I was excited to read Sunday morning that Pottermore.com, J.K. Rowling’s long-awaited website about Harry Potter’s world and books, was finally open to all muggles. (It’s the only place you can buy the e-books.)
I immediately signed on to register. The site asked for extensive personal information. For any other website, there is no way I would have given up that much info but I told myself it would be worth it. (And I needed to do it to report to you guys.)
So I thought I would be in after filling all that out, but no, they have to send you an email. So then you log in through that email and you think you’re in. But no! You do another step and then they have to send you a final link to log in.
It took six hours between the first and second emails but the website is warning it may take even longer due to high-demand for the site.
When I finally got in, I poked around on it a little bit and felt like I wasn’t getting it. I love Harry Potter – the books, movies and even the recordings. Walsh and I are listening to the fifth-book read on CD every night before his bedtime, so believe me I want to love this website. But I’m not feeling it yet. (Maybe I just need more time on it.)
The site basically leads you through the chapters in each book. You switch backgrounds multiple times for each chapter and you can visit places within the chapter. You can collect objects from the story and mark your favorite characters, places and things from each part. A lot of the text is just defining the characters, places and objects but the thing is we know all that! We’re devoted fans. They are supposedly sprinkling new material in but I haven’t run into much yet.
Visiting Diagon Alley presented the most fun early on. You had a list of school supplies to buy but first you had to open your account at Gringotts Wizarding Bank (regrettably no goblins). Then you get to visit stores to buy your supplies. I must have been tired because I kept having to refer back to the list for what I needed to buy. It was fun to pick out a wizarding pet and you answer more questions for Ollivander to choose your wand. Once you’ve bought your equipment, you can practice spells and mix potions. Again, I kept having to refer to the potion recipe and finally just gave up.
I called my 8-year-old Potterphile over to explore and see if he got it more than I did. He wasn’t thrilled by it either.
I asked on Facebook if anyone else had been on yet and if they liked it. My 19-year-old sister-in-law (to whom I gave her first Harry Potter book) said she had been on and had blitzed through the first reading part to get to the choosing your wand, sorting hat and making a potion. She thought those parts were fun.
I am sure people will spend large amounts of time on the site, which is golden goose in the social media world. You’re trying to unearth any hidden treasure and make sure there is nothing good you’re missing. But I am worried there’s not much to miss.
If you’ve logged on to Pottermore.com let me know what you think? Does it get more exciting deeper in?
Do you plan to register? Will you register your kids? (They give you screen names so kids can’t accidentally reveal their identities. Kids can look for friends like on Club Penguin.)