What is Pottermore? From what I can establish, it's an official Harry Potter online experience. It's a glorified forum, maybe. It's a way to get more involved in a series of books that have taken the world by storm, been adapted for cinema, had games made from them, Lego, and turned a whole generation of children to reading. There's been music about Harry Potter, and a musical. There have been parodies. There has been fanfiction jumping up all over the place about Harry Potter since the books began.
And none of that tells us what we can do in Pottermore when the site launches to the public in October. Only minutes ago, JK Rowling made the announcement of Pottermore, saying a select few who "follow the owl" will be able to begin the experience early. No one knows how many will get in, how to get in, or what to do once they get there. No one even knows why they want to get into the site, except they're curious and it's Harry Potter.
Rowling's announcement had many excited. Some so excited they stayed up all night for the announcement - that's the American readers. And still no one knows what to do.
To be honest, the message released today was a let down. A nice "thank you", but a let down nonetheless. Will I be checking out Pottermore? I don't know. I will be in college. I will be writing. I don't know if I will care enough to spend my days talking about books I had finished reading when I was sixteen. By the time I get around to checking it out, the whole place will have become established, and maybe the people on-board will have formed exclusive groups. This is what happens on the Internet. The original readers of Harry Potter aren't children anymore. They're adults, and they've lost the innocence that once made Harry Potter so great, even if that innocence was itself limited.
Follow the owl? It brought me to the same site I had gone through to find the announcement. I suppose that's the magic of JK Rowling, isn't it? Tell the world to go somewhere to see a message that sends them right back where they started. More importantly, tell the world to read her books all over again. This assumes most of her readers haven't grown up. This assumes that people have time. This may assume incorrectly that people want to get involved as much as they hope.
But maybe I'm cynical. Maybe this will be a great website when it's started up. Maybe people will really have a great time, and maybe they'll be extra encouraged to pursue their own dreams. Maybe that will be the magic of Pottermore.com.