Barnraising Party: No Instant Barns, But Lots Of Interesting Discussion, Ideas, Fun!
On Saturday, March 5th, 2011 PortlandWiki threw our first-ever Barnraising Party! Sudden illness forced our keynote speaker to drop out at the last moment. Several core PortlandWiki contributors also couldn't make it for similar reasons. As a result, PortlandWiki didn't exactly "raise barns" (make a bunch of immediate improvements to PortlandWiki)...yet.
Despite these hiccups, PortlandWiki's Barnraising party was a success. Among many highlights, a few truly stand out:
- Wiki cupcakes!
- Street Roots contributing vendor, Sam Al-Jondi (whose column "In my darkest hours, there were many who shined a light" appears in the March 4, 2011 issue of Street Roots) expressed lots of great insights, enthusiasm and a firm grasp of PortlandWiki's potential.
- Out-of-towner Brian Kerr's presentation on what makes ArborWiki so successful.
The biggest highlight, of course, is the generosity of PortlandWiki volunteers for making getting the Barnraising party started, and for the wonderful folks who came and celebrated with us. Thank you!
Special thanks also to Schmizza Pub & Grub on 21st Avenue for generously providing pizza to hungry Barnraisers. Show some appreciation and go hit the "like" button on their Facebook page.
A Critical Look: What were the event's goals? Which goals fell short? What would make any "Barnraising 2" event more effective?
No Clear "Call To Action"
Encouraging participation from both "wiki geeks" and the wider community has brought, at best, exceedingly modest results. Response to regular meetup invitations sent through the PortlandWikiWednesday Google Group is sporadic and mostly non-existent. One consequence is slow growth in page content:
- In the first year, PortlandWiki grew from zero content pages to roughly 400, a growth rate of a little better than one new page per day.
- On October 18, 2010 the total number of PortlandWiki content pages stood at 415. Roughly four weeks later, on November 20th, that total had climbed another 28 pages to 443, or one new page per day.
- By March 7, 2011 the page count stood at 488, having increased by just another 45 pages over a span of roughly fifteen weeks, a rate of less than half a new page per day (45 new pages / 105 days = 0.428571429 pages per day).