Category Archives: Potter More News

Is Pottermore The Future Of Publishing? (Mediapost 7.6.11)

I, like much of the world, suspected that we hadn’t heard the end of Harry Potter, but I, like much of the world, didn’t exactly see what was coming next .  JK Rowling continues to be a genius by surprising her readers, and the world in general, with her recent announcement of Pottermore.

Pottermore is basically a virtual world of publishing where readers will be able to read new and previously unreleased material set in the world of Harry Potter.  It will consist of back-stories for characters, locations and other assorted tidbits of knowledge that will keep her readers bathed in the Hogwarts glow for many years to come.  In creating this masterpiece she does three things.  First of all, she satisfies the almost insane, obsessive curiosity of her fans pining to read more of her world of wizards and magic, which she so eloquently created.  Second, she is setting the stage for what could easily become the foundation for publishing for the next 50 years.  Third, she guarantees monthly revenue for herself until her grandkids’ grandkids start having kids of their own (not that she really needs it)!

The focus for me is the impact on publishing.  Many authors have turned to the web to create content.  Some have looked to the area of virtual worlds, while some have looked to video and other avenues, but all of them felt stale and/or forced.   What Rowling is doing is using digital purely as a tool for distribution of background and extended work, basically replacing the existing publishing system, while maintaining control of all her own material.   Its brilliant when you think about it; she can always package the work up into a book later, and she can leak it out slowly over time, monetizing it however she so chooses.  If I were George Lucas, I’d be keeping a close eye on what Potter fans will be seeing as this is a model that Star Wars could, and should, likely emulate!

Of course, if JK Rowling decides to partner with Radiohead, then all of the entertainment world will be standing on its toes!  Both Radiohead and JK Rowling are trying new ways to distribute their work directly to fans and maintain control over their product.  Both are laying the groundwork so that others can emulate, and both are having strong success in doing so!

Not every author will be able to pursue this model, but many of the most successful franchises certainly can.  The Twilight series is an obvious opportunity to emulate this model, and even the “Girl With The Dragon Tattoo” series if you tap into the character back-stories and tangentially related offshoots of the books. 

What I also find interesting is that as of now, Pottermore is primarily a free site, and it will encourage fan participation.  How will this turn into revenue?  My guess is a simple 3-tiered model of advertising, merchandising and publishing.  She can package up new material for collectors whenever she wants, even on –demand.  She can integrate advertising or marketing into the world, with many brands being willing to pay a pretty penny to be integrated into that world and the eyes of her loyal readers.  She can also merchandise her world to her heart’s content.  Those pages of Potter-related products in the Air Mall magazine are just the beginning!

Ms. Rowling may not be releasing everything she intends to do as of yet, but she’s a smart cookie.  She has a plan, and much like the rest of her stories, she won’t tip her hand too early.  I look forward to Pottermore and the untold stories that will be laid out on front of me!

J.K. Rowling Announces Pottermore! Visit pottermore.com!

Sign up at pottermore.com to get a confirmation to join as soon as it opens by the end of July!
I am so excited about this, like you cannot imagine!

New 'Pottermore Insider' blog post: Q&A's on duelling, Beta

From duelling to potions

In today’s Insider post, we answer your questions on duelling, Beta feedback, moderation, and potions.

‘… It’d be nice to know IF Wizard Dueling will be available to beta testers again. I don’t care when, just a yes or no.’ [sic]
cwbrumm

Yes! We know that you like Wizard’s Duel - a lot. This section of the site has proven to be immensely popular and we’ve been making a number of improvements behind the scenes to ensure that it runs as smoothly as possible. We just need to finish making and testing our changes.

‘I’m wondering how helpful the BETA feedback really will be… I can only click boxes to tell them if I enjoy the site and if it runs smoothly. I wish I could tell them what I find helpful, and what I think would improve the site.’ [sic]
silverquillXX

If you suspect there’s a technical issue with one of the Pottermore pages, you can click on the ‘Beta feedback’ button (located in the bottom right-hand corner of the site). Select the page you are on, then go to the ‘The page loads and works well on my screen’ option.

While you won’t be able to give specific details, if you choose one of the ‘disagree’ buttons, we’ll know that we should re-visit that page and carry out testing.

In the next few weeks, we’ll also be sending out a Pottermore Beta survey. Along with opinion-related questions there will also be a space for you to add comments, so you’ll be given a chance to tell us specific details if there’s something you think we should know about.

