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Major milestones in the Nikonians timeline

The First Name. Around Christmas 1999, the founders ended up registering various domain names which they liked and which had a "strong community flavor" to them. It was decided to start with nikonia.com: A substantive, a name for a region or home for Nikon users.  

Planning and the Alpha Version. Early January 2000, the first or "alpha" version of the site was up and running, though not accessible by the public. Already knowing that they wanted a community with good features for ambitious photographers, they were not into making yet another mailing list, but rather to use the web in "all it's nuances" and some time was spent planning for that, with a not-for-profit orientation.

The Beta Version and Final Name. By the end of February 2000, they started to invite beta users to the site, still not public. Around this time, it was also decided to change the main domain name to nikonians.com, after its members -who are Nikonians- and stressing the concept of being a community. Exceptional guys like Alan Clifton, Doug Dever and Victor F. Newman are the very first Beta users. Nikonians is then made our trademark.

Beta Tests and Funding. Between February and April 2000, a total of 28 Beta users help out evaluating the platform, providing ideas and reporting bugs. The founders provided funding for operations and for the $10,000 USD photo contest.

The Beta team were really a great support; without them the platform would not be what it is today. Here's a fairly typical answer from one of them as he got invited as a Beta user: "I'm a serious amateur/sometime pro who's used Nikon gear since the early '70's. ... I'm happy to be involved in the Beta testing and quite excited about the potential here."

Nikonians opens. On April 30th 2000, Nikonians officially goes public.

The First Photo Contest. On February 2001, the finals for the 2000-2001 photo contest take place and the winner is Lassi Tolvanen from Helsinki, Finland. Lassi receives some great Nikon equipment from the founders, worth over USD 10,000.

First Anniversary. In April 2001 the first anniversary is celebrated with some 2,600 members.

First Servers Upgrade. The community grows fast. By August 25, 2001 we reached 5,000 members and the first server is getting too small. It becomes one of the communities main problems throughout late 2001 and the server cannot take the load of the traffic. Many users are experiencing server errors. A move to a new server is planned for late Q3 2001, but due to the heavy workload of the administrators, the move is conducted in January 2002.

Bo and JRP meet in person and First ANPAT. In October 2001, 10 Nikonians meet for a week in the Great Smoky Mountains in South Tennessee and North Carolina for a photo trip and decided to make it a tradition: the Annual Nikonians Photo Adventure Trip (ANPAT). Doug Dever and Bryan (Duck) Duckett are the hosts and guides. This is the first time Bo and JRP meet in person.

Silver Donors program instated. Throughout 2002 the community grows at a high pace and so its costs. In June 2002, the Silver Donor program is instated at the request of many faithful members wanting to help out with operations costs, meanwhile reaching a significant sum, funded in full by the founders.    

Second ANPAT. In October 2002, over 20 Nikonians meet for a week in Moab for the Utah and Arizona photo trip, led by BJ Nichols and his wife Lori, resulting in a commemorative CD-ROM for the 2nd ANPAT.

By the end of the year, in December 2002, 32 months after the official start the community has over 11,800 registered members from 97 nations and many times that number of unregistered readers ("lurkers"). Nikonians has become a reliable resource, with the richest content on Nikon equipment on the Internet and of photography in general, being quoted as a reference all over the web and more than frequently for its friendliness.

The Marketing Team. January 2003, the Nikonians Marketing Team is created to further spread the word about Nikonians.

Third ANPAT. In mid September 2003, over 20 Nikonians meet for a week at the Riding Mountain National Park in Manitoba, Canada for the 3th of the now Annual Nikonians Photo Adventure Trip, resulting in a CD-ROM for the 3rd ANPAT. Chris Gray and his wife Glenda are our hosts.

The Resources and consolidation of the Nikonians reputation. By November 2003, a good number of articles, guides and how-to's have been written and placed online. Meanwhile 15,000 members from over 100 nations represented at Nikonians and a strong team of 30 ambitious photographers are making it run, 24 hours a day. Another 165,000 unique visitors are digesting the resources at Nikonians every month. The success is based on the team of international photographers from Australia, Belgium, Canada, France, Germany, Mexico, The Netherlands, Philippines, Singapore, Sweden, UK and the USA

First European Meet. December 6th 2003, 40 Nikonians meet in Brussels for a one day event, sponsored by Nikon Belgium and Apple Belgium.

