So school and work have pretty much taken over my life, to the point that I am too tired to think of something to say in my blog and if you don’t have anything to say then don’t say anything right? Right. Well besides the life being consumed by work/school it has also been completely overrun by the new website pottermore.com, a website that J.K. Rowling made for her fans. I love the idea of this site, it has wonderful nerdy Harry Potter tidbits that I can obsess over, and it follows the books instead of the movies so it should have a lot more than the movies did (the movies were awesome but not as cool as the books, isn’t that always the case?). While I love the idea of this site with all of my nerdy little heart, the site has a good deal of flaws that I am hoping they will fix. So I will go over the pros and cons of this site. But if you’re a Potter fan(like me) the cons won’t stop you from being on and loving this site. It’s just that Pottermore has this great pile of raw material at their disposal and it can be improved if they listen to the fans. Though, if they do fix it I will never meet my deadlines for term papers because I will never leave the internet.
- Pottermore follows the books. I love the movies, a good chunk of my life has been Harry Potter and being able to go to the theaters and see my favorite characters come to life was wonderful. Besides whenever a new Potter movie came out that meant that my brother and I got to see our dad because he would come and take us to the movie. Anyways, getting off track, the movies are great there’s no denying it, but we all know that they left out the little things that became big parts later. Like Peeves, I really wanted Peeves the whole scene in book five when the Weasley twins leave and they tell Peeves to “give her hell for us” talking about Umbridge was one of my favorite parts of the book. Pottermore does the book, when you first sign in and start, you start from chapter one, everything is broken up into the chapters and you get to explore and find hidden things that are in the chapter, things that Rowling didn’t put in the book.The chapters themselves are also really neat looking, artistically.
- The little tidbits that Rowling didn’t put in the book. When you are scoring the chapters for hidden items, some of which are weird and really have no meaning to them (like seaweed), you will also find these gems of information that are really cool. They have things like the life story of Minerva McGonagall, information on Ollivander, etc.
- Diagon Alley. Diagon alley looks really interesting, you can go to Ollivander’s to get your wand, which is really cool. You also go and pick out a pet and your school supplies. It looks really nice as well.
- The sorting ceremony. J.K. Rowling wrote the sorting hat test herself so that people can’t cheat, and I know for a fact they can’t cheat because I the majority of my friends are on it and none of us could figure out how the test answers pertain to the house. I thought for sure that I would either end up in Ravenclaw or Hufflepuff, I got Gryffindor. The sorting is not like on other sites where you can take it again if you don’t like the answer, it’s the real deal like if you were actually at Hogwarts.
- Spells. The spells are kind of weird and I’m not sure how you actually unlock them, I know that they come in your spell books like The Standard Book of Spells Grade 1. The way you do the spell is that they have bits of the word on the screen and you either type the letter or click on it wait for the circle around the word to get big, type on it again and then follow the pattern with the rest of the letters. How close you get to it is how powerful your spell is. Then you can do wizard duels with friends and people from your house and others…like Slytherin.
- Potions, to me, is the coolest feature so far of pottermore. You have follow the recipe, do it in the time allotted and you are the one doing it, you’re not just clicking on the ingredient and it goes into the bowl. No, you have to measure things out and crush them or boil at the right temperature for the right amount of time or stir it in the right direction. It’s really fun, then you have to wait for it for like an hour (depends on the cauldron you use) and make sure you come back at the right time to finish the potion. There isn’t much to do with the potion afterwards but making it is entertaining.
- Verification emails. When you register for pottermore there are five steps. You give your birthday, country, first name/email, you make up a password, and you tell them how many of the books you’ve read and how many of the movies you’ve watched. Then you can pick one of four pregenerated usernames, I know it’s lame but I think it’s better than having 5million potterlover65’s, or mrsfredweasley27’s out there. Then you have to wait for your verification email, which is the lamest thing, the time between registering and getting your email is ridiculous. Usually when you get a verification email it takes like .2 seconds after registration. Not with Pottermore, I had to wait well over 24 hours and that was after contacting both help lines, one on the website and one on facebook(which they didn’t get back to me for a couple days). While I was waiting 5 of my friends registered and got theirs within a range of 10min-2hours. So frustrating!
- No chat or messaging of any kind. There are two comment boards count them 1…2 (one in the Great Hall and the other in your Common Room) and those are so moderated that you can’t have a decent chat with anyone (by moderated I mean you type “hi” and it goes into moderation, and the time it takes to moderate every single little thing you post makes you feel that the verification email wait was short and then eventually you don’t want to post at all cuz waiting forever for a post you might not even see is just stupid. When you find your friends on pottermore you can’t message them when you friend them, not even a “hey this is so-and-so” and if you can’t pick your own stupid username then you should at least be able to tell your friends that the random name is you. You can’t post on your friends profiles, say anything to the people you are dueling, or do much of anything. Takes away some crucial coolness points. If pottermore is supposed to be a community then why are we not allowed to talk? What kind of community is this? Is it 1984, some kind of Orwellian nightmare? Oh no, pottermore is being ran by Umbridge!
- Waiting. I know I’m not the most patient person in the world, but The Sorcerers Stone is a pretty short book and it’s the only one on there so far. I wouldn’t mind the wait but the only things to do after getting everything from the chapters(which really isn’t much) is either wizard duels or potions and there are only like six potions and 20 some-odd spells so you get bored after a while. Plus you have to buy your own potion supplies and there is no way to get more galleons you get a few in the chapters but not enough to pay for horklump juice or beetles eyes. So eventually you can’t even make potions.
- You know what they could have added to make the time between books pass more quickly? For one they could have added Quidditch that was in the first book and would have been my favorite thing to do. I would want to be a keeper and I would have totally squashed Slytherin and made them cry to their mommies. Also they could have added more to theitems the chapters are short but you do get a couple things like books, and a remembrall, chocolate frog cards, and other things like that. Once you have them though you have nothing you can do with them, except give them as gifts to your friends who by the way already have them, they are just sitting there in your trunk taking up space. I have 15 books, 22 objects, and 11 chocolate frog cards and nothing to do with them. I’m not asking for the books to be full written books but have at least a bit more info than the book jacket, I worked hard to collect those things and I was so excited about it and there is nothing but a colorful square that says it’s a book.
Obviously Pottermore has some issues, but to be fair it just opened to the public not too long ago, I mean just a couple weeks ago. It is bound to have problems at the beginning and I’m sure it will get better with age, and, when all is said and done the fact that J.K. is doing this for her fans is very touching, Thanks J.K.! For the most part I am extremely happy with pottermore, there just needs to be a few tweaks and then it will be so amazing that I will never leave. But they better have Quidditch, nothing is better or more important than Quidditch nothing! Go Harpies!