Posted by: Howie2.0 on Jul 26, 2011
The days of the "read-only" web are behind us. But that’s fine, because the web has become a 'Disneyland' for digital fans. Not only can we read content, but we can contribute information as well as interact with other people, software and websites across the world.
Most of us are used to clicking tabs and downloading information in a very mediocre way, but there is a website harbouring one of the most famous fantasy series the world has ever seen. Unveiling in October 2011, the official Harry Potter website, Pottermore, will excite fans with an interactive platform that could trump what we have seen already.
J K Rowling's decision
J K Rowling made a genius business decision when she withheld the Harry Potter eBook publishing rights for her very own Pottermore website. This website, is set to offer two things: it is the only place to purchase the eBook formats of the fantasy series (online store), and a place where fans can extend the Potter experience further.
Pottermore is not a gaming site like World of Warcraft, but there will be interactive elements like brewing potions but the intricate details of which are very 'hush hush'.
J K Rowling’s Pottermore announcement…
What is so special about this?
A key seller is the ‘unique reading experience' offered as the interactive, illustrated site acts as a companion to the books. Fans can experience Harry's story in a different way and learn additional information that Rowling has written especially for this site.
The Pottermore Ed’ explained on the official blog that "J.K. Rowling wanted to create a site where her stories could live on and where readers could explore them in a new way. In addition to discovering new material from J.K. Rowling about Harry's world, you’ll be able to interact with key story moments (the Sorting Hat sequence, for example) and upload your own comments, thoughts and artwork for all the characters, objects and places that you come across."
What does this mean for new media?
New media is all about interactivity and this website is about to slingshot this concept to another level.
The meaning in twofold: firstly, most companies/individuals grapple with drawing eyeballs to their websites and keeping readers there for a certain amount of time. This is tough to do unless you have an awesomely groovy website and/ or concept. Pottermore has one of these concepts... and a pretty awesome looking website from the bits we can see.
Pottermore's interactive virtual world will no doubt send page impressions, (unique and returning) as well as length of visits through the roof. The bounce rate should be low as people will be going to the site to interact with its features and they will remain to go through the various levels of the story.
Aside from potentially rocketing Google Analytics statistics through the roof, this website represents a move from traditional to new media. No longer is Disneyland the only place to meet the characters or enjoy the fantasy experience – online websites have created a virtual immersion environment where fans can enjoy their favourite characters at the tips of their fingers, anywhere in the world.
I am not saying that the theme parks are about to lose money, I am saying that previously disadvantaged people across the continents, who could not afford to fly off to the premieres' or to Disneyland, can now be part of the Harry Potter story wherever they are.
Pottermore on Social Media
Follow the sneak-peak tweets about Pottermore on Twitter @Pottermore
Read the official Blog for regular updates and Q&A’s leading up to and during the opening of the site.
eBooks and site access
Access to the website is free. The eBooks will be available in as many formats as possible and can only be bought through the Pottermore website. Purchasing from the online store will not hinder your process in the story.
I wonder what will be so special about the eBooks? Perhaps they will hyperlink to various elements in the website that gives extra information or similar. I would imagine that the connection will be made...but how, is what is so interesting.
If the Harry Potter’s total film gross of over $7 billion, never mind the book sales, video games etc are anything to go by – I wonder if this website will see more visitors than any other. I wonder if it will rival Facebook.
All I know is that even though I have not read the books, I have seen all the films and loved them. I am so excited for this website to open to the public, firstly, to learn the new information about characters etc, but more importantly to see the interactive features that promise to enthral. The anticipation is overwhelming.