Pottermore announces "book two" to be "underway"!

New information was leaked online
only a few hours ago concerning the future
of Pottermore, especially when more "books"
will be added to the experience,
starting with the second Harry Potter book,
Harry Potter and the Chamber of Secrets.

Question.  When will Harry Potter and the Chamber of Secrets
be added to Pottermore?

Answer: We're currently working on book two, Harry Potter and the Chamber of Secrets
and it’s looking great. We’ll give you more information over the coming weeks, 
so keep an eye on the Insider and @Pottermore for the latest details. 

One thing to note is that the Pottermore staff said that
more information about Chamber of Secrets coming to Pottermore
will begin to be revealed "over the coming weeks."

This would indicate that Chamber of Secrets may not take too long
to make its premiere appearance on Pottermore after all.

Initial Review: Pottermore

The moment has at last come.

Harry Potter fans worldwide can now experience
the wizarding world as HP author J.K. Rowling
had imagined it, by going online and signing up
to enter PotterMore.

Below is a review of Pottermore, from my own standpoint,
reviewing Pottermore as it currently is now.

Review: From the moment you sign up for Pottermore,
to the moment in which you are able to log in, several hours pass in-between.

You go to Pottermore, enter your e-mail, go through a quick,
5-minute information input process, where you put in things
like your name and birthday, select one of three possible Pottermore
screen-names already created by Pottermore staff,
(Pottermore won't let you create your own log-in name,)
and then wait for an auto-sent e-mail that just verifies your e-mail address.

A few hours after that, another e-mail is sent to you,
confirming that you are ready to enter Pottermore.

The "main" Pottermore experience, where you relive the first Harry Potter book,
is best when you are reading the original book/e-book at the same time.

Three main additional features,
excluding the written bonus content by J.K. Rowling, are:

*Wizard Dueling
 Review: Interesting but complicated.
The dueling process is easy enough to learn, in theory,
but still is a formidable challenge.

Plus: For some reason, when playing against another player,
I have cast my spell in under a minute, my opponent won't cast his in 10 minutes.

Final Grade: B-

 Review: Hard but fun.
If you add the wrong amount of one ingredient,
even if there is 20 ingredients, you fail instantly.

It doesn't help that you're being constantly timed.
Run out of time, and you fail instantly, too.

Final Grade: C+

*Common Rooms (chat rooms)

Review: A wonderful addition to Pottermore, which wasn't originally planned.
This lets Harry Potter fans across the world interact with each other while
experiencing Pottermore together.

One downside is Pottermore almost forces you to interact directly
with your house, and makes it hard to interact with other houses,
which you can only easily do through challenging them to Potions or Dueling.

Video Chat does not seem to be accessible through Pottermore, however.

Final Grade: A-

Pottermore itself is wonderful, mostly because of all the new information
hidden inside the "books", leaving fans with more then enough reasons
to visit Pottermore, and search for more hidden things to find and unlock,
for many months to come.

Pottermore goes live, now available to play worldwide!

We are happy to report that Pottermore,
the long-awaited Harry Potter online virtual
interacting experience created by HP author
J.K. Rowling, is now live, and available online
across the world as of today!

Here's the official announcement that was
released on Pottermore Insider,
the official Pottermore blog:

"Get ready to begin your Pottermore journey,
because Pottermore.com is now opening to everyone.

Over the coming days, we'll be inviting new users onto Pottermore.com.
We're expecting to be really busy to start with and plan to activate new registrations
in a steady stream.

This means that you may not get access to Pottermore immediately
after you sign up, but we will get you exploring the site as quickly as possible.

After you've signed up, you'll get sorted into one of the four Hogwarts houses,
have a wand choose you, and discover exclusive new writing from J.K. Rowling.

We’ll be adding lots of exciting new features over the coming weeks and months,
so make sure you return regularly to explore and discover all the changes
as Pottermore grows."

So, for those of you interested in trying out Pottermore for the first time,
you can go to Pottermore.com, (http://www.pottermore.com/) and sign up.

Go and experience the magic!

J.K. Rowling announces HP encyclopedia is underway!

Just today, Harry Potter author J.K. Rowling
has announced that the long-awaited, official
Harry Potter encyclopedia, is currently underway.

This was the official statement released online:
"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."

This announcement does confirm fan speculation that Pottermore may have
taken the place of the  originally-planned encyclopedia, but this is not true.
Pottermore and the HP encyclopedia are two separate projects.

This looks like an excellent sign, to see J.K. Rowling say that
that she has actively "started work" on the encyclopedia.

Pottermore releases new statement, on-site bugs being fixed!

Pottermore.com has lately been focusing
heavily on fixing any and all bugs and errors,
as well as continuing to add last-minute
improvements, before Pottermore is launched
worldwide sometime later this month.

This new statement from Pottermore Insider
was posted on the "Pottermore Site Updates" technical support page:

Thursday 5 April

Yesterday’s planned outage took a little longer than anticipated, 
however we were able to use this time to resolve some of the issues 
that Pottermore Beta users were experiencing.

‘Missing’ friends have been reinstated, so affected users can now see their friends again. 
We also did some work on the missing potions elements, such as spellbooks and cauldrons.

We're aware that the 'Your duels' list is not showing all challenges 

and we are carrying out testing on this area.

As Pottermore inches closer and closer to completing its relentless campaign
on fixing bugs, server crashes, and also adding user-requested improvements,
the most discussed question is: When will Pottermore be launched online?

New video preview of Pottermore now online!

A new video preview of Pottermore has been released online
on the official Pottermore website, and can be viewed either
on the Pottermore website, or on YouTube via link.

It can only been found exclusively on Pottermore.com,
as an Easter egg for Harry Potter fans to find either by
going to Pottermore.com directly, or by visiting
Pottermore Insider, which contains a link to Pottermore.com
in its most recent post, briefly mentioning that a
"sneak peek" of Pottermore can be found through the link.

The video displays the amazing structure of Pottermore,
from living the books, playing online mini-games like Wizard Dueling,
unlocking new never-before-seen character information and book content
previously written by J.K. Rowling, that was never included in any of the HP books,
and so much more.

Pottermore.com looks like it will be a spectacular work of magic,
and it is my belief that the Harry Potter fandom will not be disappointed with it.

You can watch the video itself here.

J.K. Rowling announces title for her upcoming book!

Warning: This is NOT an April Fool's Joke!
(As far as we know.)

J.K. Rowling, well known by Harry Potter fans
as the author of the Harry Potter book series,
recently announced she was underway with a new,
non-Harry Potter related book aimed at adult audiences.

Just today, this grisly promotional image for the book
was released online to the media, showing a type-writer,
its paper peppered with what appears to be blood,
along with the book's title: Lairs of Lady Po.

Accompanying it is the author's name: J.K. Rowling.

This discourages the rumor that J.K. Rowling was going to
use a different name, so both the media and Harry Potter fans
would not assume this book would be associated with the HP series.

This press release was issued from Little, Brown & Company,
the publishing company that J.K. Rowling has chosen to use
since she left her previous book publishing company:

"It has become tradition for Ms. Rowling when announcing her projects 
to always have a bit of mystery at the onset. 'Lairs of Lady Po' is no different. 
We look forward to seeing how her fans react to the image."

The book has been slated with a late 2012 release.
No official release date has yet to be announced.