Sandown Grammar School (SGS) 2006 Reunion Forum
Text of an open letter sent by email to ex-pupils of Sandown Grammar School
Hi! This email has been sent to you because you attended or expressed an interest in attending the recent SGS reunion, you have registered on Friends Reunited or the SGS Website, or you are known to someone who is connected to the 2006 Reunion and we think you could be interested in the content of this email. In the interests of achieving as wide a readership as possible, you may receive this email from more than one source: apologies if you have seen all this before. Apologies may also be due if you have already registered at the SGS 2006 Reunion Forum but please read on, you may learn something new or be able to help us.
A very successful reunion was held at the end of April 2006 for members of the Sandown Grammar School, Isle of Wight, classes of 1972-1976 (that's people who would have been inkies in 1965-1969). One of the outcomes of this event was that people asked for a web-based means of keeping in contact and of making contact with those who didn't get to the reunion. The SGS 2006 Reunion Forum is, we hope, the answer. The simple web pages used to advertise the 2006 reunion have evolved into an Internet "discussion forum" (which in time will replace the original web site. If you have not come across the forum concept before do not be put off: the forum is simply a secure medium in which like-minded people can communicate. Unlike a standard web site, a forum allows for, and indeed depends on, input from its users. Its very easy and intuitive to use and its free! Here are some of the features of the forum:
Topic Discussions. Current discussions included the 2006 reunion and first thoughts on the next one, links to photographs of the 2006 reunion, and lists of the Inkies of 1965, 66, 67, 68 (are you in there?). Most of the forum topics can be viewed by anyone, but you must register to post messages or to vote in polls. The fora (W E Northover would be proud..) are moderated so inappropriate messages can be removed and miscreant users banned - though we hardly expect that to be necessary, it is essential to have the ability to protect the integrity of the site.
Member list. This acts like Friends Reunited's member list. Registered users can supply personal/contact information and decide what to supply and whether certain sensitive information such as email addresses should be publicly viewable. Registered Users have full control of their own information. Only Registered Users can view the supplied details; all other users see a list of names only. The memberlist is a much better method of disseminating contact information than web pages with lists of email addresses - its searchable and secure.
Internal Mail. Registered Users can send private messages to other Registered Users. This is a "webmail" service: no email address is needed or revealed when using "IM".
Email. Registered Users can send email direct to other Registered Users (if the other Registered User hasn't hidden their email address). In all cases, email addresses are invisible to non-registered users, which helps protect your email address from spam. This feature mimics Friends Reunited's mail system, less the annual fee!
Observant readers will have noticed the frequent reference to Registered Users. Although anyone can visit the site and read the messages and other information posted there, you can only contribute to the site if you register. By registering you add your name to the memberlist: this is very important as it is only by having a large number of Registered Users that a forum such as this can serve its purpose. If you register you do not have to post messages (although we'd like to see you do so: anything but more posts by that ubiquitous "Steve" chap). You do not have to spend your life browsing the forum - you can elect to be alerted by email if anyone replies to your posts. You will not be bombarded with unwanted emails, although you may receive advanced warning of any future reunions or information about major changes to the forum via email.
Registration is very easy - click the Register link on the forum index page and follow the instructions. You will need to supply a "username", which can be an anonymous name if you wish, a password and an email address. Your username and password are required to login and use the features available to Registered Users. Should you need registration assistance, please feel free to email steve(at)sgs2006.org.uk - but be warned, you may not get an instant reply.
The forum is designed for people that you were at school with: it's more focussed than other sites with similar features and therefore potentially more useful. However, the forum probably needs around 100 Registered Users to be a really useful resource. Obviously, not everyone has Internet access, and not everyone cares much about reunions or contacting classmates from 30+ (gulp) years ago, but 20 people in each of 5 "years" is a realistic target. The success of this forum does, however, rest on getting the word out and on persuading people to register. Please help by registering (if you have not already done so) and by passing this message on to other ex-Sandonians and persuade them to register too.
By the way, although the forum concentrates on the Inkie years 1965-1969 this is not a bar to people from other years or to staff - all connected with SGS are very welcome.
Finally, thanks for your patience in reading this: see you on the forum!
SGS 2006 Reunion Homepage