The story of Jag-lovers
The below are musings and recollections written many years ago, back when Jag-lovers was still a single Majordomo email list. Our story starts sometime in 1992 or 1993, when a young man named Scott Fisher needed to keep his old Jaguar on the road. We got our first web site in 1995, when Nick Johannessen hosted us under his personal account in Oslo, Norway. We finally got our own domain name and a dedicated web server in 1996, when Gunnar Helliesen hosted us at his company, Bergen IT Consult (also in Norway).
Please note that the places and numbers mentioned below are no longer accurate. Jag-lovers is currently hosted in “the cloud”, with data stored worldwide. As of late 2019 we have around 43,000 active members, but historically over 150,000 people have at one time or another registered an account with us or joined our email lists.
But back to our story, and let’s read it in their own words. Take it away, Scott:
Scott Fisher tells us:
The Jag-Lovers mailing list began life in the Department of Psychology at the University of Western Australia (located in the states capital Perth). A (then) PhD Student, Scott Fisher noticed that the British car mailing list was a pretty neat idea and that a Jaguar dedicated one would probably be more effective in helping him to keep his 10 year old XJ6 III on the road. The name was thought up by the system administrator (Doug Rob) when Scott asked him about setting up the e-mail address Doug suggested ‘firstname.lastname@example.org’. For the first year or so the list ran as a normal e-mail account, messages sent to the address would be edited into a once daily post and re-sent to the list of members. In about its second year this clumsy (but effective) system was converted to a Major-domo based (automated one).
Lawrence Buja adds:
Some anonymous aoler asked…
“tell me more about your list?”
It was only a couple years ago that we started a simple little e-mail list on the Internet called Jag-lovers. At first, it was just a dozen people, scattered around the globe, each trying to help the others keep their Jaguars on the road. Slowly it started growing and within a year the group numbered 50. This proved to be a critical mass of members and the doubling began; soon membership numbered 100, then 200, then recently, it doubled again to over 400 members.
The unique form of the near-real-time e-mail discussion suddenly made a wide range of Jaguars technical experience very accessible to us common folks with our uncommon cars. One was no longer working alone in the dark, wondering if ones guesses and assumptions about how that Jag was really supposed to work and go back together were truly correct or just right enough to cause certain disaster a few miles down the road. With the list, many years of experiences from a whole community of Jaguar owners and mechanics was finally available to draw upon. If you had a question about something, just stop and post the question up to the list. Usually within a day you had some sort of an answer about how to proceed. With the technical information also came stories of members and the adventures that they were having with their Jaguars, adding a personal dimension to the discussions. The really strange part of all of this is that very few of the members have ever met face-to-face, all of our communication is via e-mail.
With the increasing membership came increasing diversity. The initial Jag-lovers group were mostly home mechanics with a strong curiosity about how their Jaguars worked (and unfortunately, occasionally not worked). In the early days, many questions posted to the list went unanswered at that time. But the list soon grew to include people with backgrounds in electrical and mechanical engineering, fuel injection design, automotive design and a myriad of other technical areas. Now there are few questions which come up that don’t get at least a first guess answer. Having this amount of knowledge on tap can sometimes be a bad thing. Some discussions have been known to launch off onto some theoretical tangents of dubious real-world application. When this happens, we are lucky enough to have a couple professional Jaguar mechanics on the list who are not shy about bringing us back down to earth on certain topics.
It is safe to say that the list has grown far larger and wider than any of the original members ever expected, becoming an invaluable resource helping hundreds of Jaguar owners keep their Jaguars on the road. Personally, even though I am lucky enough to have unlimited access to a fully equipped shop owned by a brilliant long-time Jaguar mechanic/racer, I really doubt that I would have bought a second Jaguar without the incredible resource of the Jag-lovers list to back me up. With the list, I simply don’t worry about not knowing how to fix something which may go wrong with my Daimler XJ6. If I have a question about how something works, I can usually quickly get an informed answer. The technical help from the list rarely lets me down and the daily stream of stories about various members adventures with their Jaguars are a constant delight. This is an fantastic resource for me and I find that my involvement with the list is one of the primary things maintaining my keen interest and continued personal investment in the marque. Best of all, it’s free.