‘Do you know why a comment in your house common room might be “under moderation?” Each comment I make won’t post and it says that. I have not used bad language, said anything nasty, or broken any rules…’ 
[sic]
Anonymous

Comments are automatically moderated if they use language that cannot be immediately confirmed to be within the Pottermore Terms Conditions. The good news is that as more and more comments are approved through the moderation process the ‘allowed’ language list grows, so future comments that use identical words should appear on the site faster.

It can sometimes be difficult to work out why a particular comment you’ve posted doesn’t make it onto the site straight away.

If you see that one of your comments is under moderation, please wait until you receive a ‘confirmed’ or ‘declined’ message from the moderation team before trying to comment in the same place again – otherwise you might end up posting the same thing multiple times!

‘potions take way too long to brew #pottermore :/’ [sic]
Lynsey_Ward

We’ve noticed that people are finding that the potion brewing times are too long, so we’re making some tweaks to these. You’ll see the changes implemented in the coming weeks.

Please keep the feedback coming and, remember, if you’d like further information you can visit Pottermore’s Help section.

Finding The Chocolate Frog Cards In Pottermore


Pottermore has taken a breath lately and stopped sending Welcome email letters the last 2 days, Aug 31 and Sept 1st. Pottermore is beginning to look more unpolished and unfinished than previously thought. As more beta members have completed the run through the Chapter moments in book 1 there are limited options within Pottermore to keep one particularly busy. Potion brewing is still buggy and Wizard dueling is down. There is only so much gifting and commenting one can do in a single day.

Hopefully, Pottermore will quickly address these issues and get the Wizard Dueling up and running.  However, it’s been down for quite a while and people are starting to get antsy.

 

Finding all the  Chocolate Frog Cards though can keep a person busy if they seriously don’t look at the “Spoilers”. Now don’t get me wrong I will post a “spoiler” Chocolate Frog location post soon enough. But for now I want to talk about these cool Chocolate Frog Cards without revealing the exact locations of the cards.

Trading Frog Cards within Hogwarts is great way to pass the time.  Chocolate Frog Cards are basically a series of cards that are traded around by the students and posted in the common rooms. The cards have famous pictures of wizards and witches with information accompanying.  There are a total of 101 cards.  The first book has a total of 11 Chocolate Frog Cards to collect.

The trading these cards is already going on in Pottermore. Trading these cards with others however will not earn your house a point.  You can carry around more than one card in your Trunk if one or more of the same card is gifted to you. When you find or collect a Chocolate Frog Card you earn a house point.


Finding these cards is not easy.   Sometimes the moments and browser loads were not functioning properly. There were certain moments  I thought that were buggy and the “collect” function never showed. I thought this was true on at least one occasion for me in Chapter 6 inside the train carriage during moment 2.

So what chapters are the Chocolate Frog Cards placed in? You’ll find the first card in chapter 6 and from there its pretty much every chapter, skipping a few.  Some Chocolate Frog Cards are in plain site while others are  hidden away in hard to find places. There are some good hidden placements for some of these cards ( take the Circe card and the Merlin card) which require careful clicking around. Be sure not to leave any area unclicked.

Chocolate Frog Cards stand out with a variety of colors including purple, red, yellow and bluish green. They are rather small so its easy to glance over or not see them in certain areas. When you do discover them you will see a small “collect” word hovering over them along with the highlighted color.

Always use the zoom, double zoom feature at every moment and be sure to“look up and down” with the arrow buttons while looking for these cards. So how many Chocolate Frog Cards are there in the first book in Pottermore? There are 11 cards in all to try and hunt down in the first book.

Try to find as many cards as you can first before looking for help. I’ll be posting a  “Spoiler” Chocolate Card location article for those who are having trouble finding them.  Meanwhile, with Wizard Dueling is still down and potion brewing still problematic finding the cards can keep you busy for a while.

If your a beta tester looking for the  11 Chocolate Frog Cards how many have you found and what was the most challenging card to find?   How many liked collecting these cards?


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An Open Letter to Team Pottermore | ANT.ag

Oh No They Didn’t!

After almost fifteen years of waiting, I finally got my Hogwarts letter. At least, that’s what early registration to Pottermore, the new online extension of the Harry Potter world, should feel like, shouldn’t it? 

When Pottermore opened for early registration three weeks ago, I “tracked down the magical quill”. I validated my account. I registered on the site! And after all that, I’m told I’ve been selected for a site I still don’t have access to. Not an auspicious introduction!

The mysterious flock of owls was exciting, and couldn’t have launched at a better time. Just as everyone was posting “The end is near!”, just as we were lining up for tickets to the last Potter film, just as it seemed there would be nothing new to fangirl about, there were the owls.

