Sunday, July 31, 2011

A Day-By-Day Documentation of the Pottermore Beta Mania!

Everything you always wanted to know about Pottermore but didn't even know to ask!

This is great.
If you are the creator of this, let me know so I can give you proper credit.


Early access to Pottermore is now closed

UPDATE: You may have noticed the Log In button is back on Pottermore. . . . It seems the owls are flying and people are being granted admission to Pottermore.


One point of particular interest is that as Pottermore Beta Testers, our time spent there is not all fun and games; there is work to be done! But it's fun work, for there is a feedback button located in the bottom right-hand corner of every Pottermore page. It looks like this:
So any time you experience difficulty or confusion or encounter something which outright doesn't work, click away! This is how we will improve the Pottermore experience for all come October.


Read the latest from the Insider.Pottermore.com blog for more details.


I'm being told that people on Facebook are saying Clue Day #2 and Clue Day #4 Pottermore people are already being let in to begin testing. This seems to defy the "First-Come, First-Served" methodology stated by the Pottermore folks, but oh well.


If you have received your third email from Pottermore and are inside testing (and if you are, why are you out here reading this instead of inside Pottermore doing the testing?!), please leave a comment in the comments section stating which Clue Day # you registered for Pottermore.


In the meantime, keep an eye on your inbox for your official welcome email!
*   *   *


UPDATE: Wednesday August 10, my wife and I received our Pottermore early confirmation letters. Behold:


The Insider.Pottermore.com blog also has an update, informing us that we can expect a 2nd (ie 3rd) email informing us as to when our account is actually activated, thereby allowing access to Pottermore.


The letter states such activations will begin "mid-August." This is Monday 15, August. That's in 4 days. 
*   *   *


Note that as of 8 August, there are no official reports of Pottermore early registrants (ie beta testers) being granted access to Pottermore. Though there have been some faked images released on Twitter, all bearing misspellings. Seriously, people. You think an OFFICIAL POTTERMORE WELCOME LETTER will say "advanture" instead of "adventure"?

As to WHEN said early access will ACTUALLY be granted, NO ONE KNOWS. The common hypothesis at the moment is that each clue day will be granted access during a particular week between now and October 1. Ergo Clue #1 folks will get their Owl (email) first, sometime "after July 31" according to the Pottermore Terms & Conditions. There are 8 weeks between August 6 (when the Magical Quill challenge ended) and October 1st; 7 weeks if you start counting from August 15. So we may all be waiting until August 15 to begin receiving the first Owl sorties. I sure hope not.


Note that on Monday, 8 August, the sign-in option was removed from the Pottermore home page. This resulted is a storm of activity, with people speculating that perhaps something was afoot.



We all need to realize that what JK Rowling and the vast team of Pottermore developers and support folks are trying to pull off has never been attempted, and we therefore ought to be sympathetic and patient as they work valiantly to iron-out whatever technical issues they are currently grappling with. This understanding on our part means that we must be patient and allow them to do their jobs, for it is to the benefit of everyone that they succeed.



Though the waiting may seem unbearable, remember that the waiting is precisely that which will make it feel SO SO SO worth it once you finally have access to Pottermore.


If you visit Pottermore.com, you are now offered the opportunity to enter your email address to be notified via email when the site is available to everyone in October.
If you go to the original Pottermore sign-in url, you get this:
Ooh, scary!
Here is a great BBC News interview with more info as well as some sneak peeks!


Finally, someone brought this to my attention on Twitter, though I must confess I do not recall who. I shall try to dig it out of the timeline.

Try this:
Go to JKRowling's original website.
Click on the pink eraser.
Click on the TOP handle of the Timeturner.
Notice the date.
Now, click on the Timeturner itself.
What happens?
*   *   *

Now, I admit it, I'm a Potthead (or is it "Potterhead?"). See the fan polls over there to the right?


I found this at
cchickachangchickachoo.tumblr.com


@_Snape_ says:

"@realalanrickman's Pottermore username
should be PageTurner394"
Brilliant!



