Magical Musings by GlowHallow

Red Silk Slippers

Ah, her ruby slippers 🙂

Terry Dresbach

So, here is the story on the red shoes.

No, I did not go out and get 18th century shoes that would draw a link to the Wizard Of Oz. I wish I had, it’s a great idea!

The actual story is pretty good though. Getting period shoes is tricky. We need hundreds and hundreds of pairs. In any given episode we will have hundreds of extras, and for every extra you have to have two or three of anything to try on until you find what fits and works. Make sense?

We have period shoes made for our principal actors. But we could not possibly afford to make hundreds of shoes for extras at over $100 per pair. So, we “cobble” together shoes. We search out, remake, re work, dress up, dress down shoes we get from all over the place. (don’t want to even discuss Season Two)

ANYWAY, there…

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A Dram of Àdhamh Ó Broin

Doin’ the Wave: Surge Time

At Stadiums around the globe–fans cheer their teams on by doing the wave–jumping out of their seat–voicing their exuberance… and that’s what I’m doing now that I have learned that for the next two week’s, Pottermore is looking to send out DAILY waves to those of us who have yet to receive their owls.

Yes, brothers and sisters of Potterdom–there IS hope yet.  So be calm.. do not panic.  The Surge is on. Go Owls!

Here’s hoping I am in within the next 2 weeks… If not, those of us still owless will trample the field in one of those mass-chaos sporting event stampeding tragedies.

Your’s Truly,

Glow Hallow

She Who Shall Not Be Let In

I know I am not the only one out here in SUPPOSED-To-Be-A-Pottermore-Beta-Land that is still waiting for an owl granting them access.  But I am starting to feel like She Who Shall Not Be Let In.  Come on, say my name!  Glow Hallow!  Say my name–so that I can become more powerful and re-energize from this barely alive thing that I am.  A Pottermore Wannabe.  Do not make me resort to drinking unicorn blood to stay alive. 

I feel like those of us still on the outside are a teaming mass waiting for the gates to open.  If you’ve ever been to any of the Disney Parks before they officially open for the day… well once you are through those turnstyles…you are kept penned in waiting behind cast members LITERALLY holding a rope that you must stay behind… at the appointed time… the rope drops and you can begin your magical journey.  Right now I feel like those of us still seeking our welcome letters are waiting for that rope to drop–and we keep waiting…and waiting…jostling for position…and the rope keeps staying in place.  If we knew concretely when the appointed hour would come…we could go home and come back another day… but we just keep waiting in no particular order–one writhing mass of people waiting to get in.

At Disney…the popular attractions have FastPasses…instead of waiting for hours on incredibly long lines, you are issued a FastPass that gives you a time to return–so that you can get right on the ride.  You probably will wait just as long as you would have while standing on line–but you were not tied up wasting your time doing nothing. You knew to come back at a time that you could be accommodated.

As a marketing professional, I really do think this whole Beta promotion has been mishandled. Those of us who managed to solve the magic quill quizzes and register during each of the daily clues, felt like we had one some kind of lottery.  We were thrilled to get one of the coveted spots as early entrants to Pottermore.  But more than 2 weeks later, only a small percentage of early registrants have been allowed in.  It would have been less cruel to have limited the number of beta registrants to a pool of people they could actually utilize RIGHT AWAY.  Another approach would have been to have done a magic quill contest weekly for a period of 7 weeks…with each week’s winners being allowed IMMEDIATE access.  The site would have a week to absorb the newcomers before the next quill challenge. Only those who had successfully registered would be allowed in–so nobody would be felt like they were waiting for access–just waiting for the next challenge to TRY to gain a spot.  And if they failed…they would know that they would have another opportunity the next week.  That would give the developers a full week to scale the site to a growing number of users–and give them some deadlines towards fixing bugs and eliminating cheats and loopholes. 

It doesn’t make any of us still waiting feel very good about the way this promotion is being handled.  As a marketing person–I think whoever conceived this promotion in its executed state should be sent to Azkaban.  The whole thing just seems so very wrong.  I have zero confidence that the rest of the betas will be incorporated any time soon.  I can’t imagine that the site will be ready to open to the public in October.  Even thought the site vaguely states that public registration will open in October–they are giving themselves the entire month to get their act together.  And even then, they are only saying that REGISTRATION will open to the public then….not ACCESS.  Then they can split hairs and say they didn’t make any promises.  But even when you keep things purposely vague and ambiguous–people are not stupid and they know when they are being given the run around.  It is NOT good for Harry Potter as a brand. 

The only good thing about this experience so far…is the people I have met via Twitter.  They are the only thing that makes this whole drawn out experience at all bearable.  Because I think the way that Sony has handled this roll out is beyond pathetic.  I feel like they have performed a Cruciatus Curse on all of us still waiting in limbo.  unforgivable.

