Owl Post

The Owl Post is currently down. Although you can write messages and appear to send them, they are not being delivered and all old owls have been deleted.

The Owls should be working again at some point today. I do not know if all old owls will be able to be restored, however.

Please don't petition the problem as we have no way of replying.



The owl post is now working but all old owls have been deleted for database preservation and to help speed things up again. Please be sure to delete old owls from your inboxes to help prevent issues like this in the future.

Sometime over the next 24 hours, Danilo will post an update concerning the recent downtime himself.


Warning of Possible Downtime

Please note I don't expect any downtime but want to make you all aware of the possibility of downtime in advance.

Our hosting provider Peer1 is experiencing a critical situation with their San Antonio datacenter. Half of their computer room air conditioning units (CRAC) are non-functional due to a water main break. Last year Texas had issues with rolling blackouts across the state and while it didn't interrupt service I was worried Peer1's backup generators wouldn't outlast the blackouts.

If temperatures at the San Antonio datacenter threaten to damage equipment Peer1 will have to proactively shut down servers. At this point I'm seriously considering moving to a datacenter in either Toronto, Chicago, or Los Angeles (where I live). Toronto and Chicago seem most likely since they aren't known for their natural disasters.

Again, depending on how Peer1 handles the situation we may not have to move any time soon.

UPDATE: Peer1 has resolved this issue. So no more worries! :)

Wizarding Law in the 21st Century

Back in November, I wrote a blog post on Justia's Law, Technology and Marketing Blog with an overview of the legal and political systems in the Wizarding World.

In celebration of the launch of Pottermore and the release of the final movie in the series, I have written another post to continue where the movie leaves off with a review of what we know about the legal and political system of Harry's world in a Post Voldemort Era. If you are interested, take a look at Wizarding Law in the 21st Century on the Justia Law, Technology and Marketing Blog.

GREAT News for Gods, Goddesses, and Donators

In appreciation of your hard work for reaching God/Goddess status here on HogwartsLive, Danilo has decided to reward your dedication and loyalty by making you Hogwarts Live alumni. What this means for you is that you will never be expelled (i.e. deleted). Once you reach 50 VEs, you do not ever have to worry about losing your account if for some reason you are prevented from logging in regularly.

In addition to the above change, ANYONE who has donated a total of $50 (5000 points) to the site will also be considered Alumni and will never be expelled. As with custom titles (also available with a $50 donation), you may make multiple donations and still be safe, just as long as the TOTAL amount donated is at least $50.

So, to sum up.... Anyone with 50 VEs is now safe from deletion AND anyone who has donated at least $50 is also safe from deletion.

For those with under 50 VEs and who do not meet the donation requirement to be saved from expulsion, the deletion schedule is as follows:

Students that have never shown up for classes (i.e. never logged in) will be expelled after 10 days.

Students that fail to reach second year (i.e. thwart Voldemort) within 30 days will be expelled.
Note: This is only if you do not log in for 30 days.

Students that fail to attend classes (i.e. log in) for more than 120 days will be expelled.

As always, thanks for playing here on Hogwarts Live and congrats to all our new alumni!

Raffle Winners and EXTRA SURPRISE

First, let us say congratulations to our 5 Hogwarts Live T-shirt Winners! They are:

BattleMage Sinful (Ticket 6681)
Supreme Goddess Tyra (Ticket 2277)
Thirdyearboy joserules (Ticket 2874)
Enchantress PhoenixRising (Ticket 7178)
InsideoutSmurf Aisling (Ticket 6832)

Winners: Please OWL the link to the shirt you'd like to DANILO. He will handle getting your prize to you. http://hogwartslive.spreadshirt.com/ is the link to the available shirts.

If you did not win this time, don't be discouraged. We will have more raffles in the coming months and as long as you keep collecting beans, you can have a shot at one of those :)

And now for our SECOND SURPRISE!!! It's gotten off to a late start, but better late than never, right? So, without further ado, in honor of Harry's Birthday, Danilo has made it ...(wait for it)....



Our usual exchange rate is $1=100 points. But for the next 24 hours, that rate will be:
$1=200 POINTS!!!

To help make sure it's clear, this means that a custom title that normally requires a donation of $50 (USD) will only need a $25 donation through tomorrow evening. It also means that a donation of only $25 will give you the 5k points needed to protect your account from ever getting deleted.
***Any donation of any size will earn you double points.***

We hope you enjoy this (belated) birthday present! Thanks for playing!

ADDED: This was originally posted around 7pm East Coast US time, Sunday July 31. You will earn double donations until around 7pm East Coast US time, Monday Aug 1.


HL Players Video

One of our dedicated players made up this video for HL players, check it out.

House Bulletins

If you go to your common room there is a House Bulletin link on the left menu. A lot of people probably don't know this feature exists, or just haven't signed up because it hasn't really been used.

Head of Houses can use this feature to send important information to their House, including game tips or even contests where you can win prizes.

So please sign up for you House's bulletin list today. :)

Definitions and Clarifications

"HARDCORE" is defined as INTENSELY LOYAL. It has nothing to do with talent or even understanding. It's about dedication.

Your roleplaying is no more valid than anyone else's. I don't care who you're friends with or what imaginary power you think you have here. Who are you to ruin it for other people? There's a reason why YOU don't make the rules here or have a symbol in front of your name.

