Over the past few months there have been three websites which launched to much fanfare within their respective fandoms.
Harry Potter, The Hunger Games, and Twilight all have a site created by the legal owners, and they are each viral in their own way. But is one better than the other two? And which is best for its respective fandom?
Harry Potter author J.K. Rowling was first out of the gate with Pottermore a few months ago (though technically it still hasn’t officially launched). The site is a place for fans to go to be sorted, read new content from Jo, and interact in limited ways with fellow Pottermore users.
Next came Lionsgate with TheCapitol.pn for The Hunger Games fans. The site allows you to be placed in a District and receive a District Identification Pass. You’re then encouraged to share the pass on your social media networks. Not much else is offered presently.
Most recently was Summit’s Twilight Time Capsule which allows fans to upload photos, video, and text from a particular time in Twilight history. You can then scroll through all the user-submitted content in an interactive interface. While it looks nice, there are some modifications that should be made so it’s easier to browse the content.
When the Time Capsule was released I was surprised to see a couple Potter fans say that Twilight Time Capsule was copying Pottermore. What? This argument is silly. The two sites don’t compare.
And frankly, Twilight Time Capsule is the best out of the three in terms of catering to the fandom. Time Capsule allows the fans to shape a website using their experiences in the fandom. It’s an extensive archive of moments from the rabid fans who are the reason Twilight exists in the first place.
And before you Twilight haters say, “Well, Twilight doesn’t have new info from its author on their interactive site.” That’s true, but they DO have an encyclopedia with new info in book form. (Edit: And that’s not to say Potter and Hunger Games encyclopedias won’t come out in the future.)
I believe Warner Brothers, J.K. Rowling, or someone from Team Potter should look at Time Capsule and copy it. It’d be wonderful to have an archive of fan photos and videos from the past 10 – 12 years of Harry Potter fandom. I think Potter fans who look at Time Capsule and scoff are just jealous – I know I am (and I’m not scoffing).
While fandom viral sites are nothing new, it’s interesting that three of the biggest book-to-film fandoms each created a Flash-heavy, interactive site around the same time. The book publishers and film studios certainly see the benefit in creating these to test the waters and see what can spread like wildfire. Each of them has plenty of room for improvement, but instead of hating on one “copying” the other, lets encourage additional viral sites to bring some exciting things to each fandom.