vanert originally joined Bungie.net 01.20.2008 for the purpose of checking his Halo 3 statistics; however, his reasons for remaining active has changed since then. After first making his account in January of 2008 rarely logged on to check his statistics. It wasn't until around October 2009 before vanert actually started to become increasingly active on the forums. Initially he was drawn to the forums because of his interest in screenshots and the goal of being featured on Bungie Favorites. When vanert first started taking screenshots they where honestly mediocre at best, so he tried to play it off that simple was better.
The first thread that vanert posted on Bungie.net was on the File Forums (Which have been replaced by the new tagging system currently in place), but since it's the first time he's actually posted on a forum before he made a lot of common mistakes. The kinds of mistakes he made are comparable to many mistakes you've seen other new users make on the forums. In his first thread I guess he wasn't even really aware of how a thread worked. When he posted his first thread he didn't get very many replies so he unintentially bumped the thread asking why no one was posting. He started posting links in other people's file threads directing them to his thread. Surprisingly he wasn't banned for this, but he did gain of criticism from other community members. One member vaguely explained to him how the forum system worked but he was still confused. vanert eventually made another thread for his screenshot and posted more links in other threads. Eventually vanert was banned by evilcam for advertising his screenshots in this thread. This was vanerts first ban, but it was not his last. vanert was banned once again 7 days later for making a thread about Recon Armor.
After being banned for the second time (7 day ban, first was 3) vanert decided to seek help from another user that was actually good at taking screenshots. He browsed the forums and noticed someone who was pretty good with screenshots and decided to send him a message asking for help; his name was Chrome3agle. Looking back on it, he is actually quite surprised that Chrome3agle actually decided to help vanert. Mainly because at the time there were already a lot inexperienced people who were really eager to learn how to take good screenshots. Even though vanert already knew a few tricks when it came to screenshots, all he really needed was to be pointed in the right direction. Chrome showed him some secrets on how to make spectacular colors and effects. The first screenshot vanert made that he considered to be good was Nova.
Chrome eventually introduced vanert to groups on Bungie.net. This is when vanerts interest in Bungie.net was increased to the point where he began loging on regularly. Three of his first groups (in no particular order) were Epic pic, PhotograForgers,Foto, and Team BackFire. The group that vanert seemed to be particularly active in was Team BackFire, which also happened to be the group that gave vanert a sense of respect to other members of the Bungie Community (It was still a growing process). Even after vanerts ban expired he still maintained activity within user created groups on Bungie.net. When the File Forum was replaced with the tagging system currently in use, vanert made the Halo 3 forum his new public forum of choice. At around this time the "Trying to find the secret of Sandtrap" was becoming one of the most popular threads on Bungie.net. In an attempt to capitalize off of the sudden involvment in "Finding the secret", vanert created his first group, Secret of Sandtrap. Sadly the group went no where and it gained only a little over 45 members.