Midas Owners Club - The next 30 years

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Re: Midas Owners Club - The next 30 years

Postby ACourtney » Tue May 19, 2015 8:29 pm

It’s good to see that there has already been some response and to hear from some good ideas coming through.

Justin, your idea of club members organizing gatherings themselves, rather than relying on the committee to arrange everything, is a good one and has worked in the past. Mike Perkins used to organize gatherings in the South West, some before the Owners Club even got started, and more recently Alan Donowho has organized meetings in the North East.

Richard Street is keen to get a Midas contingent going to some of the Mini shows in the Midlands and I hope that owners will support his initiative and join him at these shows. Apart from club members supporting these events by turning up, the club itself needs to find a way of supporting people like Richard. How? Well I think it comes down to a comment that Kelvin made:
kelvink wrote: The one thing that I don’t see from the club which I’d dearly love to see is this …. Where are people located? I’d love to be able to meet up with more people with Midas cars or in fact any kit or even just an interest in kits of any kind.

I don’t think Kelvin is asking for names, addresses, car registration and chassis numbers – information that the club used publish every year in the pre- data protection act era incidentally.
No I think what Kelvin is saying (and please correct me if I’m wrong Kelvin) is: “If I’m going to an event, or want to organize a gathering locally, how do I contact other owners to let them know about it?”
Perhaps there is some club database software available that will allow regional mailing lists, or email lists, to be generated and thereby allow any member wishing to organize something to spread the word.

Another thing that interested me in Kelvin’s posting was his reference to the MEV Owner’s Group:
We’ve never had a committee meeting as we have online discussions in sections of the forum which are only accessible by other forum moderators. It’s been quite busy of late there as Road Track Race recently went bust so there’s been a lot of work needing to be done to keep things running smoothly.

I’m interested to learn more about how it works. I don’t know why you would want to put the “committee” discussions in a section out of view of ordinary members. I’m sure that all the existing MOC committee members would agree that there is nothing secret at our meetings. In fact they are always open meetings where any MOC member is welcome to turn up. However, I can see there would be advantages to have a section where only designated members (moderators, committee officers, call them what you will) can post. That way you can avoid going off track with members discussing something that is not related to the main theme of the thread.
What I’m really interested in is when there is work needing to be done, how is it divided out? and how is it monitored to make sure that it is being done?
Again maybe there is some way of doing that online?

I have a few other thoughts, relating to that idea, that I will post up later, but returning to the ideas already posted here:

Both Mike and Neil (Mtrike and Benofbrum) talked about the Midas now being a classic car and how can the club support owners going forward. That is something that the club should certainly be doing and maybe that should be the topic of a separate thread. If anyone wants to get the ball rolling on that one please go ahead.

As Mike and David both point out, the club needs some new volunteers to get involved and help to run things and as Michael (cortezkeeper) points out, that isn’t necessarily as big a commitment as many might fear.
What I'm interested to learn is how new technology can be used to further reduce the time commitment for committee members. I know that David has had to put in a lot of hard work to get the membership database up to date and part of the reason for that was that the records had not been kept in a systematic fashion in the past. Now that they are up to date, I hope that the information can be kept up to date and used to help the club in the way I outlined above.

I think my vision for the future of the club is of a much larger committee, comprised of members from all around the country, where all the committee discussions are held online and the committee members only need to meet face to face when attending events. Furthermore, I would like to think that the time required to be devoted to club matters would be no more than many of us already spend posting on this forum.
I don’t know quite how this can be achieved and that is why I would like to hear from anyone who has relevant ideas, or experience, to contribute.
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Re: Midas Owners Club - The next 30 years

