August 1, 2011
While one of this weekend’s Twitter Trends was rather disturbing, another trend emerged from excited throngs of passionate Harry Potter fans. Across Twitter, hashtag #pottermore has spread like wildfire and Twitter username @pottermore racked up almost a quarter of a million followers. And the frustration at waiting for Pottermore clues and invites seems to rival that of Spotify a few weeks ago. What is Pottermore? So far it looks to be a creative, social networking and gaming site for Harry Potter fans, produced by Harry Potter author J.K. Rowling. According to the site,
Pottermore is a unique online reading experience created by J.K. Rowling and built around the Harry Potter books. Share and participate in the stories, showcase your own Potter-related creativity, and discover additional information about the world of Harry Potter from the author herself.
Pottermore will be available in Beta to a selected group of users in English, French, German, Italian, and Spanish (Castilian). However, everyone will be able to register to find out if they are magical, for entry to the site in October 2011. At launch, the site allows visitors to experience and explore the first Harry Potter story, with subsequent stories unveiled over time.
Oh, how Rowling likes to build the suspense. What else do we know?
1. According to the site, they are allowing in one million users between July 31st, 2011 (Rowling’s birthday as well as the character Harry Potter’s) and August 6th, but during that time, the site will be in beta and may have bugs and go through some updates.
2. The site is sponsored by Sony and will officially open to the public in October.
3. Users who want to get in during this early beta period can’t just sign up. In true Potter tradition, wanna-be members must go to the site and find the “Magical Quill”. Finding the quill involves first answering a trivia question posted on Pottermore – solve the question, then add it to the end of the quill.pottermore.com, find the magical quill (hidden on the quill section of the site) then submit registration and await an invitation via email.
4. Daily availability of the magical quill will depend on the limited number of registrations for early access that they allocate on each of the 7 early access days. Once the daily allocation of registrations has been filled, The Magical Quill is removed and registration for that day will close, creating throngs of frustrated Potter fans who must wait for the next day’s clue.
5. The site will allow users to explore Harry Potter stories, share comments and photos, play games and take part in the “Pottermore community”
6. Galleons are a virtual currency members can earn as they progress through the “entertainment experiences and features available on Pottermore” which can be used to obtain virtual items in the virtual shops in Diagon Alley. Members will be automatically provided with a certain number of Galleons when they join.
7. House Points can also be earned for participating in Pottermore games, exploring and discovering them throughout the various chapters presented in Pottermore. Apparently, House Points will be reset to zero every time the ‘House Cup’ is awarded.
8. When the site emerges from beta this October, they will also introduce the “Pottermore Shop”, which will include downloadable digital audio books and eBooks of the complete Potter series in a number of languages. According to the Inside Google Books blog, “Pottermore and Google are teaming up to integrate Pottermore with a number of Google products and APIs. So when the series of Harry Potter ebooks launches on Pottermore.com in early October, these bestsellers will be available in the U.S. via the open Google eBooks platform. When you buy a Harry Potter ebook from Pottermore, you will be able to choose to keep it in your Google Books library in-the-cloud, as well as on other e-reading platforms. …Also under this agreement, Google Checkout will be the preferred third party payment platform for all purchases made on Pottermore.com. When you visit the Pottermore Shop, you’ll be able to pay for your purchases using Google Checkout, in addition to using a debit or credit card.”
Have you gained access yet? Let us know what secrets you’ve learned about Pottermore in the comments below. In the meantime, enjoy this video of J.K. Rowling introducing Pottermore.
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