But that was months ago, and it doesn’t feel like anything has changed since then. I could, ostensibly, read descriptions of the site written by people who’ve already gained access. But I made it through seven books without reading spoilers. I avoided fansites leading up to the films, just in case screencaps had been leaked. I’m not going to start cheating now.


The Magical Quill

Early Registration started July 31, which is both J.K Rowling and Harry Potter’s birthday. Smart move, considering the date stuck in any super-fan’s head like spell-o-tape.

That was about the last smart move Team Pottermore made. Mistake number one: not mentioning that the website wouldn’t actually launch on July 31.  I was sitting, waiting, like so many others, to start exploring as soon as I found the magical quill. I didn’t even get to register until day four, at which point I had almost given up hope.

I logged in to the Pottermore site at 11:55 PM, Eastern Standard Time, on July 30 and I was met with a message that became all too familiar. “Day 1 registration has now closed”. I’m sorry… what?

Registration started at midnight on July 31, alright, but midnight in Greenwich Mean Time; about five hours ago on the East Coast. Mistake number two: Midnight should mean midnight, regardless of where you are on the globe, or it should have been clear that Team Pottermore was using GMT.

Someone in charge had not taken into consideration the fact that we, the Potter community, are an international group. Why wasn’t registration staggered based on region? You could have limited the amount of people from each region to a fraction of the people you’re going to let in each day, and spread admission across the globe every day.

Still, early registration would be going on all week. No reason to panic yet.

Unfortunately that kind of logic only works when you’re not waiting for something that feels like you’ve been waiting for it more than half your life. I added Pottermore‘s Twitter feed to my phone so I could stay up to date. The team tweeted that registration would open sometime between 9 a.m. and 1 p.m. British Summer Time, or 4 to 8 a.m. EST. Losing sleep over Harry is a reality I came to grips with long ago; I almost welcomed the prospect of one more slumber lost to Potter.

I set an alarm for four, which came and went with nothing on the site. 4:30. Still nothing. I had work in the morning, I couldn’t sit and wait. A two hour nap would be okay. 7:00, when my alarm went off, I groggily grabbed my laptop and literally as I was turning it on, I got a text message.

“Day 2 Registration has now closed.” Fine. That was on me—I chose sleep over fanaticism. I’m getting old.

Day three registration would not pass me by, though. Another update on the Pottermore blog; the Team figured out that we’re in every time zone, and decided to vary the times the clues would be revealed. This should not have taken until day three to figure out.

The clue was set to drop sometime between 2 and 6 p.m. British Summer Time (still convenient for England, by the way.) which translates to 9 a.m. to 1 p.m. Eastern Standard. Of course, my commute landed me squarely in Grand Central at nine. I literally ran from Metro North to
the downtown six, then to the office.

I sat down at my desk, turned on my computer, logged in to Pottermore and… nothing. Refresh refresh REFRESH!!! Nothing nothing nothing. Until, finally, the moment I had been waiting for, for three—nay—4,745 days, arrived.

Mistake Number three: not planning for site crashes.  Early registration, when it was working, worked thusly: once registration was open, a clue based on the Potterverse was posted to the Pottermore website, the answer to which, when affixed to the end of quill.Pottermore.com, took you to another site within which a magical quill was hiding. If you clicked the magical quill, then voila! You were taken to the Pottermore registration page.

It was that tricky word—hiding—that had me searching high and low for a half hour on the Sony home theatre website before taking to Twitter to figure out what exactly I was doing wrong.

Ding-Dong! New tweet from Pottermore! The Magical Quill is malfunctioning today. Fantastic. I fished around Twitter for about half a second before finding a link directly to the registration website. Signing up without ever having seen the magical quill felt an awful lot like cheating though, and so my panicking began.

What if the website was a fake? What if I had done something to violate the terms of service? Perhaps my three days worth of perseverance had just been flushed down Moaning Myrtle’s toilet…and it was no one’s fault but my own.

Ding-Dong! Another tweet from Pottermore, specifically to put my fears to rest. The link I had clicked was legit, Pottermore was in fact inviting people to register without worrying about the rogue quill. The floodgates opened. Half an hour later, and “Day 3
registration has now closed”.

Friends of mine don’t have an account, or don’t follow Pottermore on Twitter. Those friends had no way of getting any of this information.

Mistake number four: information about registration only got distributed through one social networking site, and a blog that was hard to find.

Why wasn’t Team Pottermore more diligent about sending out emails with actual information in them during this process, or updating on more than one networking outlet? The Pottermore site itself doesn’t even have a link to the Pottermore Insider blog, which is where the more detailed registration information was always posted. Some of my Potter buddies didn’t even know it existed. It was almost like Team Pottermore was making it hard to join the site on purpose. And then the emails started.

