J.K. Rowling talks Harvard speech, Harry Potter, and turning 50 on Today Show

In continuation with her interview on Friday, J.K. Rowling appeared on the Today Show this morning in a short clip with host Matt Lauer.

Watch in the clip below, as the author discusses Harry Potter, her age, and her new book, Very Good Lives, the published edition of her speech to the 2008 graduating class of Harvard University. As a highlight, Jo talks about dreaming about one special Harry Potter character…

In part one of the interview, Rowling mainly talked about her charity work with Lumos, as she is in New York City for the launch of the U.S. branch of the organization. On Thursday, J.K. Rowling lit the top of the Empire State Building with Lumos C.E.O. Georgette Mulheir — see pictures here.

Visit this page for the latest news on J.K. Rowling.

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Preview released for J.K. Rowling: Life After Harry Potter

ABC1 has released a preview of their upcoming special, J.K. Rowling: Life After Harry Potter.

For the program, J.K. Rowling will be interviewed by Australian journalist Jennifer Bryne. The two will be discussing Harry Potter, The Casual Vacancy, and her life following the end of Harry Potter.

J.K. Rowling: Life After Harry Potter will air Thursday, September 27 at 8:00 p.m. on Australian television network ABC1.

Thanks to our friends at In Honor of Rowling for the tip!

The Pottermore Alliance

Many of you may recall that we have been communicating with ElmBlade43 and SamGibbins07 on Twitter. We have become great friends over the past few months, sharing together some major events in Harry Potter history together including the announcement of J.K. Rowling’s new book and the launch of Pottermore. We have literally shared every scrap of news together. Now, we are taking the power of our friendship to the next level; an alliance.

We have been teasing it for a couple of weeks now at the mysterious Twitter feed, @lockedusername. We have now “unlocked” the username with the promised announcement of a new exciting project: The Pottermore Alliance. The Pottermore Alliance is the collaboration of fans to create exciting new projects and functionalities for other fans to communicate and use. For the record, let me just say now that I wouldn’t want to be working on this with any other people than Sam and ElmBlade43.

Out of the collaboration we plan to bring out ways of communications so fans can connect with each other, discuss the books, films and Pottermore, and other exciting projects. Today we have for you one introductory product for fans: a Pottermore forum. We have two other projects that we are working on, but they aren’t ready just yet for release. They will be here very soon, so you won’t wait very long. We can promise one of them by the end of the month.

The Pottermore Forum is something we have been promising for awhile. With the help of our friend Sam, we are able to bring it to you with some really cool features. Together, me, Sam, and ElmBlade43, have created an amazing method of communication – The Pottermore Alliance Forum – where fans will be able to discuss everything from The Casual Vacancy to Pottermore. You have the option to be sorted into one of the four houses and enter a house-only common room, just like on Pottermore.

With the Pottermore Alliance, being a reader of our blogs and a participant of our forum will become much more exciting and easier. We have now brought on Sam (SamGibbins07 on Twitter) as a contributing reporter and writer. He will be writing under the name SpellWizard24. ElmBlade43 will also be contributing to my site, as will I on her site, as a contributing writer and reporter.

The Pottermore Alliance Twitter, @ThePMAlliance, will be the place for fans to read news stories and other articles, from all of our sites. Instead of having to visit multiple sites, you will be able to follow one feed for all the stories. If we haven’t reported on a story yet, you can refer to this feed to see if another one did.

Although this is an Alliance and a collaboration of a few fan sites, we must stress that our individual sites will stay separate. While we are doing the Pottermore Tutorials on YouTube and the Pottermore Guide, ElmGoesToHogwarts (ElmBlade43’s site) will still be doing the Pottermore 101’s as tutorials. We have no plan to combine sites.

Unfortunately, with all the time and work spent on the Pottermore Alliance, we will not be able to produce the collection of Head Canons book as promised. We will however be releasing the updated Pottermore Guide. Hopefully by the end of the year or early 2013, we will have the Head Canon book available.

The forum is only the starting project of our alliance; the partnership will produce more great things over the years. The launch of Pottermore and partnering projects between Sony and Pottermore like Book of Spells is only the start of this new stage in Harry Potter history; we still have a long way to go on the journey. We are so very happy we get to enjoy the exciting journey together with friends and readers like you.

You can visit the official site of the Pottermore Alliance and our Pottermore Alliance page for all further information.

Pottermore CEO Charlie Redmayne speaks at London Book Fair

Two weeks ago on April 15, Charlie Redmayne, CEO of Pottermore, spoke at the London Book Fair’s Digital Minds Conference. It was only a day after the public launch of Pottermore, meaning that it was the first time the CEO talked after the launch. It was the first time that Charlie Redmayne could spill all the beans about Pottermore – at least some of them.

During the conference, Redmayne talked about a lot of different topics, with probably the most interesting being the statistics and the future of the site. We’ve highlighted some of the key points, which can be read below. To hear his whole speech, you can click here.

