ˈvər-chə-wəlˈdā-vəs Serial storyteller, poetry pusher, digital doodler, flâneur.

Is Pottermore Fiction’s Neverland?

Author J.K. Rowling reads from Harry Potter an...

So I’ll get it out in the open right from the get-go. I’m not a big Harry Potter fan. I’ve read bits and pieces, caught a film on the airplane, but for one reason or another I never caught the bug.

Frank Rose’s post on Deep Media caught my attention. “From PotterWar to Pottermore: The Extraordinary Evolution of Harry’s World” takes a look at J.K Rowling’s cyber quest. From ink and paper to a digital, virtual world, Pottermore promises Harry Potter fans a wormhole into the fantasy land they crave. But fans will do more than simply populate the bleachers of Pottermore; they’ll actively — interactively — participate in the narrative.

a challenge to existing business models… is minor compared to a wholesale rethinking of the art of fiction. And… that’s what Rowling promised—an acknowledgment that the Internet makes possible an entirely new form of narrative, one that readers can not only consume but explore and build upon…

“It’s the same story, with a few crucial additions,” she [J.K. Rowling] says of Pottermore in an introductory video on the site. “The most important one is you. Just as the experience of reading requires that the imaginations of the author and the reader work together to create the story, so Pottermore will be built in part by you, the reader.” (Deap Media)

You with me? Interactive, transmedia Harry Potter. The next frontier… Maybe it’s time for me to take a look!
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Digitisation and its Discontents

Stuck in a time warp (image via The Economist)
The Beatles (Photo credit: The Economist)

The band of analogue holdouts is gradually dwindling. Because they are so few and so large, the holdouts are valuable: any technology firm that can persuade the Beatles to go digital will reap fat rewards. Theft provides another stimulus. All the analogue holdouts are widely available online—just not legally. That seems to be persuading even Harry Potter to look more closely at digital distribution. As Neil Blair of the Christopher Little agency, which represents J.K. Rowling, admits, holding the books back from e-readers “is not the best strategy for combating piracy”. (The Economist)

The Economist’s July 22 look at media’s analogue holdouts such as “the Beatles, Harry Potter, Bella magazine and the grizzled crew of the Northwestern, an Alaskan crab-fishing boat”. These “digital resisters refuse to distribute over the internet” at least in part because the financial view is decidedly more bleak than the analogue realm where they’re managing to endure. At least so far. Of course, pirated content circulates the net illegally, and this means that there is value being lost by not digitizing. Is the exodus from analogue to digital inevitable?

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