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