JK Rowling, working in conjunction with digital creative agency TH_NK, has announced an interactive Harry Potter website, Pottermore.
Tarek Nseir, CEO at TH_NK, told us: "Pottermore is designed to support the reading experience, whether it's in ebook or printed format. We've broken the story into sumptuously illustrated "moments" that Jo directed herself, and as you move through the story you uncover new writings and you can participate in narrative. For example, when Harry is sorted into his house by the Sorting Hat, you can be sorted too. The site will go live with 44 moments which are all for the first book. We'll add more moments for subsequent books as we go along.
"The initial concept was Jo's idea, and she wrote the algorithms for things like the Wand Chooser and the Sorting Hat. We've brought lots of ideas together into a cohesive, exciting experience that enables you to journey through the stories in a new medium."
There will be an online shop selling the Harry Potter ebooks - ultimately Pottermore is intended to become an online reading experience, with mobile versions in the pipeline.
Fans can sign up for email alerts now, which will remind them to participate in an online challenge in July to be part of the one million-user beta. The main launch will be in October.
Asked what web technologies were used to build Pottermore, Nseir was cagey: "We've used the standard web technologies, you know, it's a website. Everything you would expect an entertainment website to be built with. It's quite an odd question really. It is a normal website. We've used the standard stuff - .NET, HTML5, Flash. Everything you would expect."
Humph. Just askin'!