Around the time that I decided I did need to own a Beetle I found the
newbug mailing list.
If you think I am a lone New Beetle fanatic-- or that I represent the
extreme of fandom for this car-- you are quite wrong. The newbug list
boasts around 2000 subscribers and I estimate that there are between 100-150
active posters at any given time.
Although it was originally conceived soley as a vehicle for discussion
of the New Beetle,
it has spontaneously morphed into
an online community, its members becoming friends, lovers, sparring partners,
daily correspondents, and mutual support system. We talk about our cars
every single day.
When the New Beetle was introduced, Volkswagen ran a series of highly
distinctive, hip, emotional ads. All featured the New Beetle against
a stark white background, and ended with a little slogan. One such
ad proclaimed, "reverse engineered from ufo's". Inspired, one of
my earliest posts to the list was a
fanciful explanation of just how the
Beetles were reverse engineered from ufo's.
There were, for me, two very important consequences of that post.
The first was that
Steve Zimmers responded to me privately, and my first list friendship
was formed. Steve and I correspond almost daily now, and met for the
first time in late February 2000 when he came to visit me.
I read the list pretty much every day-- occasionally getting frustrated
when extensive arguments over the benefits of DRL's and airbags arise
(usually around the time of a full moon)--
and have made connections with New Beetle owners all over the country.
It's going to be incredible to meet everyone this summer....
(Interested in experiencing the list for yourself? You can
subscribe at the
Topica web site.)
Huh? (welcome to orientation)