Pottermore Insider, Commenting Are Gone: More to Come

It’s been a few days—okay, fine, weeks—okay, fine, months (since December)—since I’ve visited Pottermore. Since there hasn’t been any updates since then, there hasn’t been a need. But then I notice this small, almost unnoticeable post on my news feed on Facebook from Pottermore. It was posted yesterday at 5:00 a.m. (my time–CDT). It reads as follows:

We’ve made some updates to pottermore.com. Learn more about them here: http://updates.pottermore.com/site-updates_en/

Posted by Pottermore on Tuesday, April 14, 2015

If you click the link, you’ll notice right away that you’re not taken directly to the Pottermore Insider as you normally would be. Instead, it’s a “site updates” page, which reads more like a FAQs page rather than the blog the Insider used to be.

Here is an excerpt from that rather long page (it’s too long to share it in its entirety here):

Pottermore is entering a new phase of development. To allow us to devote more resources to creating new features for the wider community to enjoy, and to ensure that pottermore.com continues to be a safe and secure environment for all our users, we have removed all commenting areas from the site, including the ability to update your status. Additionally, drawings can no longer be viewed or uploaded to the site.

I guess that makes sense. It takes a dedicated team of moderators to sort through the millions of comments that I’m sure are posted to Pottermore every month or perhaps even every week. That takes time and resources, which really could be better spent developing other things for Pottermore.com. It sounds like the Pottermore team is doing just that:

We’re not far away from releasing new Moments from Deathly Hallows for you to explore, along with more new writing by J.K. Rowling. As for what’s after that, it’s certainly not the end – in fact, far from it. Make sure you check back here often to get regular news on our plans.

That certainly sounds interesting! I, for one, thought that once Deathly Hallows was released, that would be the end to Pottermore as we know it. Not so! As for the no-inaccessible Pottermore Insider, here’s their answer to that:

The Insider was a blog created by the Pottermore team to bring you the latest news and updates. We felt these updates would be better channelled in other ways in the future.

They also mention that new content and other website updates will be posted on the sidebar on Pottermore.com as well as through the Owl Notifications and email, if you have opted to receive emails from Pottermore.com.

My thoughts? Well, I’ve never really understood why Pottermore decided to allow comments in the first place. I understand that they wanted to make the experience interactive, but I do think that collecting items, brewing potions, dueling and taking quizzes are more than enough to produce that effect. For me, while I do love the quizzes, I really consider Pottermore to be mostly a beautifully illustrated online encyclopedia more than anything else. For me, anything that J.K. Rowling creates for Pottermore—the new content and the quizzes—is pure gold, whereas anything else doesn’t really matter. These (let’s face it, massive) changes are bringing Pottermore another step in that encyclopedic direction.

Let’s hope that Pottermore doesn’t become a replacement for a printed encyclopedia.

What are your thoughts about these abrupt changes? Share in the comments!

  • 20llarson

    I thought this was an enjoyable post, but I do disagree with one thing – I was purely devastated when Pottermore took down the comments. It was my favorite site to comment on, and I thought the moderation was just fine – if not over the top. I never once saw anyone use any sort of bad or inappropriate language, or post any picture that could make even the gentlest of souls uncomfortable. Really, I was unable to post “stick” at one point, then during another “gun” was okay, but “wand” was not. They over did it, and still they’ve taken it down! Oh, well, practically every single one of my friends have now deleted their accounts (which, in the process, gave me all of their stuff, which was incredibly kind of them), and this included my sister. I give up. I rarely ever go on Pottermore, and I probably won’t do much until they come out with the Patronus test. Please, please, please, Pottermore! Hurry up with posting it to bring some small amount of happiness in to the devastated fans who’ve deleted their accounts in sadness of not being able to comment! Please, please, please!
    Note: In case you’re wondering, my account name is GoldIce31210, and I received a hat-stall between Hufflepuff and Ravenclaw (I chose Hufflepuff). Maybe that was pointless information, I just like to talk about it.

  • Rob Jones

    You’re right, the excuse is ridiculous. They over-moderated so thoroughly they became known as “Umbridge” and were the butt of a lot of jokes (and complaints), and yet they had to gut the site because they had too much to do?
    Imagine if they had recruited people to act as moderators – I know for a fact that many PM users would have been prepared to do that for free – and dressed it up as a Hogwarts prefect system. It could have solved the problem and made the site more immersive and enjoyable. But no, apparently Pottermore just wasn’t worth any creative thinking or dedication.

  • Rob Jones

    “For a safe and secure environment!”

    Was I the only one picturing Emperor Palpatine clutching his fist as he shouts those words?

    “So this is how Pottermore dies… to thunderous applause”.