When was Jatland.com started? Why?

Jatland.com will turn 20 this year! The site was started on Diwali 2000.

As the original note read: "Jatland.com is a non-profit site. Its purpose is to provide an online meeting place for Jats from around the world. This site is entirely non-political. The site name should in no way be seen as questioning the territorial integrity of India or of its constituent states."

The purpose of the site remains consistent with the original goal, with the addition of now wanting to be the principal repository of information about the Jats.

How has the site evolved?

The content on the site has evolved with the times and demand of the users.

The Internet Archive has some snapshots over the years. The first one we could find is from early 2001: http://web.archive.org/web/200102012...ww.jatland.com (notice a typo on the main page?)

Initially it was primarily a few pages of information along with a simple forum. Over time, we moved to the current forums, started a very active matrimonial section (before the popularity of general online matrimonial sites), ran an active chaupal (live chat), and added the wiki. The matrimonial section and Chaupal have mostly been wound down due to evolving usage patterns. The wiki is now the most popular part of the site and is possibly the most comprehensive collection of information about the Jats anywhere.

Most of the original members were part of the expatriate Jat community outside India and it provided a venue for them to interact with others in their region. Members have met each across the world have many have stayed in touch. The site has also been helpful in more than a few marriages in the community. Many of the original members are still active on the site.

How has the membership changed?

Initially Jatland had a mostly international member base (especially the U.S.). With the growth of internet penetration in India, a majority of new users are now based in India. We have never been fans of adding users for the sake of it, preferring to keep the community active and engaged. As such, inactive members are periodically purged.

We require accounts to be verified and approved before members are allowed to post to try and weed out obviously fake accounts.

Moderators are based around the world, which also helps with managing work load due to time zone differences.

Who owns Jatland? How is it managed?

Jatland is a not-for-profit community managed website.

All moderators are volunteers and the group has evolved depending on availability and engagement. Satyeshwar Singh (one of the original members) is the lead administrator of the site.

We decided early on that we wanted member experience to come first. Initially, the site was funded by donations by various members before we moved to showing some ads (only to non-logged in users). A majority of the financial operating expenses are (gladly) borne by Satyeshwar as ad revenues have only covered a portion of the expenses over the last few years.

Nitin's involvement at this time is mostly on the backend, helping with infrastructure etc.

What comes next?

Jatland is now playing a larger role as the leading information repository on Jats, and the platform remains flexible to evolve with changing needs. A majority of our traffic is now from mobile phones, and we hope to optimize the site for smartphones.