Here are some screenshots released by Pottermore.com, demonstrating moments which offer a bit about what it actually will look like:


THE GATEWAY
source: Pottermore Press Room
Copyright Pottermore Limited; All Rights Reserved
THE HOGWARTS EXPRESS
source: Pottermore Press Room
Copyright Pottermore Limited; All Rights Reserved
THE CHESSBOARD CHAMBER
source: Pottermore Press Room
Copyright Pottermore Limited; All Rights Reserved


CHRISTMAS AT HOGWARTS
source: Pottermore Press Room
Copyright Pottermore Limited; All Rights Reserved

J.K. Rowling
Copyright Pottermore Limited; All Rights Reserved


Note that Pottermore is NOT a video game. It is not like World of Warcraft, a vast virtual reality to explore. Rather, Pottermore is an illustrated, interactive companion to the books. You may read along in an actual copy of the accompanying book, or simply enjoy the Pottermore experience itself.

The above images are samples from Pottermore. Note that at this time, Pottermore involves only Harry Potter and the Philosopher's/Sorcerer's Stone. (Chamber of Secrets is scheduled for 2012!)

To see the original images as well as others of JK Rowling,

And please read the following from tweeting.com:

Here are the press release statements with the Pottermore announcement today.
With the press release was this statement “On entering, you choose a magic username and begin your experience. As you move through the chapters, you can read and share exclusive writing from J.K. Rowling, and, just as Harry joins Hogwarts, so can you. You visit Diagon Alley, get sorted into a house, cast spells and mix potions to help your house compete for the House Cup,”
J.K. Rowling said, “I wanted to give something back to the fans that have followed Harry so devotedly over the years, and to bring the stories to a new digital generation. I hope fans and those new to Harry will have as much fun helping to shape Pottermore as I have. Just as I have contributed to the website, everyone else will be able to join in by submitting their own comments, drawings and other content in a safe and friendly environment – Pottermore has been designed as a place to share the stories with your friends as you journey through the site.”


Also, many people have asked Exactly what IS Pottermore?


This is the response from Insider.Pottermore.com blog:


Can you please explain what you mean by 'online reading experience'? How much will I, as a Pottermore user, be able to affect the story? After all, hasn't Harry's story already been told?



The best way to think of Pottermore is as an interactive, illustrated companion to the books. J.K. Rowling wanted to create a site where her stories could live on and where readers could explore them in a new way. In addition to discovering new material from J.K. Rowling about Harry’s world, you’ll be able to interact with key story Moments (the Sorting Hat sequence, for example) and upload your own comments, thoughts and artwork for all the characters, objects and places that you come across.

So Pottermore isn't a massively multiplayer online role-playing game like World of Warcraft, or a social network game like Farmville?



No. While there will be some simple games you can play (you'll be able to brew potions, for example), Pottermore is very much about the books: being able to experience Harry’s story in a new way and discover all the additional information that J.K. Rowling has written.

Isn't there a House Cup that we compete for by earning points?



Yes, there is. As you progress through the story you'll also be able to earn house points – and once you get to the end of the first book you can carry on earning points to help your house win the House Cup.

Would you say Pottermore is a social network for fans of Harry Potter?



Not really. Pottermore isn’t trying to compete with sites like Facebook or the Harry Potter forums and fan sites that are already out there. Once you’ve signed up to Pottermore you’ll be able to find and invite your Facebook friends (if you're over thirteen) and leave comments in your house common room and the Great Hall, but Pottermore isn't a social networking site where you can share personal information or chat in forums. 
If you've not seen it, J.K. Rowling herself explains Pottermore at length in this video:
J.K. ROWLING ANNOUNCES POTTERMORE 
(from June 23, 2011).

Hope that clarifies a bit!
If you go to Tweeting.com, you can see the screenshots FULL screen. They look amazing.


Anyway, many people have been asking what were the clues for Day 1, 2, 3, & 4 (I'll do my best to get 5, 6, & 7 as they happen).


Also, there are EQUAL opportunities for each of the 7 days; just because it's day 4 or 5 or 6 or 7, you still have an EQUAL chance at being one of the 1 million beta testers; each day, the registration closes when that day's allotment of accounts has been created, usually in an hour or so.


So take heart, you CAN do it; so go for it! Good luck!


The Clues are thus:


Clue 1


How many breeds of owl are featured on the Eeylops Owl Emporium sign? Multiply this number by 49.


The answer appears in Chapter 5 - Diagon Alley of SORCERER'S STONE.


Tawny, Screech, Barn, Brown, and Snowy. Thus, 5. Multiplied by 49 = 245.


