Pottermore launches redesigned site with a message from J.K. Rowling

Pottermore 2.0 has launched.

Pottermore 2.0 has launched.

Pottermore launched their redesigned site early Tuesday morning with a message from author J.K. Rowling.

Gone away is the Map and chapter-by-chapter timeline, or even Diagon Alley and Wizard Duel. Pottermore as we know it has changed forever, embarking on a new era.

The new website comes with a handful of new features, revealed by the Menu on the right-hand side of the site. In the News section, the latest updates about all Harry Potter-related projects are reported on by the Pottermore correspondent, an anonymous source but professional journalist who was hired by Pottermore for the job. The correspondent writes with a strong grasp on the task at hand and a unique, personable voice, a refreshing departure from the monotonous tone of the Pottermore Insider.

On the other hand, the feature section displays listicles on the Wizarding World, like “5 Friendship Lessons We Learned From Dobby” and “The 5 Death Eaters You’ll Never Forget”, along with behind-the-scenes insights into the making of the Harry Potter films. This is light-hearted content but there inclusion is questionable when BuzzFeed does the same thing. The purpose of having an authoritative voice on this content is unnecessary.

At the heart of the site remains exclusive content from J.K. Rowling, discoverable in “Writing by J.K. Rowling”. The site launched with all the previously added content available, with more to come. To mark the beginning of the new era, Pottermore published a history of the Potter family, by J.K. Rowling, tracking their pedigree from the 12th century.

An audio message from the author also appears on the site upon the first visit, transcribed below:

Welcome to Pottermore. This is my magical corner of the internet, a place where you can explore my writing, both familiar and new, and where you can read features, articles and news from the Pottermore team. New information will be revealed about the characters, places, and magic you’re familiar with, as well as introductions to a few new characters, places, and notions. Pottermore is a place where you can unleash your imagination, and allow it to lead you on adventures. If you need a little magic in your life, you’ve come to the right place.

With this, J.K. Rowling redefines her project as the digital heart of the Wizarding World of Harry Potter. Pottermore was always meant to be just that, but in the long run it turned out to be more of a reading experience than anything.

Reactions to the site have been mixed; a lot of people praise the site for its accessibility, and others feel as though The mixed feelings are understandable; its very difficult to react to this because it is an extremely drastic, seemingly unreasoned change.

Pottermore 2.0 is “cooler” with its contemporary tiles, visual-heavy layout, and infinite scroll, but ultimately less imaginative as that idea of cool becomes generic and more visible across the web. By deviating from Harry’s story, going beyond Hogwarts, Pottermore became much less magical and all the more real. Its corporate, to say the least, and a visit to their “About” page will prove this point.

Pottermore’s Director of Product, Creative and Content, Anna Rafferty, in a Bookseller article prior to launch, discussed one of our issues with new Pottermore, teasing: “There are going to be hundreds of thousands of landing pages [on the new site].”

Indeed, there are a ton of landing pages covering nearly everything you could possibly think of in Harry’s world. But it’s too much to consume at once. Information is not presented in a succinct, organized manner. There’s no order in the content, no listed index, so visitors are left to click until they find something interesting, unless they know exactly what they want, in which case they can search for it.

Positively, the site is incredibly mobile-friendly. It works well on all devices. All content is searchable and shareable, which means more people can actively get involved with the community. Of course, J.K. Rowling’s new content continues to be the best part of the experience.

For now, Pottermore is still a work in progress. There is no registration function on the site, and the signature features of the site, the Sorting Hat and Wand questionnaire, are noticeably absent. The Pottermore team explained that they are actively working on incorporating these capabilities into the site, along with the long-anticipated Patronus test. Thankfully, Pottermore stays true to its original promise: more Potter.

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Tom Felton sorted into Gryffindor on Pottermore, J.K. Rowling responds

"When will my reflection show who I am inside?" - Tom Felton today, probably.

