April 1st marks the start of Camp NaNoWriMo. It will be the first time Camp NaNo takes place on the main NaNoWriMo site.
In the past, Camp NaNoWrimo had its own site with a cabin system as a way to make the April and July events stand apart from the main event in November. For me, the cabin system was always great in theory but terrible in practice. I’d join up with some friends and form a cabin and everything would be great for during the first week or so. Then people would get busy, distracted, or discouraged. The the cabin became a ghost town.
How will things be different this year? How will the system replacing the cabins work?
I don’t know yet. The groups feature on the main website is currently being beta tested. The feature is supposed to be released on March 5, but it might be pushed back to March 10 if things aren’t ready to go this Thursday.
After the rocky launch of the new site last fall, there’s plenty of reasons to be concerned about Camp. Some people rely on the NaNoWriMo site for social support during the events. When the whole site changed, they had to learn a new forum structure and entirely rebuilt their buddy lists.
For me, the social benefits of the NaNoWriMo site is a nice bonus, but I’m perfectly content getting by socializing on Twitter and Discord. When the site has growing pains, I’m fine with stepping back and waiting. I’m not particularly worried about features getting out of beta this month. However, I don’t want my writing friends that rely on the site for connections to feel discouraged.
Hopefully the groups feature will be ready to go on Thursday so we all have plenty of time to get used to it before the writing frenzy begins.
If you’re like me and already getting wound up for Camp, you can add me as a buddy over on NaNoWriMo.
Are you participating in Camp NaNoWriMo in April? What are your thoughts on the Camp events moving over to the main site?