6. To sign up for the message board, click on the message board button on the main WestHigh.com page. A page will load that looks something like this:
You will need to click either the register button or the "-here-" text to begin registration (both highlighted in pink).
On the following screen, you will be asked for a username (a unique handle used to identify you on the message board), your e-mail address, a verification code (which will be displayed - you must simply enter the code that you see). You will also be asked for your first, last, and married last name. If you are married, you should place your maiden name in the "Last Name" field, and your married name into the "Married Last Name" field. If your last name has not changed, you should enter your last name into the "Last Name" field and leave "Married Last Name" blank. Text fields for your class year, city, and state of residence will also be displayed. If you are outside of the United States of America, please choose the "*Outside of the U.S.A.*" option in the "State" field, and enter your location ex: "Tokyo, Japan" in the "City" field. Otherwise, please enter your city state.
After sucessful registration, you will be given notice that you will receive an e-mail shortly with your user name and password. You can change your password once you log in - and update your profile under the profile link. It can sometimes take several hours for the e-mail to be transmitted - dependent on server load. If you do not receive an e-mail within 24 hours, chances are it was blocked (or transferred to a spam folder). You can usually fix this by adding the westhigh.com domain to your white-list and/or address book. If you cannot add spam bypasses via domain, you can unblock the message board's send only e-mail address: email@example.com. You will receive registration, instant message, reunion, and other website notifications via the previous e-mail address. Please note that the e-mail address is not monitored. If you need to contact a person, you will need to use the Contact Form.7. This is a tricky question. If you are currently attending West High School, or are attending a seperate school to obtain a high school diploma, the answer is no - at least not yet. Once you have your diploma, or GED, you are welcome to join.
If you graduated somewhere else, you should enter the year you would have graduated at West High (as if you had not changed schools). For example - Say "Joe" Went to West High in 1999-2000, his Freshman year. After that year, he left West and went to South High School, and received his diploma from South in June 2003. In this example, he would enter 2003 as his graduation year.
West High graduates are always welcome to join.8. If you have forgotten your username or password, you can have the message board e-mail it to your registered e-mail address. First, please make sure your spam filters are configured to accept e-mail from firstname.lastname@example.org. To have the message board send you your username or password, go to the login screen by clicking on the message board button on the left hand side.
On the login screen, there is a link that says "Forgot Password?". Click on the link. You will be asked for either your e-mail address OR your screen name. Do not enter both. You will also be asked to enter a verification code. Enter the code you see displayed above the verification code input box, and click the "Send" button. Your username and password will be sent to your e-mail address. Please note that it can take up to several hours for the message to be sent, depending upon server load.
If you do not receive the e-mail within 24 hours, chances are your spam filter blocked the e-mail or directed it to a spam folder. You will need to check your spam filter settings and verify that e-mail from email@example.com is not considered spam by your system.9. The message board (in my opinion) did not come with adequate search controls - so I have added an interface of my own. The message board's "Search" feature is not to search for alumni - but to search message board posts. The "Members" option shows a list of alumni, but does not allow a way to search that list.
You can access the search option I added by going to the "Search" option under "Alumni Directory" Outside of the message board. You can search by graduation year, name, and location. You can have multiple search terms seperated by a space, and incorporate any of the 3 search options together. For Example, if I were to search for "1998 p", you would obtain results from the class of 1998 only - and which had "p" in the location or Name. The search is case insensitive - "ROB" is the same as "Rob".
The results are provided 15 at a time, and you can select which "page" of results you would like to view by clicking on the appropriate page link. This is helpful for less specific searches, and allows you to more quickly navigate the results.
On the results page, you will see the results sorted and listed in this sorting order: Graduation Year, Name, Location. You will also see a user id. If you have found who you are looking for, you can click the user id to obtain more information about the user including ways to contact the person. NOTE - YOU MUST BE LOGGED INTO THE MESSAGE BOARD *FIRST* TO VIEW MORE DETAILED USER PROFILES. This was set up intentionally as a safety precaution. This setup allows non users to find alumni, and encourage them to join - while protecting the alumni community from spammers, and other such evil-doers. If you have found the person you are looking for, and have not logged into the message board, simply open up a new window, and log into the message board. Then return to your previous window and click the appropriate user id link.
I have plans to incorporate the search directly into the message board, but this is not a top priority at the moment. The search, as is, allows for non members and members alike to search for friends, while protecting the alumni community.10. There is an introduction to the basic features of the message board under the Announcements category. The post has a topic of "How to use this message Board".
Unfortunately, there is no additional documentation at this time other than this F.A.Q.. I plan to write a user's guide (instruction manual) at some point, but this is not on my top priority list. My best advise: Give it a try - click the different links, options, and icons, and see what they do. The only button you must not click (unless you want to terminate your account) on is "Delete User" in the Profile section - this will delete your account.13. For Event Coordinators:
I am in the middle of adding a feature for Reunion Committee Event Coordinators which will allow them to send an e-mail to alumni of their class regarding upcoming reunions. This feature is not implemented yet - but it is on my high priority list. In the meanwhile, the only option is to do a Alumni Directory search outside of the message board to obtain your class user id's - and retrieve the e-mail addresses one at a time.
For Non-Planning Users:
The best thing you can do is call, e-mail, or otherwise contact other alumni you may be in touch with - whether or not they are in your graduating class. Encouraging users to join the alumni community strengthens the community and allows them to be be advised of reunions and other alumni communications.