Barn Raising on FamilySearch Wiki

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What is a barn raising?

On a frontier homestead, the largest and most complex structure was usually 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. Settlers who wanted a barn needed a barn raising -- a party or social event in which the community would help complete the heavy work quickly.

Why work with others?

A wiki contributor writing content about a topic can experience some of the same feelings that homesteaders did. Working in isolation can be lonely. Sometimes the lone worker longs for someone else 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. These wiki contributors decide to have their own form of barn raising: a community content-building event 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