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Pottermore

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Pottermore is a Harry Potter website that allows fans to explore the stories like never before and discover exclusive new writing from J.K. Rowling. It was created in collaboration with Sony and is free to all users, but they must create an account. The site opened to the public on April 14, 2012 after several months of beta testing and sells e-book versions of all seven novels.

The Annoucement

A number of teasers for Pottermore preceded the announcement of what it was. Ten Harry Potter fan sites recieved a challenge to piece together 10 letters (E-T-O-T-O-P-E-R-R-M) to reveal the subject of the annoucement. The Pottermore website and official Twitter account were launched with the words "Coming Soon" and J.K. Rowling's signature. The next day, a new Youtube account entitled "J.K. Rowling Announces" was opened and showed a countdown to June 23, 2011. On June 23, J.K. Rowling revealed some details about Pottermore via a YouTube video.

Early registration: The Magical Quill challenge

The website was launched on 31 July 2011, with an overwhelming number of people trying to access the site. The site subsequently had a page refresher and those who could get into Pottermore were informed of "The Magical Quill" challenge which would allow users who completed the challenge to complete the "early" registration for the site. The challenge continued for 7 days, with each day corresponding to a certain book in the series; with Day 1 corresponding to Harry Potter and the Philosopher's Stone and so on. Each day had a clue which corresponded with the related novel to which the user must solve the clue to enable their right to register before October. The website would pick the person's username randomly showing five names to choose from, for child safety. Only a certain number of people each day were allowed to "use" their Magic Quill clue for registration each day across seven days, to total to one million users at the end of the challenge (6 August 2011). While many accounts were created by fans during the early registration phase, many users created multiple accounts and sold them for high prices on eBay, despite being warned by the Pottermore blog and being assured that the website would remain a free site. Some of these accounts were created by cyber criminals hoping to target Harry Potter fans. They posted promises of early previews to the site and early access to the site, leading people to unintentionally buy malicious software and allow people to hack their accounts.

The following table is an overview of the seven day challenge. Clues on days 1–3 were more difficult than the clues on days 4–7. For North Americans, the final clue was released on 5 August 2011 instead of 6 August. This was due to the fact that the clue was released at 1:00 am BST.

Date

Time

Clue

Answer

Page

31 July 2011

9:00am BST

"How many owls are on the Eeylops Owl Emporium sign? Multiply by 49."

245

Sony's US homepage

1 August 2011

10:00am BST

"What is the number of the chapter in which Professor McGonagall cancels the Quidditch match between Gryffindor and Hufflepuff? Multiply this number by 42."

588

Harry Potter and the Deathly Hallows – Part 2 site hidden in the photos of the film

2 August 2011

11:00am BST

"In the Gryffindor versus Slytherin Quidditch match, in Harry's third year, how many points is Gryffindor leading by before Harry catches the Golden Snitch? Multiply this number by 35."

2100

Online article on The Guardian's website

3 August 2011

3:30pm BST

"How many students take part in the Triwizard Tournament during Harry's fourth year? Multiply this number by 28."

112

Sony Harry Potter page (later skipped due to issues)

4 August 2011

6:00pm BST

"What is the house number of the Headquarters for The Order of the Phoenix in Grimmauld Place? Multiply this number by 21."

252

Scholastic's Harry Potter page in an ad space at the top of the page

5 August 2011

2:00pm BST

"How many chapters are there in Harry Potter and the Half-Blood Prince? Multiply this number by 14."

420

The Wizarding World of Harry Potter's website

6 August 2011

1:00am BST

"How many Deathly Hallows are there? Multiply this number by 7."

21

Warner Brothers' Parseltongue Translator

Beta period/early access

Welcome email

The Welcome email

On 10 August, Pottermore started sending a "congratulations" email to registered users, confirming that they would get early entry and that the beta period would begin once the sign-in button had reappeared on the website. On 15 August 2011, the sign-in button reappeared on the website, welcome emails were sent out and the beta period began. A "very small number" of users were invited to begin use of Pottermore on the first day, with more users subsequently being invited until 30 September, at the latest.


The site received positive reviews from users and the media early on in the beta period. They praised the "beautiful artwork" and extra content revealed by Rowling. Bryan Young of The Huffington Post has said that "to say that Pottermore is an immersive experience might be an understatement." He commented that while the beta site still had a few problems, which was expected in the beta phase, "the experience [was] smooth and utterly absorbing." Early users also said that although the site did not back that feeling of excitement when the books were released, it did add an "extra layer" to the reading experience, similar to the maps and additional content released for The Lord of the Rings series. Fred is the best in pottermoreswswfhne


Public Launch

Pottermore was set to open to the general public in October 2011, but was delayed. The site finally opened to public on April 14, 2012.


Pottermore PlayStation Home

Main article: Pottermore PlayStation Home

Since April 4th, 2013, Pottermore is available on PlayStation home. Players can actually move around in a 3D Diagon Alley and Hogwarts Express, engage in conversation and play several games. It is rumoured more areas will be available in the future, likely with more activities and games.

See also

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