This number was placed at the end of the url: www.quill.pottermore.com/245


NOTE: If you are still in the process of registering, I recommend you open a new tab in your browser and insert the url, so it is ready to go:


www.quill.pottermore.com/



Once you have the answer to the day's Clue, you can simply copy/paste it into the address bar of the new tab you prepared earlier and hit ENTER.

You may also want to go into the options for the browser BEFOREHAND and disable the "Instant" function which automatically loads the webpage as you're still typing/entering the URL.

I neglected to do this and "page not found" errors kept popping up. It was maddening.

After you hit ENTER, it took you to the entrance, where you had to click on the many floating feathers to find which one is actually The Magic Quill.






Upon finding the correct quill, your journey would begin. Hopefully, you found your name signed in the big book of names. However, I have seen one person who allegedly received this:



Posted on Twitter 7/31/11 by 

SORRY! YOU'RE A MUGGLE. GO HOME.

Oh, the horror, the horror. Joseph Conrad eat your heart out.

Glad that didn't happen to me. And I hope it doesn't happen to you.

FYI, Joseph Conrad was a rather famous American writer who wrote HEART OF DARKNESS; it was the basis for the infamous Vietnam-era film APOCALYPSE NOW by Francis Ford Coppola; this is the film they were all watching in JARHEAD with Jake Gyllenhaal prior to their deployment to Kuwait. Did you guys see Jake on MAN VS. WILD with Bear Grylls a few weeks ago? It was awesome. Jake's the real deal. He ate worms and traversed a gorge and slept in a snow cave. Serious s**t.






Turns out Jake is a Potterhead, too.


This is supposed to be a classic photo of
Jake wearing round Harry Potter-style glasses and
a scar on his forehead. The pic sometimes malfunctions.
Photographus Repairo!

Perhaps during the registration process, the above unfortunate person (no, not Jake) answered that they had read NONE of the Harry Potter books nor seen ANY of the films; see question 5 below:



Clearly such a person is not a fan and is totally completely unworthy of spending even one micro-nano-second of time inside Pottermore prior to October (if ever!).


Actually, no; for such a person who perhaps has not yet read the Harry Potter novels, Pottermore can be a perfect opportunity for them to discover the wonder, brilliance, and majesty of the story. Plus, they will be in the unique position of approaching the entire story anew while having the added pleasure of enjoying it in an illustrated, interactive environment. This could perhaps prove to be an almost enviable position. . . .

UPDATE: As of Friday 8/5/11, at the close of the 7-day Pottermore Beta registration period, I have been unable to confirm that the YOU ARE A MUGGLE result actually exists. I made multiple inquiries via Twitter during the height of the madness of each Magical Quill period, and no one seems to have seen this screen. The consensus is that it would be incalculably cruel to give a person such a message. Were it to be a genuine response, a wrongful death lawsuit would surely follow! The overarching theme of Harry Potter is LOVE -- not rejecting someone to the extent that they go off somewhere and Avada Kedavra themselves.


Clue 2


Day 2 Clue was from CHAMBER OF SECRETS, the number of the chapter when Harry learns from McGonagal that the Quidditch match has been cancelled, multiplied by 42. From Chapter 14 - Cornelius Fudge:

"“This match has been canceled,” Professor McGonagall called through the megaphone, addressing the packed stadium."

14x42 = 588. 588 is therefore added to the end of the aforementioned URL (in place of 245).


Sorry I don't have a screen capture; I was eating Ramen and my laptop was off, because I was delirious from Day 1's Clue.


I did manage to get this screenshot of the landing page from Stephenie 



Thank you, Stephenie!




Clue 3

Answer 60 points. 60x35=2100


Interestingly, this answer, when put into the usual URL quill.pottermore.com/2100, went to a confusing place:






The quill was hiding in the ad box on the right. At first I thought I'd screwed it up. Then I saw the quill in the box.


Note that some people had difficulty here because they had their ad blocker turned on, so you may think about disabling it for future Clues.




It said to levitate the quill, and a little hand icon appeared below the feather. I moved the mouse back and forth quickly and the feather rose into the air, and then Congratulations appeared.


After that, I clicked on 'Your Journey is About to Begin' as with Clue 1 (and probably Clue 2, which I missed 'cause of the whole Ramen episode) and it goes to the registration screen.




