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A Hypable visitor shares her top three issues with Pottermore and if it can continue on.
First off, I want to start by saying that I love Harry Potter. The first book was why I started to read at all, I’ve grown up with the series/movies, and it has just overall changed my life. So, I’ve been keeping quiet about E-books, Pottermore, and anything really to do with online reading because I know that, for some people, this is their “experience”. However, I have to say enough is enough. I’ve pretty much written off Pottermore as nothing more than a “nice try.” Why? Well I’ll tell you!
—Number 1: Who can even access it?
I was following Pottermore since before its release. Watched the cool YouTube video, followed the feathers and such for early access, you name it. It seemed like a dream come true. But Sony must have been seriously ill prepared for what was coming. It was Universal’s Hp Park opening all over again. Those lucky enough to get access have experienced nothing more than crashes and delays. Content and changes kept being implemented during peak access hours, usually ruining people’s fun. It’s like when new game consoles come out. You let the first million people go buy it, experience all the technical difficulties, then complain about them enough to implement change; This normally results in the quick release of a better quality console, thus allowing you to get a better version fairly soon. Since we had the first half of this process with Pottermore, it seemed safe to assume the second half would occur. Right? Well, too bad, it hasn’t.
—Number 2: Delays anyone?
With all that being said, Pottermore was supposed to be open to the public not too long after its “grand opening;” Aka sometime *last year.* It has been nearly 5 months and still no true public access. And let’s talk about the actual content for a second. “Lucky” users have only gotten the first book…over and over and over. Pottermore was going to release a book a year. But even if the site had been perfectly up and running, why would anyone want to wait a whole year before getting Chamber of Secrets? Let’s face it, we as a general public have a short attention span. No, I’m not saying that there wouldn’t be the hardcore fans that patiently wait for *7 years* to get all the books, but I’m happy to say I won’t be one of them. I have actual books for a reason. “Extras” get posted on the rest of the internet enough for my liking.
—Number 3: Just a poor set up.
Overall, Pottermore just could have been done better. A good example has recently come from one of my other favorite authors, Richelle Mead, who just released an app for her series The Vampire Academy.
This app is like Pottermore in a nutshell, only for her books. It seems brilliant. It has everything Pottermore intended to offer (minus the book particular details of course, this is a different series) all in one easy to download application. You can read each of the books, learn a ton of new information, watch videos about the novel, interact with fans, the list is endless! And it hasn’t had any negative reactions thus far. No “limited access,” no “delayed content,” and most importantly no messy interfaces.
Pottermore’s overall concept seemed like a good idea at the start. I understand Jo’s want to give the fan base a nice area to interact with her books and dig deep into their secrets. But it just isn’t happening. There are easier, better ways to achieve this kind of thing without all this ridiculousness.
Long opinion short, Sony needs to either get it together or give it up. Harry Potter fans found ways to get the kind of experiences the site is supposed to be offering easily enough before its “release” and I think we’ll do ok finding them without it as well.