Basically, it is a club for Mini owners and enthusiasts which exists purely in Cyberspace. It is based on a mailing list, which was founded in 1994 by John Bullas of the Peak District Mini Owners Club (UK) and Marcel Chichak of the Edmonton Mini Owners Club (Canada). It is hosted on the autox.team.net server, along with several other car related mailing lists. Through the internet, the 600-700 M.I.N.I. members are able to keep in touch with each other on a daily basis. Discussion topics are wide ranging, covering all aspects of Mini ownership from the highly technical to the most basic, and there is also a popular social scene. A big advantage it that help and advice is readily available from other list members, so if you have a problem with your Mini it is highly likely that someone will have experienced the same problem in the past or know the solution. Members are also often able to assist in the tracking down of rare parts to finish that restoration!!
There is no formal structure or organisation to the club. Everything that happens is done by individual members on a voluntary basis, whether arranging for the manufacture of M.I.N.I. t-shirts or organising Mini List Meets (MLMs). Whilst a very free and easy place there are a few rules - excessive bad language or personal attacks on list members are not allowed and will result in the offender being removed from the list. The list is also not to be used for business commercial gain, although private individuals may offer parts/cars for sale. It is also asked that members representing the club at shows etc do so in a manner which reflects well upon the reputation of the club and which helps to promote the best small car in the world!! Beyond that, anything goes!
Certainly! Members are encouraged to meet at Mini shows and events and to spread the word about the club. Such meets are well publicised on the list - usually to meet at a certain place and time. And you never know, a fellow lister may have spotted the elusive part you have been hunting for (it's happened to me). Also, there are several "Mini List Meets" each year, where an individual list member will decide to organise a get together. Typically the members meet up at a Motorway Service Station at a given time, then go for a drive round some good country lanes to a decent pub with good food, and have a pleasant afternoon chatting and seeing the latest modifications to members' cars. However, there have also been list trips to a rolling road, Curry Nights where a group of listers meet up for an evening curry, meetings to get together with overseas visitors and even a trip to see a member who is no longer able to drive, which got some local press coverage. Whilst it can be a bit intimidating for newcomers to turn up, especially when everyone seems to know everyone else, there is no need to worry. Everyone is VERY friendly and will do everything to make you feel at ease. And remember - whilst you may think you don't know anyone, you have been talking to them every day on the list! So it gives you a chance to see whether they look like you imagined they would! And to assist you with identifying them, several members have pictures of themselves on the list "Mugshots" page, http://www.mibv.com/Mini/Mini-List/MugShots/ [now hosted here but previously] kindly by member Andy Smith. Also, to mark the Millennium, lister John England suggested that it would be nice if people could tell other list members a bit about themselves, especially those listers who lurk in the background but rarely join in the discussions. Several members of the mini-list responded, and the replies have been collated and indexed by people's names HERE. To go straight to the listers writings about themselves (alphabetical surname order) go HERE for page 1 (A-G), HERE for page 2 (H-M) or HERE for page 3 (N-Z).
Furthermore, the list is an INTERNATIONAL club. Many members are able and willing to provide hospitality to other visiting members, so if you are planning on travelling round the world, or even elsewhere in your own country let the list know and see if there is anyone you can meet up with.
You name it, it is covered. Help, repairs, modifications, product comparisons, service from parts suppliers, list meets, local issues, the legal side of alterations, MOTs (roadworthiness tests), the appearance of Minis in films or on TV, the pleasure from owing a Mini, the pain from owning a Mini - the list is endless. Occasionally a thread will completely change direction too and end up completely off the topic of Minis altogether!! it all adds to the fun of being part of a group of enthusiasts who talk to eacjh other each day - and how many other Mini clubs can claim that???
Membership is totally free to anyone with an interest in Minis. There is no requirement to own one - although several people have purchased a Mini through contacts made on the list. To join you have to subscribe to the M.I.N.I. mailing list.
To subscribe, send an e-mail to firstname.lastname@example.org . The message should contain the phrase:
subscribe mini-list <your e-mail address>
You will receive a message from Majordomo asking if you are sure you want to subscribe, and giving you a phrase to send back. There is nothing sinister in this - it is to stop people subscribing friends/colleagues as a joke, thus resulting in them receiving unwanted mails. Please note the mini list is a closed mailing list. If you post to the list from an unsubscribed address the mail will be bounced to the list adMINIstrator.
On a busy day there may be up to 150 mails posted. If this is too many messages, a digest version of the list is also available from the same address. This basically bundles up the messages into one file and sends it out roughly once a day. To obtain the digest, your message should contain the phrase:
subscribe mini-list-digest <your e-mail address>
If you have any further queries then mail me HERE or else e-mail email@example.com for more details
Look forward to hearing from you on the list soon.