You will then register and be given a choice of usernames. You must then begin the anxious wait for the email with the link to validate your user account. (Question 5 above is the one which may or may not have led to the poor bastard being sent home a lowly Muggle.)

I waited about 20 minutes. I saw others folks on Twitter who waited up to one hour. Other folks who got in on Day 2 were still waiting after the Day 3 registration period had closed.

Clue 4


Clue 4 was revealed to be coming Wed 8/3 between 2p-6p BST = 9a-1p EST & 6a-10a PST. Rumor on Twitter was that it would be at 5p BST = 12noon EST = 9a PST.


This was not the case, as it actually came earlier, 1.5 hours into the allotted 4-hour window.


Here is a screenshot of Clue 4:


No searching through GOBLET OF FIRE to find this answer. Either you know it . . . or you don't, in which case you get it from a bazillion people on the #Pottermore timeline in Twitter.


After doing the arithmetic (# TriWizard Tournament particpants, 4, multiplied by 28 = 112) and adding the answer (112) to www.quill.pottermore.com/112 and hitting ENTER, I was redirected back to the Pottermore Clue 4 screen.


Wtf?


I tried it several times.


I checked Twitter.


Almost EVERYbody was having an issue, saying, "Why am I at the Sony store?"


A few people were reporting they'd gotten in.


Then someone confirmed what had happened, and what was happening to me: Sony crashed and the re-direct kicked in, and after trying it several more times, I was finally taken here:




I was excited to see what the Clue 4 task would be. But the above was the re-direct.


Because I was re-directed, I wasn't able to get a screenshot of the actual Clue 4 challenge. I'm told by one friend who did manage to see it prior to the crash that it was the same falling quills screen from Clue 1:




The Insider.Pottermore.com blog had this to say about Clue 4:



Issue with Day 4 of The Magical Quill challenge

We have had a few difficulties with today’s Magical Quill challenge.

If you solve the clue, you may not see The Magical Quill but instead will be sent directly to the Pottermore early access registration page, where you will be able to register as normal.




Oh well.


I didn't register an account this time, despite these cool usernames:


Definitely not FlooDust.


ThestralLeviosa makes me think of Hermione: "It's wing-ardium-levi-OH-suh. Not wing-ardium-levi-oh-SAH!"


MirrorPhoenix and GoldMist are both nice.


Which of these do YOU like most?


Wikipedia's Pottermore page is stating that the Clue 4 registration period opened at 3:30 pm BST (1.5 hours into the 4-hour window) and closed after 33 minutes. That feels a bit short to me, but we'll take their word for it since I got too excited and neglected to note the time for myself.


There are also reports of users having difficulty validating their registration. @JustZerah offered this screenshot encountered while attempting to register her brother's new account. (Crash occurred at 10:52 p.m. Philipines time - GMT+8.)


Note the use of "whilst"; so English. I love it.


Sounds as though demand may have been higher for Clue 4, contributing to the myriad server issues.


Thank you, @JustZerah for the screenshot.


Note also that each day's multiplier is a decreasing multiple of 7.


Day 1: 49
Day 2: 42
Day 3: 35
Day 4: 28
Day 5: 21
Day 6: 14
Day 7: 7?


The pattern seems clear. An interesting tidbit demonstrating the careful planning of this entire Pottermore adventure.


Tremendous thanks to Ccollinssmith at expatronum.wordpress.com for imparting this information unto us.


So that's it for Clue 4! On to Clue 5 tomorrow!


CLUE 5


There's a rumor breaking on Twitter right now (4:00pm PST, midnight BST) that Clue 5 is coming in the next few minutes in Japan, some time between 6am-8am. Except that at 4pm PST it is 8am in Japan. Though the window could be off, since it's always been 4 hours.


However . . . Japan is not one of the countries/languages mentioned on Insider.Pottermore.com as being among those included in the Pottermore Beta test:


Will Pottermore be available in multiple languages?



Yes. Initially, Pottermore will be available in English, French, German, Italian and Spanish. We are aiming to introduce more languages in the future – including Japanese and Korean later this year. You’ll be able to keep track of language availability here on the Insider.


