Waiting for Pottermore: checking the spam

Well, here’s a little trip down memory lane… a blog draft that I never actually published.

It has, perhaps, some historical value in that it offers a sense of what the wait for Pottermore was like for the Beta testers who had not yet received their welcome emails. All we could think about was… WHEN AM I GONNA GET THAT STUPID EMAIL?!?!? It was really a lot like watching paint dry.

Here’s a little example of how I killed time while waiting (written August 20, 2011)…

Hey, you know the wait for your Pottermore Welcome email is starting to get to you when you start seeing poetry in the gibberish dumped in your spam filter.

After representation whatsoever of your blogposts I moldiness say i pioneer this particularised one to generally be top nick. I mortal a weblog also and necessary to repost a few shear of your articles on my own diary tract. Should it be alright if I use this as daylong I private reference your web diary or create a incoming linkage to your article I procured the snipping from? If not I make and could not do it without having your tolerance. I [deleted] collection starred this article to cheep and [social network mentioned] calculate motivated for publication. Anyway revalue it either way!

At first, I wondered if it was an honest attempt at communication in a second language. Then I checked the URL the spammer left. Porn site.

So yup, it’s spam alright. But the English is sooooooooo incomprehensible that there’s something  wonderfully surreal about it. I mean, “I moldiness say i pioneer this particularised one to generally be top nick”? Could Monty Python be much funnier than that?

Perhaps I really do belong in Ravenclaw!


Because as the House History tells us… the key quality for being sorted into Ravenclaw House is not merely intelligence but eccentricity. The House prides itself in its independence, intelligence, and eccentricity. After all, it’s the House of Uric the Oddball… and what could be odder than running through the spam filter with comedic intent?

Geez, that Hat had better not sort me into hyper-normal Hufflepuff.

Six days later, the Hat sorted me into Slytherin. And I’ve never looked back!

Pottermore: All Welcome Emails Have Been Sent…

About 30 minutes ago, the Pottermore Insider revealed that all Welcome Emails have been sent:

Earlier today, we sent out the one-millionth Welcome email – which means that everyone who successfully registered for the Beta should now have access to Pottermore.

We’re expecting the site to be extremely busy over the next 24 hours as people log in and explore Pottermore for the first time. As such, you may have to wait to sign in but please keep trying if you aren’t able to gain entry straight away.

This means that if you completed the Magic Quill and received the email verifying your successful registration, your account has been activated. If you have not received a Welcome email, then you should still assume that your account has been activated and that you can login whenever the site is available.

Of course, right now, there is very high demand for the Pottermore site, and the site is not always available. I am currently inside, but I will be logging out and probably not logging in again for the remainder of the day. After all, there are a lot of people who are about to start exploring Pottermore for the first time.

If you are one of those people, have fun! And let us know what you think about the site.

BTW, there are currently 493,795 students inside the Great Hall. That number, though, is less than half of the Welcome emails that have been sent, and many more students will be entering the Great Hall once they have passed through the sorting.

See you in the Great Hall!

514,064 539,267 551,263 570,084 605,479 616,447 students in the Great Hall.

Houses currently:
Ravenclaw: 154,510 members
Gryffindor: 154,021 members
Hufflepuff: 153,997 members
Slytherin: 153,919 members

Pottermore… Officially picking up the pace

ETA: The number inside the Great Hall has now reached 250,010 268,005 294,443 309,897. In other words: 25% roughly 27% over 29% over 30% of the entire Beta pool has now made it through the Sorting Hat. :D

Most likely, at least one-third of the welcome emails have now gone out, possibly considerably more.

Original post starts here…

Okay, the Happy Day has finally arrived! Today, the Pottermore Insider announced that Pottermore plans to send out welcome emails daily over the next two weeks:

The good news is that we no longer expect to pause sending these (as mentioned in our Beta testing and Welcome emails post). Instead, we plan to send emails out daily over the next two weeks. As always, there’s a chance that our plans may alter as we assess the site and how it is reacting to new users but we will update you if anything changes.

To me, this sounds as if Pottermore plans to try to get everybody inside over the next two weeks – depending on how the site withstands the traffic. And honestly, I really haven’t been seeing additional problems arise as a result of additional traffic. Some people still have problems with potions, and wizards duel has not yet returned. But the traffic does not seem to have increased these problems.

As for who is getting in..

