Dear new Pottermore CEO,
When we wrote to Charlie Redmayne in October 2011, he didn’t listen to much of our advice. So we’re trying again with you.
(Editor’s note: Redmayne stepped down as Pottermore CEO on Tuesday)
We at Hypable care deeply about the Harry Potter fandom and its interactive website that you are now heading. We’re in touch with the fans and discuss Pottermore’s latest features and announcements on nearly every episode of MuggleCast.
Below are the features and fixes we need to see completed so that fans can come back to the site and love it as if it was a new Harry Potter book.
1) Encourage J.K. Rowling to drop a bombshell within Pottermore
Rowling frequently publishes new material in Pottermore that offers insightful background details about Harry’s world, but there hasn’t been any information that makes the fandom scream.
When Rowling outed Albus Dumbledore in October 2007, the internet went nuts. It was such a shocking revelation that we even heard the news on the radio in New York City taxi cabs the week it broke.
You need to have a meeting with Rowling and ask her to unveil a surprising fact of Harry Potter canon that is share worthy.
If Rowling tells you she doesn’t have anything, ask her to make up something new. Have her write an entry on Aunt Marge being a lesbian. Ask her to develop a new subplot for Sorcerer’s Stone where we learn that Voldemort first took shelter within Hagrid, not Quirrell. Request she tell us that Dudley actually fathered a child during one summer while he was a teenager.
Whatever it is, we need something that people will want to talk about outside of Pottermore. Bollocks, just give us a list of characters that Rowling even briefly considered killing.
When this news spreads outside of Pottermore, casual fans will wonder what else they’ll learn within the site and sign up. Free publicity!
2) Let us be social
Pottermore’s social features need a major revamp. We want to be able to see the real names of users. I want my username to NOT be “catseeker” (it’s not an accurate representation of me). We want to send our friends magical items within Harry’s world (Side note: I want to send my better half an letter via owl that reads “Be my Horcrush”). We want to be able to play Wizard’s Chess. We want to participate in difficult trivia games that truly test our dedication to Potter.
We’re tired of potions and duels over and over again. At this point they’re as stale as the Chocolate Covered Frog we purchased at the Wizarding World of Harry Potter in 2011, but swore we’d never eat because we want to keep it in tact just like it was when we purchased it at Honeydukes. That stale!
3) What is our Patronus?
We’re currently experiencing Pottermore’s take on Harry Potter and the Prisoner of Azkaban, yet so far we haven’t been able to learn what our Patronus is. Why? One of the reasons we joined Pottermore in the first place was to get sorted and be given a wand. Now we need to know what our Patronus is – it is critical to our journey to becoming a graduate of Hogwarts. Don’t send us out into the Forbidden Forest unarmed. This, by the way, is another way to bring everyone back onto the site.
4) Let J.K. Rowling write and/or publish her encyclopedia
We have a feeling that one of the reasons the highly-anticipated Harry Potter encyclopedia hasn’t been published is because Sony’s partnership with Rowling requires her to unveil a bunch of new material solely through Sony products. We’ve seen Pottermore and Playstation video games unveil new information from Rowling, but the only place we truly want to see new material is in an encyclopedia.
Rowling has alluded to the fact that she has an encyclopedia in the works. When her personal website relaunched in April 2012, she flat out said she is working on an encyclopedia:
“For a long time I have been promising an encyclopaedia of Harry’s world, and I have started work on this now – some of it forms the new content in Pottermore. It is likely to be a time-consuming job, but when finished I shall donate all royalties to charity.”
That statement was taken down a month later and replaced with something more diplomatic:
“I have been enjoying sharing information about Harry’s world on Pottermore for free, and don’t have any firm plans to publish it in book form.”
What’s the hold up? Why the silence? Develop a plan with Rowling whereby Pottermore and her encyclopedia can co-exist.
5) Bring back the anticipation
Remember when people reacted like this?
Image credit: DeviantArt
Prior to Pottermore’s beta opening and even prior to the initial announcement, the amount of teasing going on was remarkable. Harry Potter fans climbed out of the woodwork and jumped back in the analysis saddle as if Rowling announced another Harry Potter book. You should tease major releases my promising some big new information or feature that fans will scream over.
To be fair…
Pottermore has made vast improvements over the past two years. Looking through the complaints filed to Hypable during October 2011, we see that things like lack of sound effects, potion brewing length, and site downtime have all been fixed.
There’s still a long way to go, and as CEO we’re looking forward to seeing what you bring to J.K. Rowling’s thank-you gift to fans.
Readers: What do you want the new Pottermore CEO to do on day one?
Top image credit: DeviantArt