Harry Potter Connection

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Website
Name: Harry Potter Connection
previously, The (Unofficial) Harry Potter Movie Site
later, HJP Forum
Owner/Maintainer: Andy Hagans
Dates: 2000-2001?
Type: news, forums
Fandom: Harry Potter
URL: harry-potter-movies.net;
previously, harrypotter.eqrealm.com
(both offline; archived by the Wayback Machine)
Harry Potter Connection banner.gif
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The Harry Potter Connection (HPC) was a Harry Potter fansite active in 2000 and 2001.

It was originally known as The Harry Potter Movie Site and then The Unofficial Harry Potter Movie Site (UHPMS), intended as "the best unofficial source for Harry Potter movie news, rumours, discussion, images, and more." It was renamed "Harry Potter Connection" when it shifted focus to all Harry Potter news, including book and video game information. Its forum was later renamed the HJP Forum.[1]

The site appears to have gone offline sometime around December 2001.[2]

In 2005, site owner Andy Hagans discussed having made a profit from the site through advertising, writing: "My first major site was about the Harry Potter movies, it was actually pretty successful and heavily trafficked. Of course, it was online at the time when online advertising plummeted, so it only made me about $1.25 CPM."[3]

Chris Rankin on the UHPMS Community

Chris Rankin, the actor who played Percy Weasley in the Harry Potter films, was an active member on the site's forums. He wrote his university dissertation on Harry Potter fandom, and in it described his time on the Unofficial Harry Potter Movie Site forums beginning in September 2000:[4]

Personally, I have been active in the Harry Potter fan community since it’s early days. I joined a forum no longer in existence called UHPMS,which latterly became Harry Potter Connection, in September 2000. I had recently been cast as Percy Weasley in the first of the film series, and was curious to see what the fan world was speculating about the forthcoming films.

I was immediately swept along with the out pourings of love and affection for a book series that had been a large part of my life for the two years prior to my audition. The friends I made through that website are still close to my heart twelve years later. That particular forum sparked long-term relationships, and even marriages.

At the time, Warner Brothers were still very wary of the fan community. Filming was taking place under a veil of secrecy and very little was allowed to be said. I wasn’t allowed to announce my role in the franchise for almost 6 months after I had been cast, in order to stave off press attention.

My presence on this particular message boards was relatively anonymous. Initially, I registered under the username “iampercyweasley”, proclaiming that I had been lucky enough to be cast in the role. I was shot down in flames almost immediately. It was thanks to one of the moderators, Richard Cresswell, who contacted me to confirm this claim, before suggesting that I re-registered under a more subtle name, and continue my participation anonymously, until such time that I could prove, and people would be able to believe, that I was indeed a member of the cast.

For my 18th birthday celebrations, I invited members of the forum to a charity screening of Harry Potter and the Philosopher’s Stone, which had opened the weekend previous. A number of them came to visit from as far away as Toronto and Seattle, and thus began, for me, a wonderful relationship with the fan community.

Forums

As of October 2001, Harry Potter Connection Message Forums included the following boards:[5]

  • General Harry Potter - Discuss the books, talk trivia and discuss the whole HP phenomenon
  • The Dragon's Roost - Chatter, fluff, cheese and ninnyhammer.
  • Fan Fiction - Read and write stories.
  • Role Playing - So, you go to Hogwarts?
  • HP Movie Forum - Discuss all aspects of the HP movie in this forum.

References

  1. According to Memetic_Mutation/Fanfic at TV Tropes, and the author's notes of "Locus Liberi" by Scribe and "Harry Potter and the Heir of Slytherin" by DrummerGirl.
  2. harry-potter-movies.net, last archived by the Wayback Machine on 02 December 2001.
  3. Aaron Matthew Wall, SEO Book Interviews, p.92, 08 November 2005.
  4. PDF version posted to chrisrankin.co.uk in 2012, available via the Wayback Machine. It was also "excerpted and adapted" for Anne Elizabeth Jamison's Fic: Why Fanfiction Is Taking Over the World (2013).
  5. Harry Potter Connection Message Forums, archived 30 October 2001 by the Wayback Machine.