It definitely seems that Day 3 and Day 4 people have increasingly been getting their emails over the past couple of days. I also know that welcome emails sometimes arrive at the oddest times. One of my friends received hers at about 10:30pm last night.

So for those of you who fear that your Pottermore email will never arrive… Stay Strong! It may be coming by Errol Post, but Errol always does manage somehow to arrive.

In the meantime, here’s Harry Potter in 99 seconds…

Let’s hope Errol doesn’t take much longer than that!

Pottermore… and those mysterious dropping numbers

When I posted on Friday, the number in the Great Hall at Pottermore was 144,310. By the end of the day, it was around 144,298. And then it dropped again… and again… and again… and again… and again – all weekend long.

Rumors circulated around the Web that Pottermore was deleting duplicate accounts and banning people who had figured out how to speed up the potions brewing process. But nobody knew for sure. All anybody knew was that new people were getting in (I personally knew several of them), but the numbers kept on dropping regardless.

This Tuesday morning, the numbers had gotten down to 144,203 – despite a heavy influx of new testers over the weekend – and then suddenly a little over an hour later, they jumped up to 194,997.

The latest theory is that there was a display problem over the weekend, and that Pottermore fixed it this morning.

At any rate, the current number is 207,264 219,311 234,657– nearly 21% 22% 23.5% of the Beta pool. And that is up 10,000 25,000 40,000 since the sudden jump this yesterday on Tuesday morning.

So… it does seem like the pace of the Beta is picking up some now. Aside from the “Pottermore is currently busy” signs that went up yesterday after a batch of emails went out, the site has done a pretty good job of handling the new traffic. So my working assumption is that we will be seeing some fairly large batches soon – perhaps even this week.

I know that that’s small consolation for those who are still waiting for their Welcome emails. But here’s hoping you’re inside soon.

As for me…

I teach college, and the semester started for me today. I’ll still be around, and I’ll still post that write-up on the “Owl Post” chapter as soon as I get a chance, but at the moment I have a few other things on my mind… like reading my students’ diagnostic essays and updating some information on the course site.

So if my posting is a little sporadic this week, that would be why. But I’ll definitely be checking up on the comments. :)

Pottermore: A Seventh Batch of Owls

According to the Pottermore Insider, a seventh batch of owls is going out:

UPDATE: More Welcome emails are being sent out today (Thursday 25 August), from approximately 2:45pm (BST).

This is great news because it is starting to look as if Pottermore is confident in yesterday’s fixes to the site. Also, if you notice, the 15-second countdown has not made a reappearance on Pottermore.com.

My working assumption is that if the good news continues – i.e., if the new batch of testers doesn’t crash the site – then Pottermore will start letting in larger numbers soon. In fact, it’s possible that this new batch is the beginning of the larger numbers.

Here’s hoping!

Waiting for Pottermore: another day outside the gates

It's getting ugly out there.....

That is exactly what the conversation is starting to sound like between Day 2-7 registrants who’ve already gotten their Welcome emails and Day 1 registrants who have not. But remember, if you have not yet received your email, approximately 989000 other Beta testers haven’t either… and even the 11000 Beta testers already on the site are crashing it and finding it buggy.

Just be grateful that you aren’t the one finding yourself 90 minutes into brewing a complicated potion and then have the site crash on you and lock you out! That sort of aggravation is what the first wave of Beta testers is for. ;)


Here are some basic things we’ve learned about Pottermore:
(Note: If you consider this sort of information spoilerish, and you don't want to be spoiled, then time to skip past our twirling Xeno and Luna down below)

You don’t get the full text of the books. You get “moments.” But if you wish to read the full text, you can read along with your book and then interact with the moments.

Once you have unlocked a chapter you are still able to go backwards and re-read more carefully or unlock new content, but you cannot skip ahead. You follow the plot of the book. So you don’t get your wand until you reach “Diagon Alley,” and you don’t get sorted until “The Sorting Hat.”

“Hat stalls” do occasionally occur – just like in the books. I’ve heard of one Beta tester who actually got Harry’s choice – Gryffindor or Slytherin.

Oh yes, and Ravenclaw?


So… what can you do while you wait outside the gates?

Well, there’s still that nice list of “Waiting for Pottermore” suggestions.

Expecto Patronum! will take option #2.

That’s right. No email yet, so time to see the movie again. Will report back this time. :)