I am a beta waiting for my owl
I am a house elf waiting for a sock
I am light trapped in a deluminator
A thought lost in a pensieve
I am a ghost living in a toilet
I missed my train to Hogwarts
I have no flying Anglia
I need a dose of Felix Felicis

I wish all of us still waiting could send howlers to Pottermore!

Because I don’t want to seem like a creepy grownup, hanging out online with some people young enough to be my kids… I found myself “adopting” a few of my new Pottermore friends.
It seems my little family is growing. I am feeling a bit like Mama Weasley. Of course my real life flesh-and-blood son, IceAuror8 (AKA Hunter) is among the Potterheads in my twitter time line… I also have FireboltCentaur (Aka Sean), who I pulled into our Pottermore Family the day I made my Pottermore twitter account. And then there is FireboltCentaur’s older twin, RoseWeasley3, and then HexSilver (aka LastCrazyHorn aka Val who is INDEED a girl–though today we all experienced THAT AWKWARD MOMENT when your gender is questioned) became my daughter as she became FireboltCentaur’s older sister…then I discovered that HexSilver has a twin sister named ActurusDamon whom I did not even know! (Apparently my long-lost child) And then ofcourse we couldn’t leave out OwlMagic45 (AKA Mey) who I have adopted as my daughter too. CrazyFirstStone has identified as Crazy Uncle Ed who sometimes stops in for dinner–so I guess that makes him my dear brother.
Now of course a few of my “kids” are too old to REALLY be my kids…I mean… I’m NOT that old! Thankfully there ARE other Pottermore betas that are my age (and even older!). My own real life kids are only 7, 9 and 11.
Am I missing anyone? I’m wondering who is my baby daddy of all these kids!!!!
Who is in YOUR Pottermore family?

Monkey Squibs

That’s what I am now thinking is in charge of Pottermore. The waves of people getting in are getting smaller and smaller…and more and more random. If they were smart–they’d go on Twitter and invite everyone in that is waiting there at the #noowlparty because we are the people that are really itching to get into the site.

We are getting tired of hearing of people who HAVE gotten in complaining that it is lame–or that they are abandoning their accounts because they don’t like where they got sorted. It’s obvious there are people that have been allowed entry that have not read the books and don’t care about the series as much as those members of the #PottermoreFamily on Twitter.

Get a clue oh-overseer-of-the-welcome emails and send them to those of us who really care. We have people returning to schools, colleges and universities around the world that were hoping to get in so the site would not be a distraction to their studies….but nope…now you are going to make sure they all obessively check their emails 60 times a day hoping their Owl might arrive instead of focusing on their schoolwork. That’s just crazy!

It’s becoming like a world of haves and have-nots on Twitter—with those who have got in making the rest of us feel like the proletariat. It does not inspire a good feeling.

And now the Pottermore Twitter has the audacity to call for fan art postings? Are you kidding me? We sit here waiting with bated breath–and you expect us to draw pictures of an experience to which we have not yet been privy? I am sure you have better things to do than to tweak your nose at us who have not been invited in through the gates! That is just cruel Pottermore!

Would you like I should send you a blank page?

Not Ready for Prime Time

Well, apparently there are beacoup problems with the Pottermore website.  For anyone who checked the site yesterday, it was down more than it was up. Apparently the 13,000+ who are presently logged as students within the great hall are more than the site can currently handle.  Hopefully the developers are hard at work to scale the site to accommodate more simultaneous users.  In the meantime–we aren’t expecting any owls because they can’t handle the betas they’ve already let through the gates.

Many people on the inside yesterday commented on lagging or glitchy performance–but all reported that the artwork & graphics are outstanding.  I’ve tried to avoid spoilers so as not to ruin the experience for myself or others–so you won’t hear about that here (until I get inside too–which could be weeks) but I will report on the mundane comments that I don’t think take anything away from anyone.  One of my friends in my twitter feed reported that she got booted out of Pottermore with one answer left to go in her sorting interview–that would make me crazy!  Another friend had difficulty entering because it said she was already signed in–but she couldn’t get in!  And there was no place to go for technical assistance or to report a problem from the outside.  After trying all nature of fixes (clearing cache/cookies, rebooting, trying a different browser, password reset, etc.) the glitch seemed to undo itself and she could get in at long last.

I really hope the developers are throwing enough resources at this project–one would expect Sony to have the gaming experience to be able to keep the servers up and demand balanced so that things don’t crash.  But so far they are not meeting expectations.  Of course that’s what beta testers are for.  Obviously (Snape voice)

Consensus is that Owls for wave 3 won’t go out until they’ve got the current problems fixed.   So–go out…have fun…enjoy your final days of summer (if you are in my hemisphere!) and get away from the computer for a bit. If you are at work–go out for a nice walk at lunchtime.  We gotta move people!  Me? I’m off to the gym in an hour.