So I guess there goes THAT rumor. Unless they expect them to participate in a different language. The list of languages is here:


English is not my first language. Can I see the clue in French/Italian/German/Spanish?
Oui.
Sì.
Ja.
Sí.



http://insider.pottermore.com/2011_08_01_archive.html


UPDATED Thurs 8/4: So far, all the clues have appeared in the early hours of the morning in my time zone. Will this continue for the remainder of The Magical Quill challenge?



We know that Harry Potter fans around the world are taking part in the challenge, so we will be varying the times that the clues are revealed. We can tell you that today’s clue (Day 5) will be released between 4.30pm and 8.00pm BST.


Please note easy conversion times:
11:30am - 3:00pm EST
10:30am - 2:00pm Central
9:30am - 1:00pm Mountain
8:30am -12:00 pm Pacific



UPDATE:
Clue 5 appeared at 10am PST:






What is the house number of the Headquarters for The Order of the Phoenix in Grimmauld Place? Multiply this number by 21. = 252.


Answer 252 = www.quill.pottermore.com/252 . . . . 


This was what I was hoping for. From the reports I saw on Twitter, the server held up, and everyone was seeing the above screen.


Which became this:


What do you see?


Yes, the ad is back. A lot of people reported having difficulty here, again because their ad blocker was enabled.


Mouse-over the ad to find THIS:




 Click on the Quill . . . and. . . .


and. . . .


Which leads to the registration page we all know and love!


And then the Pottermore Clue 5 registration period closed at 10:58 am Pacific, about 58 minutes after it opened.


See the ad now:






If you got in, congratulations.


If you did not get in, keep trying. There are still TWO more days.


If you registered on a previous day, or on Day 5, remember: it's okay to pursue the two remaining Quills, but do not actually register. Doing so will create duplicate accounts. If everyone did this, far far fewer than the 1 million beta testers the Pottermore people want will be able to register. 


Think about it: if 250,000 people created 4 accounts, likely for fun or because they were caught up in the excitement and didn't realize the implications of their actions, or because they wanted to try for a better Username, then those 250,000 people would hog the 1 million spots, thus 750,000 people get the shaft!


So don't do that.



I had an extra account because ThestralHeartxxx failed the email validation, apparently because I screwed up the captcha crap, so I made another one: ThestralJinxxx (interesting that I was given Thestral___ twice; what're the odds?!). But then I had issues with THAT one as well, so as a back-up I registered again and received RiverWildxxx.


If you decide you DO feel compelled to register more than once, immediately after you get your validation email, go in and delete the account you don't want. Like so:


Go to the Pottermore Sony homepage:






Log yourself in. . . .


Click on ACCOUNT SETTINGS at the bottom.


You get this:


See where it says DELETE YOUR ACCOUNT, the pinkish square in the upper right-hand corner? That's the good stuff, that's what you want.


Click it. Go on, you can do it.


Don't worry, it double-checks:


Cool trees in the background, huh?


And, yes, I actually did it.


I then got this.


Back to the Pottermore homepage. Notice I did this at 1:43 pm PST, a couple hours after Clue 5 mania.


I then tried to log in again with ThestralJinx:


Let us all bow our heads. . . .


So I invite you to think of the hapless Potterheads who aspire to be beta testers every bit as much as we do.


If each day's registration period accommodates 142,857.1428571428571428571428571 people, and as of this writing we are 5 days in, 5 x that big-ass number = 714,285 accounts. From what I've seen on Twitter, probably 20% of those are redundant.


Just my two cents.


On to Clue 6!


CLUE 6



From Insider.Pottermore.com update Wed 8/3:

Clue 6:

Between 1:30 pm and 4:00 pm BST Friday Afternoon 
8:30 am - 11am EST Friday morning
5:30 am - 8 am PST Friday morning




Clue 6 appeared about 15 mins after 6:00am PST, so about 45 minutes into the window:


How many chapters are there in HARRY POTTER and the Half-Blood Prince? Multiply this number by 14.


30 x 14 = 420 --> www.quill.pottermore.com/420 =


You can skip, but I let it play.


And finally to this:


The Magic Quill!


From here registration was straightforward, the same as on previous days.


Clue 6 registration period then closed at 7:45am PST, about an hour-and-a-half after opening. This was almost 45 minutes longer than for Clue 5.

On to Clue 7! Which is in a mere 8 hours, and thus occurs on the same day, today, Friday, here in USA.