The Emails

THE FIRST EMAIL: I had successfully filled out the form on Pottermore.com. Now I had to return to the Pottermore site and validate that I really have the email address I claimed to have.

THE SECOND EMAIL: Pottermore has a store of usernames and when you register you are offered five choices. Moonstonebludger43,
while non-sensical, was the most awesome of the five, and with this email, it officially became my Pottermore alias. Or at least it will, whenever I get into the site, which I was guaranteed once again would happen sometime between mid-August and mid-September.

THE THIRD EMAIL: This is the last email I received, before Pottermore started tweeting about welcome emails, the subject of which was “Congratulations!”:

“Congratulations! You have been selected for early entry into Pottermore! We’re really excited to confirm that you are one of the lucky people selected for early entry into Pottermore, ahead of when it is open-to-all in October, to help us add finishing touches! We will activate your account between mid-August and the end of September, so keep checking your inbox for our Welcome email. When this arrives you will be able to enter Pottermore. In the meantime, you can check the Pottermore Insider for all the latest news, updates and announcements. We look forward to welcoming you to Pottermore.”

Wait a second. Selected? WHAT WAS THAT BUSINESS WITH THE QUILL ABOUT? I was about as “selected” for this as Hermione was
“selected” to become a prefect.

Instead of furthering my excitement for when I finally get my welcome email, these emails have read like condescending pats on the head. Good for you! Oh, you thought this was your welcome email, didn’t you? Well… it’s not. But still! Good for you!.

Potter-less in a Pottermore World

It’s been almost a month now since I “registered for early access”. Team Pottermore keeps tweeting about how the email is coming and betas take time.

I do understand that this is sort of a new undertaking, making an online community based on a massively popular book and movie series. Butthe video game industry has been taking advantage of beta testing for years; that’s not new. Hell, I was in a beta for Nickelodeon’s Monkey Quest. So where is the disconnect for Team Pottermore?

Mistake number five: This is the first time the word “beta” is even entering the equation.  There’s no shame in admitting that “Early Access” is actually registration for the beta. We’re a patient group, and we learn quick. If you’d told us that the beta was going to open in waves, we would have understood. Instead, you waited until the last second, when the angry emails started rolling in, to explain yourselves.

Here we are, two days away from September. Another tweet went out this morning about welcome emails, and I’m still staring at an empty inbox. None of the placating tweets, emails, blog updates, or explanations have made me feel any better about not getting into Pottermore yet, which I thought I’d be happily exploring a whole month ago.

I have to admit, it’s starting to feel like my Hogwarts letter will never come.

SQUIB SOURCE

Even though I already have access, I feel that these points are valid.  The Pottermore experience can definitely be improved!

Sony to launch Pottermore-purple eReader with one 'Harry Potter

Sony to launch Pottermore-purple eReader with one ‘Harry Potter’ book included

Good Potter fans know that Sony is a big partner with J.K. Rowling’s Pottermore, and now we’re learning one of the ways Sony is getting involved (besides having their logo on the top right of the Pottermore site).

They are launching a new eReader device that will certainly appeal to Potter fans.

PC World has the details:

Sony has partnered with J.K. Rowling for her upcoming Pottermore website, which will be the only place where you can get Harry Potter digital books. And in a move sure to drum up interest among Potter fans, Sony also will offer a special model of the PRS-T1, the PRS-T1HBC, with a free download voucher for the first Harry Potter ebook title, Harry Potter and the Sorcerer’s Stone. Sony hasn’t indicated whether the T1HBC would carry premium pricing, nor has it said where that model will be sold.

You can see a high-res image of the new reader sporting the Pottermore-purple color below.

Will you be grabbing an e-reader to read the Potter books on?

Sony to launch Pottermore-purple eReader with one 'Harry Potter

Sony to launch Pottermore-purple eReader with one ‘Harry Potter’ book included

Good Potter fans know that Sony is a big partner with J.K. Rowling’s Pottermore, and now we’re learning one of the ways Sony is getting involved (besides having their logo on the top right of the Pottermore site).

They are launching a new eReader device that will certainly appeal to Potter fans.

PC World has the details:

Sony has partnered with J.K. Rowling for her upcoming Pottermore website, which will be the only place where you can get Harry Potter digital books. And in a move sure to drum up interest among Potter fans, Sony also will offer a special model of the PRS-T1, the PRS-T1HBC, with a free download voucher for the first Harry Potter ebook title, Harry Potter and the Sorcerer’s Stone. Sony hasn’t indicated whether the T1HBC would carry premium pricing, nor has it said where that model will be sold.

