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This is the discussion page for AndyRoberts I may reserve the right to do some HouseKeeping? from time to time.

Hi Andy - Dave here from Flickr, this place looks very interesting! -- DaveGoodman

Welcome to MeatBall, Andy. -- ChrisPurcell

Hi Andy! The ukcider wiki is great; I intend to comb through it in more detail when I have the time. -- StephenGilbert

Thanks for the welcomes. The ukcider wiki is indeed a wondrous thing, they just took to it without hardly any fuss, and now after only the first year it's already valued above the previous printed version which was always innacurate and out of date.

BarnRaising Invitation

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


Andy, I would like you to tell us more about yourself, your work and your research. Up to now you have done very little to build a foundation for trust. Will you be a contributor to MeatballWiki, to WikiSym or RecentChangesCamp? What wiki-related activities to you plan in the future? Do you want to become a part of the wiki community? -- HelmutLeitner

Helmut, that seems like a very strange question to me. -- SunirShah

Sunir, why does this seems strange to you? BarnRaising is a community effort, based on reciprocity. Someone asking for BarnRaising help should be prepared to build trust in that he is willing to give the energy he gets back to the community sometimes. Go into a rural village as a stranger and without talking and making friends and ask the people there "help me with my house" - I'm sure you will get a cold refusal. GimmeFive reason to trust. I added the picture above, Andy didn't. Now Andy tells that he needs this for his graduation - this is a first step. At least we know, that it's not just an experiment from some freak. If he will also tell us where,how and when he will publish his results, a lot is won. -- HelmutLeitner

I think the way you phrased it came off to me as accusative, which creates unnecessary social distance. It's better to ask for information in the context of how it would benefit the common process. "Could you tell us more about yourself, your work, and your research so we can figure out how to help you? What kind of wiki experience do you have? Are you looking to dive deeply into wikis through this project? You may want to explore and interact with the wiki community at large, starting from places like WikiWikiWeb, MeatballWiki, CommunityWiki, WikiSym, and RecentChangesCamp to see how others have done it."

The problem I have with things like GimmeFive is that is what I might want from my side, a demanding position, but a PersonalRelationship cannot be so one-sided. One has to give newcomers five if one wants five from them. The way this works is that both parties have private interests they want to achieve, and these interests require the other party. If you're asking for something from someone, you either have to offer something in exchange, or you need to explain why giving or performing it will get them closer to their own private objectives. Again, the relationship cannot be one-sided, so you should not be in a submissive position either. If they cannot AddValue? to us, then there isn't a lot we should do for them either. -- SunirShah

Interesting discussion but one I don't have quite enough time for right now, especially not knowing the etiquette for responding as an interspersion within a conversation, syntax for indenting, or different conventions for homepages and content pages here. I appreciate that I give the impression of being in a hurry, rather than taking time to get to know people, and deadlines are not my normal style. But I do need to correct one thing: The thing I need for the completion of an academic module before graduation is feedback to my exhibition at http://distributedresearch.net/blog/?page_id=75 . The Barn raising is not essential to that, it is a genuine enterprise which will continue afterwards, not any kind of experiment to be abandoned after having fulfilled a purpose. All of my coursework has been published online, that's a commitment I made in year 1 - http://frankieroberto.com/dad/ultrastudents/andyroberts/

One more thing, you might like to look at what I tried to do 5 years ago with Europa.* - http://www.europa.usenet.eu.org It might be interesting to discuss some lessons from that idea one day. -- AndyRoberts

We usually just keep things linear, and rework it into discrete subject-oriented blobs if things get confusing. I've taken the liberty of reordering the above to be time-ordered, and indenting it, since you asked — normally we leave people's FrontLawns pretty much alone, and you can order it how you want, really! -- ChrisPurcell

Helmut, I will develop this page to tell you more about me in due course, I don;t think there is any short cut to building trust. I do have an immediate short-term agenda, which is to sucessfully complete the last bit of my research and exhibition in order to graduate. For this I need to collect critical feedback about my methodology and findings from visitors to http://distributedresearch.net/blog/?page_id=75

If there is such a thing as "The" wiki community then I would consider myself already a part of it. At present, I admit I don't fully understand what the relationship is between CommunityWiki, MeatballWiki, RecentChangesCamp and WikiIndex. It is unlikely that I will travelling to north America for any face2face conferences in the forseeable future. Last night, however I attended WikiWednesday? in London.

Here's a contribution I made to a conference of CPsquare - (a community of practice on communities of practice) in January 2006.


I find the issue of control quite contradictory because you can have your open, democratic, anarchic group-mind wiki only to discover that ultimately it is owned and controlled by the one person who administers the domain name, or perhaps a 'foundation' heavily influenced by one person.

Is a genuinely decentralised implementation conceivable, a peer-to-peer hosted wiki which really would be owned by the contributors? "

Andy, we are in great resonance because I also have "little time" and will respond to your BarnRaising invitation in "due course". Quid pro quo. I'll be an interested observer to what you achieve. -- HelmutLeitner

Andy, I just revisited (a month later) the barnraising effort. How to you interpret your experience as a scientist? -- HelmutLeitner

I don't know what's up with Helmut but you wouldn't need to look very hard to find some initial thoughts here: http://tinyurl.com/r6ukp Observers have interpreted the world, the point is to change it.

re: ThesisOnaWiki?. I handed my final project in as a wiki. I haven't bothered to anonymize the data yet, so I can't "publish" it, but I will after the DesignBibliography is running. In fact, most of my research during my Masters was on moving academic writing to the online environment, such as using wikis (and derivatives) to manage the references, annotations, marginalia, etc. -- SunirShah


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