Staff may not RP, but that doesn't mean we don't understand it. We don't have RP rules here because hardly ANY of you would be able to follow REAL RP rules. That includes ALL of YOU who THINK you know what you're doing.

This site is so EVERYONE can enjoy themselves, not so they can be judged by others who think they're better than them. If a village is already being used, FIND ANOTHER ONE or PLAY ALONG. Your RP does not take precedence over something ALREADY GOING ON.

The RP villages are for EVERYONE to use for roleplaying. NOT just you.

We gave love a chance... 5 years later we are still here

5 years ago, on July 2nd, 2006, I posted a MoTD (before it was a blog) that I married, in real life, Barbara Moline, who I met here on HogwartsLive.com as LadyofFantasy SerenityRose. Today is our 5th anniversary, and I wanted to share with you that we are still very much in love and very happily married.

I now return you to your regularly scheduled forest fighting.

Pottermore Revealed

The countdown has finished and Rowling's announcement is up on youtube here:

Pottermore is a free interactive reading experience where you and interact with the book while reading. It contains new content including (at launch) 18,000 new words of content from J.K. Rowling, with promise of more to come. Also, pottermore.com will be the place where the official ebooks will finally be available for purchase, as well as the return of digital audio books (which have been lacking for years since that short stint where they were available on iTunes).

The Pottermore press release follows.

J.K. Rowling today, Thursday 23rd June, answered mounting speculation about the nature of her new project and announced Pottermore, a unique and free-to-use website which builds an exciting online experience around the reading of her hugely successful Harry Potter books, and is partnered by Sony.

The announcement today was heralded by the revealing of the website's name via an online search for its letters, and a 'coming soon' holding page which received over a million visits within 36 hours of launching.

For this groundbreaking collaborative project, J.K. Rowling has written extensive new material about the characters, places and objects in the much-loved stories, which will inform, inspire and entertain readers as they journey through the storylines of the books. Pottermore will later incorporate an online shop where people can purchase exclusively the long-awaited Harry Potter eBooks, in partnership with J.K. Rowling's publishers worldwide, and is ultimately intended to become an online reading experience, extending the relevance of Harry Potter to new generations of readers, while still appealing to existing fans. As the Pottermore Shop develops, it is intended that it should include further products designed specifically for Harry Potter fans, offering a potential outlet for Sony products and services related to Pottermore. In keeping with Harry Potter's international appeal, the site will launch in English, French, Italian, German and Spanish, with more languages to follow.

In the new website, the storyline will be brought to life with sumptuous newly-commissioned illustrations and interactive 'Moments' through which you can navigate, starting with the first book, Harry Potter and the Philosopher's (Sorcerer's) Stone. 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.

At a press conference at the Victoria & Albert Museum in London, Rowling revealed some key features of the website. In an announcement which will thrill fans, she described how she has brought to life both the Sorting Hat and Ollivanders experiences from her books for the first time on Pottermore, by revealing the questions asked by the Sorting Hat - which places newcomers into their Hogwarts houses according to their characteristics - and the magic behind the Wand Chooser - which finds the right wand for each user from over 33,000 possible combinations. She also revealed glimpses of the new information she has provided on some of the best-loved characters.

J.K. Rowling's announcement on YouTube and sony.com today revealed that Pottermore (along with the Pottermore Shop) will be open to all users in October 2011. From today, 23rd June, fans can submit their email addresses on Pottermore.com in order to be contacted by the site following the opening of registration on 31st July, Harry's birthday. Also on that date, an online challenge will be launched, whereby the first million people to complete their registration will gain early entry into the website, and help put final touches to the experience.

J.K. Rowling commented,

"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."

Pottermore has been made possible with the support and partnership of Sony.

Sir Howard Stringer, Chairman, Chief Executive Officer and President of Sony Corporation, commented:

"Sony's association with J.K. Rowling's Pottermore brings together one of the world's most innovative brands with the most successful book series in history, in a pioneering partnership that will help shape the future of story-telling. We are proud to be a part of it, both at this momentous announcement, and as we collaborate on its development over the coming years."

On Sony's partnership of Pottermore, J.K. Rowling commented:

"As I think people know, I am very protective of Harry and have always been very selective with any new initiatives, but I am totally committed to making this partnership with Sony and this wonderful new website a success. There are many companies I could have worked with on this ultimate digital expression of Harry Potter's universe, but it is Sony's unique philosophy of creativity in harmony with technology that made them my first choice as main partner. The spirit behind Sony's make.believe philosophy is one that rings true with Pottermore's own values."

The detailed creative execution has been led by TH_NK, a leading UK digital agency, under the supervision of J.K. Rowling and the Pottermore management team, in co-operation with Sony. J.K. Rowling's publishers, Bloomsbury in the UK and Scholastic in the USA, as well as her international publishers worldwide, have been active supporters in the creation of pottermore.com and the Pottermore Shop. Warner Bros, the makers of the hugely successful Harry Potter film franchise, is also one of the partners who have worked to support the launch of Pottermore through a variety of marketing, promotional and other efforts, and will continue to collaborate as the project grows.

The storyline of the second book, Harry Potter and the Chamber of Secrets, will go live on the site in early 2012. The Pottermore Shop opens when the site opens to all in October, selling complete ranges of the eBooks and digital audiobooks in a selection of languages, exclusively.

Designed for fans of all ages, the website has been created with child safety in mind, employing best practice and compliance with internet codes of practice in the UK, Europe and USA, and elsewhere.