Channeling Engagement in the Potterverse

As I’m sure you all know, J.K Rowling recently announced the soon-to-be-launched Pottermore, an interactive reading experience which allows fans to participate in the collaborative expansion and exploration of the series’ storyworld online.  As Rowling herself puts it, she is now in a position to offer fans something unique; however, with no more than a short video pitch to judge by it is hard to say whether Pottemore will live up to its encouraging vision of collaborative creativity.  At face value Pottermore promises fans the chance to engage with the story in a more meaningful way through creative exploration of new (hitherto withheld) narrative information.  Whilst the creative and collaborative potential of the project is undeniable, its structure implies control.  Rowling’s pitch has undoubtedly whet the appetites of Potter fans around the world, yet she never clearly explicates the role fans will play, other than as consumers, in this new venture.  As an exercise in channeling user engagement in an interactive structure, the Pottermore pitch is simply brilliant.  The role fans will play in this process is still unclear.  Whoever is driving the content, Pottermore will undoubtedly offer fans exciting new insights into the Potterverse and its associated storyworld.  I’m keeping an eye on this one.

2 Responses to “Channeling Engagement in the Potterverse”

  1. Tonmoy says:

    Clearly the video is very Marketable. Media theorists would argue that the ‘fans’ are basically the driving force of this undertaking but one can’t deny to think about the possibility of it being just a simple revival process from dust and bones. We have seen the effectiveness of this model before where content creators look upon the audience to tell them ”What should we do next”?
    I too am very eager to track the response of this new venture but even more keen on finding out the effects of a shift in the fan-following culture in this instance. Good work Emma! Very well written and congratulations on your first post. Yay!

    • Emma says:

      Thanks Tonmoy!

      I agree that fans can be formative in shaping commercial narratives, especially now given the ease with which consumers can respond to and engage with texts online; however, there are also opportunities to exploit fan fervor in structured environments which create the illusion of freedom and choice. I hope that Potter fans are able to contribute to the expanding Potterverse, I guess we’ll just have to wait and see!

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