“When will my reflection show who I am inside?” – Tom Felton today, probably.

Do you think his father heard about this?

Today, Tom Felton, who played Slytherin bad-boy and Harry Potter archenemy Draco Malfoy in the Harry Potter film series, tweeted out a message announcing that he was sorted into Gryffindor on Pottermore.

Not only did the tweet receive massive attention on the Internet from fans, but the Harry Potter author herself, J.K. Rowling, responded to Felton’s tweet.

Though some say the Sorting Hat is rigged, J.K. Rowling’s claim is not unlikely, as she was the one who created the questionnaire for her Pottermore website.

Felton is not the only Potter film alum to be disappointed with their Pottermore results. Way back in 2011, Luna Lovegood actress Evanna Lynch was shocked when she was sorted into Gryffindor after she took the test. So, the identity crises live on. *cue Pottermore by Alex Carpenter*

Pottermore House Cup to be awarded September 26

 

Image courtesy of Pottermore.

Image courtesy of Pottermore.

On Friday, Pottermore announced that the sixth Pottermore House Cup will be awarded on September 26.

Pottermore users have three weeks to earn as many House Points as they can until the Hogwarts house with the most points is announced on Friday, September 26.

As with tradition, House Cup celebrations will include House Pride Week, during which a day is dedicated to each house for members’ to show their house pride on social networking sites. House Pride Week will kick off Tuesday, September 16 with #GryffindorPride, followed by #RavenclawPride, #HufflepuffPride, and #SlytherinPride. The Insider is set to give more details on how the community can get involved on Tuesday.

The Insider also included some helpful tips for earning House Points:

  • Revisit the interactive Moments and make sure your discovery bar is complete – every collectible you find (excluding Galleons) adds to your points

  • Make sure you practise duelling against your own house to master casting spells before you challenge the other houses, as every duel lost means more points to the opposing house!

  • Pay careful attention to the instructions for brewing potions before you begin – if you can’t remember the instructions, don’t forget to check the potion book

  • Get your fellow housemates involved! The more of you there are earning points for your house the better, so rally the troops in the Great Hall and in your common room

Now that all the Houses have won the House Cup at least once, which do you think will take home the Cup this time? Will Slytherin be victors for a third time? Can Ravenclaw triumph again for a second consecutive win? Or will Gryffindor or Hufflepuff bring the Cup back to their Houses? Despite whichever, we wish all houses the best of luck! Happy Dueling and Brewing! 🙂

For those of you who have not been sorted, create a Pottermore.com account and head to the Great Hall to find out which house is best fit for you!

Pottermore announces fifth Pottermore House Cup

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Today, Pottermore announced that the fifth Pottermore House Cup competition is coming soon.

On Sunday, March 30, Pottermore will be naming the winner of the fifth Pottermore House Cup, awarded to the house with the most house points.

As with tradition, celebrations for the House Cup will include House Pride Week, during which a day is dedicated to each house for members’ to show their house pride on social networking sites.

This time around, however, they are encouraging Pottermore community members to create videos on Vine, Instagram, and YouTube, showing their House Pride. According to the Insider, “the video should include and continue the following phrase: “Hi Pottermore community, I am proud to be a Hufflepuff/Slytherin/Gryffindor/Ravenclaw because…”, and use one of the following tags: #SlytherinPride, #GryffindorPride, #HufflepuffPride, or #RavenclawPride.” More information will be released about this interaction on March 14.

Will you be sending in a video? Who do you want to win the Cup? As the Insider notes, this could be Ravenclaw’s time to shine, but Hufflepuff and Gryffindor could join the likes of Slytherin and win their second Cup. Or, the snakes could prevail once again for a third win! We shall see who is crowned winner in the coming weeks…

Learn more about the Sorting Hat from J.K. Rowling on Pottermore.com

Don’t forget — For those of you who have not been sorted can create a Pottermore.com account and head to the Great Hall to find out which house is best fit for you!