The Leaky Cauldron (website)
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Limited liability company
|Headquarters||New York, USA|
|Key people||Melissa Anelli|
|Owner||Leaky Net, LLC (New York)|
|Slogan(s)||The Most Trusted Name in Potter|
|Alexa rank||42,000 (approx.) (as of August 2011[update])|
|Available in||English (U.S.)|
|Launched||5 July 2000|
The Leaky Cauldron, also called Leaky, TLC, or Leaky News, is a Harry Potter fansite and blog. The site features news, image and video galleries, downloadable widgets, a chat room and discussion forum, and an essay project called Scribbulus, among other offerings. Since 2005, The Leaky Cauldron has also hosted an official podcast called PotterCast.
The current webmaster of The Leaky Cauldron is Melissa Anelli, a former journalist for the Staten Island Advance and author of the 2008 bestseller Harry, A History. The site's creative director is John Noe. The Leaky Internet business is currently incorporated as the for-profit Leaky Net Inc. (to be distinguished from the non-profit arm, Leaky, Inc.)
The Leaky Cauldron website was started by Kevin C. Murphy on 5 July 2000, as a Geocities site managed through Blogger. It moved to its own domain on 4 December 2000. with B.K. DeLOng taking control a year later in 2001. Melissa Anelli joined the Leaky staff later that year as an editor and became Managing Editor in 2002. Anelli took full editorial control of the site in 2004. On 28 January 2005, Leaky debuted the Leaky Lounge, a forum for Harry Potter discussion. The forum currently has over 120,000 registered members.
The Leaky Cauldron was also part of the "Floo Network", a collection of Harry Potter sites that also included The Harry Potter Lexicon. The Leaky Cauldron withdrew financial support from the Lexicon and disbanded the Floo Network in 2007 following the legal action pursued by JK Rowling against its creator and webmaster, Steve Vander Ark.
April Fools' Day jokes
The site is also known for the April Fools' Day jokes that it pulls annually. In 2003, Leaky posted a copy of 93 words allegedly e-mailed to the site, in reference to a 93-word card auctioned off the previous December with information about the plot of the upcoming fifth Potter book. In 2004, actor Jim Tavaré, who would appear later that year in the film Harry Potter and the Prisoner of Azkaban as Tom the Barman, attempted to oust the "muggles" from the site. In 2005, the site closed down, posting a note about how tired the webmasters were of handling the foolish questions sent to them by readers each day. As a replacement, the site opened "Ask Peeves," a spoof of the Ask Jeeves search engine. In 2006, both The Leaky Cauldron and fellow Potter fansite MuggleNet shut down and redirected visitors to a new site, The Leaky Mug. The Leaky Mug's first announcement was the marriage of Leaky webmaster Melissa Anelli to MuggleNet webmaster Emerson Spartz. The two claimed to have merged their sites in the same way they had merged their lives. The next day, both sites were running normally; J. K. Rowling discussed the joke later on her official website. In 2007, Leaky posted a news item that it be closing its doors following the upcoming publication of the final Harry Potter book, Harry Potter and the Deathly Hallows. In 2008, The Leaky Cauldron announced that Sybill Trelawney, a Hogwarts professor of divination in the Potter series, would be joining the site's staff as a news editor. Leaky also announced that Potter actor Daniel Radcliffe would be eschewing his famous nude scenes in the upcoming Broadway debut of his play Equus; and that the wizard rock band Harry and the Potters was disbanding. In 2009, the site automatically redirected to another website, Hooter, a play-on Twitter. In 2010, The Leaky Cauldron became "The Gleeky Cauldron", a fansite for the popular Fox TV show Glee.
PotterCast is the official podcast of The Leaky Cauldron. Launched on 22 August 2005, PotterCast is an hour-long podcast hosted by Anelli, Noe, and Frankie "Frak" Franco III. The podcast includes news updates, discussion of the Potter books and films, interviews with people associated with the Potter franchise (including J. K. Rowling) and other features.
Leaky purchased leakynews.com on 20 Nov. 2005 to make their URL shorter and make access to their site easier. In October 2011, LeakyNews split from the main site to form a new entertainment website disconnected from the Harry Potter franchise, the new website allows members to write and contribute their own articles on an area of popular culture they enjoy.
Relationship with the franchise
Harry Potter creator J. K. Rowling has praised The Leaky Cauldron on several occasions. On her site, Rowling has said that she visits The Leaky Cauldron and sometimes reads the comments left by visitors, although Rowling does not leave comments there herself; she once wished a reader happy birthday based upon their postings on The Leaky Cauldron. Rowling gave her approval and endorsement to the strong anti-spoiler campaign enforced on Leaky and its forum, the "Leaky Lounge," prior to the release of Harry Potter and the Deathly Hallows.