Postby Jin » Wed May 20, 2015 12:07 pm

This has been an interesting read from the start
what Kevin suggested in terms of a members map is what we introduced in the 306 cab club, I had been involved in the club from pretty much the outset and a handful of members up until I sold the car 6 years later with hundreds of members and a rapidly growing club, at around year 4 the members ,map (as it was called) was introduced and one or 2 people got a bit excited about data protection and all that but it was purely voluntary so no issue, the minimum requirement was your postcode and username and it was all somehow powered by google maps (ill make a few enquires later if I can) but it worked a treat, you had members who had themselves nominated to advise on repairs and be called upon and those that just had themselves located for all to see (all voluntarily remember) so if you needed a parcel forwarding / arranging a low key pub meet or going on holiday to a certain location you could meet up with like mined members who wanted to be met up with, it worked a treat.
another thing we had (or didn’t as it were) was any kind of committee, there was the 2 who founded the forum who took on the roles of organising events and cajoling others to do so too, and they did, myself included, ok so there was no marquee or paper mag but in this day and age most folk use the net anyway, in around the 3rd or 4th year the founders bought a gazebo for events and some banners but nothing more than would fit I a boot, my reason for mentioning this is it worked and was probably the best club I’ve been in because it was so relaxed with the emphasis on fun.
there was no regimented attitude we just turned up, I didn’t even know what an AGM was till I sold the 306 and joined the Quantum owners club and attended my first (that’s 2 hours of my life lost I’m never getting back) from that year I didn’t renew my Quantum membership because by comparison it looked like more people were interested in nominating hot dog monitor for the AGM barbeque than doing what I had been so used to for so long - sitting / walking around talking about and fiddling about with our cars.
ok so 2 extremes and I’m not suggesting we should scrap the committee - far from it the club just wouldn’t survive, but (and I’m guessing here) some of those roles would have been created before the advent of technology that we have today that could streamline the committee we currently have and who have expressed a desire to leave, with better controls I’m sure what used to be the jobs of 2 or more could be amalgamated into 1 or less. An example is membership registration that was linked to the forum too, if you wanted to access all the wealth of knowledge built up on the club forum you paid (via PayPal) and got instant access to the club / meets and the online forum, no big to-do it just happened as and when a member wanted to join - no chasing subs or having set days, the forum software terminated all unsubscribed accounts at 12 month unless renewed, much easier to manage.
Ok so I think even the 306 cab club does indeed have a committee now due to the volume of members but we (I think ) should try and keep things a tad more informal which brings me back to the map idea where no big event needs to be waited on for to meet up we could all easily see and arrange our own local meets,
Another point mentioned was the good old days of kit cars, unfortunately I think that’s largely a thing of the past,
back then if you needed to speak with a fellow owner or buy some kit to finish a build you would have to attend a kit car meet / show, nowa days everything is all done online for convenience including all advice and purchases, I’ve even been guilty of this myself paying twice as much for a spoiler off eBay and have it delivered to my door than getting off my arse and going down to my (now closed) local scrap yard and getting it myself and this is the way things are today.
So at shows we (today) are only going to get the hard-core who want to actually show off their cars and meet face to face and by the looks of it we’ve had a great turn out at Stoneleigh so we are doing something right and on that note this forum is one of the best I’ve been on recently with always someone saying something about something to keep up the interest, I’ve been member of others where literally days go by with nothing being said and some clubs don’t even have a proper forum.

So to sum up, I think more member involvement would be a good thing and a member’s map would certainly help this, and is it worth looking into automating the membership process or any other processes for that matter? All this needs to be done while retaining the magic of the cub though.
I’ll see what I can find out regarding the map we used.
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Re: Midas Owners Club - The next 30 years

Postby cortezkeeper » Tue May 26, 2015 3:35 pm

Whilst the Cttee will be in need of new officers, perhaps it could be that a few members may like to take on smaller, casual duties and thus spread the load - not that it's a big load anyway. I'm thinking for example that a member could keep the kit car and mainstream mags informed of our activities. Look at the coverage we've had over the past twelve months (and upcoming, I gather) just by e-mailing the info and providing the occasional photo. I've done quite a bit of that and time taken was trivial - done alongside routine e-mailing of family and / or on-line shopping from the comfort of my home and the outcome is most satisfying. The mags are receptive but we have to supply.
Other examples of casual but important input may be collating the Haynes gathering - that's once a year; ditto the Castle Combe gathering - each September; making sure we get our favourite Stoneleigh plot, also a once a year activity. Every little helps, as a famous supermarket says !
Maybe we can talk about this at the Open Day - all constructive suggestions very welcome.
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Re: Midas Owners Club - The next 30 years

Postby Jin » Tue May 26, 2015 3:55 pm

Just putting an idea "our there" as it were, ( and feel free to tell me to mind my own business if I'm getting ahead of myself ) but what about drawing up a jobs page on the forum with the role title, approximately how much time required per day / month / yearand brief description of each role required to make the club run, then folk could look at and choose a role that would suit them, then also in each section notify who is doing that role when its taken and that person can use that section of the forum to notify when they want out too,
Just an idea
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Re: Midas Owners Club - The next 30 years

Postby cortezkeeper » Wed May 27, 2015 3:56 pm

That's good idea - thanks. We can put an outline list together as a starter and to attract constructive comment, I'm sure and it would be valuable to discuss in some depth - say at Open Day.
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Re: Midas Owners Club - The next 30 years

Postby kelvink » Wed May 27, 2015 9:52 pm

Well I think it’s good to see people considering more informal and less structured/regimented roles and functions within the club, it’s one of the reasons I posted the link above to the video. As I see things this is very much how the world is going, particularly as the internet tends to aid this kind of thing. Just look at how many people these days work outside of an office environment and how many of you tend to do the sorts of things only a few years ago there were specific job descriptions for people doing regimented roles. An obvious example that springs to my mind is “Secretary” I used to have two and now I don’t have even one !

So anyways one of the reasons I joined this and each of the many other clubs I’m a member of, is to meet up with like minded folk, share experiences and perhaps even get some help or give some help to others out there. I was particularly keen to find out who else there was near by my geographical location so that I could meet up with them and buy their cars…… Hmmmm no that wasn’t the original idea but it does seem to be partly what’s happened!

