Potter fan sites go mainstream
Harry Potter fan sites got some wide spread news coverage this weekend in an article that traces the development and breadth of the sites. It (rightly) frames the fan sites as an integral part of the Harry Potter phenomenon, with quotes like this one from a publisher:
“The Potter sites set the standard,” says Anthony Ziccardi, vice president and deputy publisher for rival Pocket Books, an imprint of Simon & Schuster that releases “Star Trek” paperbacks.
“The thing about the Potter phenomenon is that it has a huge, active fan base, both young and old, with a lot of teenagers. The ’Star Trek’ fan sites are a little bit older – most of the fans are 25 and older. The Potter sites really stand out – they’re like a marketing machine in and of themselves.”
and this one from Warner Brothers:
“When we have brought representatives from some of the key fan sites and showed them the details for the film sets, even if some of them were disappointed that we had left out certain elements from the books, they respected what we were trying to do,” says Diane Nelson, Warner Bros.’ executive vice president for global brand management.”We’re not naive enough to think we’re going to avoid criticism, but bringing the fan sites into the process is what we feel is really important.”
The article also touches on the challenges of running a fan website. Very nice to see an article that recognizes online fans as important participants in the production and promotion processes rather than lifeless losers in parental basements.