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!