I do think that a map might well be a useful feature for the club/forum to have and it is something I can do (Actually I did do it when I was temporarily membership secretary early last year, it’s an excellent way to visualise how many people there are and how they are distributed around the country and further afield over the water too) I also think a map showing what’s going on along with a calendar would also be helpful to people too, Jin seems to also be of a like mind on this and had mentioned he was going to look into how another club had done a map (Don’t worry Justin I can do that it’s pretty easy). As with the aforementioned less black and white duty rosta approach I think it might be good that this could be an open access thing that members can add information themselves rather than relying on one poor soul given the duty to maintain and update. Perhaps that way we can get round people’s worries of being identified online with too much personal information and members can pop up information that they themselves are happy to divulge and is appropriate to specific events and venues.

I think that perhaps what might evolve from this, and I see evidence already, is a handful of regional coordinators perhaps and I’ve said on several occasions before I’m happy to cover the ‘Wessex’ region of the UK.

There’s a lot more thoughts and ideas I’ve got and I know several of them have come up before at various meetings the club has had over the years but I think that’s enough from me for this evening so let’s hear other folks views…….
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Re: Midas Owners Club - The next 30 years

Postby benofbrum » Wed May 27, 2015 10:47 pm

One of the other clubs I am in is the Moto Guzzi Owners club. They used to produce a printed booklet for use in the event of breakdown, containing as much of the following information as individual members wished to have included:
Name, Town or county, phone number, availability of tools, workshop, expertise, towing facility and bedspace.
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Re: Midas Owners Club - The next 30 years

Postby ACourtney » Thu May 28, 2015 8:10 pm

There are some interesting ideas coming out and we should have plenty to discuss at the open day.

Now I've been giving one particular aspect some thought and wondered if any of the IT oriented members could help with finding a solution.

One of the jobs that Tony currently does is to organize tickets for us to attend events like the Mini World Action Day at Castle Combe. I mention that event as it is one that must give him the biggest headache.

The organizers start bookings for the event in January, when it is actually held at the end of September. Tony generally puts the announcement in the Midas Owners Club Meets and Events section of the forum straight away. The actual closing date for him to book the free entry tickets is usually a fortnight before the event, but those wanting lapping sessions should book before August 1st to get the biggest discount.
Tony will get some response from replies on the forum and one or two others will contact him direct by PM, phone, email or whatever, but basically he will be expected to collect together the list of those interested in attending over an eight month period, with the added complication that some will want one, or two, or more, lapping sessions.

So to my first question: Is there some event booking software that could be used so that anyone interested in attending an event can register their interest directly rather than by contacting Tony? Can this be done through the forum, or by a link posted on the forum? The software should give Midas owners the chance to register their interest, book extras like lapping sessions, update their booking if they want more lapping sessions, or subsequently find that they cannot attend, etc. Then when the closing date arrives, it should provide Tony (or whoever is doing the job in future) with the list of attendees so he knows how many tickets are required and who to send them to. It should also be possible for the software to send out reminders to let the attendees know that their tickets have been booked.
Thus anyone organizing, or coordinating, an event would only need to make a calendar/forum announcement and set up the software to take the bookings, until getting a complete list of attendees just in time to book the tickets. Is this possible or just a pipe dream?

An additional problem of the current system of placing the notice on the forum is that it will drop down the list of topics as other events get added. Thus an event to be held in September, that first gets announced in January, will drop right down the list of topics and possibly out of view during the intervening months. Furthermore, due to posters being inconsistent when specifying event dates, others starting second, or third topics, for the same event and others still starting random threads that shouldn’t be in the events section, it all becomes a bit of random mishmash. Is it possible to have a calendar section on the forum so that events appear in chronological order?

This is just one aspect of the club work that I think could be automated. It should be possible to allow any member to coordinate an event by simply posting up a calendar entry, setting up a simple booking form and then waiting for an email to tell them how many tickets, or parking slots are required. If there is an existing solution that could be adopted then the sooner, the better.
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Re: Midas Owners Club - The next 30 years

Postby PeteH » Thu May 28, 2015 8:51 pm

Hi Alistair

You can try Google docs - it will let you make a form to record people's responses in a central spreadsheet. Here's a sample form I made just to show what people would see: https://docs.google.com/forms/d/1XhJvHG ... art=invite

You can make a new one by following this link https://docs.google.com/spreadsheets and clicking new spreadsheet. Then press tools menu -> create a form.

See what you think!

Regards,
Pete
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Re: Midas Owners Club - The next 30 years

Postby ACourtney » Fri May 29, 2015 10:01 am

Thanks for that idea Pete. I had a quick go at knocking up a suitable form and it is really simple. I don't know whether it can be adapted to provide the email alerts, but it would be a major advance on the current system.
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