Pottermore Opens to the Public!

April 20, 2012 fantasy 0

The Pottermore Insider announced that Pottermore is finally open to everyone.  Queue nicely, one at a time, please!

The announcement generated great excitement on the Harry Potter Lovers forum over at Ravelry, the knitting and crocheting community I belong to. There were also some complaints about the sign-up process, but I didn’t have any trouble with it myself. Perhaps that’s because I waited until the frenzy of the first few days was over.

Pottermore sign-up screen

I began the sign-up here.  I was asked to provide my name, country, birth date, and email address, then to choose a password.  The site actually tells you how strong or week your password choice is.  (For the strongest results, mix numbers, upper and lower case letters, and at least one symbol or punctuation mark.)  You are then given a username, which you choose from six generated by the site.  (You can’t choose your own username, probably because the point of usernames is to mask the identity of users, particularly underage ones.  It’s a reasonable precaution, even if it is annoying not to be able to choose your own.)  You finish the process by entering 2 CAPTCHA words; if you miss this the first time, you can try again.

Once you sign up, you have to wait for a welcome email before you can explore the site.  Although I heard some complaints about the slowness of this process in the first few days, by the time I signed up, I received my welcome email within 10 or 15 minutes, and proceeded to my “gateway” page.

A Pottermore gateway page (not mine!)

 Unfortunately, I won’t have time to explore the site thoroughly until I finish my current work project in about two weeks. However, it appears that once you are signed up and admitted to the site, you must explore the books chapter by chapter, book by book, in order.  As you do, various portions of the site will be unlocked for you, and you can collect objects for your “trunk”.  I suspect that you are Sorted when Harry’s yearmates go through the Sorting Ceremony, that you get your wand when Harry gets his, and so on.  You either can or must do spells and make potions (virtually, of course) in order to advance.  You can also have and interact with “friends” on the site, but if they’re people you know in real life, you’ll have to get them to reveal their username to you before you can connect with them.

Some of the Ravelers on the aforementioned Ravelry forum have complained that not all the books are “open” yet, but that could be seen as a plus: it means that you can’t plow through the whole thing in one day; there will still be something to look forward to in the future.

I look forward to playing (ahem!) exploring Pottermore in depth once I finish up this current work project.  I’ll report back on what I find.

One final note: My “gateway” page still has “Beta” at the top.  I’m not sure if this is an oversight, or whether the website is still in beta testing despite being open to all.

Oh, and while we’re on the subject of Harry Potter, J. K. Rowling has announced she’s working on the long-anticipated Harry Potter encyclopedia.   

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