I want to talk about Harry Potter. (Shoot, I want to read Harry Potter. More on that in a minute)
Specifically, I want to talk about what the hidey-ho is going on with Pottermore. A site which was supposed to be live three months ago is still in Beta. I strongly suspect they’re trying to figure out the best way to monetize it and still keep the server load to a minimum, but they should have realised going into it that the books being as popular as they are would mean that the website would draw countless hits.
I was able to get into the site briefly through means I promised not to discuss. It was an interesting experience, but one I don’t necessarily think I’ll do that often. I don’t like to read at the computer, and as interesting as the twee illustrations were, it just wasn’t anything I think I’d go back to.
The Potter fandom is, meanwhile, being torn asunder by this. The world is still separated into Beta Testers and Those Who Do Not Have Passcodes Yet. I am so glad that I am not in the “Fandom”, because that world seems to have been increasingly defined by the Melissa Anelli Model: The bigger fan you are, the closer you get to JK Rowling and the Potter Inside Scoop. They’ve fallen into a sort of fan fiefdom, with Anelli as the Queen who Wrote the Book about the Books and her fellow Leaky Cauldron admins as the Dukes and Lords. Pottermore Beta Passcodes were the last chance a Fandom acolyte had to be One Of The Special People, and now there is simmering resentment for those with the treasured access.
Those elite few who do have entree into the system report that it is buggy, seldom actually up and running, crashing in the middle of a game or contest when it does manage to stay online for a few minutes. I honestly want to know in a world where Facebook can house millions of users, (many of whom are online all day playing the associated games) that Pottermore can’t figure out a way to work well enough to do what they said they would. Can’t they take a meeting with Zuckerberg and get a few pointers?
Me, I’m not caring about the potions exams, being sorted into a House* or reading McGonagall’s backstory. Okay, I care a little bit about the backstory. But what I really want–and pretty much everyone who knows me knows–are the ebooks. Book 4 and Beyond are lost to me now, and the ebooks are my shining hope. Unfortunately they are part and parcel of the Fully Functioning (and apparently mythical) Pottermore, and I have to wait for that business to get on the rails.
I have spent so much of my adulthood waiting on Harry Potter, and I’m starting to feel a little miffed. Now, of course I still love the books, love Rowling, love that whole world. And yes, as my sister and husband keep reminding me, I have the books all but memorised. Still and all, I don’t like it when people tease me and I feel that thus far Pottermore has been a gigantic tease.
My birthday is at the end of May. Here’s hoping I can get the ebooks by then.
*I don’t care what any computer says. I’m Ravenclaw, and that’s final. The Hat takes your choice into account, after all,and he and I agreed that I would be useless in any other house.