The Leaky Cauldron and MuggleNet were granted an interview with Rowling at her home in Edinburgh, Scotland in mid-2005, immediately following the release of the sixth Harry Potter novel, Harry Potter and the Half-Blood Prince. In January 2008, Rowling appeared and was interviewed on PotterCast; during the interview, she called Leaky "[her] favorite fan site." Rowling has written the introduction to Melissa Anelli's nonfiction book Harry, A History: The True Story of a Boy Wizard, His Fans, and Life Inside the Harry Potter Phenomenon, which was released 4 November 2008.
The site also has a good relationship with Warner Bros., the studio producing the film adaptations of the Potter books. The studio regularly sent Leaky images from upcoming films before their official release, and gave Leaky a special preview of redesigns of the official Harry Potter website before the releases of the third and fourth films. Leaky was the sole fansite invited to the press junket for the second Potter film, Harry Potter and the Chamber of Secrets; the junkets for later films were opened to additional sites. The website has also received information from other sources in the Harry Potter world, including Arthur A. Levine Books and Bloomsbury Publishing.
The Leaky Cauldron regularly raises funds to aid world literacy, an initiative begun in 2002 with the auction of a card, handwritten by Rowling, with 93 words regarding the plot of the upcoming fifth Harry Potter book. Leaky gathered funds from its readers to place a collective bid, but when their bid was unsuccessful, the money raised was donated to the charity benefiting from the auction. Leaky now holds a charity drive every holiday season and has raised more than $30,000 in donations to date.
The Leaky Cauldron also participated in the fundraiser "Helping Haiti Heal," which was organized by the Harry Potter Alliance. This fundraiser had the goal of raising money for Haiti after the earthquake that struck in January 2010. In the end, Helping Haiti Heal raised $123,000. This money was used to charter five planes to Haiti, nicknamed "Harry," "Hermione," "Ron," "DFTBA" and "Dumbledore" and carried up to 100,000 pounds of critical, life-saving supplies for thousands of Haitians.
In May 2009, Leaky hosted LeakyCon 2009, a Harry Potter fan convention held in Boston, Massachusetts, the proceeds of which went to Book Aid International and The HP Alliance. Leaky hosted a second LeakyCon in July 2011 in Orlando, Florida (in close proximity to the Wizarding World of Harry Potter theme park). Proceeds benefited Book Aid International and The HP Alliance.
In 2012, LeakyCon was held again, taking place in Chicago, Illinois, from 9 August to the 12th.
In 2013, LeakyCon will hold its first international conference in London, England, from the 8th to 12 August, as well as the now traditional American conference, to be held in Portland, Oregon in June.
Awards received by the site include the 2005 Yahoo! Search Find of the Year People's Choice Award, a 2002 Bloggie award, a Movies.com Fan Favorite Awards in 2004 and 2005, a Fan Site Award from J. K. Rowling and a 2006 Webby People's Voice Award.
- Leaky Net, LLC Registration with the State of New York. 22 February 2005. Retrieved 11 July 2010
- "The-Leaky-Cauldron.org Site Info". Alexa Internet, Inc. Retrieved 15 August 2011.
- New York Times Best Sellers, Paperback Nonfiction . 2008 November 23. Retrieved 11 July 2010
- Leaky, Inc. Non-Profit Registration with the State of New York. 26 November 2002. Retrieved 11 July 2010
- J. K. Rowling (22 December 2004). "'Harry Potter and the Half-Blood Prince' to be Published 16th July 2005". JKRowling.com.
- J. K. Rowling. "Meeting Melissa and Emerson". JKRowling.com.
- J. K. Rowling. PotterCast Interview with J. K. Rowling (MP3 Audio) (in English). PotterCast. "I love everyone who's on The Leaky Cauldron site, which is my favorite fansite."
- Melissa Anelli (12 February 2008). "Presenting...LeakyCon 2009!". The Leaky Cauldron.
- Melissa Anelli (11 November 2011). "LeakyCon 2012: August 9–12 in Chicago, Illinois". The Leaky Cauldron.
- Melissa Anelli (12 August 2012). "LeakyCon to be held in Portland and London 2013". The Leaky Cauldron.
- Netimperitive Staff (2 February 2006). "Harry Potter fan portal voted top site of 2005". Netimperative. Archived from the original on 4 February 2006. Retrieved 11 July 2010.
- "Second Annual Weblog Awards: The 2002 Bloggies". The Weblog Awards.
- J.K. Rowling. "Section: Fan Sites – The Leaky Cauldron". JKRowling.com.
- "10th Annual Webby Awards Nominees & Winners". Webby Awards.