for photographers, a biweekly podcast, and a section dedicated to the new Alpha Imaging Collective, which promotes influential photographers using Sony cameras.

“Along with our Artisans of Imagery program, these platforms allow us to showcase the amazing work and to share the incredible passion of Sony customers with the world,” said Neal Manowitz, vice president of digital imaging at Sony Electronics, in a statement. “They are and will remain a key cornerstone for all of our future plans and activities.”

The redesigned website is all about bringing out more frequent content updates, with a priority on how-to features. These will fall into the Alpha University section of the site, which focuses on tips and tricks for various types of photography from portraiture to landscape to video production.

Related: Sony Announces 42MP, 12FPS A99 II

In addition to written articles, Sony said the new site greatly improves how it promotes educational videos and events. Those events include everything from industry trade shows to retail shooting events to Sony Artisan speaking appearances.

Sony Artisans will also be featured prominently in the new podcast, which will touch on relevant topics in the world of photography. Each podcast will include a guest interview, a technology discussion with a Sony team member, and a “Do This Now” photography tip that listeners can try out immediately.

The Alpha Imaging Collective is essentially a group of Sony photographers who are highly engaged in social media. Sony describes it as being “comprised of strong, vocal Sony supporters that represent a powerful voice for the Alpha brand.” Unlike the more exclusive Artisans program, anyone can apply to be in the Collective by visiting this website.

This certainly isn’t the first time a camera company has invested heavily in content marketing (GoPro practically lives and dies on it), but Sony’s approach is unique among interchangeable-lens manufacturers. While much of the content on the site is heavily weighted toward gear discussion (and most useful to owners of Sony cameras) there is some general information that may be valuable to all walks of photographers.