You can see a high-res image of the new reader sporting the Pottermore-purple color below.

Will you be grabbing an e-reader to read the Potter books on?

Harry Potter Invites Us to live in his World through Pottermore

Now that Harry Potter’s saga has officially ended in the world of books and movies, J.K. Rowling has seen to it that we don’t forget about Harry (not that we ever could), by introducing a world where Harry Potter can live on digitally forever.

It’s called Pottermore.

What exactly is the Pottermore website all about? Will Pottermore be just another media promoting Harry Potter? Will there be more adventures to read and experience?

Harry will continue to live his life and will have new adventures in Pottermore all the same. The site will feed every Harry Potter fans with vast digital treasure troves of anything Potter-related. Harry Potter fans can be part of the world by choosing their own magic username, and become part of Harry’s world.

Aside from reading new materials like stories on how Hogwarts started, registered HP “students” will also concoct magical potions and fly around in the freedom of Pottermore’s digital world. The participation of each Pottermore users, as well as the visitors, will fuel and mold the site. In short, it will be the turning point as to whether Harry Potter get to live in the digital world forever.

Our lightning-scarred friend has become our friend and companion all these years that Pottermore is surely going to be a welcome addition to our “Pottered” hearts, simply because we cannot let him go.

But alas, due to overwhelming response, only a handful of lucky Harry Potters fans got to experience what it’s like to live in Pottermore before everyone else in this world can experience prior to its official October launch date. One of these handful of lucky HP fans who will be first to complete the online games, will also get the chance to pitch in his/her ideas for finalizing the Pottermore site.

Pottermore is truly a magical way of reliving our Harry Potter experience, and both young and old, cannot wait for the official release.

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A Pottermore September Desktop Calendar

Harry Potter's PageCrmhpfan has made a Pottermore theme for the September 2011 desktop calendar.  In the background is the new Privet Drive artwork with Professor McGonagall from JK Rowling’s new website Pottermore.

After clicking on the size that you want, right click on the calendar, and click ’set as background’ for IE, or ’set as desktop desktop background’ for Firefox.  For those who use Chrome, you’ll have to save the file, right click on your desktop, personalize, go to your background settings and browse to where you saved the image.

Absolutely brilliant, Crmhpfan!

 

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Upload Pottermore Art Drawings, Sketches and Pictures


As one of the lucky first few who got their Welcome Email Letter this week (I got mine on Wednesday, Aug. 24th) I actually got to explore quite a bit in Pottermore over the past couple of days. While I’ll be posting some future commentary detailing my experiences and impressions so far after exploring the moments in Pottermore I’d like to first post something about the capability to upload your own Pottermore and Harry Potter related drawings, sketches and pictures.

If your an artist or even a novice who uses paint you will like the Drawings and Pictures gallery inside Pottermore. Quite simply Pottermore has integrated a real easy interface that allows you to upload reasonably size pictures of drawings, sketches or and forms of computer art onto their site.

So how do you upload drawings and art on Pottermore? Just find the section page below the comments in each chapter scene and look for the add drawing button. Just click, browse, upload and that’s it. Expect a delay in posting the picture I believe because of monitoring issues.

While there are not many pictures and drawings in these sections yet I’m sure they will be filling up fast. Pottermore has requirements on the types of pictures allowed. They must be self created or generated and not copyright protected of course, unless by you.

There will be a delay in displaying them too I believe as they need to make sure they are clean and legitimate. But once these measures are passed you can have your own artwork displayed for everyone to see who reads the content contained inside Pottermore.

Pottermore’s own Twitter account @pottermore has even tweeted about this feature recently using the hashtag #pottermoreart for those wanting to display these early.

  • There’s some amazing Pottermore fan art out there. We’d love to see more – post yours with #PottermoreArt (But don’t reveal your username!)


On the Insider Blog they had this reply to the following question below:

… how can I make #PottermoreArt if I haven’t seen the site?
SandCauldronXX

We know that many fans have been creating Harry Potter based artwork for years and Pottermore will be another place for them to share this. While you can’t upload videos and music files to Pottermore, you can post original drawings and sketches. There are also lots of fans out there who aren’t part of the Beta, and fans who are creating songs and videos; we want to give these people a place to show what that they’ve been creating, too.

 

So those that are unable to get into Pottermore now can still tweet links of Harry Potter characters, places and objects twitpics on Twitter under the #pottermoreart hashtag.

There is a place to also contribute any Harry Potter or Pottermore related artwork at the Pottermore forum under the Pottermore Art Gallery.


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