The First eZine. In December 26, 2003, the first eZine (electronic magazine) comes out as edition number 25 of THE NIKONIAN, the newsletter of the community, in Adobe pdf file format, free of charge for over 7000 subscribers then.   Nikonian eZine #25


New Membership Levels added. Also in late december 2003, New membership levels Gold and Platinum are introduced. Then current silver donors automatically received Silver membership for a full extra year and their own gallery for free, as a way of saying thank you for their early support to the community.   Gold Membership   ¨latinum Membership


The Nikonians Photo Pro Shop (https://www.photoproshop.com) opens in January 2004, with thoroughly researched, tested and then recommended professional equipment and merchandise, shipping from the US to North America, Australia and New Zealand; and from Germany to Europe, Middle East and Africa.   Photo Pro Shop


New Galleries and Contest. February 2004, the new Members Galleries are made available to Silver, Gold and Platinum members, and the Nikonians Photo Contest is reactivated.   Nikonians Galleries

New Servers. July 2004. Bigger, faster servers are installed, to accommodate the 20,000 plus members expected.

Fourth ANPAT in Colorado, USA, is celebrated in October 2004 with Nikonian Rick Walker as Tour Leader and 24 members attending. http://www.nikonians.org/html/shop/cdrom-colorado-2004.html

The year 2004 closes with almost 26,000 registered members, over 300,000 unique visitors per month and more than 6.6 million page views per month, in a year when most peer sites decline.

5th Anniversary of Nikonians. On April 30, 2005 it is celebrated, having reached 30,000 registered members.

The First Wildlife European Workshop is successfully run in Helgoland, Germany, with Nikonian pro Claus Brandt as workshop leader, also in April, 2005

Nikonians Workshops. May 2005. a series of workshops on the Nikon D70 is launched starting in Seattle Washington, USA, with Nikonian pro Mike Hagen as leader. This would be the seed for the Nikonians Academy.

The Nikonians News Blog goes online in May 2005, featuring community, photo industry and Nikon news, establishing Nikonians as a photojournalist.

The First Podcasts. In June 2005, the "Nikonians Podcast #1 - Interview with Tony Sweet" was the first of the Go Behind the Lens series of podcasts with prominent pro Nikonians starts, featuring a live interview with author and nature photographer extraordinaire Tony Sweet   Fine Art Flower Photography by Tony Sweet

The 2nd European Wildlife Workshop takes place at the Bavarian Forest National Park on October 2005, in Germany, with award-winning Nikonian Pro Claus Brandt.

The 5th ANPAT (5th Annual Nikonians Photo Adventure Trip) is also celebrated in October 2005, at the Blackhills and Badlands of South Dakota, with Nikonian Chad Coppess as leader and 24 members attending.

New Search Engine.
November 2005. Nikonians speedy search engine is launched at NikoScope.com

2nd European Meet. December 3, 2005. For the second time, a group of Nikonians met in Brussels for a one day event.

2005 ends with close to 35,000 registered members, having started with only two in 2000.

2006 closes with over 70,000 registered members

2007 ends with almost 115,000 registered members


What will the future bring?

  • Nikonians Meetings in the US and in Europe
  • More Nikonians Workshops for both North America and Europe
  • Nikonians Chapters
  • Nikonians special events
  • Nikonians presence at the largest photo shows in North America and Europe, like PMA and Photokina
  • Even bigger and faster servers
  • Enhanced communications with members (Newsletters, News Blog, etc)
  • Expanded Photo Pro Shop, both in catalog and territorial coverage
  • And more ....

The founders are very proud of what they have accomplished with an international team of now over 45 passionate photographers from all continents, who are with you around the clock, 7 days a week, continuously working on keeping it an interesting and fun place to share, learn and inspire. Add to that figure the staff and back office staff, plus our writers, and we are now almost an 80 team members size force.

Nikonians is today widely recognized in the Net as the friendly, reliable and informative; sharing, learning and inspiring community for Nikon users. Thank you all for making it possible.

New registered members are expected to become contributing paying members if and as soon as they happen to like this community and appreciate the resource it is for their enjoyment and progress as photographers. Your support is appreciated and much needed to sustain the growth of the community. To see the some benefits of upgrading your membership, to thank you for your support, aside from having the pride of contributing to supplement the founders efforts, click here.

See also

About Nikonians
What members say about Nikonians
Nikonians genesis
The founders
Advertise at Nikonians
Value propositions for Advertisers, Sponsors and Suppliers

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