To watch the intro to The Wizarding World of Harry Potter, from which my screenshots were taken, visit:




Clue 7



UPDATE: FINAL POTTERMORE CLUE 7:

Clue 7: 
Between 12:30 am and 3:00 am BST on Saturday morning
7:30 pm - 10 pm EST FRIDAY evening
4:30 pm - 7 pm PST FRIDAY evening

*NOTE: both Clues 6 & 7 go up FRIDAY in USA/Western Hemisphere.
(THANK YOU to @ElmBlade43 for pointing that out. 1000 points to Slytherin house!!!)

I'm pretty sure these times are NOW FINALLY accurate, but to be honest I'm a bit loopy from the Pottermore mania since Sunday. So double-check for yourself. Always do your own due diligence in life!

Visit the Insider.Pottermore.com blog for OFFICIAL updates.








Clue 7 appeared at about 4:50pm PST, 20 mins after the window opened.


How many Deathly Hallows are there? 
Multiply this number by 7.
Answer: There are THREE Hallows. 3 x 7 = 21
(THANK YOU to @EsmeLifeWiz for pointing out that I had originally written that there are three Horcruxes. No WONDER I was so confused while solving this Clue! Jeez!)


Thus: www.Quill.Pottermore.com/21 . . . .


After the trailer, the Parseltongue Translator appears.

See the ad?
If your adblocker was on, sadly, you
probably didn't. :(

But when you move your mouse pointer over the ad. . . .





To see the entire into movie, go to http://parseltonguetranslator.warnerbros.com/


Clue 7 closed at: (as of 6:22pm PST (90 mins or so) still waiting)


. . . Looks like 7:05 pm PST it closed, about 2 hours and 15 minutes after it opened.


Soon after, Insider.Pottermore.com blog had this to say:

Today, The Magical Quill challenge came to an end, which means that there are no more Beta places available.


If you weren’t lucky enough to secure early access to Pottermore, don’t worry; the site will be open to all from October. Keep returning to Pottermore to find out when registration begins and continue to visit the Insider for the latest Pottermore news and updates from the team.


If you did register for early access, then congratulations! Please note that we will not be enabling early access to the site straight away. We will send successful early access registrants a Welcome email, letting them know when they will be able to access Pottermore. We won’t be able to let everyone into the Beta site at the same time, so please be patient with us. You may have to wait a few weeks for your Welcome email to arrive.
Posted by Pottermore Ed' at 03:03 




*   *   *


You probably know by now that each day, the Clue for that day is from the Harry Potter book which corresponds to that number of the 7-day trial. In other words, Day 1 is Book 1, Day 2 is Book 2, etc.


The Clues appear in the center of the screen on the purple banner. There is no need to try clicking various objects on the Pottermore.com homepage (though we all tried on Day 1).


The first Clue appeared at about quarter past 8:00 a.m. on 31 July. For me, this was just after midnight, as I am in California (Pacific Standard Time). The registration period closed about 2.5 hours later.


I believe Clue 2 was at 10 a.m. BST / 2 a.m. PST. As I said, I was delirious so I had shut off my laptop and was eating Ramen because I was starving, and I missed it all.


The third Clue appeared right at 11 am BST / 3 a.m. PST. The registration period closed 1 hour later.


Also note that it is only necessary to find The Quill ONCE. Though figuring out the Clues on subsequent days could be fun.


As for WHEN the Clue will be available each day, I don't know, and no one else seems to, either.

MAJOR CLUE: From official Insider.Pottermore.com blog on Monday, prior to Clue 3:


Can you give me a hint as to when the next Pottermore clue will be released?


We know that many of you waited through the night for the first two clues to be posted on Pottermore.com. Although we can't tell you exactly when the clues will be released - they will all be posted at different times - we can tell you that tomorrow's clue (Clue 3) will be posted some time between 9.00am and 1.00pm BST


I saw people on Twitter predicting that it would be 11:00 a.m., because this corresponds with the time when Ron & Harry missed their chance to enter Platform 9 & 3/4. So, looked like 7:00 a.m. EST and 3:00 a.m. PST.



It was indeed at 11:00 a.m. BST / 3:00 a.m. PST


UPDATE 8/2: This is from the Insider.Pottermore.com blog on Tuesday regarding Clue 4:


So far, all the clues have appeared in the early hours of the morning in my time zone. Will this continue for the remainder of The Magical Quill challenge? 

