Barn Raising on FamilySearch Wiki
What is a barn raising?
The land in a frontier area is much like a wiki -- it has great potential, but reaching that potential demands many improvements. On a frontier homestead, often the largest and most complex structure was the barn. Because barns were built with massive posts and beams that depended on each other for strength, their heavy walls had to be built separately and then raised by a crowd. If you wanted a barn, you needed a barn raising -- a party or social event in which members of the community would help you get the work done fast.
A wiki contributor writing content about a topic can experience some of the same feelings as a homesteader. Working in isolation can be lonely. Sometimes it's nice to have someone to talk to, to discuss or improve ideas. And sometimes the work feels overwhelming, as if it just takes too long to get to the point where a sizeable portion of the work seems finished. Since barn raising was practiced in so many countries, many wiki communities who feel isolated or overwhelmed with their work have turned to their ancestors and their concept of barn raising as the solution: a content-building process that is rapid, fun, social, and satisfying.
The benefits of a barn raising
People who work in isolation on a wiki can quickly feel overwhelmed. They feel it might take a very long time (even years) to really flesh out their topic of choice. This is the same feeling experienced by pioneer settlers who tried to clear land and build new farms in isolation. In order to raise their structures faster and feel a sense of accomplishment