  • Pottermore is separated into 2 parts: the Pottermore experience and the Pottermore shop.
  • J.K. Rowling created a deep and broad world, and the books are only a ‘very narrow corridor’ of the world of Harry Potter.
  • 97% of beta users looked at every single page of the site and content.
  • Average Pottermore user spent (spends) 47 minutes on the site.
  • When Charlie came on board, there was massive re-platforming that needed to be done. The site needed to adapt to the large amount of traffic it would be receiving.
  • Chose the time of 8:15am GMT to open the site very quietly, with most of America and UK still in bed on a Saturday morning. The CEO had a quick chat with the booksellers, then let the press-release go out.
  • New books in line over the next few weeks and months.
  • Fans mostly come to the site to read J.K. Rowling’s new content
  • A lot more functionalities – like wizard dueling – are to come
  • Over the next few weeks they will be switching their focus from platform issues to content issues, in which the site is going to get ‘incredibly exciting’ and his job will become ‘much more exciting’. He also commented that the site will get ‘better and better and better’
  • Over the coming weeks you will see more of J.K. Rowling’s content and books ‘fly by’
  • New interactives and community functionalities will be added in the coming weeks as well.
  • Redmayne commented that he although he thought Pottermore isn’t amazing yet like the books, films and games are, the site needs to be amazing, and shall be.
  •  Could be seeing ‘enhanced’ ebooks coming down the line in the next year. Redmayne wants the shop to become the ‘essential hub for all things Harry Potter’
  • He is constantly thinking about a digital future for Harry Potter on all platforms – tablets, phones, etc. He thinks that they should be thinking about what they can do on Facebook and YouTube

As you can see, the CEO spoke a lot about the future of Pottermore and what lies in store for the site. It is unclear whether he actually meant that new books would be coming in the next few weeks, as it seems highly unlikely. But, if Pottermore was ready to release the book in early 2012 back in October, then perhaps they are ready to release it.

Charlie Redmayne will also be speaking at an upcoming conference in New York called paidContent: At the Crossroads on May 23. If anyone is going, that would be great if you would send a report on his speech!

Pottermore Tutorials Chapters 1-5

In a previous post we announced our Pottermore tutorial series, in which we will be guiding you through all of Pottermore. If you are staying connected on Twitter, Facebook and Google+, you will recall that we have uploaded tutorials for chapters 1-5. For those waiting on the videos, we have linked them below with a brief description.

Pottermore Tutorial: Chapter One

In which we guide you through the beginning chapter of book one, “The Boy Who Lived”, and revealing some new information from J.K. Rowling on Number Four, Privet Drive and Measurements.

Pottermore Tutorial: Chapter Two

In this video we guided viewers through chapter two, “The Vanishing Glass”, exploring the zoo and finding some backstory on Mr. and Mrs. Dursley.

Pottermore Tutorial: Chapter Three

In the third episode of our series, we discuss one of our favorite moments; The Hut on the Rock in chapter three of Harry Potter and the Philosopher’s Stone, “The Letters From No One”.

Pottermore Tutorial: Chapter Four

The fourth edition of our tutorial series brought us into the hut on the rock, in which Hagrid reveals to Harry that he is a wizard. We learn about J.K. Rowling’s Ghost Plots and collect a few useful items.

Pottermore Tutorial: Chapter Five

The most recent episode of the series is a rather important one, in which we guide viewers through Diagon Alley, sharing personal opinions on what to buy and what not. We also visit Ollivanders and receive our wand.

OwlTV #3: Snubs, Journeys and Canons now available!

The third episode of our Harry Potter news podcast, OwlTV, is now available!

In episode 3: Snubs, Journeys and Canons we discuss the following things:

  • More rumors surrounding the Wizarding World of Harry Potter
  • The announcement of the Academy Awards nominations
  • User illustrations for chapters seven, eight and nine
  • Our Pottermore Guide Survey

Our Topics of Discussion this week are:

  • Do you think there will be new information added to the first interactive book when Pottermore launches? After the release of the book, will they be adding new information?
  • Do you think the Pottermore team is working on Chamber of Secrets?

You can listen to the episode HERE.

We’ll be uploading the episode onto YouTube tomorrow, and we will be recording an OwlTV Daily News Show with coverage on the BAFTAs and Grammys (in which Deathly Hallows was nominated).

 

OwlTV #2: The Noble One now available!

The second episode of our podcast is now available! I discuss all the latest in Harry Potter news, touch base on some important topics, and discuss what could become a controversial topic in a matter of time.

On the agenda this week:

  • BAFTA nominations announced, I discuss my predictions, and thoughts about results
  • No Topic of Discussion this week but other things are touched upon including transcripts and guides
  • Commissioning Brouhaha: Should JK Rowling be awarded the Nobel Prize in Literature?

The show is available for download at our Kiwi6 page. We will be downloading the episode on YouTube tomorrow. We will also be making our Weebly up-to-date. All links are at the page. Enjoy!

 

All You Need to Know

As you already know, we launched our new site yesterday morning. This post will tell you all you need to know, from the answers to the “7 Questions” to each of our site’s role change.

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