Bits of Beta

Beta was an interesting time when considering the history of Pottermore, and the effects that a "Beta" had on its users. The Betas then were subjected to the roughest parts of the site, and due to their early participation, have done both great good and earned admiration, and caused some negative interactions in the site, leading to some individuals despising the Betas and the Beta period, and all it stands for.

Before discussing beta, its best to describe the time periods as such "Potion Age" "Dueling Age" "Post-Beta" "Chamber-Prisoner v.02" and "Unrestricted Age".  The latter three are all after the beta period, and will be glossed over on this post. However, the first two were more important in building the community.

Beta's first age is the "Potions Age." This age is defined by the restriction for the majority of that age on potions being the only way for individuals to earn points. Because of the way potions were brewed in this age, individuals were highly encouraged to build bonds. Potions could take upwards of 3 hours to brew, for 5 points a successful brew. Furthermore, as individuals had all that time to spend, they would often interact in the common rooms. In Slytherin, for example, individuals would re-enact Shakespeare and there would be bawdy jokes of tentacles in all the wrong places. This was important as it helped to create the bonds necessary to form what is now the Pottermore community. These connections lead to some individuals creating websites or blogs like Gryffinroar, my own forum Rune's Potion Chamber, and the blog "Elm Goes to Hogwarts". This allowed individuals to share information, and gave information all through the the betas, giving a better avenue than posting on the common room boards as there were limitations on what could be posted in the common room due to moderation. This laid some of the groundwork for sites and actions by others that would help individuals after beta gain proficiency on Pottermore.

The second age, the "Dueling Age" is when inter-house communications flourished more. As dueling opened in December 2011, other houses would communicate on chat sites as they ran into each other on duels, declaring rivals, claiming individuals to be "monsters" of dueling. The whole event of the house cup at that point really got the "sporting" spirit and shifted the aspects of the game. But more importantly, it lead to inter-house coalitions that would later serve as foundations for anti-cheating and anti-glitch actions, made via Facebook groups started by Betas wishing to ease communication, as messages would occasionally slip in the great hall, and Facebook and other chat sites would do better with communicating on an inter-house level.

The time after beta was indeed a tumultuous one, and one where the image of betas has changed over time. Upon the first interaction, individuals would do well with new sorts, though there was often talk of how the new sorts were wet between the ears and rather vapid at times. But just as often, individuals would welcome the new admitted individuals with a good deal of joy, though as time shifted, the importance of betas faded, with their role being more of a rarity than anything else. Furthermore, there were and still are some individuals that deem betas as an "elitist" group due to their rarity and the initial recoil that some betas had towards new users, in addition to other betas using their seniority to claim "rank" on newer members, even when points may not match up.

Though it's easy to see why some betas do wish for that old camaraderie and the inter-house communication that has faded as the member roster and time has gone on. Some betas have lost their accounts due to inactivity or due to harassment by trolls, while others have simply left due to hatred that they had experienced, and instances of cyber-bullying by newer members or old members with new power as they gained more accounts. Furthermore, others jumped to different houses due to disagreements that occurred over beta's period, and others that just simply drifted away from their houses as time went by.

Overall, the beta period is an important one in Pottermore's history, and especially when regarding the formation of some of the support networks that have started, and while for the most part "Post-betas" or "Released" have taken to running a good deal of them as Betas have dropped out, without the Betas, a good many of these would not have been started, and while they may have still existed, the transition was made smoother by the Betas' work.

1 comment:

  1. I've noticed that all of my friend status are not available in my address book. Is PM trying to save memory, or some other reason?


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