We know that Harry Potter fans around the world are taking part in the challenge, so we will be varying the times that the clues are revealed. We can tell you that tomorrow's clue (Day 4) will be released between 2.00pm and 6.00pm BST.


This is 6a-10a PST, 9a-1p EST. (This 9a-1p window could be the standard; we'll see where it falls for Clue 5; perhaps PST in USA?)
Here is a link for a world clock converter. I set it for 2p-6p BST. Scroll through the list to find your city.


When it comes to searching for the clues, if you want to try and solve it for yourself, I like using a PDF version of the book, so you can do a CTRL+F search for the words presented in the clue. Here is a link @JustZerah shared on Twitter for Book 3, as well as 4, 5, 6, & 7:  http://www.mediafire.com/?1t0cskvb10qc9]


They are varying the time each day by an hour or two, in order to be accessible to people in different countries, because it is important that Pottermore be beta-tested in multiple languages (English, Spanish, German, French, to start, with other languages coming later.)


Again, if you do want to solve additional Clues, I would caution against actually registering additional accounts, as this will essentially steal one of the day's allocated spots from another fan who doesn't yet have one. Plus, each registration requires a valid email address. If the name you register does not match that of the email, your registration MAY fail; this happened to me; someone commented below that I may have messed up the captcha code. This could very well have been my mistake. Regardless, I had to go back to step one. Which was a bummer because my original Username was ThestralHeart. Pretty cool. Oh well.


But, if you have enough email addresses and want to keep trying for a better Username, no one can stop you. Though this may be morally questionable. There ARE only 1 million spaces available, after all, approximately 150,000 per each of the 7 days of the early entry contest period  (142,857 to be more exact; thank you to my wife for suggesting I divide 1 million by seven, rather than sit there like a complete idiot multiplying various numbers times 7, trying to guess.) Some people are making extra accounts and giving them to people. And, if you want to put in the time to enjoy the process all over again, then let's not feel bad for those who were too lazy to do so.


UPDATE 8/2: The Pottermore folks had this to say about the matter:


I have seen people offering to register early access accounts for others. Is it safe to give my personal details to someone who is offering this service?


Absolutely not. You should never share personal details online unless you are certain how they will be used and protected. Also, please note that the transfer of Pottermore accounts is expressly prohibited in The Magical Quill promotion Terms & Conditions.

So, make of that what you will. The intention behind getting Pottermore accounts and giving them to others is altruistic, but also technically prohibited. 


Further, Insider.Pottermore.com has this to say about registering multiple accounts:


I’ve found The Magical Quill more than once. Am I allowed to create multiple early access Pottermore accounts?



No. You may only register for the early access period once. Please refer to the conditions of participation in The Magical Quill promotion Terms & Conditions.


So, technically, they could pop you the way the U.S. Federal government pricks busted those kids for downloading music years ago (Lame!). Well, maybe not that bad.


But having one's status as a Pottermore Beta Tester revoked due to having registered, like, uh, 79 unique usernames, (though probably warranted for THAT high of a number! Yes, I made that up) would be worse than regrowing bones or spitting slugs or having your liquefied guts sucked out of you by Aragog. Eek!) 


After you register, and wait forever for the email, you get a link. This link provided in your email needs to be validated within 48 hours, otherwise it expires and you must re-register.


Some Yahoo mail users reported problems, though I read that that had been fixed.


But, on Monday 8/1, the official Insider.Pottermore.com blog posted the following regarding Yahoo:


I registered for early access yesterday with a Yahoo email address and have yet to receive my verification email. What's happened to my email and will I still be able to verify in time?

There is a delay with verification emails going out via Yahoo! Mail and related providers (such as BT Yahoo!), which means that, while emails are being sent out, they are being delivered at a greatly reduced rate.

We are currently talking to Yahoo in order to resolve this problem and will update this blog post with new information as we get it.



UPDATE from 8/2 Insider.Pottermore.com blog regarding Yahoo mail users:


Is there any update on the Yahoo! Mail issue?


This has now been resolved and everyone who registered with a Yahoo! Mail account on Sunday or Monday should now have received their validation email.


Hopefully this bears itself out for Clue 4 for all Yahoo mail users!


