Feature Article - What Do You See in HiH?

Feature Article - What do you see in HiH?

Type in a common first name, i.e. ‘Tom’ in the search bar at the top right corner of any HiH page. Click on the first name that is stated.  Four in five chances that person will have no profile picture, no house points and has completely abandoned the website.

Sad, isn’t it? We estimated that more than 20,000 HiH members have signed up, dawdled for a bit, the moved on. The people you see active now are usually old members who have stayed put for various reasons, new students giving it a go, or hard-working Professors.

So what makes members stay? If so many leave HiH, what draws a small amount of them to remain active? What do we active students see in HiH? A recent survey put together by the Magazine Team narrowed it down to five main reasons.

  1.  Form PollChatting with a close group of friends
  2. Chatting with a large and open group of friends
  3. Posting on the Forums/Other
  4. Writing/Reading books in the HiH library            
  5. Studying the HiH syllabus

There you have it, the five reasons why some members decide to stay and keep on with HiH. Obviously there are combinations, but it nearly always seems to involve one or two of these three.  But are these also the reasons why most newly enrolled don’t stay? Not everyone’s an author, most can’t be bothered with classes, and since the clubs and dorms went, it’s harder to socialize and commune. Let's concentrate on the main three - socialisation, studying and reading/writing.

To many, social is the only attraction of HiH, particularly older members who have formed both large and small friendship circles in which they chat, laugh and generally share news. But it is believed that it is partly because of these groups that many new students don’t stay for socializing. It’s very daunting to try and get into a new group, and many won’t accept you. One of the applicants for the recent survey we ran (titled ‘what do you see in HiH?’), commented:

“I believe Hogwarts is Here needs more team spirit. Without regular chats, new members don’t usually get to meet each other. Also there are too many groups of older students who won’t make room for the newer ones or don’t notice them.”

Although slightly harsh, the statement is partially correct. Creating your own circle, without the clubs and dorms or any kind of constant chat except the flooded feed, and socializing with other members who stay silent isn’t very easy.

On the subject of classes, some enjoy, some don’t; it is a varying issue.     But I feel classes really are the element of HiH and as presented by the survey, many stay to attend to the syllabus. It attracts many because of its formal presentation, wide and extensive syllabus, and actual feel that you are learning something. One of the applicants for the survey commented:

“I think the syllabus is challenging enough to give us a feel of what it’s really like at Hogwarts without putting people off.”

Many students feel the same way; in HiH you can become a completely different person and actually feel like it’s the truth because of the formal setup of classes. The assignments and lack of mini-games really has a ‘proper’ feel to it, and of course the extensity and detail that the classes involve. Comparing HiH to Pottermore makes HiH seem social and less naïve, really presenting Hogwarts rather than a fun site that’s not taken seriously.

If we are doing comparisons with HiH and Pottermore, then you could easily compare our HiH library to Wattpad. Two completely different set ups. The good thing about Wattpad is that it’s mostly serious; you get many completed books on there that are actually well written.

But to many, and myself, the Hogwarts library is a pleasant add-on where you can either go for it completely and complete a novel or take time and have no pressure. It’s not as formal as the classes and is more for fun. It further attracts students and is a fun feature. One of the survey applicants, when we asked whether they thought the library was necessary, answered:

“I personally don't really use the library, except for textbooks. I can understand that others really like to read fanfic and I think it makes the site more interesting.”

‘Interesting’. Another reason why people come to HiH – they are curious. But what makes them stay? Can we truly reach a conclusion of what people see in the HiH site? The best answer for this question in the survey hit the nail on the head:

“I think what keeps people coming back is the diversity of the website. There’s nothing else like it.”

Exactly. Where else will you find such an extensive syllabus of lessons regarding every Harry Potter subject? Or such a varying community of Potterheads that still come together to assist each other and socialize? Yes, it is HiH’s diversity that keeps people active.

Think about it for a moment. What do you see in HiH? I’m sure whatever it is, it involves some form of diversity or individuality from the everyday fan website. There are so many people on HiH, and even if only a small majority is active, they are all different in their own ways. But all connected by one thing; their love for Hogwarts and the Harry Potter Franchise.

And that’s what we see in HiH: A diverse site that unites one and all Harry Potter Fans.

  Lilia Le Fay