Barn raising

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This wiki is undergoing a Barn raising event right now, continuing until March 15th, please come and help get the DAR wiki off to a good start. For further details, and to keep in contact, "Mission Control" is the Barn raising page, with suggested tasks, roles and communications links. See you there.


Mission Control

This page is the Mission Control area for the barn raising event.

Ice Breaker

To gain some experience on this wiki, please try to have a go at the Ice_Breaker task.

The aims and objectives of this barn raising party

  • to launch the DARwiki as a collaborative wiki about distributed action research (raising the barn)
  • to bring people together from a number of disparate communities who may have a continuing interest in DAR as practioners, students, facilitators etc (critical mass)
  • to see if it is possible to communicate and make collaborative decisions by all of the barn raisers on such tasks as refactoring the present frontpage and indexing/tagging system in a way that makes it easier for visitors to edit or navigate.
  • to create a space which can be used as a "coffee shop" for action researchers to present projects and papers for peer review by critical friends.

What is a Barn raising?

It is a metaphor for online interaction that replicates what happens in "meatspace." If you raise a barn, you have built something. (see Meatball Wiki: Barn raising)

Planning Phase


  • Friday - March 10th – Barn Raising weekend begins, continues till the 15th.

suggested structure for the 5 days

Communicate, plan >> enquire >> act >> assess >> reflect >> plan, act 2 >> reassess >> tidy up

  • DAY 1 familiarisation and planning. Finding our way, negotiating the process
  • DAY 1 + 2 reconnaissance, discussion, reflection. Looking at what's there and what's to be done.
  • DAY 2 + 3 writing and creating new pages, rapid addition of articles
  • DAY 4 appraisal of what has been created, reflect on what could be done better
  • DAY 4 + 5 refactoring and writing, reassess and anneal.

  • Friday - March 24th – Exhibition closes.

Channels of communications

Plan to provide multiple means of communication.

This plan needs to be flexible, depending on the preferences of guests.

Possibilities include:

(IRC client native to OSX 10.3+ only -

  • one voice channel - skype/ichat

Initial tasks

suggested tasks for individuals

  • Have a go at the Ice_Breaker task.
  • visit the exhibition
  • explore what content is already on the wiki (Special:Allpages ) and expand on it, tidy, or add comments to related discussion pages. If the discussion page doesn't exist yet, it will be created when you save your comment.
  • familarise yourself with the functioning of the mediawiki technology a bit, make an edit, view it as 'preview' before saving, ask questions, help others.
  • register as a user on this wiki, log in, put something on your user page.
  • Communicate, meet new people and have fun!

tasks for the collective

  • Go through all of the pages which are presently uncategorised and add categories
  • Make a list of which pages are ripe for mass attention
  • Make a list of which pages are badly needed - see Wanted Pages
  • Determine the neighbouring wikis to DARwiki and specify relationships and boundaries
  • Consider future policy for real names, pseudonyms or anonymous editing
  • Consider a statement of aims for this DARwiki

Specialised Roles requiring volunteers

  • Theoretician - to build sound foundations
  • publicity agent - gathering more barn raisers
  • technician - finding out more about mediawiki syntax, showing us additional functionality
  • journalist - keeping records and writing reports about how the barn raising is progressing
  • communicator - keeping each of the different channels informed of what the others are doing
  • teacher - looking out for people who need help and showing them how to operate


Let people know about it

Who / where

Tell all friends and colleagues via related email lists, groups and wikis:

  • CPsquare - blog



Feel free to redistribute this invitation to relevant communities and individuals.

Dear ___community member,

You are invited to a "barn raising" event to help launch Distributed Action Reseach on March 10th-15th 2006.


Anybody interested in distributed Communities of Practice, in Action Reseach or in Wiki community building is invited. Bring your friends, meet new people, do some useful work, learn about community building by doing it and have a great time.


The idea of 'barn raising' is to bring a group of people together at one specific time in order to build something collaboratively that couldn't be done by one person alone. Distributed Action Research (DAR) is a new combination of approaches. We have the beginnings of a community, the beginnings of a Wiki and the barn raising has been convened in order to rapidly develop the Wiki and achieve critical mass for a sustainable launch of both.


As the event unfolds, new plans will be rapidly made and executed, new communication channels set up and new tasks decided. The central place for coordinating all of this is the barn raising page on DARwiki. That's here:



The official date and time for the kick off is

    • Friday 10th March at 20.00 GMT**

and the event is scheduled to last for 5 days, during which time the bulk of barn raisers will be dropping in for as long as they can spare. We may decide to have specific hours for synchronous communications within sub-groups depending on time zones and so on. That will all become apparent on the Timeline section of the barn raising page as well. See you there!


  • Bring along your specific knowledge, expertise and connections.
  • Find a way to communicate with the other barn raisers.
  • Help to organise and add writing to the DARwiki.
  • Visit the Online Exhibition at


  • learn together about community building by doing it
  • have a great time and feel proud of having helped to build something
  • consider using what you've learned to maybe organise a barn raising

for another community you belong to in the future,


Andy Roberts, DARwiki convenor

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