The Nine Inch Nails Wiki began with four members of Echoing the Sound. Malechite, Tony, Merzbau, and heroicraptor were familiar with one another through the IRC channel #ets, and they secretly convened in a small IRC channel on a small network in a small farmhouse in the hills of Ireland.
Except it had nothing to do with Ireland.
We tried to get as many people on board before the launch as we could. We contacted Leviathant and Drunkpoet of The NIN Hotline, Meathead of The Meathead Perspective, Greg of Echoing The Sound, and a few other people. Greg and Drunkpoet helped a bit, and Meathead refused to talk about it with us, but Leviathant announced the launch on The NIN Hotline, giving a jump-start to the site.
The shared DreamHost server was not able to cope with the initial onslaught of traffic:
Hello, I'm writing to let you know that your domain ninwiki.com was getting too many hits and consequently kept crashing the shared apache service. I set a restriction on the domain. This is to bring down the load on your server, but still leave your site operational.
The restriction slowed the site, but it still went on and on and on. On April 18th, one day after Year Zero was released, the site recieved 104,000 pageviews. This is believed to be second only to the launch of the Wiki, as we don't really have stats for the launch (oops!).