Now, when you DO finally get the email, after you get done changing your underwear (or you can simply sit in your own filth, no biggie), it looks like this:


Pottermore by J.K. Rowling

Your Pottermore account

Welcome and thank you for registering for Pottermore by J.K. Rowling - the magical new online experience based around the Harry Potter books.

A million registrants are going to be granted early entry into Pottermore to help give it the finishing touches, and the exciting news is that if you validate your account quickly, you could be one of the lucky few selected. Please be quick because places are going to be allocated on a first-come-first-served basis*.
* See the Magical Quill Terms & Conditions for full details.
Follow this link to activate your account:
(Please note that this link will expire in 48 hours, so if you don’t manage to activate it within that time, you’ll need to register again).
[Also note that if you try to click this link later it will say REGISTRATION FAILED, but only because it has expired, not because there is a problem. This happened to me.]
Once you activate your account, you will discover more about when you can access Pottermore.



When you click the link, it will tell you if your registration was successful or unsuccessful. This is the point at which my initial registration failed. It was at this point I had to go back to The Quill page and begin anew.


Some people are reporting that they then received a SECOND email to finalize their registration and declaring their registration has been validated and that they were going to be among those selected to be beta testers. 


(Note: ACTUAL invitation emails to truly go inside Pottermore won't be sent until AFTER the 7-day early registration period which ends on August 6, and these will be "throttled" to admit a limited number of users at a time, in order to test the system's capability. So those who got in with Clue 1 may very well receive the first round of invitation emails. The Terms&Conditions does state that entry will be granted on a first-come first-served basis. So be patient!)


For my second email, I had been waiting for more than 12 hours when I had an idea.


Now, HERE's the secret:


On a whim, I decided to try . . . LOGGING IN.


If you were or are prompted to log in, this may not apply to you; but I was not prompted to log in.


So I went back to Pottermore.com and clicked SIGN IN up at the top right-hand side of the screen, next to the SONY icon.


I was prompted to enter my username & password:


Username: RiverWildxxx
Password: None-of-Your-Beeswax


And I got this:



So there you have it.


Registration validated.


It's not quite Mischief Managed, but it's a good secret; I've not seen anyone else on Twitter offering this information. Nor was it provided in the Terms of Service or any of the other documentation I scoured on Pottermore.com and Pottermore Insider (www.Insider.Pottermore.com; this is the official Pottermore blog.)


So . . . if you're waiting for another email, go try to log in with your username if you haven't already!!! Log in!!!


If you're waiting for the next Clue. . . .


GOOD LUCK!!!!


AND DON'T GIVE UP OR THINK YOU WON'T GET IN! They're giving the time frame for the clues now. YOU CAN DO IT!


Oh, and DO NOT BUY an account on ebay. That's ridiculous. More ridiculous than Professor Snape dressed in Nevil's grandmother's old-lady clothes. More ridiculous than Gilderoy Lockhart regrowing bones. More ridiculous than Bellatrix Lestrange having tea with Mrs. Weasley --  oh, wait, Mrs. Weasley killed her Dobby-murdering arse.


Once you register, or if you have already done so, I think it would be really cool if you would leave a comment telling everyone your Pottermore username (you can leave off the numbers, for the sake of anonymity). Some of them are really great. But some folks don't seem too thrilled with theirs.


As I said, I am RiverWild.
My wife, Taliya, is SpellPixie. (I think hers is quite good.)


@riverwild1 Corrected!
Designed by @padfoot166
Thanks, Melissa!


We'll see you on the inside.
Do you think J.K. Rowling will participate in Pottermore? What do you think her Username will be? DancingQueen777? (Dancing all the way to the bank, too! :P)


And Thank you!!! I'm having such a BLAST sharing in this new adventure with you. I have met TONS of new friends doing this. Everyone has been really great! If you want, feel free to follow me on Twitter and I'll of course follow you back! @RiverWild1 (this is a Pottermore-dedicated Twitter account Taliya and I share. My other account is @RyanLSchneider, and Taliya's is @TaliyaSchneider)


(And please let me know you're following me because you're a Pottermore fan, too, so I'll know you came from here!) 


Pottheads unite! That's going to be the name of our new Quidditch team: Pottheads United.


And don't give any time, attention, or energy to the pseudo-fans or outright hater non-fans, who will no doubt soon be referring to the lot of us as Pottermorons.


Whatever.



 (I think I just coined that term! And proud to be one, thank you.)