Recently, Nick’s excellent Jaguar web page has moved us up to a new plane of actually providing a service for other Jaguar owners. Nick’s web-page has been a real catalyst to draw together the resources and past discussions of the Jag-lovers list and package them in a manner that new users can easily access. As the long list of entries in Nick’s guestbook shows, the response from these new users has been incredibly enthusiastic. One can only guess where this will lead.
So, what does the future hold for the Jag-lovers list? If experience with other automotive e-mail lists is any guide, it will grow larger and larger as more and more people around the globe come on-line. At some point, the e-mail list will eventually start to falter under it’s own weight and we will see a split into smaller specialty areas such as pre-war, XK’s, E-types and XJ’s. Once the specialty areas reach a critical mass of 50-100 members, they will bloom on their own and become active, vibrant e-mail lists in their own right.
What we’ve built here has been the result of the work of many of volunteers freely giving their time and expertise to make the world a better place for Jaguars. If you would like to join us, please feel welcome to do so. And don’t be shy about participating because the ones who benefit the most from the list are the ones who aren’t afraid to ask questions, who are brave enough share their mistakes and are willing to learn from the other members experiences.
/\ Lawrence Buja http://www.cgd.ucar.edu/cms/southern/
\_][ email@example.com National Center for Atmospheric Research
What is the Jaguar cars mailing list network?
– Jag-lovers is an international network of Jaguar automotive owners
and enthusiasts dedicated to enjoying and maintaining the breed.
Linked globally in real-time via the Internet, a global electronic
mail (e-mail) network, we discuss various topics such as the daily
dramas of owning the things, car maintenance and restoration and
such. Together, we provide an informal support system which ranges
from sharing technical information and locating spare parts (or even
whole cars) to swapping tales of adventure and daring-do.
– The scope of this group is simple, discussion is open to any subject
involving Jaguar automobiles. Currently over 40,000 folks are on the
Forums, not all of them owning Jaguars, some wanting to get info before
they make the plunge, others simply admirers of the marque.
Presently list members own, XK120s 40s and 50s, E-Types, Mk I & IIs, XJS
XJ6, XJ12, XJ40s, 420Gs, Mk 5s, Mk 7s and Mk9s.
– jag-lovers is now based out of Norway. It was previously based in
Perth, Australia. New members from any continent and nation are welcome.
In other words the lists location does not make it a “Norwegian” Jaguar
mailing list. Norway simply happens to be where the machine is located
that re-directs e-mail to members on the list. The task could be carried
out by any machine anywhere in the world with e-mail access.
How busy are the Forums?
– This varies from forum to forum. Some have only a few messages
a day, others 50 or even a hundred.
How do I join?
– Visit forums.jag-lovers.com
– When you join one of the jag-lovers forums, you are encouraged to introduce
yourself and tell us a bit more about yourself and your car. For
example, tell us about the Jaguar you have (or want) and any
adventures that you’ve had finding, buying or owning it. Your
Jaguar-related tales of treasures found, repairs, racing, rallying
and any general misadventure are always welcome.
– Commercial abuse of the lists is not allowed.
– Often some of the postings to jag-lovers make great material for
local club newletters. This practice is encouraged and helps
advertise the utility of the ‘net. However, don’t assume that you
have the author’s permission to copy their material. The informal
rules we go by is that if you want to include anything off the
jag-lovers lists in a local club newsletter, first get the author’s
permission and offer to send them a copy of the issue in which their
– Also, be assured that you are among friends here. It helps everyone
if you relate both where things went wrong as well as where things
go right when working on your Jaguar. We all learn from it.